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Rachael Beesley
Alice Evans
Julia Fredersdorff
Anna Mcmichael
Robin Wilson

Nicole Forsyth

cello/viola da gamba
Daniel Yeadon

Neal Peres Da Costa


2014 Featured Artists

Musica Viva Australia

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Ironwood is an Australian-based ensemble, committed to exploring music of the baroque, classical and romantic periods on early string and keyboard instruments. The members are some of Australia’s most respected early and contemporary chamber musicians. The ensemble was established in 2006 as a flexible group of players, drawing on a wealth of experience from across the globe. Ironwood believe that historically informed performance should be complemented with new material and has an active commissioning program for music on early instruments. The group performs widely and has produced recordings for ABC Classics and Vexations840. Ironwood have been Artists in Residence at the Bundanon Trust, NSW since 2007 and also run a Developing Artist program in Victoria and NSW.


Sunday 19 October, 3.00pm (Sydney)
Saturday 25 October, 6.00pm (Canberra)
Thursday 23 October, 7.00pm (Newcastle)

In a rare soloistic performance, the singers of The Song Company and chamber ensemble, Ironwood combine to present Johann Sebastian Bach’s magnificent Mass in B Minor featuring one voice per part vocal scoring. It took a Lutheran composer to write the most expansive and profound setting of the Latin Mass ever conceived. Initiated in 1733 in order to obtain the title ‘Electoral Saxon Court Composer’ from the Catholic sovereign Augustus III, the full mass was only completed towards the end of Bach’s life. Widely regarded as one of the supreme achievements of classical music, this monumental work combines Bach’s stylistic and technical brilliance.

Johann Sebastian Bach, Mass in B Minor BWV 232



As part of the second year of Haydn For Everyone, Melbourne Festival welcomes some of the world’s foremost chamber ensembles for Quartets at Sunset, a spellbinding series of twilight performances staged in the acoustically sublime surrounds of the Collins Street Baptist Church.

Following its inaugural 2013 season, this year sees the Quartets at Sunset program take on the string quartet in all its forms, from Haydn’s earliest arrangements through to the opuses of Mozart, Shostakovich, Bartók and others, along with contemporary deconstructions and even a selection of new and rarely heard compositions from Australia and abroad.

Wildly diverse and consummately performed, Quartets at Sunset is an intoxicating, not-to-be-missed showcase of the past, present and future of chamber music.

Haydn String quartet Op 33 No 6
F.X. Richter Quartet Op 5 No 5b
Haydn String quartet Op 2 No 5

Boccherini String quartet Op 41 No 1 G 214
Albrechtsberger Fugue for quartet in C major
Haydn String quartet No 11 Op 9 No 4

A Different Sort of Brahms
Click here to link to the power-point presentation from a lecture-demonstration on a new approach to Brahms' sound world. Neal Peres Da Costa and Robin Wilson from Ironwood talk about and demonstrate how to play Brahms on historical instruments.

Ironwood Developing Artists
Chamber Music School Music Winter School 2014

The Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and Victorian College of the Arts present the Ironwood Developing Artists Chamber Music Program.

A creative five-day intensive for young adults: tertiary music students, pre-professional and professional musicians – both period and modern instrument specialists. (Please refer to participant section below for information on your suitability, prerequisites and material to bring)

The Ironwood program focuses on Classical chamber music repertoire (1750 – 1830), including works for strings, winds and fortepiano.

The rigorous yet enjoyable week involves structured daily coaching, private and open rehearsals and lectures/demonstrations. Final day public performances by tutors and participants round out the week.

VCA & MCM short course participants receive constructive individual feedback, aiding student development and improving performance. Our quality courses are performance and improvement-oriented and set within a friendly, supportive group environment. Tutors are practicing educators and industry professionals.

The Ironwood program is unique in Australia in bridging the gap between student and professional performance, for musicians working in historically informed performance. The program offers exceptional study and performance opportunities, led by Ironwood's specialist musicians.

Monday 7 July – Saturday 12 July, 2014

$350.00 (inc GST)
20% discount for University of Melbourne students & staff
10% discount for University of Melbourne alumni

Melbourne Conservatorium of Music
The University of Melbourne
Parkville Campus
Royal Parade
Parkville VIC

Caitlin McGrane
Program Coordinator
T: + 61 3 9810 3276



Ironwood Developing Artists
Baroque Orchestra Winter School 2014

16-20 JULY 2014




And we're back with our education 'retreat' at Riversdale on the gorgeous Shoalhaven River for 2014. Come and enjoy the sounds, silence, views, food, wildlife (and friends) & some amazing music!!

The Baroque Orchestra Winter School will offer emerging and developing musicians the unique opportunity to enhance their skills by working with international-standard performers in an inspiring natural environment. The 5-day residential workshop will include daily orchestral sessions and tutorials, for students of strings, keyboard, woodwind, brass & timpani on Baroque repertoire.


Neal's book Off the Record: Performing Practices in Romantic Piano Playing is published by Oxford University Press, 2012

Performing Practices in Romantic Piano Playing

Neal Peres da Costa

Analyzes Romantic performing practices as preserved on early piano recordings and piano rolls

Challenges accepted ways of performing nineteenth-century piano repertoire

Demonstrates gulf between theory and practice by comparing audible evidence and written texts

Ironwood’s 2013-14 program encompasses a mix of professional performance projects, and professionally led/tutored education projects for students and young people in historically informed performance.

Ironwood has had an annual performance program of 3-6 concert seasons per year since 2007, and an annual education program of between 1-4 projects per year since 2008.

Ironwood’s 2013 performance program includes self presented performances in NSW – Sydney & regional, at Sydney Conservatorium of Music and for Musica Viva Australia Chamber Festival; concerts for Melbourne Recital Centre Local Heroes series, as well as self presented concerts in Hobart, & regional Tasmania, as well as ABC Classic FM Sunday Live, and concerts as part of Melbourne Festival.

Ironwood is working in conjunction with several organisations in 2013-14, including Big hART & Victorian College of the Arts on education projects for community and young people. We are presenting a chamber music program for strings at the Victorian College of the Arts-Melbourne University during the winter semester break, and will develop the project with Big hART further during the latter half of 2013, for delivery in 2014 & beyond.

During 2014, Ironwood’s performance program includes concerts at Peninsula Summer Music Festival, with a recording project of classical works for natural horn & strings for ABC Classics with Anneke Scott (UK-Aust), a tour of their 19thc performance research in Brahms chamber music to the USA (Stanford University, and re-invitations to Eastman School of Music , Princeton, Yale & concert series in NY state) with a recording for ABC Classics from this project as well.

Ironwood is working with Musica Viva Countrywide & local music societies & schools to present a regional tour of Northern NSW & SE Qld in May.

All these performance and recording projects need additional support for artist fees and touring costs.

2014 presents the possibility of expanding the education program once more – as well as collaboration with Big hART in NW Tas on programs for community & young people, we aim to have a larger pre-professional education program in the winter semester break for students studying in the HIP area. We would like to aim to work with Bundanon Trust in the Shoalhaven area again in 2014, and this will require additional development funding to make it equitable & accessible in low socio-economic areas, so we are very grateful for the Australian Cultural Fund’s assistance. Our Education program is multi layered, and in 2014 we are aiming at funding two part-time positions within the company that will run this program for pre-professionals, young people and schools education.

To support Ironwood's work, visit the Creative Partnerships Australia website to donate online.