Concertos On Fire

Photo - Andre Grilc

Photo - Andre Grilc

If a friend or relative were to invite you to an orchestral concert it’s safe to assume you would likely get a very distinctive image in your mind. It’s also safe to assume that that image would not include circus elements and fire eating.

Concertos On Fire, howeverexplores dynamic new directions in classical concert presentation. This concert features one of Australia’s most well-known violin concertos: Maninyas by Ross Edwards alongside the premiere of a brand new concerto Tale Of The Firebird composed by Chloé Charody for fire-taming violinist Sonja Schebeck and interdisciplinary acrobatic ensemble The Freestyle Orchestra in collaboration with local musicians. Fire becomes an instrument of the ensemble, musicians fly and music springs to life from all corners of the concert hall.

Since graduating from the Sydney Conservatorium of music in 2007, Chloé Charody has created a style of music and a theatrical genre which is unique and has even been mimicked by other classical companies. The idea behind the concert/theatrical fusion “dates back to ancient times” as the group “explore the inextricable connection between music and movement with the purpose of explaining the interplay and intersectionalities between the physical and the musical artist.”

Obviously creating such a dynamic and unparalleled show was no easy task explained Schebeck.

“When you consider that playing an instrument already requires concentrating on upwards of five different things at a time; during a show, we often have to bundle these into one singular aspect so we can concentrate on five different physical challenges as well.”

The biggest benefit to creating such a unique show though is that it can act as a gateway for music audiences who wouldn’t typically attend a classical performance.

“We have found that our previous shows which also fuse classical music with elements of modern circus, fire performance and breakdance have enabled us to reach audiences which may not otherwise have been naturally drawn to classical music, whilst also providing a new experience for existing classical music fans,” said members of the orchestra in a statement to J.A.M.

The upcoming show in Sydney will be a world premiere created specifically for the Vivid Festival, so the team are all very excited.

“We are extremely excited to make our Australian debut. For this show, six core members of The Freestyle Orchestra will join Australian musicians and creatives, becoming the Freestyle Symphony. For the group's founder/director Sonja Schebeck, who grew up and studied in Sydney, attending performances at the City Recital Hall and dreaming of the staging possibilities here. To be coming back and realising some of her ideas is an exciting, full circle moment.”

Jun 7. City Recital Hall, 2 Angel Place, Sydney. $40-$60+b.f. Tickets & Info:

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