John McCaughey: Musical Director

 

Greetings to listeners, supporters and colleagues

Astra looks forward to resuming concert activity over the last 3 months of 2021. Pandemic regulations have prevented us from holding choir rehearsals since the brief open period in early May.

The three concerts outlined below in October, November and December 2021 remain subject to future developments. In the meantime the Astra Choir will also be completing recordings for the CD production "UNSETTLED SCORES: Humming and Phonetic Choruses 1930–1974", due for release in 2022 from New World Records, New York.

Draft season program 2021

Times to be announced

Concert 1.  OCTOBER MAY-DAY
Saturday 16 & Sunday 17 October
Trades Hall corner Lygon & Victoria Streets, Melbourne

premieres of works for choir and instruments by George Dreyfus, Andrew Byrne, Andrée Greenwell, Kym Dillon, with historical political choruses by Hanns Eisler, Margaret Sutherland, Elisabeth Lutyens

The Astra Choir and guest performers, conducted by John McCaughey

Concert 2. NEW INSTRUMENTAL EXUBERANCES
Saturday 13 November
Church of All Nations corner Palmerston & Drummond Streets, Carlton

Anthony Pateras (composer, celeste, clavichord, harpsichord, electronics), Erkki Veltheim (composer, viola, mandolin, banjo, electronics)
duos & quintets (2020-2021)
with viola da gamba, violone, guitar and recorded choir sounds

Concert 3. THE WORD FOR WORLD IS FOREST
Sunday 12 December
The Laundry, Abbotsford Convent 1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford

premiering Martin Friedel's newest work
acoustic-philosophic entanglements with trees.
Internal songs and sonic ecologies with voices and instruments

Recorded soundscapes with the Astra Choir and guests
including Michael Kieran Harvey (piano), Niels Bijl (saxophone), Simone de Haan (trombone), conducted by John McCaughey

Astra Quarter-Hour Concerts - 2020-21

A series of short aural-video programs for online listening and viewing, assembled from the Astra Concerts archive from the 1950s to the present, and introducing new studio works from composers in the period of COVID-19.

Drawing on these past and current elements, mini-concerts are created that never took place as such, from items separated in time and place. New ways open up for Astra's characteristic program experiences, of encounters between different styles and eras in music, both choral and instrumental.

 

Robert Carl, Stefan Wolpe, Alma Mahler

Martin Friedel & Allan Walker (2020), Keith Humble (1987)

Dorian Le Gallienne, Bo Holten, Elisabeth Lutyens

Robert Schumann, Elisabeth Lutyens

Short works by Helen Gifford

Arthur Lourié, Alexander Mosolov, Alexander Kastalsky

Thomas Tallis,  Heinrich Schütz, Livia Teodorescu-Ciocănea

Simone de Haan & Graeme Leak

 

NB For best video quality, use the Settings "wheel" to choose HD (1080p).

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Quarter-Hour Concerts

Quarter-Hour Concerts

Short aural-video programs for online listening and viewing, assembled from the Astra Concerts archive from the 1950s to the present. Watch and listen on YouTube. NB Use the Settings "wheel" to choose HD (1080p).

2020 season program

2020 season program

Astra's concert activities are at present suspended.
We invite you to open the 2020 season program to see the design of the intended programs, which we hope to implement when our music-making is able to resume.