Past Concerts

Creswick concert 26 August 2023

Beethoven, Shostakovich and Piazzolla were all on the musical menu at the Chamber Players recent concert at the RACV Goldfields Resort. This was the first time that a classical group had played here.

It was a great success with an enthusiastic audience, who told us they enjoyed good acoustics right to the back of the room. The second quartet in the Rasumovsky series was played, Op.59 No.2, as well as Shostakovich’s Quartet No.8 that expresses his life in music and is dedicated to the victims of fascism and war. Our own Sasha Bronshtein arranged Piazzolla’s Oblivion and improvised ecstatically on top of the warm harmonies and tango rhythms.

Thanks to CresFest, Regional Arts Vic, and RACV Goldfields resort for making this concert possible.

Bringing Female Composers to the Fore 29 April 2023

Projections and photo by Frank Veldze

Northern Arts Hotel, Castlemaine
This concert featured an all-female lineup and was great fun to research and play.

Rebecca Clarke from the early 20th century only wrote two string quartet movements as far as we know. She was famous in her time as a viola virtuoso player, with some recognition in her lifetime of her compositions but is becoming more widely known now as a composer. Her music is romantic and melodious with modern harmonies and textures.

We played Andrea Keeble‘s quirky sound portraits of her family. Andrea Keeble is a Melbourne violinist and composer who creates a unique sound world, lilting and heartfelt. She plays in Cosmo Cosmolino (gypsy-inspired music), Collider (jazz sextet) and Ad Hoc Collective (improvisation concert group). She has released two CDs of her compositions, ‘Congratulations’ and ‘Teeter’.

The audience swooned to Sasha Bronshtein and Wendy Rowland‘s arrangements of Latin music and screen soundtracks. Sasha is familiar to Castlemaine audiences as the first violinist in the Chamber Players. She’s also a wonderful singer currently exploring Brazilian music. Wendy Rowlands from Castlemaine is the artistic director of Corker Orchestra, Mainesong Choir and Brazazul.

Elena Kats-Chernin is a prolific Australian composer, famous for her ballet music for Wild Swans. She has written film scores, ballet and theatre music and won several music composition prizes. Emma Wade is co-director of Resonance String Orchestra and composes and arranges music for the orchestra.

Heaven and Earth I
Northern Arts Hotel, 23 September 2022

This concert began the Beethoven Rasumovsky quartet cycle in Castlemaine, with Opus 59, No.1 in F.

Pre-Pandemic concerts/summer schools

Opening for Flinders Quartet’s
Collins St series

On Tuesday 3 March 2020 CCP was honoured to feature in the pre-concert, playing a movement of Brahms String Quartet No.3 in Bb. The Collins St Baptist Church with its wonderful acoustics was a joy to play in.

Mt Buller summer school

Castlemaine Chamber Players performing at a cocktail concert

Photo Paul Whitehead

In 2020 the famous Mt Buller Chamber Music Summer School was held at Candlebark Farm, Healesville, due to the bushfire risk at Mt Buller. It was simultaneously hard work and loads of fun. We played chamber music for hours every day, taking masterclasses with outstanding Australian and New Zealand string players, playing in concerts for our peers and receiving feedback.

We had masterclasses with outstanding musicians and then rehearsed intensively, finding ever-increasing intimacy and warmth in our sound. This year’s six tutors were unfailingly helpful.

Wilma Smith, violin, co-artistic director – Wilma and Friends; Flinders Quartet
Elinor Lea, violin, co-artistic director – Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
Gillian Ansell, viola – New Zealand String Quartet
Michael Dahlenberg, cello – Melbourne Chamber Orchestra
Tobias Lea, viola – Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Anna Pokorny, cello – Freelance player with Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony