Friday Music
May Recitals 2010

St Stephen's Uniting Church
197 Macquarie St, Sydney
(opposite Parliament House)

Donation welcome

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7th May

Sophia Mitchell, Mezzo-soprano
Andrew Byrne, Lute

A selection of lute songs by John Dowland (1563 - 1626)

Goe crystall teares, like to the morning showrs
(A Pilgrimes Solace, 1 6 1 2, IX)

Awake sweet loue thou art returnd
(First Booke of Ayres, 1 5 9 7, XIX)

A Dream – Lute Solo

The Right Honourable the Lady Clifton's Spirit – Lute Solo

Can shee excuse my wrongs with vertues cloak?
(First Booke of Ayres, 1 5 9 7, V)

Preludium – Lute Solo

Sorrow sorrow stay, lend true repentant teares
(Second Booke of Ayres, 1 6 0 0, III)

Lachrimæ – Lute Solo

Come againe: sweet love doth now invite
(First Booke of Ayres, 1 5 9 7, XVII)

studied the violin and viola before commencing formal training in classical singing. After receiving her Associate Diploma, she began singing with the Sydney Philharmonia Choir and Motet, performing in Australia and the UK. Sophia received a Bachelor of Music from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and completed a Post Graduate Diploma in 2008. Sophia has recently performed the lead roles of Josephine in HMS Pinafore (Gilbert and Sullivan), Miss Todd in The Old Maid and the Thief (Menotti) and Gwendolen in The Importance of Being Earnest (Oscar Wilde). Between 2008-09 she produced and performed in three concerts of opera and oratorio to raise funds for the work of Anglicare.

In 2010 Sophia recorded a short program for broadcast on 2MBS radio with harpsichordist Chris Berensen with whom she also performed a series of concerts entitled Handel You Haven’t Heard!. Also this year Sophia continues to be engaged as a guest artist with the Ku-ring-gai Male Choir. Upcoming performances include the role of Berta in The Barber of Seville (Rossini) for Rockdale Opera, chorus in Hansel and Gretel (Humperdinck) for Pacific Opera and a series of concerts of Elizabethan lute songs.

commenced his lute studies under Tommie Andersson at the Sydney Conservatorium, graduating in 2001 with the first performance degree completed entirely on the lute in Australia. In 2002 he received an Italian scholarship for a year’s further study at the Istituto di Musica Antica at Villa Simonetta in Milano, and participated in lute masterclasses and private tuition under Hopkinson Smith, Eduardo Egüez, Paul O'Dette and others. He has featured as solo guest artist at the Festival Mediceo di Artimino at Villa La Ferdinanda in Tuscany; with Ensemble Elyma under Gabriel Garrido in Spain at Festival de Música y Danza de Granada, and in many other period instrument ensembles in Italy and Australia. Local engagements include Victorian Opera, The Orchestra of the Antipodes, The Sydney Philharmonia Baroque Band, Australian Baroque Brass, Adelaide Chamber Singers, his trio The Muses’ Salon, and others. Last year he wrote and directed a multimedia show for the 2009 International Year of Astronomy called Harmonious Revolutions: Galileo and the Music of the Spheres, combining music, Socratic dialogues and sequenced astro-photography. It was dubbed by a local representative “the most ambitious and poetic endeavour to come out of IYA, perhaps anywhere in the world'. He has tutored in many seminars across Australia and teaches lute at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and at his studios in Sydney and Bowral.

14th May

Judith Rough (Soprano)
Cathy Davis (Piano)

Cinq mélodies populaires grecques - Maurice Ravel (1875 - 1937)

Vocalise en forme de Habanera - Maurice Ravel (1875 - 1937)

La Courte Paille - Francis Poulenc (1899 - 1963)

Drei Lieder der Ophelia - Richard Strauss (1864 - 1949)

5 Shakespeare Songs Op 23 - Roger Quilter (1877 - 1953)

Be kind and Courteous from A Midsummer Night’s Dream - Benjamin Britten (1913 - 1976)


Judith started singing as a child in Brisbane, as a member of the Brisbane Eisteddfod Junior choir.  She was a principal and chorus member of the Queensland Light Opera Company and studied voice at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music where she won the Blanche Campbell Memorial Scholarship for singing.   

She has sung with several chamber groups in Sydney as ensemble member and soloist, and has performed as soprano soloist across a wide range of major choral works for various orchestras and choirs in Sydney. 

In the USA between 2000 and 2005, Judith performed as ensemble member and soloist with professional chamber choirs Voces Novae et Antiquae and The Lady Chapel Singers, recording with them and touring with them in the USA and Europe.  She was in demand as a recitalist, performing for The Lupus Foundation of America and the American Guild of Organists among others.  She sang with the Mainline Opera Guild and performed the role of Lucy in Menotti’s The Telephone for the Multiple Sclerosis Association and as part of the music education programme in several Philadelphia schools. While there she had the opportunity of studying with Julianne Baird at the Eastman School of Music. 

Since returning to Australia Judith has continued to perform regularly, as a soloist in major choral works and in concert and recital for various organizations in Sydney and its environs.  Her knowledge and love of the human voice is well used in her role as voice specialist at St Vincent’s Voice Clinic in Sydney, where she works with professional voice users and others who are experiencing voice problems.   


