A series of talks on a range of fascinating musical topics including the stories behind composers, musical genres, instrumentation and more.

Past Events

Music of Ferrara


SOLD OUT

Date: Sunday 16 July at 2.30pm

Venue: 2MBS Fine Music Sydney studios, 72-76 Chandos Street, St Leonards

Tickets: $20 (Standard) or $15 (volunteers and subscribers)

Renaissance Ferrara was a shining star of the Renaissance; a centre of art and learning. Music was especially revered, with the city attracting such greats as Josquin des Prez, Adrian Willaert, Carlo Gesualdo, and John Dowland. Women were central to the Ferrarese musical culture. The vocal ensemble Concerto Della Dame was renowned throughout Europe, and the convents of Ferrara were showpieces of musical performances. Raphaela Aleotti, of the convent of San Vito was a famous composer and conductor.

Integral to this world was Lucrezia Borgia, daughter of the Pope, and Duchess of Ferrara. She came to the city with the reputation as a wanton woman, but soon earned the love of the city with intelligence, grace and empathy.

Presented by Robert Small

In this talk, Robert will describe the artistic splendour of Ferrara, with musical examples played live by Consort 8, Sydney’s unique renaissance ensemble.

The intrigue of the court, and the key role of Lucrezia in the Borgia’s plans for the unification of Italy will also be explored.

Bach in Leipzig (1723)


Date: Sunday 20 August at 2.30pm

Venue: 2MBS Fine Music Sydney studios, 72-76 Chandos Street, St Leonards

Tickets: $20 (Standard) or $15 (volunteers and subscribers)

In 1723, the 38-year-old J S Bach moved to Leipzig with his growing family. But why Leipzig, and how did he come to be appointed cantor of St Thomas church? What did his broader duties as city music director involve?

Bach faced less than ideal resources and conflicts with authority but evidently rose above his circumstances to compose sublime music.

The discussion will be illustrated with both familiar and lesser-known music by Bach from his Leipzig years.

Presented by Brian Cornish

Brian Cornish, a regular presenter of Fine Music afternoons, will discuss why Bach moved to Leipzig, how he obtained his position as cantor of St Thomas church and what his broader duties as city music director involved.

The Emperors of Waltz


Date: Sunday 17 September 2.30pm

Venue: 2MBS Fine Music Sydney studios, 72-76 Chandos Street, St Leonards

Tickets: $20 (Standard) or $15 (volunteers and subscribers)

The Strauss family of Vienna took Europe and North America by storm in the 19th century. They were The Beatles of their era! Three generations of the Strauss family composed and performed ‘music to make you happy’ for the masses and for the aristocracy. This talk will showcase the family, their challenges and, of course, their wonderful music.

Presented by Robert Gilchrist

Robert has been a presenter at Fine Music Sydney since 2011 and is currently a Director and Chair of the Board. He learnt the violin as a child, led the school orchestra and has never lost his taste for classical music, especially that of the Strauss family! Prior to retirement, he spent 43 years in the Information Technology industry.

Jean-Baptiste Lully: the Italian who defined the French style


Date: Sunday 15 October 2.30pm

Venue: 2MBS Fine Music Sydney studios, 72-76 Chandos Street, St Leonards

Tickets: $20 (Standard) or $15 (volunteers and subscribers)

As a composer, dance-master and musician from Italy, Lully was adopted into his Court by the French Sun King, Louis XIV and eventually became the French King’s Court Composer who developed and then defined the French national style, gaining a Royal Monopoly on the composition of operatic music. 2MBS presenter Andrew Dziedzic whose previous talks on Bach might have led you to (mistakenly) believe he might not favour the French baroque, hopefully will demonstrate why Lully deservedly had such compositional dominance in 17th century France.

Presented by Andrew Dziedzic

Andrew first volunteered as a presenter in 2006 fulfilling a life-long ambition. He can be heard on air frequently and trains new presenters. He helped set up ELD in 2012.

The Music of the Rhine and Moselle


Date: Sunday 19 November 2.30pm

Venue: 2MBS Fine Music Sydney studios, 72-76 Chandos Street, St Leonards

Tickets: $20 (Standard) or $15 (volunteers and subscribers)

Bring your imagination along for this sojourn along the Rhine River where we’ll sample from a tasting plate of rich classical music history. We’ll meet the likes of Hildegard of Bingen, the Schumanns of Dusseldorf, the Beethovens of Bonn, pay our respects to Lorelei and Wagner’s Rhinemaidens and listen to a sample of music that the Rhine has inspired throughout the years.

Presented by Mary Moran

Mary joined the presenting team in early 2022. She learnt the piano as a child growing up in NZ’s South Island and in more recent years has studied music appreciation. When she isn’t helping businesses develop new products, she usually has her nose in a history book or is planning her next adventure.