Melbourne Recital Centre’s sonic diversity steps to the front with a stunning week of salon shows
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05.05.2023

Melbourne Recital Centre’s sonic diversity steps to the front with a stunning week of salon shows

Melbourne Recital Centre
words by ben lamb

With a wide range of genres and styles on offer, there's something for everyone to enjoy as the centre comes alive with a vibrant celebration of musical excellence.

When it comes to live music, we Melburnians are a lucky bunch. On any given evening we can find live music to suit whatever genre might tickle our fancies. Coupling this with the cultural melting pot our city’s known for and the diversity of sound this brings, Melbourne is the place for live music enthusiasts. 

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

A celebration of diverse music performances in the most intimate of settings is coming this May, as the Recital Centre stages a series of shows featuring an eclectic selection of the world’s most talented musicians. Each shows will take place in the popular Primrose Potter Salon, located in the Melbourne Recital Centre, a unique space designed to completely immerse audiences within the music. 

On display will be performances paying homage to traditional music from places such as Hungary, Latvia and the Balkans, alongside instrument specific celebrations of the violin, piano and, yes, even a quartet featuring the sax exclusively. There’s bound to be something up your alley at the Recital Centre this May, so, let’s dive in. 

Vardos – The Hungarian Dance House Revival

Celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the Dance House movement in Hungary with this unique concert showcasing the rich history of the region and its music. This performance makes its way to the Primrose Potter Salon this month, with Vardos incorporating elements of double bass, viola, violin, accordion and even the rarely used – but always an absolute joy to see – hurdy-gurdy in their performance.

Vardos are one of Australia’s most recognised groups, playing a variety of shows across the world, performing in countries such as The UK, New Caledonia, New Zealand and The Netherlands. The 6-piece are homeward-bound this May and will be heading to the Recital Centre to perform an exciting selection of Traditional Hungarian pieces, taking cues from Béla Bartók’s collection of music on wax cylinders. Catch classics such as Palatka, Szaszcsavasi, Kalotaszeg and many more at this Eastern European instrumental extravaganza. 

Vardos – The Hungarian Dance House Revival will take place on May 13 at the Primrose Potter Salon, check out more info and grab your tickets here. 

Nexas Quartet – Child’s Play

Showcasing the exceptional diversity of the saxophone, four-piece sax ensemble Nexas Quartet are set to deliver a spellbinding performance inspired by the carefree spirit and boundless imagination of childhood at the Primrose Potter Salon.

They’ll be playing music from artists such as Debussy, Ravel and even a piece from Chick Corea. The group have played a variety of shows over the years, arranging everything from orchestra excerpts to saxophone solos. 

Each member of the Nexas Quartet play a distinct type of saxophone – featuring soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxes, it’s a unique experience to see each of these instruments coming together to create beautiful harmonies. 

With an uncanny ability to tap into the playful and whimsical essence of childhood, Nexas Quartet has put together a program that is sure to ignite the inner child in each and every listener. The Nexas Quartet will be performing at the Primrose Patter Salon on May 16, grab your tickets here. 

SARAY Iluminado – Towards the Ancients

In a truly mesmerizing performance at the Primrose Potter Salon, this talented group presents their latest creation – an intimate stage work crafted in the form of a captivating performance ritual.

Drawing inspiration from the voices of the absent, SARAY Iluminado brings music from Europe and surrounding areas, focusing on Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as The Balkans. With a masterful command of three different languages – Bosnian, English, and Judean-Spanish Ladino – this trilingual performance takes the audience on a journey through a kaleidoscope of emotions.

Each of the pieces that will be performed in Towards The Ancients contains a rich story, often referencing elements of history and culture of their homelands. The group features five members, who play instruments such as the frame drum, lutes, clarinets, mandolins and plenty more. Unlike a variety of the other performances featured in this list, SARAY Iluminado will feature a vocalist, with Nela Trifkovic receiving a great deal of acclaim for their talent. 

SARAY Iluminado will be performing at the Primrose Potter Salon on May 17, check out more info and grab your tickets here.

Sophia Kirsanova – Blossoming World

If you’re looking for something more intimate at the Melbourne Recital Centre this May, look no further than Sophia Kirsanova’s Blossoming World, a performance featuring only a piano and violin. The two piece will play music from a selection of the world’s most popular composers, such as Beethoven, Bach, Dvorak, Fritz Kreisler, among many more. 

The featured performer is Sophia Kirsanova – who is a popular Latvian violinist – who has performed on stages as far as Europe and Israel. She’ll be performing alongside Timothy Young, a pianist who is currently Head of Piano at the Australian National Academy of Music, where he also been a resident artist for the past two decades. 

Sophia Kirsanova – Blossoming World will be taking place at the Primrose Potter Salon on May 19, check out more info and grab your tickets here. 

Check out the exciting range of events happening at the Melbourne Recital Centre by heading here. 

This article was made in partnership with the Melbourne Recital Centre