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Monday, April 16, 2018 11:33am

Owen Morris plays with Mexican Fire


Owen Morris is the ASO's Principal Trumpet and Player Guest in this year's second instalment of Classics Unwrapped on Wednesday 2 May, 6.30pm. For the concert he has chosen a favourite piece of music he will perform with the orchestra and then chat about with conductor and presenter Guy Noble.


Tell us about the format of Classics Unwrapped Concerts, what can audiences expect?

Classics Unwrapped is a light hearted and fun way to hear some of the great orchestral works. In 2018 each Classics Unwrapped concert has a different theme so you will be transported into a new world each time you come along. 

The Classics Unwrapped 2: Playing with Fire concert will feature you playing La Virgen de la Macarena a traditional bullfighting song made famous by the great trumpet virtuoso Rafael Méndez. Tell us why you are looking forward to playing this piece?

Rafael Méndez was a Mexican virtuoso trumpet soloist who was famous for his unique sound, vibrato and technical prowess. He made the traditional bull fighting song La Virgen de la Macarena famous with incredible style and energy in the music. I’m looking forward to playing it because it’s such an exciting and lively piece of music with lots of flair. It’s also an honour to revive the music made famous by such a virtuosic and and inspiring artist. 

Below are a couple of videos for your viewing pleasure: 

Watch the virtuoso himself explain his technique and discuss his amazing finger dexterity and breath control, and then illustrate these concepts he plays Flight of the Bumble Bee (with a super close-up on his fingers) and an excerpt from The Mexican Hat Dance

La Virgen de la Macarena

How do you prepare for concert day? Do you have any concert day superstitions or routines that you adhere to?

Ideally, I think we would all like for the concert day to be as normal and like any other day as possible. However, unfortunately, this never seems to be the case. For me there is always a feeling of mixed emotions and feelings including anticipation, excitement, apprehension, and of course nervousness. 

I like to do a little bit of warm up and practise on the instrument, but not too much. Other than that, I like to keep the day simple and I usually enjoy a good nap a few hours before the concert. Always remember to set an alarm! 

What is your most memorable performance/s with the ASO: 
A big highlight of my time at the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra so far has been performing Mahler's Symphony No. 6 with Simone Young in 2016. I was still on trial with the orchestra at this point and as nerve racking as it was to play this big symphony, I think the orchestra played great and it was a real thrill to be involved. Also, performing the Hummel Trumpet Concerto in E last year was a real highlight of my career too. I’m really looking forward to telling the story of Méndez soon as well!


What has been your most memorable musical experience as an audience member?
Too many amazing moments to choose from!

What moment should the audience listen out for at this concert?

Ideally everything. But if I had to choose it would be the finale of Stravinsky’s Firebird. Incredibly inspiring and moving music. 


The final five minutes of Stravinsky's Firebird, masterfully performed by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and passionately conducted by Valery Gergiev.


More information and tickets to Classics Unwrapped: Playing with Fire here. 

2 May, 6.30pm
Adelaide Town Hall


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