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Wednesday, August 29, 2018 10:00am

5 Minutes with Vincent Ciccarello

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ASO's Managing Director, Vincent Ciccarello, has had a heavy hand in the direction of the 2019 season - read on to discover his top picks of the new program.

SC: Tell us about the direction you went with the 2019 program.

VC: Our 2019 Season has all the hallmarks of a distinctive ASO season: standout innovative projects, such as Bach’s St. John Passion (the first time the ASO has performed it since 1962) with Stephen Layton, one of the world’s leading Bach exponents. We will also be performing  all five of Beethoven’s Piano Concertos with two young Australian young guns, Jayson Gillham and Nicholas Carter; presenting the great symphonic repertoire, with Brucker and Mahler as a regular feature of our programming; celebrating music as a living, evolving and ever-changing thing with premieres of new works by Cathy Milliken and Avner Dorman.

What about the art direction? How does it relate to the music within the program?

For three years now, we’ve been working with Anthony and Kelly O’Sullivan of Influx Creative on the concepts for our marketing collateral. The brief to them has been to find a way to convey music’s multifaceted aesthetic world – of emotions, of ideas, of beauty – in visual form. I think they’ve done a stunning job and the 2019 materials are more striking and beautiful than ever.

Are you flying in any musical superstars this year?

Yes, of course! It’s what we do! Where to start? The inimitable, the legend, Pinchas Zukerman, our Artist-in-Association, perhaps? What about the heartthrob with matinee idol looks, Andreas Ottensamer, who also just happens to be Principal Clarinettist of the Berlin Philharmonic? Pianists Stephen Hough and Louis Lortie? Violinist Simone Lamsma?  Guitar god, singer, rock chic par excellence, Orianthi? There are just too many to mention!

Will therebe  any world or Australian premieres?

We’re thrilled to be able to present the second of three new pieces for the ASO by our Composer-in-Association, Cathy Milliken. She’s already indicated it will be a Concerto for Orchestra, highlighting the skills of our players.

We’re also giving the Australian premiere of a new double concerto by the American-Israeli composer Avner Dorman for Pinchas Zukerman and cellist Amanda Forsyth. The ASO jointly commissioned it with the Boston Symphony and the National Arts Centre, Ottawa for Pinchas’s 70th birthday.

What’s one thing we might not expect from the new program?

I think the adventure of the Gigs at Grainger series continues to defy expectations. Next year, two more fantastic South Australian artists – jazz musician, bass player and composer Ross McHenry and the irrepressible Robyn Archer – will curate programs that reveal another side to their artistic identity – with the full power of the ASO.

I’d also have to say that having Adelaide’s own guitar hero, Orianthi – who’d played with Prince and who was a member of Michael Jackson’s band at the time of his death – is pretty special.

What classical performance are you most looking forward to in the 2019 program?

Gosh! While they’re not entirely, exclusively my children, how do you select your favourites? It will come as no surprise to my colleagues and family that I am as excited as a child in a lolly shop that I finally get to hear the ASO play Respighi’s Pines of Rome. Respighi is a favourite of mine and the subject of my incomplete PhD thesis. With our Principal Conductor, Nicholas Carter, leading the ASO, it’s bound to lift the roof off the Town Hall!

What other performance are you most looking forward to in the 2019 program?

My musical tastes have always been very catholic, even from a very young age. I’m also a fan of the music of Prince (and the artist formerly known as…). We’ve got a great cast and Nicholas Buc’s orchestral arrangements are always superb. That will be a very fun evening.

View the brochure online here.

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