The Coriole Music Festival is a celebratory weekend where each year a different musical tradition is explored over three concerts. The descriptions of past festivals, written at the time, are included below for your reference:
2023 Music Director; Simon Cobcroft
In 2023, as the world continues to emerge from the penumbral darkness of Covid, the Coriole Festival reflects on the consolation afforded by music during times of hardship and isolation, and the immense power of renewal and regeneration that music wields as we come together once more. Offering starkly contrasting perspectives on the nature of isolation and reunion, the 2023 festival brings together a magnificent collection of works old and new, familiar and rare.
2022 Music Director; Anna Goldsworthy
The Sense of an Ending – after surveying beginnings and middles in our previous festivals, we now arrive at endings, with a program based upon late style: transcendent, elegiac, concise, expansive, defiant, reconciled, but above all inventive.
‘Ripeness is all.’
— Edgar, King Lear
Presented in partnership with the J.M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice at the University of Adelaide.
2021 Music Director; Anna Goldsworthy
This year, at the Coriole Music Festival, Australia’s finest musicians converge upon McLaren Vale for a thrilling tour through the twenties, thirties and forties. We begin with Milhaud’s jazz-inflected The Creation of the World and end with Messiaen’s transcendent Quartet for the End of Time. In between, we offer time capsules of those heady interwar years, in which worlds old and new collide — jazz, folk idioms, modernism, romanticism — and which speak directly to our own time.
We present Adelaide composer Anne Cawrse’s lyrical and moving song cycle, Flame and Shadow, based on Sara Teasdale’s 1920 book of poetry, alongside a Coriole-commissioned new work by brilliant young Sydney composer Holly Harrison, inspired by the 1930s gypsy jazz of guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stéphane Grappelli.
2019 Music Director; Anna Goldsworthy
The 2019 festival program can be viewed online. Much has been written about the concept of Late Style, but at the Coriole Music Festival this year we celebrate the exact opposite: Early Style. Charles Rosen described Mendelssohn as ‘the greatest child prodigy the history of Western music has even known,’ and the program is book-ended by two of his early masterworks: the Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream and his glorious Octet. In between, we program works by fellow wunderkinder Mozart, Saint-Saëns, and Korngold, which marry precocious mastery to the energy of youth. We also celebrate early works by other composers in which a clear artistic vision comes into focus, often with genre-defining consequences: Bach’s cantata Actus Tragicus, Schubert’s song cycle Die schöne Müllerin, and a selection of Chopin’s Études Op. 10.
It is a great thrill to present two young Australian voices at Coriole, with the Australian premiere of Luke Styles’ song cycle On Bunyah, fresh from its Wigmore Hall debut, and a brand-new commission by South Australia’s own Jakub Jankowski, courtesy of the Coriole Music Festival Commissioning Fund. We welcome distinguished visitors from interstate and abroad, including the celebrated Flinders Quartet from Melbourne, the charismatic Berlin-based tenor Michael Smallwood, and distinguished Adelaide-born soprano Miriam Gordon, now based in the USA, while celebrating the rich artistic pickings of talent closer to home: violinist Helen Ayres, pianists Konstantin Shamray and Lucinda Collins, and the musicians of Adelaide Baroque.
2018 Music Director; Anthony Steel
The 2018 Festival program can be viewed online. There are four separate strands to this year’s program. The ‘anti-Romantic’ Stravinsky’s own arrangement for piano four hands of The Rite of Spring is played by the two Russian first-prize winners of recent Sydney International Piano Competitions, Andrey Gugnin (2016) — Coriole’s featured pianist this year — and Konstantin Shamray (2008), who will also conduct a stellar septet of Adelaide musicians in The Soldier’s Tale. These two works and the Three Pieces for String Quartet are all from Stravinsky’s Russian period, whereas the Duo Concertant is neo-classical in style.
Bach goes well with Stravinsky. As celebrated pedagogue Nadia Boulanger put it, they both wrote “music of line”. Works by the great master start each concert and involve not only Gugnin and the members of our resident string quartet Tinalley — who once more are busy throughout the weekend — but also one of Australia’s most celebrated small choirs, from the church of St James in King Street Sydney, on its most welcome first visit to Coriole.
The third focus is on the music of Brahms and of Schumann, whose Liederkreis introduces this year’s singer. Young baritone Daniel Carison has shown a particular interest in performing art song. Finally, three contrasted compositions: Richard Strauss’s Metamorphosen is a kind of requiem for Romanticism; Bartók’s first quartet starts with echoes of Strauss and then tips over into recognisably Bartókian territory; and a taste of Poulenc’s transparent simplicity shows his rejection of Romanticism.
2017 Music Director; Anthony Steel
The 2017 Festival program can be viewed online. The core of 2017’s program takes us on a journey across the midriff of Europe from Russia in the east through Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Austria to France in the west, with works written in the first four decades of the twentieth century by leading composers from each of these countries. We also travel a hundred years further back on three occasions in order to include Germany and notable compositions from either end of Ludwig van Beethoven’s middle, so-called ‘heroic’ period. And we cross the Atlantic to salute perhaps the first outstanding American composer, Charles Ives, and Stephen Foster, sometimes known as the ‘father of nineteenth century song’. In addition to Coriole’s traditional emphasis on masterworks of chamber music and song, the repertoire also includes what are effectively a one-act opera (Janáček’s The diary of one who disappeared) and a short concerto (Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro for harp, flute, clarinet and string quartet).
2016 Music Director; Anthony Steel
The 2016 Festival highlighted the music of Mozart. Soprano Morgan Balfour sang three of his works. Adelaide’s Konstantin Shamray accompanied Morgan and also played the Piano Sonata K533/494. Celia Craig was the soloist in the Oboe Quartet and Tinalley was joined by violist Imants Larsens for the weekend’s final work, Mozart’s stupendous String Quintet in G minor.
The other emphasis was on the music of Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Britten. Tenor Andrew Goodwin and pianist Daniel de Borah performed Britten’s The Poet’s Echo – to poems by Pushkin, as well as some Rachmaninov songs. Celia played Britten’s Six Metamorphoses after Ovid for solo oboe. Morgan sang a short aria from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Prokofiev’s The Ugly Duckling with Konstantin who also played that composer’s Sarcasms. Shostakovich was represented by his String Quartet No 12 and the monumental Piano Quintet, again with Konstantin.
Additional works by Haydn, Walton and Vaughan Williams and Britten rounded out the program.
2014 Music Director; Christopher Burrell
South Australia could have begun as a French or English colony following the historic meeting of Baudin and Flinders at Encounter Bay. The 2014 Coriole Music Festival was a musical journey that spanned nearly 100 years of French and Australian music.
Works included Berlioz’ song cycle Nuits d’Été through examples of the Impressionist composers and the post-WWI group Les Six, to the monumental work for two pianos Visions de l’Amen by Olivier Messiaen. Contrasting major Australian works included music by Margaret Sutherland and Raymond Hanson written in the 1930’s, more recent music by Carl Vine and Graeme Koehne, Helen Gifford’s 2012 piano solo Shiva and music of Peter Sculthorpe spanning 30 years. Performers included the Goldner String Quartet, pianists Michael Kieran-Harvey and Arabella Harvey, mezzosoprano Elizabeth Campbell and St Peter’s Cathedral Choir.
2013 Music Director; Christopher Burrell
The 2013 Coriole Music Festival “Clash of the Romantics” focused on the two opposing streams of Germanic Romantic music that flourished from around 1850, and on the seminal influence of Richard Wagner whose 200th birthday was two weeks after the Festival.
From Beethoven we followed the conservative stream (Schumann and Brahms), the radicals (Wagner and Liszt), and the wonderful romantic and second Viennese schools that evolved subsequently. The festival concluded with the Four Last Songs of Richard Strauss.
Performers included Tinalley String Quartet, soprano Greta Bradman and pianists Daniel de Borah and Amir Farid.
