Eight hours. Fifty young musicians. One unforgettable piece of music. Welcome to Symphony in a Day, the brainchild of Queensland Conservatorium Masters student Jessica Hort.
The 21-year-old clarinettist is bringing together musicians from the Queensland Conservatorium and around Brisbane on Sunday 4 September to perform Brahms’s Symphony No.4.
The musicians will gather at the Conservatorium’s Basil Jones Orchestral Hall at 9am for an initial read-through, before participating in a series of intensive workshops and tutorials. They will perform the entire symphony at 4pm.
Jessica says the young musicians are up for the challenge.
Difficult piece of music
“The whole Symphony in a Day concept puts you under the pump – you are sight-reading an incredibly difficult piece of music, playing with new people, and working against the clock,” she says.
“But it is a great chance to prepare yourself for life as a professional musician and work with some of the best people in the industry.”
Jessica has assembled an all-star team, with Queensland Symphony Orchestra Assistant Conductor Natalia Raspopova helming the orchestra.
Ms Raspopova said the project was a great way to mentor young musicians.
“It is essential to pass on our knowledge to the next generation of aspiring musicians,” she said.
“I understand how difficult it can be to create your own opportunities, so I want to encourage people like Jess who are taking initiative.”
Repertoire to stretch students
Ms Raspopova said the choice of repertoire would stretch the students.
“The Brahms Symphony No.4 is considered a masterpiece and it is difficult to play well,” she said.
“It usually takes a long time to perfect it to concert level, but the Conservatorium students are very quick and very talented.
“It was one of the first symphonies I learnt as a student conductor, so it is lovely to revisit it with a group of young musicians.”
Queensland Conservatorium Director Professor Scott Harrison said he was glad to lend his support to the project.
“This is a fine example of work that has been conceived, initiated and presented by students and it demonstrates the entrepreneurial spirit of Jessica and others,” he said.
“This can be a challenging industry and our students need to be independent, autonomous music makers.”