Scintillating showcase on The Strand 

Audiences enjoy the relaxed setting on CDU's The Strand for the closing concert

Saffire perform with the DSO at the closing concert of the Seventh Darwin International Guitar Festival

The closing concert of the Seventh Darwin International Guitar Festival featured the Darwin Symphony Orchestra with the internationally acclaimed quartet Saffire and soloist Antony Field, performing a new work Colouring in the Sky by the Australian composer Mark Pollard.

Simone de Haan, artistic and general manager of the Darwin Symphony Orchestra recalls some of the highlights from the closing concert.

“The outstanding features of the night were undoubtedly the superb playing of the orchestra and the transparent and singing music making of the South Uruguayan virtuoso guitarist Eduardo Fernandez in Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez,” Simone de Haan said. 

Festival Artistic Director Adrian Walter commented “The Festival was delighted to have been able to again work on a collaborative project with the Darwin Symphony Orchestra and provide the opportunity for its players to work with leading international and Australian soloists and to be involved in a major premiere of a new work by noted Australian composer Mark Pollard. Enriching the cultural scene of the NT by offering opportunities for skills development for local musicians through engaging them in some of our major events is a major objective of the Festival.”

Simone de Haan also noted, “The audience was mesmerized, both by the engaging music, the beauty of The Strand and the sun setting behind them as the musicians came onto the stage.

“The relaxed feeling and superb acoustic of the venue contributed to what was to be a guitar spectacular in the true sense of the word,” he said.

“The members of Saffire presented two surprise pieces in the first half, one with Karin Schaupp of Saffire and Carlos Barbosa-Lima from Brazil. These works tested all aspects of the guitar’s resonant capabilities including playing on the body of the guitar.

The Darwin Symphony Orchestra played a major role in this event, working with great success with leading Australian and International soloists.

“The conductor Kevin Cameron gained the respect of the players in the rehearsals and as a result, produced a scintillating showcase of orchestral colour and dynamics in the performance. 

“Soloists across the various sections produced brilliant and virtuosic entries, with none more engaging that the violin solo in Capriccio Espagnol performed by Wilfred Lehmann.

“The audience and players’ senses were stretched to the limit, as they made their way through the many challenging ‘musics’ of the night.

“We look forward to another dynamic collaboration between the Darwin International Guitar Festival and DSO in two years time. This kind of artistic coming together happens all too rarely and represents the apex of the creative work that comes out of Charles Darwin University.”