2012 Music Director; Christopher Burrell
The 2012 Coriole Music Festival presented a fascinating exploration of the development and influence of music from Italy. It focused on music from the Renaissance through to the development of madrigals and oratorio, and the sweeping changes in violin playing and writing from the 16th century through to modern times. The program included works by Stradella, Corelli, Monteverdi, Tartini, Vivaldi, Paganini, Respighi and Berio, together with four different settings of the Stabat Mater text, from early plainsong to Elena Kats-Chernin’s Mater (2000) and modern Australian choral pieces including the world premiere of madrigals by Sydney composer Raffaele Marcellino (b. 1964). The Festival culminated in a performance of the wonderful Pergolesi Stabat Mater.
Performers included the Sydney-based Song Company, violinist Natsuko Yoshimoto, pianist Josephine Allan, and an ensemble of original baroque instruments led by early music specialist Lucinda Moon.
2011 Music Director; Christopher Burrell
The programme for the 2011 Festival highlighted the rich developments in music from Russia during the 19th century. It included songs by composers of the Russian nationalistic movement (Glinka, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov) and by more classically orientated composers (Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov). A programme of music inspired by Chopin included Rachmaninov’s Variations on a theme of Chopin; a bracket of pieces by Scriabin; and a number of the Studies after Chopin by the Lithuanian/American virtuoso Leopold Godowsky. Other works included Rachmaninov’s Sonata for cello and piano, music by Prokofiev, Dvorak’s “American” quartet, the Quartet no 7 by Shostakovich, and the String Quintet by Alexander Glazunov.
Performers included UK-based tenor Andrew Goodwin and his associate artist Daniel de Borah, pianist Albert Tiu, the Australian String Quartet, and cellist Janis Laurs.
Performers included UK-based tenor Andrew Goodwin and his associate artist Daniel de Borah, pianist Albert Tiu, the Australian String Quartet, and cellist Janis Laurs.
2010 Music Director; Christopher Burrell
In 2010 the Coriole Music Festival presented a programme that highlighted JS Bach and Beethoven, two foundations of western European music. 2010 also featured the world premiere of a new quartet based on a book of evocative woodcuts in the Ballarat Gallery, showing vignettes of Australian life, by Australian composer Ian Munro, specially commissioned by the Coriole Music Festival 2010 with support from festival patrons. The performers included leading Australian musicians the Goldner Quartet, Julian Smiles (cello), Geoffrey Collins (flute), Ian Munro (pianist and composer), Caroline Almonte (pianist) Alice Giles (harp), and Dean Newcomb (clarinet).
2009 Music Director; Christopher Burrell
The 2009 Festival programme highlighted music from Hungary, Poland, Scandinavia and Spain, some of it inspired by local and gypsy cultures. We heard works by Chopin, Liszt, Dvorak, Bartok and Gyorgy Ligeti, and the Festival explored the rich choral tradition of Estonia and Latvia. Contrasting folk idioms were reflected in enchanting songs by Edvard Grieg and Manuel de Falla, and the Festival concluded with an iconic 20th century masterpiece, the Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion by Bela Bartok. Performers included violinist Miwako Abe, pianists Michael Kieran Harvey and Sharolyn Kimmorley, mezzosoprano Sally-Anne Russell and the Adelaide Chamber Singers.
2008 Music Director; Christopher Burrell
The 2008 Festival presented music from two different eras – classical Vienna, and Paris of the late 19th – early 20th century. The Festival featured two great classical quintets, Mozart’s C major viola quintet, and a work inspired by this, the Schubert C major cello quintet. As well as this, the Festival also explored the flowering of 19th century French music with a range of works by Couperin, Fauré, Chabrier, Debussy and Ravel. Performers included pianists Roy Howat and Ian Munro, Flinders Quartet, soprano Rosalind Martin, cellist Julian Smiles, violinist Dimity Hall
2007 Music Director; Christopher Burrell
The 2007 programme highlighted composers from Britain, USA and Australia, and showed the links and contrasts between 16-17th and 20th century writing. The program included the world premiere of Roger Smalley’s Suite for Two Violins written for the performers Natsuko Yoshimoto and James Cuddeford and Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. Performers included Syntony, the Coriole Festival Baroque Enemble (a string group formed for the Festival by leading baroque players from around Australia), baritone Michael Leighton Jones, mezzosoprano Sally-Anne Russell and the Grainger Quartet.
