Australian artists abroad

Article details

Published: 26th February, 2016

From time to time we have word of Australian musicians enjoying great success overseas, and this week brought two stories of interest to us. Firstly, opera singer Deborah Humble often writes for Classic Melbourne but in this case she is the story …

It will be an all Australian line-up at a recital in London on April 14 when  Australia’s High Commisssioner Alexander Downer hosts an evening of music in the beautiful surrounds of Downer Room at Australia House on the Strand.

All proceeds from the event will go to Worldwide Cancer Research, a UK based organisation dedicated to funding cutting edge scientific research into all forms of cancer all over the world.

International mezzo-soprano Deborah Humble, originally from Adelaide, recently became an Ambassador for the organisation, a job that entails promoting and raising the profile of the organisation internationally. She will present a recital which includes the Seven Popular Spanish Songs by Manuel de Falla and the Brahms Zigeunerlieder (Gypsy Songs). Sydney violist Lisa Bucknell will join Deborah on stage for a performance of Two Songs for Alto, Viola and Piano also by Brahms.

London based Queensland concert pianist Jayson Gillham will be the associate artist and accompanist. He will present Bach’s Toccata in G and the virtuosic L’Isle Joyeuse by Debussy. Jayson, whose debut album will be released globally in 2016 by ABC Classics is one of Australia’s most highly respected artists.

Victorian composer Scott Buchanan has written a song for the occasion entitled “The Day Will Come” which he describes as “an uplifting song of hope dedicated to all those whose lives have been cut short by this all too prevalent disease.”

Dr Helen Rippon, Chief Executive of Worldwide Cancer Research says, “We are delighted and excited that Deborah Humble has agreed to be an Ambassador for Worldwide Cancer Research.  Deborah is renowned for performing on the world stage with a quality and likeability that attracts legions of loyal fans. In her ambassadorial role we know Deborah will connect us with a global audience.”

In a recent interview Deborah noted, “What a great privilege it is to be given the  opportunity to raise funds for Worldwide Cancer Research  as well as to help encourage promotion and awareness of the  scientific research undertaken around the world each year in an attempt to find a cure for such an insidious disease.

“As I witnessed recently on a visit to the Walter and Eliza Institute in Melbourne, Australia is playing an important role in such advancements”, Humble said. “Scientists here are having their ground-breaking research funded by our organisation and it is vital that such funding be continued. To this end I fervently hope that music will act as a medium to unite us in a quest to help raise significant funds.”

Those who cannot attend the concert but who may wish to make a donation can do so here….


Meanwhile, we heard from Mee Na Lojewski, artistic director of quartet Affinity Collective, soon to undertake an exciting European Tour. Affinity Collective Quartet has received part-funding from the Australia Council for the Arts for the tour, and the ensemble is also in the final 36 days of their Australian Cultural Fund campaign to raise the extra funds they need.

Here’s what they have to look forward to:

Affinity Collective European Tour, March 30- May 8

Affinity Collective’s first stop overseas is the International Musicians’ Seminar, Prussia Cove, directed by Steven Isserlis. The quartet will receive eleven days of intensive tuition in the class of Thomas Adès and perform in public concerts in Cornwall:

A London residency follows with tuition from the Brodsky, Doric and Belcea Quartets, and six concerts, including one for the Southbank Centre’s Yehudi Menuhin Festival:

Affinity Collective’s tour concludes in Germany with tuition in Berlin and Hanover with Brett Dean, Noga and Kuss Quartets, and two Berlin concerts – one performing Brett Dean’s Epitaphs with the composer himself.

To make a tax-deductible donation towards Affinity Collective’s tour, please visit:

Affinity Collective’s 2016 Season Opening and European Tour Farewell is March 22, 7pm at ANAM, South Melbourne:

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

Classic Melbourne wishes all our musicians a happy and successful time overseas, and has plans to report more about such projects in 2016.

 The picture is of Deborah Humble.

 Suzanne Yanko