Two supremely talented musicians rising rapidly in the world of Art Song. New Zealand baritone Julien Van Mellaerts and South-African pianist James Baillieu both won top prizes at the Wigmore Song Competition, with Otago University graduate Van Mellaerts winning the Kohn Foundation International Song Competition and first prize in the 2017 Kathleen Ferrier Award. This concert is your chance to hear two big names of the future.
Audiences will be treated to a beguiling selection of songs of travel, landscapes and drama – including a new commission from NZ composer Gareth Farr who will set to music short poems about our own iconic birds the takahē, dotterel, tūī, and the extinct huia.
Schumann’s profound setting of ‘A Poets Life’, whimsical arrangements of British folksongs by Benjamin Britten including ‘O Waly Waly’, Vaughan Williams conjures up the British landscape in his gently lilting pastoral songs.
Over the course of several different programmes Julien and James explore a selection of art song ranging from the swooning nostalgia of A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square to Cole Porter’s laughout-loud The Tale of the Oyster.