In 2018 the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra introduces Australia’s newest period instrument ensemble, the Brandenburg Quartet. These four Principal players are devoted to bringing the string quartet repertoire of the 18th and 19th century to Australian audiences in an historically-informed way.
Josephine Vains interviews Jamie Hey, a much loved and highly respected cellist who provides fascinating insights into ‘musicking’ in Australia and overseas
JV: You’ve been playing with the other members of the Brandenburg Quartet for years. What can we expect from the new ensemble?
JH: We aim to provide a fresh approach to the known classics of 18th and early 19th century Quartet repertoire through historically informed performance practice, as well as exploring some of the wealth of lesser known repertoire by relatively unknown but abundantly worthy composers and share our findings with Australian audiences.
JV: You’re a frequent traveller to Japan, a country with a vibrant early music scene. Tell us a bit more about your experience of making music there.
JH: It’s always easy to find a large, appreciative, and musically literate audience in Japan. A genuine interest in Classical music seems much more prevalent in Japan than here at home. Classical music is ubiquitous in the media, popular culture, and the broader community in general – a great deal more so than in Australia. Amateur orchestras and professional ensembles abound. When I play music in Japan I feel much less of a fringe dweller than I do in Australia.
JV: You’re playing Haydn, but also two lesser known works by Andreas Romberg and Francesco Durante. Tell us more about them.
JH: Two prolific composers who in their day were well respected musicians and well known for the quality of their compositions.
JV: Who are your musical heroes?
JH: Pablo Casals, Anner Bylsma, Hidemi Suzuki, and Phoebe Carrai.
JV: How has being Principal Cellist of Brandenburg Orchestra changed you?
JH: My involvement with the ABO has brought with it a modest degree of financial security that is sadly very rare in the arts community in this country. As a member of the ABO I’ve been fortunate enough to be exposed to some of very best international exponents of historically informed performance practice. I’ve been inspired by and learned much from the guest soloists/directors who have worked with the orchestra over the 20 years of my involvement with the band.
JV: Thanks Jamie!
I look forward to hearing you and the other members of the Brandenburg Quartet this Sunday 15th April @ 5pm at the Melbourne Recital Centre. http://www.brandenburg.com.au/concerts/2018/brandenburg-quartet/