Fine Music Magazine - January 2023

As the World watched on in horror back in February as Russian tanks advanced on Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, two Sydney musicians were exploring an idea that would transform into a moving peace song for Ukraine and involve more than seventy Australian and Ukrainian musicians, including the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine and Shchedryk Children’s Choir. Shortly after the song’s premiere, Iris Zeng caught up with Paul Beard and Dan Fallon, co-founders of The Bluesberries and composers behind Blue Skies, the title of the song, to find out more.

This month, we celebrate respectively the 150th and 100th anniversaries of the births of French composer Édouard Lalo and American jazz musician Milt Jackson. Lalo’s most famous work, Symphonie espagnole, is sometimes regarded by musicologists as a one-hit wonder in today’s parlance; Nicky Gluch wonders whether this disparaging label is deserved.

Phillip Cant looks at the stellar career of Milt Jackson, arguably one of the best-known vibraphone players of the 20th century. Jackson worked with most of the jazz ‘greats’ of the era, famously forming the Modern Jazz Quartet in 1952 together with pianist John Lewis, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Kenny Clarke.

Last, but absolutely not least, Elaine Siversen previews Fine Music Sydney’s operatic offerings for 2023. Whether well-known, seldom performed, or completely obscure, they are, in her own words, “a kaleidoscope displaying the whole gamut of human emotions unfolding in glorious music.”

David Ogilvie – Editor