Lyrebird Commission, Crania Burke, Kirsty Bremner, David Nichol

CRANIA BURKE, clarinets
DAVID McNICOL, pianoforte

Sunday October 7th 2007 2.00pm
Cnr. Punt & Moubray St (enter from Moubray St)
Melway Ref: 2L D10

Meet the Artists

CRANIA BURKE…CLARINET/BASS CLARINET. Grania is a Melbourne based clarinettist/bass clarinettist and educator. She has performed regularly with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, Australian Philharmonic Orchestra and Chamber Made Opera.
In 1993 studied in Germany attending masterclasses with Trio de Clarone, Eddie Daniels and Peter Handesworth. Also performing with the Frieburg Bach Orchestra and the Collegium Musicum Freiburg-Frankfurt.

Crania’s stage musicals include Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, West Side Story and with the Melbourne.Theatre Company, Into the Woods, A Little Night Music and Company. She has performed and recorded many Australian works including Bright Tracks – Brenton Broadstock and Tri Duo – Brigid Burke and Grania Burke. Performances in 2007 include the Opera ‘Nelson ‘ by Stuart Greenbaum in the 2007 Castlemaine Festival, Monash University Lunchtime Concert Series works by Anthony Briggs and Orchestra Victoria, the musical ‘Sweet Charity’ with the Production Company. Since 2002 Grania has held the position of Head of Woodwind in the Music Department at Loreto Mandeville Hall, Toorak.

KIRSTY BREMNER…VIOLIN: Kirsty grew up in Canberra where she studied violin with Vincent Edwards at the Canberra School of Music. She later moved to Hobart to study with Jan Sedivka at the University of Tasmania where she gained the degree of Bachelor of Music. While in Tasmania Kirsty performed regularly with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and the Tasmanian Symphony Chamber Players. In 1984 she was a state finalist in the ABC Instrumental and Vocal Competition. In 1985 she moved to Melbourne where she was appointed Associate Principal Second Violin in the Elizabethan Trust Melbourne Orchestra and in 1986 she was appointed to the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. In 1999 she was awarded the Elton John Scholarship and studied in Vienna and London.

Kirsty was a founding member of the Academy of Melbourne and has also performed with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. She has played by invitation with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa in Japan and most recently with Sinfonia Britannia in Cardiff, Wales.

DAVID McNICOL…PIANOFORTE: David’s interest in accompanying began at the age of 13 when he became the organist at the local church, accompanying the choir and soloists, including his father, who possessed a fine tenor voice. His interest in accompanying developed over the years, eventually graduating from the Melba Conservatorium where he studied both piano solo and piano-accompaniment with Margaret Schofield. Later, David received a scholarship to study in London with the internationally renowned Australian accompanist, Geoffrey Parsons. Previously, David had served as Parsons’s page-turner during a number of recitals while accompanying Dame Janet Baker and Victoria de los Angeles.

In 1990 David was invited to join Opera Australia as a trainee-repetiteur. He accompanied many of the company’s principal artists in recitals throughout Australia. David has been
the official accompanist for a number of Australia’s most prestigious singing competitions, including the Herald Sun Aria Final, the German-Australian Operatic Award, the Welsh Singer of the Year Award and the Lieder Society’s “Liederfest”. David has appeared as a piano soloist and as an accompanist in a number of live, national-broadcasts for ‘ABC Classic FM’, including a broadcast with the Australian composer/clarinetist, Brigid Burke
Internationally, David has performed throughout Asia and Europe. In 2004 he performed in South Korea, appearing in Chamber Made Opera’s production, “Recital”, featuring the Australian soprano Helen Noonan. He has accompanied some of Australia’s most distinguished singers in recitals, including Joanna Cole, Tiffany Speight, Bernadette Cullen, Suzanne Johnston, Roxane Hislop, Deborah Riedel, Rosamund Illing and from New Zealand, Teddy Tahu Rhodes. David is very involved in the musical life of Melbourne as a freelance accompanist, soloist, organist and teacher. He teaches at Loreto Mandeville Hall and is the accompanist/vocal-coach with the 4th year students at the Melba Conservatorium. Recently, David has been invited by ‘Victorian Opera’ to coach their Young Artist singers.


Darius Milhaud – Suite -for Violin, Clarinet and Piano
Ouverture Divertissement Jeu Introduction et Final

Wolfgang A. Mozart – Sonata for Violin and Piano in C major K296
Allegro vivace Andante sostenuto Rondo, Allegro

Brigid Burke (1993) – Infra – Infer -for Solo Bass Clarinet


Presentation of The 2007 LYREBIRD COMMISSION (The Society wishes to acknowledge the generous contribution of the Robert Salzer Foundation)

James Wade – A Stillness – Trio for Clarinet/Bass,Violin and Piano
Phase 1 Phase 2

Claude Debussy — Les Preludes Book I, No. 10 for Solo Piano
“La cathedrale engloutie” (The submerged cathedral)

Aram Khachaturian – Trio -for Clarinet, Violin and Piano
Andante con dolore,con molto espressione Allegro Moderate


James Wade was born in Melbourne and educated at the University of Melbourne. He received a Bachelor of Arts in 2001, having studied philosophy, psychology and music history prior to turning his attention seriously towards music. Initially studying voice with Steven Grant, then composition under Stuart Greenbaum, Johanna Selleck and Brenton Broadstock, he graduated again from the University of Melbourne in 2005 with a Bachelor of Music (Honours) and the Esther Rofe Award for composition. He was mentored by Brett Dean during the Cybec 21st Century Composers’ Program (2006), Paul Stanhope in the KPO composers’ workshop (2006) and worked with Richard Mills, Kenneth Young, Andrew Schultz, James Ledger and Maria Grenfell in the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Australian Composers’ School (2006).

Wade developed an interest in music comparatively late which allowed his compositions to be largely influenced by philosophical and abstract ideas more than by other composers or genres of music. Themes relating to environment, identity and the nature of life feature prominently in his work.

Wade’s music has been broadcast and performed around Australia by a range of individuals and ensembles including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Ku-Ring-Gai Philharmonic Orchestra and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. He has received commissions from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the British Music Society of Victoria. Wade’s major works include a number of orchestral pieces and a chamber opera as well as numerous other pieces for solo instrumentalists and small chamber groups. He is a member of the Melbourne Composers’ League and an Associate Composer with the Australian Music Centre. In 2007, he began a Master of Music in composition at the University of British Columbia and was selected to be Composer in Residence at Arthur Boyd’s property, Bundanon.


A Stillness (trio for clarinet / bass clarinet, violin and piano)

Much of the inspiration for this piece was drawn from the fourth century Chinese philosophical text the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. Chapter sixteen, presented below, was a particular focal point. The clear musical overtone of the text and the concepts of structure, movement and space mentioned are correlated to the gestures of the piece.

I do my utmost to attain emptiness;
I hold firmly to stillness.
The myriad creatures all rise together
And I watch their return.
The teeming creatures
All return to their separate roots.
Returning to one’s roots is known as stillness.
This is what is meant by returning to one’s destiny.
Returning to one ‘s destiny is known as the constant.
Knowledge of the constant is known as discernment.
Woe to him who wilfully innovates
While ignorant of the constant,
But should one act from knowledge of the constant
One ‘s action will lead to impartiality,
Impartiality to kingliness,
Kingliness to heaven,
Heaven to the way, T
he way to perpetuity,
And to the end of one ‘s days one will meet with no danger.

Lau, D. C (Translator), Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Penguin, London, 1963.