21st May

Nexas Saxophone Quartet

Ben Carey (Soprano saxophone)
Nicholas Russoniello (Alto saxophone)
Andrew Smith (Tenor saxophone)
Nathan Henshaw (Baritone saxophone)

Andante - Eugene Bozza (1905 - 1991)

Quatuor Movt 1, 2, & 4 - Jean-Baptiste Singelee (1812 - 1875)

Waiting - Marcus Whale (1991 - )

Libertango - Astor Piazzolla (1921 - 1992)

Hoe Down - Will Gregory (1959 - )

Nexas was formed in 2002 when Ben Carey, Andrew Smith, Nathan Henshaw and Jay Byrnes (then studying for their Bachelor of Music Performance at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music) joined forces to create one of Sydney’s most promising young chamber music groups. Since it’s formation, the quartet has been active in supporting new Australian music, providing young and established composers with an outlet for their compositions to be work-shopped and performed. In recognition of their work, in 2003 Nexas was awarded the Wal Hardwick Memorial Scholarship for excellence in chamber music by the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Association. Nexas are an open-minded ensemble that shows no fear in exploring the polymorphic nature of the saxophone. This was aptly demonstrated by their 2004 collaboration with the PACT theatre group. Here Nexas performed music written by Margery Smith, as well as utilizing contemporary improvisation in the work ‘Song’s of Ghosts’. In July of 2004 Nexas attended the European University for the Saxophone, held in Gap, France. Here the quartet gave performances of French and Australian music, including European premieres of works by Paul Stanhope, Stuart Greenbaum and Margery Smith. Nexas has been privileged to perform in master-classes with Claude Delangle (Professor of Saxophone at the Paris Conservatoire), and the Diastema Quartet (Paris). In 2008 Nexas were awarded an Australian Arts Council Grant for the commissioning of a new work by Sydney composer, Amanda Cole. This microtonal composition was premiered by the ensemble in their 2009 season. Nexas has also performed at various Music Clubs, Music Festivals and has undertaken a number of tours in regional NSW.

28th May

Kurt Ison (organ and baritone)
Stacey Yang (piano)
Han Xu (violin)

Praeludium in E Major - Vincent Lübeck (1654 - 1740)
(Kurt Ison, Organ)

Two German Romantic Lieder:
"Ich liebe dich"   - Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827)
"Widmung"   - Robert Schumann (1810 - 1856)
(Kurt Ison, Baritone and Stacey Yang, piano)

Sonata for violin and piano in e minor K304 - WA Mozart (1756 - 1791)
(Han Xu, violin and Stacey Yang, piano)
i) Allegro
ii)Tempo di menuetto

Three Duets - Fritz Kreisler (1875 - 1962)
i) Schön Rosmarin
ii) Rondino über ein Thema von Beethoven
iii) La precieuse (in the style of Couperin)
(Han Xu, violin and Stacey Yang, piano)

Kurt Ison (organ and baritone) is one of Australia’s leading organists.   He has given solo recitals in places such as Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris, the Basilica of Santa Rita, Turin and the Jacobikirche, Hamburg.

Kurt is also a baritone, having studied singing with Michael Hissey and Philip Pratt. He has sung as a chorister in numerous venues around Sydney and overseas. Personal highlights include singing in the choir of St Mark's Venice for the feast of the Epiphany and singing in Buxtehude's Magnificat during morning worship at St Thomas's Leipzig.

He also sang in the Tallis Scholars' concert in the City Recital Hall a couple of years ago in Spem in alium of Thomas Tallis. He has also sung as a soloist at the Sydney Town Hall and in the crypt of St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney.

Kurt's solo engagements as a baritone this year include two performances of Stainer's Crucifixion; a concert at Christchurch St Laurence, Sydney, to celebrate the birthday of JS Bach, a solo concert at St Stephen's Macquarie Street and a major concert on Good Friday at St Stephen's Newtown, singing works by Mendelssohn and Schütz.

Stacey Xiaoyu Yang started to learn the organ from Kurt Ison in May, 2007. In 2008, She passed her 8th grade performance exam and was appointed as organist at St Anne's Anglican Church, Strathfield and the Organ Scholar of The Cathedral Singers. She is the current Organ Scholar at the University of Sydney. She has played many major organs in Sydney which including Sydney Opera House, St Andrew's Cathedral, St James' ,King St, Christ Church St Laurence and the University of Sydney. She will sit for her LTCL organ exam in late August 2010. Apart from organ playing, she has been learning piano from Stephanie McCallum and is a piano tutor at MLC School, Burwood, a piano accompanist for AMEB exam and various competitions and one of the honorary carillionists at the University of Sydney. She will visit Europe in April and September, 2010 and will give carillon recitals at Royal carillon school, Mechelen and Leuven University in Belgium and later in Spain, receive an organ masterclass from Jean-Baptiste Robin at Poitiers Cathedral in France and play organ at Mardrid Cathedral in Spain.

Stacey also received Bachelor of Medical Science degree from The University of Sydney and will have completed a master degree in health science by mid 2010 in the same institute.

Originally from China, Han Xu began  violin lessons at the age of six. After studying at the GuangZhou Conservatorium of Music in China, she completed her Post-graduate Diploma of Music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. She has performed with many other ensembles throughout the country and overseas, like Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra. She played as a principle player with GuangZhou Youth Orchestra's tour to US, Hong Kong and Macao.

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