Australian Brandenburg Orchestra in Blackheath

Melissa Farrow:  Brandenburg’s principal flute player and curator of the show. Photo by Liz Ham
Melissa Farrow: Brandenburg’s principal flute player and curator of the show. Photo by Liz Ham

The musicians of the five-time ARIA Award winning Australian Brandenburg Orchestra breathe 21st-century life into centuries-old music.

The Brandenburg Ensemble, featuring six members of the orchestra, will perform in Blackheath in March, part of a series called Ayres and Graces.

This will be an intimate performance that will appeal to fans of classical music as well as people who might be trying it for the first time.

As well as the entertaining and beautiful music, audiences will get a close up experience of some of the more rarely heard instruments, including the Baroque oboe and flute (made from wood, not metal like the modern flute), recorder, viola da gamba and theorbo (a 1.8m long lute) alongside the more widely known Baroque violin and viola.

Ayres and Graces will feature chamber music from the English and French Baroque, and this tour has again been curated by the Brandenburg’s principal flute player, Melissa Farrow.

''In this rich and diverse program, Ayres and Graces, you will experience all aspects of French and English music from the late 17th to early 18th centuries," she said. 

"We take you on a journey from the ‘folk’ music of the streets to the theatres and lavish palaces in London, Paris and Versailles.

"I think people are going to really enjoy hearing this incredible music, especially performed in these intimate venues around NSW.”

What's different about the Brandenburg?

“We play on period instruments of the type the composers knew at that time, and for which they wrote their music," said Farrow.

“For example, I’ll be playing on a wooden flute made of Grenadilla wood, which is very different to play – and sounds very different – to the modern metal flute.

“The string instruments use strings made of sheep gut rather than the steel strings that a modern orchestra plays on.

“It is really exciting for us to get out on the road and bring this style of music and playing to areas outside the capital cities.”

At the Uniting Church in Blackheath, Monday, March 18 at 7pm. Tickets $45/$35/$25 (plus booking fee).