Friday Music
August 2018

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

Donation welcome

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3 August

Blake Fischer (tenor)

Michael Curtain (pianoforte)


Six Songs from A Shropshire Lad - George Butterworth (1885–1916)
i. Loveliest of Trees
ii. When I Was One-and-Twenty
iii. Look Not In My eyes
iv. Think No More, Lad
v. The Lads in Their Hundreds
vi. Is My Team Ploughing?
Folksong Arrangements from the British Isles  - Benjamin Britten (1913 - 1976)
i. The Plough Boy
ii. The Salley Gardens
iii. The Miller of Dee
iv. O Waly Waly
v. Oliver Cromwell



Blake Fischer established himself as a recitalist in 1998 winning the prestigious 'Mietta's City of Melbourne Song Recital Award.' This enabled him to perform recitals all over Australia including the 1998 Melbourne International Festival,broadcast on ABC FM, the Mildura & Castlemaine festivals, the 1999 Brisbane International Festival and Sydney 'ABC Studio' Lunchtime recital recording, and recording on Move Records.

A multiple prize winner he won the Geelong, Mordialloc, Booroondara, Cowra, City of Shoalhaven, and Ballarat Star for Opera aria competitions. As well, he was a finalist and multiple prize winner in the Australian Singing Competition Mathy Awards in 1998 & 1999, and a finalist in the International Young Singer of the year award in Llangollen (UK) in 2000.

Whilst overseas Blake sang with Scottish Opera, Glyndebourne, Salzburg Festival, Cape Town Opera, Opera North, Garsington Opera, English Touring Opera as well as in Concert with the London Sinfonia and Northern Sinfonia. He has been performing with Opera Australia since his return to Australia in 2011.



Pianist Michael Curtain is currently assistant Chorus Master and  repetiteur at Opera Australia and is the musical director for their touring schools program. He has performed in concert with many of Australia's leading singers, including Amelia Farrugia, Samuel Dundas, Natalie Aroyan, Anna Dowsley, Jonathan Abernethy, and Jane Edwards.

Michael is also a repetiteur for the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Sydney Children's Choir, Sydney University Graduate Choirs, and previously the Tasmanian Chorale and St Mary's Cathedral (Hobart) as assistant organist. His work with ensembles includes the Sydney Symphony Fellowship, Sinfonia and Sinfonietta, the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, and currently the Strelitzia Ensemble.

Michael has been an official accompanist for the McDonald's Sydney Eisteddfod and the Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Foundation. Michael has also worked in Music Theatre, having previously been musical director for Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years, and Gilbert and Sullivan's Trial by Jury, among many others. Michael studied piano performance and accompaniment with David Miller AM, Clem Leske, and Natalia Ricci at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. 





10 August

Elsen Price (solo double bass)


'Afterthoughts for Double Bass Solo' - David Hush (Aus)

'Allemande' – Little Suite for Frantisek Posta - Bernard Salles (Fra)

'Shadows and Silhouettes' – Postcards for Posta - David Heyes (UK)

'Dunes of Pluto' - Keyna Wilkins (Aus)

'The Warped and Decomposed Acorns from the Vampires Oak Tree began whispering to me'
- P Kellach Waddle (USA)

'The Multi Bass Fiddle Story' - Teppo Hauta-aho (Fin)

'D Major' - Elsen Price (Aus)


Elsen Price is an Australian Double Bassist based in Sydney Australia. Price specialises in solo performance, collaboration with living composers and collaboration with Non-Western Musicians.

Career highlights include performances with Josh Groban (US), Mike Patton (US), Lee Ranaldo (US), Sharam Nazeri (IRAN) and Alireza Ghourbani (IRAN). As a soloist, Price has featured at BassEurope (Czech Republic), MONA, Sydney Festival and Vivid Festival, and as collaborator at Yilan International Art Festival (Taiwan), National Folk Festival, Planting Festival and many others.

Elsen Is also Director of Australian New Music Ensemble 'The Plait Ensemble' and presents the 'New Australia Radio' show on Eastside FM.