2006 Music Director; Anthony Steel
The 2006 Festival brought together a range of artists who enjoy national and international status yet all of whom have a strong link to South Australia. Included in the programme were songs and song cycles of Berg, Weill, Poulenc and Beethoven. Tenor John Heuzenroeder, soprano Kirsti Harms the Australian String Quartet, joind pianist Anna Goldsworthy who played several sonatas including works by Skryabin and Prokofiev, and who also featured as accompanist and chamber musician. Several principals of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra boosted the wind component of the Festival with works by Janacek and Ligeti.
2005 Music Director; Christopher Burrell
The 2005 program focused on Russian composers and included French music to reflect the longstanding cultural links between Russian aristocracy and the French capital. It featured quartets by Shostakovich, Schnittke and Ravel, piano works by Shostakovich, Rachmaninov with Stravinsky’s three dances from Petrouchka, and excerpts from the Catalogue D’Oiseaux, by Olivier Messiaen. The program concluded with Rachmaninov’s unaccompanied choral Vespers, a passionate masterpiece of the Russian Orthodox liturgy. The performers were Tankstream Quartet, pianist Michael Kieran Harvey, the Adelaide Chamber Singers, mezzosoprano Greta Bradman and tenor Andrew Linn.
2004 Music Director; Christopher Burrell
In 2004 the Festival traced the development of composers based in Vienna, beginning with Renaissance motets and following the extraordinary musical journey of that city through to Schoenberg in the twentieth century. The performers were Syntony, the Australian String Quartet, pianist Josephine Allan, baritone Michael Lewis, soprano Nicole Youl, violist Brett Dean and cellist David Pereira.
2003 Music Director; Christopher Burrell
The 2003 program focussed on English music of the 16th-17th and 20th centuries, contrasted with 19th-20th century works from Eastern Europe. Performers included The Song Company, mezzosoprano Elizabeth Campbell, pianist Josephine Allan, cellist Julian Smiles and violinist Dimity Hall.
2002 Music Director; Christopher Burrell
This Festival focussed on Italian renaissance and baroque music contrasted with the 20th Century works by Spanish composers, Franz Liszt and Luciano Berio. The performers were soprano Taryn Fiebig, cellist Noeleen Wright, violinist Paul Wright, harpsichordist Stewart Smith, pianist Benjamin Martin, guitarist Slava Grigoryan and the Adelaide Chamber Singers.
2001 Music Director; Christopher Burrell
The two concerts amounted to a contemplation of music from French composers, from early to contemporary, and from choral to instrumental recital. Opening with early French choral music from the Adelaide Chamber Singers, the works moved largely around the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with Faure, Debussy, Ravel, Poulenc and Messiaen. Performers included the Adelaide Chamber Singers, and many soloists: Opera Australia baritone John Pringle, repetiteur Josephine Allan, leading Australian clarinettist Catherine McCorkill, cellist Janis Laurs, and Perth violinist Paul Wright.
2000 Music Director; Christopher Burrell
Leading Australian mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Campbell joined other featured artists including Australian String Quartet, Adelaide Chamber Singers and pianist Josephine Allan. Chris Burrell’s program for the two concerts explored the different traditions of German music culture, from religious music of the 16th and 17th centuries, romantic poetic 19th century music to political songs and music of the 20th century.
1999 Music Director; Christopher Burrell
The first Coriole Music Festival explored early music which was contrasted by the closing String Quartet No 2, op 36 by Benjamin Britten. Performers included The Australian String Quartet, countertenor Hartley Newnham, the Adelaide Chamber Choir with Carl Crossin and harpsichordist Glenys March.