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Think Global, Play Local

Enjoy a breathtaking concert featuring contemporary masters from an enchanting Alice Springs ensemble, as the Alice Springs World Chamber Orchestra (ASWCO) returns to Araluen Arts Centre with a stunning new program to share.

By Betty Sweetlove

With a flair for captivating contemporary music from around the world, the orchestra brings innovative global flavours to classical favourites, old and new. This month’s program includes a bespoke contemporary commission and mesmerising selections from Philip Glass and Elena Kats-Chernin.

Starting a World Chamber Orchestra might sound ambitious in a small desert town, but Artistic Director Markus Kuchenbuch champions the wealth of local talent including teachers, doctors, and lawyers. Kuchenbuch says ASWCO is all about giving classically trained musicians a chance to share their passion and expand the musical experiences on offer for local audiences.

His unique approach gives players the opportunity to take different seats in the orchestra, and upcoming concert features the talented Jane Coleman as lead violinist.

“We have so much creativity in Alice Springs,” he says.

Celebrating the town’s multicultural influences, the orchestra features instruments from West Africa, Japan, China and Europe, and showcasing surprising sounds from across the planet is their forte. Kuchenbuch draws on his own international connections to keep the music flowing in their ever-expanding repertoire.

Ahead of this month’s concert, the ensemble has worked closely with Connecticut-based composer Kevin Bishop, on a poignant commission highlighting the devastating recent events in Syria and Turkey. Beginning with beautiful renditions of melodies from the region, the piece blends Syrian, Kurdish and Turkish influences in a profoundly moving and experimental soundscape.

Kuchenbuch takes time at each concert to tell the stories of connection and meaning behind the music. He shares the inspiration behind his selection and highlights the spirit of each piece.

“There’s so much more to classical music than what you hear on the radio.”

For violinist Glenyss Rae, joining ASWCO has been all about community and the calibre of the players.

“We play music that speaks to the people of this town –it’s personal and fun, and we make a beautiful sound,” she says.

Join the Alice Springs World Chamber Orchestra to sink deep into sublime arrangements and their signature global sound.

Contemporary Classical Chamber Music
WHEN SAT 20 MAY | 7.30PM
COST $35 | $25 CONC | $10 CHILD

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