Sunday, July 5, 2015

At the opera house with The countess Polignac


----Internationally renowned solo violinist, Gil Shaham was offered the 'loan' of the Stradivarius in 1989 by the Stradivarius Society of Chicago. The Countess Polignac (earliest known owner of this violin) was an extremely influential art patron at the French court of Louis XIV and in Venetian music circles - she was responsible for many of the commissions to Vivaldi and brought 'The Four Seasons' from Italy to Paris.---


Graham has never been inside the Sydney Opera House so earlier this year we decided to put aside a weekend to go and see ‘something’ there.

So, we went to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra website and found this Bach concert and booked it --- Months ago.

I didn’t realise we were going to see something SO special:…..

with, (dare I say) a Rock Star violinist..maestro, master,… with such a very special instrument.



Sorry, the program got a bit crumpled!…… We were at the 4th July Concert.

The concert was broadcast live on ABC Classic FM. And is still available on-line -- if your quick.

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And Gil and Adele are a married couple with 3 children!

Gil Shaham and Adele Anthony join forces with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra strings in this program of Bach concertos.

Anthony grew up in South Australia and made her concert debut with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in 1983. She became an international name after winning the 1996 Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition. Anthony performs on a 1728 Stradivarius.

Shaham is renowned as an American master of violin. In 2012, he was named Instrumentalist of the Year by Musical America, for the 'special kind of humanism' with which his performances are imbued. He plays the 1699 'Countess Polignac' Stradivarius.

While Shaham and Anthony have previously collaborated in both the studio and concert hall, this concert is a unique and intimate experience for Australian audiences.Written by Ben Nielsen


Well,, in a huge sold out concert hall,,,  it was intimate for us AS we were 3 rows from the stage..It was only a small group of strings but I could hear them turn the pages of the music sheets and see their fingers work.

The music was overwhelming, I sat with my mouth open for most of the concert, and it all went too fast (even with the encore).

Adele Anthony was amazing,, but I DO NOT HAVE WORDS to express the talent of Gil Sharman. His playing was like velvet, you could see it, touch it, feel it.  This is a piece of wood and wires! How can he do that amazing stuff..?.. Its magic!

Gob smacking.




Well. what else about Sydney…... the place of my birth!

I thought I was going there to get away from the cold,,, BUT it was freezing! ..eeek.

I think in the city,……there is no sun so the temp is lower.

We stayed at the at Menzies (at Wynyard).

Goodness, I have so many memories of getting off a 290 bus and walking through Wynyard park then the Menzies arcade. … who’d thought.. I am getting so old.

We went shopping,

Graham bought a jumper in Myers and I bought an absolutely  Lover-ly coat in David Jones…. The coat was nice and warm for the cold Sydney night and I wore it to the Opera House. Then kept it over my knees.. as it was so cold!

Friday in Sydney is MAD,,, a total insult to the senses. I have spent lots of time in many cities of the world..but trying to walk down the Pitt street Mall on a Friday afternoon,,,

its NUTS…!!!!

It reminds me of a cross between the Royal Easter Show.(at Moore Park) and the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul…..

I suddenly had to remember how to SHOVE!

uh oh.. I’ve become a country girl. Smile

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