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Acclaimed musicians cement their reputation as an extraordinary trio for Musica Viva Australia


Pianist Bernadette Harvey, violinist Harry Bennetts, and cellist Miles Mullin-Chivers are fast becoming a trio to reckon with. Their debut appearance as an ensemble for Musica Viva Australia’s Morning Masters concert series last year blew audiences away, their astonishingly seamless rapport belying their limited performance history together.

 

With that undeniable chemistry in mind, Musica Viva Australia have brought them back together for a multi-city tour. They’ll play Newcastle City Hall on 10 March, riding high after a Canberra concert which earnt them a rave five-star review in Limelight Magazine. “The players work together and read each other well. Their timing, intonation, and dynamics were all perfectly on point.”


Revisiting some of their Morning Masters program, the musicians will open the concert with Australian composer Donald Hollier’s exquisite A Little Sea Music…, commissioned by Musica Viva Australia and given its world premiere by the trio in 2021. A theme and variations on the opening to Britten’s opera Peter Grimes, the work also takes inspiration from sea poems by Tennyson, Kenneth Slessor, and John Masefield.


It's juxtaposed with Beethoven’s eerie Piano Trio in D Major, fittingly nicknamed the “Ghost”. Mercurial and haunting, the complex work is a program highlight, with Limelight describing the musicians’ skilful interpretation of it as “heart-stopping… the clear and profound narrative of Beethoven’s music was wholly on show”, praising in particular “the sensitivity of their playing and the feeling for this composition”.


Audiences will be equally affected by the Lento doloroso from Grieg’s Violin Sonata No 2, described by Canberra CityNews as a “showcase” for Bennetts. The melancholy music reaches a fever pitch in his hands, and is one of the works that best demonstrates Grieg’s still underrated originality and imaginative powers.


Closing out the concert, audiences are treated to a third piano trio, this time by Ravel. With the composer’s characteristically masterful orchestration and use of colour, the Piano Trio unfurls like a vivid dreamscape while placing great technical demands on the players. Harvey, Bennetts, and Mullin-Chivers more than rise to the occasion, however, with Canberra CityNews and Limelight Magazine describing their performance as “skilfully played” and “sublime” respectively.


With this tour sure to further burnish their reputation as a great trio, you won’t want to miss out on tickets. Harvey, Bennetts, and Mullin-Chivers play Newcastle City Hall on 10 March 7:30pm, with tickets from $40 - $102. For those wanting to enjoy the concert from the comfort of their own homes, tickets to the livestream on Monday 7 March at 7pm AEDT are $25.


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