2016 in brief

January 5, 2017

Happy new year everyone! Before launching into new projects for 2017 I thought I would have a quick look back at the year that has gone just past. I can’t include everything but here are some highlights:

For the first half of the year I was enrolled on the Advanced Diploma program at the Royal Academy of Music. The experience was invaluable, giving me performance opps in broad range of repertoire and ensembles, more densely spaced than I have done before. I learnt and performed three guitar concertos: Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez (with Orchestra Wellington Sept 2015), Peter Sculthorpe’s Nourlangie (with Royal Academy of Music String Orchestra March and May 2016), and Stephen Goss’s Guitar Concerto (with Hong Kong Performing Arts Academy Symphony Orchestra June 2016), as well as a new chamber works and solo recitals.

In March I presented a dream-come-true program of Australian chamber music in collaboration with guitarist John Williams, composer Brett Dean, the Royal Academy of Music String Orchestra, and many close friends. The concept for the concert was both as a hommage to Peter Sculthorpe and a more general look at Australian music. The program featured five Australian composers as well as a pre-concert talk by Australians John Williams and Dr. Raymond Holden. The concert began with three solo guitar works by Peter Sculthorpe, Ross Edwards, and Brett Dean, followed by the world premiere of Gertrude Fragments by Brett Dean for guitar and mezzo-soprano, Philip Houghton’s In Amber for guitar and string quintet, Nigel Westlake’s Jovian Moons for guitar and piano, and finally Peter Sculthorpe’s guitar concerto Nourlangie for guitar, string orchestra and percussion.

Another standout event was the Canberra International Music Festival where I performed in seven programs across a busy ten days, collaborating with visiting artists from around the globe including Spanish guitarist Jose Maria Gallardo del Rey, Mexico’s Tambuco percussion, the Bocherinni Trio from Berlin, and others. The imaginative programming by Artistic Director Roland Peelman led to a broad exploration of repertoire, from Bach’s Prelude, Fugue, and Allegro for solo guitar opening the fesitval, to a re-arrangement of Bocherinni’s programmatic Nights of Madrid and Fandango with string quintet, Ginastera’s Guitar Sonata, Villa-Lobos’s Preludes and Choro, spanish works works by De Falla, Granados, and Albeniz , and new music for strings, guitar and percussion by Australian composer Gerard Brophy.

In July I was a visiting artist at Altamira Hong Kong International Guitar Symposium performing the Stephen Goss Guitar Concerto with the Hong Kong Performing Arts Academy Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sharon Choa on closing night. Working with Stephen Goss and the orchestra was real treat, as was my first time hearing Marcin Dylla and the Montesinos-Tamayo duo perform in concert.

I was also involved on a cross-disciplinary project with Australian composer Tim Moriarty for Dark Mofo Festival in Hobart blending the performance of classical music with electronics, projected footage of the outback, and improvisation.

As a solo and chamber recitalist I performed several different programs across the UK and abroad. Most memorable was a recital for Cultura Artistica and Guitar Co-op in Brazil featuring two Julian Bream Trust commissions, and a concert of Julian Bream Trust commissions and Leo Brouwer’s Danzas Rituales y Festivas Vol. 2 at International Guitar Research Conference in Surrey. It was also a great privilege to be on the Countess of Munster Musical Trust Recital Scheme which took me all across the UK and offered a platform to develop new duo programs with Lotte Betts-Dean and Bronte Hudnott.

Lastly, this year has been marked by my involvement as a City Music Foundation Young Artist. The Foundation runs regular development workshops on topics of music business, a concert series, and provides individual mentoring and support for a bespoke project. Their support and professional guidance has been invaluable. Over the summer we filmed a couple of music videos at Lock Studios in East London, which can be found on my this website here: http://andreylebedev.com/listen/