Friday Music
December 2018

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

Donation welcome

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7 December

Nigel Harris (accordion)

Natascha Harris (clarinet)


A beautiful marriage of sonorous melodies and original arrangements from Italian Opera, Klezmer, Tango to Milonga music.


Fantasia da Concerto - Giuseppe Verdi (1813 - 1901)

Serenade  - Riccardo Drigo (1846 - 1930)

Sholem-Alekhem, Rov Feidman! - Béla Kovács (1937 - )

Oblivion - Astor Piazolla (1921 - 1992)

Milonga Rulito - Julian Rowlands

Natascha and Nigel recently married and have collaborated their classical/jazz backgrounds to form a unique duo transcribing and re-arranging some of their favourite music for clarinet and accordion.

Natascha completed her Bachelor of Music Diploma on clarinet at the Sydney Conservatorium and then spent 17 years studying and freelancing with orchestras and as a soloist in Europe before returning to Sydney with her family and three daughters.

She has performed with Opera Australia, Sydney Chamber Opera, Opera House Baby Proms Concerts, Omega Ensemble and in recent years tutored at the SYO Summer School. Natascha has over 30 years of teaching experience and currently works at Ascham School and from her home studio where she also accompanies pupils for AMEB exams. Recently she has enjoyed the challenge of conducting bands at her daughters school Balgowlah North Public and teaching students to advanced levels.

Nigel started playing accordion at the age of 7 but gave it up soon after in favour of the trumpet which he studied through to tertiary level, attaining his Associate Diploma in Jazz Studies at the Sydney Conservatorium. He has over 30 years of teaching and freelance playing with various big bands, rock & roll bands and jazz ensembles.

In his early twenties, it was The Buddy Holly show that gave him a role playing the accordion, and the instrument that had been in its case for far too long began to be played at jazz gigs with The Moods Band.

In the past 5 years Nigel's interest in French and alpine music has seen him play regularly at the German beer halls, cafes, markets and French breakfasts at private schools.

Todays recital will be his first classical accordion recital, playing repertoire to a sober audience!




14 December

Alastair Duff-Forbes (violin)

Paul Cheung (pianoforte)


Cantabile - N. Paganini (1782 - 1840)

Violin Concerto in E Minor Op.64 - F. Mendelssohn (1809 - 1847)

I - Allegro molto appassionato
II - Andante
III - Allegretto non troppo - Allegro molto vivace


Alastair Duff-Forbes began playing the violin at the age of five and the piano at the age of seven. He attended the Conservatorium High School on scholarship. During that time, he studied the violin with Alice Waten and Goetz Richter, and the piano with Stephanie McCallum. Alastair obtained his A.Mus.A for violin in 1998 and for piano the following year. He was awarded the L.Mus.A for violin in 2002.

In 2001, Alastair began his studies for a Bachelor of Music at the Sydney Conservatorium, majoring in violin performance, continuing his studies under Goetz Richter. Since then, he has received a number of Scholarships including the Matteson and Nancy Roberts Scholarship, the Chapple Bremner Award and a Rotary Scholarship. Alastair graduated with honours at the end of 2004 and studied for a Master of Music in violin performance at the Sydney Conservatorium under Chris Kimber and Carl Pini. Alastair has participated in masterclasses with artists of international renown, including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Dene Olding, Lara St. John, Walter Verdehr, Charles Castlemann, the Borodin Quartet, the Goldner String Quartet and the Belcea Quartet. Alastair reached the semi-finals of the Kendall National Violin Competition in 2001.

As a soloist, Alastair has performed many concerti including the Barber Violin Concerto with the Sydney Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra, the Mozart A Major Violin Concerto with Orchestra 143, the Bach Double Violin Concerto with Tracy Wan and Orchestra 143, and the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with Balmain Sinfonia. In 2012, Alastair performed the world premiere of Chernobyl, violin concerto, by Aaron Kenny with the Bourbaki Ensemble – a work that was written especially for Alastair.

Alastair has been an active chamber musician for many years, and has been a member of many different ensembles including the Sapphire String Quartet, the Stables Quartet and the Stables Trio. He has performed in a wide variety of events including the 2006 Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, the 2007 APEC leaders' conference at the Sydney Opera House, and the world premiere of 'Dreams and Visions' by John Petersen, in 2011.

Alastair has been a member of many orchestras, including the Australian Youth Orchestra, the Sydney Youth Orchestra and Eminence Symphony Orchestra. He has been Concertmaster of the Sydney Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra, Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra, Bourbaki Ensemble and Sydney Conservatorium Chamber Orchestra. He is currently Concertmaster of Balmain Sinfonia. Alastair studied conducting with Henryk Pisarek in 2003 and 2004. He has performed as a conductor in various concerts including with Orchestra 143 in 2010.

Paul Cheung is one of Australia's most promising young accompanists.  He recently completed a postgraduate diploma at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where he was a recipient of both the prestigious Geoffrey Parsons Australian Scholarship and the Chapple Bremner Award.  He has studied piano with Tamara Anna Cislowska and accompaniment with David Miller AM. He is increasingly in demand as an accompanist for instrumentalists and singers across a wide range of situations, including concerts, competitions, recordings, and so on.

In addition to his experience as an accompanist, Paul has also achieved considerable success as a solo pianist.  In 2009, he was the winner of both the UMT Roger Woodward Scholarship and the MTA Junior Pianoforte Scholarship, and as a result of the latter he was chosen to perform in Adelaide in the Yamaha Recitals Australia Showcase concert as the NSW representative.  In 2010, he was runner-up in the prestigious Kawai Piano Award at the Sydney Eisteddfod.  Later in the year, he entered the semi-finals of the 2MBS-FM young performers award, and was subsequently runner-up in the state finals.  In late 2011, he was awarded his LMusA with distinction, and was invited to be one of the five performers at the graduation ceremony in early 2012.  More recently, Paul was the winner of the Recital Award section of the Sydney Eisteddfod, and runner-up in the Russian Piano section.

Aside from piano-playing, Paul is also interested in mathematics.  In 2008, he was a silver medallist at the International Mathematical Olympiad in Madrid (one of six Australian representatives that year).  At the age of 19 (in 2012), Paul commenced his PhD in mathematics at the University of Sydney after being awarded a Bachelor of Science (advanced mathematics), with first class honours and the university medal.



Friday Music is in recess until 25 January 2019

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