Melbourne Recital Centre’s December program will let you end 2023 on a joyous high

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Melbourne Recital Centre’s December program will let you end 2023 on a joyous high

Melbourne music
KIAZMA Piano Duo – Mother Goose. Happening as part of Melbourne Recital Centre's December program on December 9.
Words by Luke Carlino

Melbourne Recital Centre continues to push the boundaries of chamber music while throwing in some experimentation and festive joy this December.

Wrapping up what has been a truly diverse year of performances, the Melbourne Recital Centre goes out with a chamber music-inspired bang in December. Once again, bringing some of the finest local talent to the Primrose Potter Salon Stage, there is something for all ages and tastes in the final program 2023.

Keep up with the latest music news, features, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

Quartz – Sweet Disposition

  • When: December 5
  • Where: Primrose Potter Salon
  • Tickets here

There could be no sweeter way to kick off the jolliest month of the year than by checking out local string quartet Quartz as they offer a new show covering the works of Mozart and Mendelssohn. 

Back in the day, ol’ Mozart was a little strapped for cash, so he wrote six quartets for King Friedrich Wilhelm II. Suitably, these works are crafted for instrumentalists to perform as soloists that combine for an overall melodic piece of work. This couldn’t be more up the Quartz alley! Combine it all with some extra works from Mendelssohn, particularly his first string quartet, and you have an evening of true beauty from some of our finest.

Ossicle Duo & Rubiks Collective – Displaced Bodies

  • When: December 6
  • Where: Primrose Potter Salon
  • Tickets here

If you have followed the last few month’s worth of Melbourne Recital Centre programs, you’ll recognise a bit of a pattern. In fact, we’re officially naming the MRC as Melbourne’s home to chamber-music-done-different!

Displaced Bodies continues this theme, uniting two local ensembles, Ossicle Duo, whose high-energy exploratory trombone-percussion is super wild, and Rubiks Collective, who combine percussion, flute, cello and keys to create a dynamic sonic journey. This pairing is for the world premiere of Jakob Bragg’s acclaimed composition, which happens to be the winner of the Melbourne Recital Centre and Conservatorium of Music’s Composition Award.

Inclusive of Richard Barrett’s EARTH, Annie Hsieh’s Quietude and Noemi Liba’s CardioMyopathy, the performance will be paired with projections across the Primrose Potter Salon to continue to push the idea of chamber music further into unknown creative territory.

KIAZMA Piano Duo – Mother Goose

  • When: December 9 at 3pm
  • Where: Primrose Potter Salon
  • Tickets here

It’s Christmas time, a great time of the year for family activities, and who doesn’t love a bunch of music in the holiday season? KIAZMA Piano Duo, have your whole Saturday sorted with two performances that offer interactive musical fun and entertainment for the whole family.

These two performances are a great way to introduce your kids to classical music. Children can get up close with the piano and the musicians to learn more about musical performance with two immersive experiences.

The first concert, Mother Goose, focuses on music created by Gabriel Fauré and the children’s games of Georges Bizet. KIAZMA create concert experiences that focus on listening to and engaging with music in new ways. As a result, kids aged six and up will have a lot of fun while being introduced to the world of classical music.

KIAZMA Piano Duo – Christmas Trees 

  • When: December 9 at 6pm
  • Where: Primrose Potter Salon
  • Tickets here

The second KIAZMA performance gets a little more festive with Liszt’s enchanting Christmas Trees. This is the perfect way to get the whole family amped for Christmas. Liszt’s gorgeous piece was originally written for his first grandchild, Daniela, and performed for her on Christmas day, the day after her birthday.

KIAZMA performances are already profoundly moving, let alone adding in the charm of the holiday season. This will be a very special way to focus on the beauty of Christmas with the family while your kids learn about a whole new world of music. It’s as wholesome as it comes, folks!

Affinity Quartet – Innovators

  • When: December 13
  • Where: Primrose Potter Salon
  • Tickets here

Affinity Quartet perform Haydn and Bartók in one of their final Australian shows in 2023 before jetting back over to Europe. Featuring Haydn’s String Quartet Op.76, No.3 Affinity Quartet will show what the next generation of Australian chamber music can do!

Their upcoming Europe trip will be to study under esteemed Austrian violinist Günter Pichler, so it is best to catch them now because that will likely be a long-ish course.

Croissants & Whiskey – Spirits

  • When: December 14
  • Where: Primrose Potter Salon
  • Tickets here

Australia’s only prog-baroque quartet, Croissants & Whiskey, make their Melbourne Recital Centre debut to bring their unique mix of drama, humour, and vulnerability to the Salon.

The world premiere of a new work by Kym Dillon, Spirits is a sequence of games and plays with Elizabeth Younan’s The Fertile Crescent and a new co-composed work inspired by Chinese traditional music thrown into the mix as well. To say that this will be an unconventional approach to baroque music is an understatement, as this is possibly the most unique show on the December line-up.

Ros Bandt with Alana Blackburn – Sounding Spaces

  • When: December 15
  • Where: Primrose Potter Salon
  • Tickets here

Ros Bandt and Alana Blackburn close out the year at the MRC with their experimental and captivating piece, Sounding Spaces. Their goal is to unearth sonic archaeology via two new electro-acoustic compositions that feature original field and underwater location recordings, graphic notations and moving imagery by Australian filmmaker Jutta Pryor. 

This fusion of electronic instruments and field recordings will help you end the year with a distinctive and memorable musical experience that will help you enter 2024 with a truly open mind.

Melbourne Recital Centre’s December program runs from December 1 – 16. For the full program, head here.

This article was made in partnership with Melbourne Recital Centre.