17 August

Agus Sandjaya (pianoforte)


Jesus bleibet meine Freude (Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring) - Myra Hess (1890-1965)
transcription for piano solo (after Bach, BWV147)

Sonata in D minor K. 1 - Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)

Nocturne in G major Op. 37 No. 2 - Frederic Chopin (1810-1849)

Widmung (Liebeslied), transcription for piano after Schumann S.566 - Franz Liszt (1811-1886)

selections from 'The Seasons' Op. 37b: April, May and June - Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

Prelude Op. 53 No. 23 - Nikolai Kapustin (1937- )

Tembang Alit and Fragment - Jaya Suprana (1949- )



Agus Sandjaya was born in Indonesia in 1987 and commenced his piano studies at age 6. Since then, he has participated in many piano competitions in Indonesia achieving excellent results and was the first-prize winner of the Yamaha Music Festival in Jakarta for the junior piano category in 2000.  Agus completed his University of Sydney Foundation Program in 2006 and in the following year was accepted into the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He has actively performed in lunch break concerts, master classes, and open day recitals held by the Sydney Conservatorium of Music as soloist and chamber musician. In May 2010, he premiered a short contemporary work by Australian composer Mark Isaacs in Momentary Pleasures, 2010 International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) World New Music Days. He completed his Bachelor of Music Performance degree in 2010 with First Class Honours, undertaking study with Dr. Paul Rickard-Ford. In 2011, Agus was one of the semi finalists in Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition held in Brisbane, Australia. Agus is recently active in teaching and accompanying, and occasionally performing as a soloist.



24 August

Charlotte Fetherston - viola 


In Manus Tuas - Caroline Shaw (1983 - )

Suite No. 6 in D major, BWV 1012 (trans. viola) - J.S. Bach (1685 - 1750)
1. Prélude
2. Allemande
3. Courante
4. Sarabande
5. Gavotte I
6. Gavotte II
7. Gigue


Charlotte Fetherston grew up in Auckland, New Zealand, and received a Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours from the New Zealand School of Music in 2009. She then completed a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the Sydney Conservatorium with the support of an Australian Postgraduate Award, researching the life and works of Australasian composer Alfred Hill. 

Charlotte was selected as a viola Fellow with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 2015, and in 2016 moved to Holland. An active freelance musician there, Charlotte was a core member of the Ebony Ensemble Rotterdam and the Cugnon Ensemble and performed with orchestras around the Netherlands. In 2017, Charlotte toured Australia and England with violinist Nigel Kennedy, culminating in a performance with Robert Plant in the Royal Albert Hall. Mid-2017 Charlotte moved back to Sydney and is now freelancing, playing with the Sydney Symphony, Opera Australia Orchestra, and the Sydney Camerata. Charlotte has just returned from a summer course with the Britten-Pears orchestra in Suffolk, England.




31 August

Mark Quarmby (organ)


Chaconne (from the 4th Sonata for solo violin in D minor) - J.S. Bach (1685 - 1750)
arr. W.T. Best (1826 - 1897)

Sonata in D, Op. 65, No. 6 - Felix Mendelssohn (1809 - 1847)
(i) Choral and variations (ii) Fugue. Sostenuto e legato (iii) Finale. Andante

Voluntary in D - James Hook (1746 - 1827)
Adagio - Vivace

Toccata on 'Amazing Grace' - Christopher Pardini (1984 - )




Mark Quarmby graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium studying organ under Norman Johnston and piano under Marjorie Hesse. He has given recitals throughout Australia, Europe, North America, Asia and New Zealand. For over 20 years he was associated with the music of St Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney, playing the organ for national live broadcasts, visits of the Queen, funerals of State governors and national memorial services. In August 2009 he was appointed Director of Music at St Stephen's, Macquarie Street. 

In Europe he has played in the Cathedrals of St Paul's, London, Canterbury, Salisbury, Oxford, Winchester, Lichfield, Westminster Abbey plus Notre-Dame, Paris, with recitals in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, France, and Holland. In 2009 he gave the opening recital of the American Guild of Organists Convention in Phoenix, Arizona, playing a whole program devoted to organ music written by Australian composers. 

He has been the President of the Organ Music Society of Sydney, has served on the committee of the Royal School of Church Music (NSW) and is currently a National Director of the Organ Historical Trust of Australia and teaches piano, organ and musicianship at St Patrick's College, Strathfield, and privately. ​

Please click here for details of the St Stephen's organ