New Sounds from Kegelstatt Ensemble

In their eleven years of composing classical music together, Kegelstatt Ensemble are resuming their excavation of chamber music sounds in their upcoming performance duos, News Sounds from Ancient Lands and New Sounds for a New World.

In their first recital of the year Kegelstatt Ensemble will perform five compositions by 20th century classical artists. Presented in Adelaide’s Pilgrim Church, the ensemble will play samplings of Villa-Lobos, Roussel, Khachaturian, Copland and Kapustin. All works of which —are pertinent to the theme of native-folk music, endeavouring to attest the artists’ epoch and identity through the music sheets. Offering a sundry of sounds, the performance is expected to succeed in a curious cluster of instrument families ranging from strings, keys and woodwinds. Unlimited by the confines of an otherwise traditional music ensemble, Kegelstatt Ensemble attempts to be the fulcrum that represents all bodies of instruments. While the most common forms of chamber music are comprised of piano trios and string quartets, Kegelstatt veer away from the norm. “Our mission statement is to stay clear of those particular combinations and choice of pieces. In this concert, we have pieces just for the flute and clarinet, another for flute, viola and cello and then clarinet, violin and piano,” says the ensemble’s pianist Leigh Harrold.

Kegelstatt-Ensemble-New-Sounds-Adelaide-Review-Leigh-HarroldKegelstatt Ensemble Pianist Leigh Harrold

“We try and tend to have a democratic mix, [to] make sure there’s always those various instrumentals represented.” Ranging anywhere from 2-10 players, classical music ensembles make up for less than a whole orchestra and often work in absence of a conductor. The principal members of Kegelstatt are Leigh Harrold on piano, Steph Wake-Dyster on clarinet and Anna Webb playing the viola. “We all met when we were students at the Elder Conservatorium of Music. We studied a music degree there and we played in an ensemble together. We enjoyed making music and also became really good friends, so we decided we would keep the ensemble going once we left our studies,” says Harrold. “I guess in some ways, we have identified a gap in the market as many graduates of the conservatorium joined orchestras or became teachers, so the opportunity to actually play in a chamber music ensemble didn’t present itself so often. Because we’ve been going for so long, hopefully by the eleven years we’ve been able to gain a bit of a reputation and the idea it is not just three of us. Each concert we would invite guest musicians with most of whom, have a connection with South Australia in some way.”

Kegelstatt-Ensemble-New-Sounds-Adelaide-Review-Louise-McKayKegelstatt Ensemble Cellist Louise McKay

In the first weekend’s performance, the ensemble is welcoming a small assembly of guests including Janet Anderson (violin), Alexandra Castle (flute) and Louise McKay (cello). “A set of musicians to play with us amplifies the ensemble and gives it interesting colours, also increasing the number of pieces we can play,” says Harrold. Following the conclusion of the recital, audience members will have the pleasure of meeting the ensemble members in the foyer of the church, where each patron is offered a complimentary glass of wine and opportunity for a little tête-à-tête. The ensemble’s second performance, New Sounds for a New World in October will draw on the first white settlers in North America who so sought to flee the European art-music tradition. “We’re forging ahead again, discovering new pieces, making new sounds. Perhaps even pieces that had not been played so often, due to their slightly unusual requirements.” Tickets for New Sounds from Ancient Lands and New Sounds for a New World are available via the Try Booking website. New Sounds from Ancient Lands Sunday, June 26, 4.30pm Pilgrim Uniting Church, Flinders St New Sounds for a New World Sunday, October 23, 4.30pm Pilgrim Uniting Church, Flinders St www.trybooking.com www.kegelstatt.com.au