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James Penberthy Recital

James with David Helfgott

James with daughter, Tamara


Andrew Southern plays James Penberthy in Madame Ballet


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James Penberthy Recital

Dates: 18/06/2012 - 18/06/2012

Location: Perth Town Hall


presented by Janus Entertainment

“James Penberthy was a pioneer … the vanguard of progressive Australian composers.”
Patrick Thomas, conductor.*

To coincide with the premiere of John Aitken’s new play, Madame Ballet, this recital of the chamber work by seminal Australian composer James Penberthy resurrects an extraordinary body of work much neglected in recent times.
Charismatic and irascible, championed as a trailblazer by many (including Larry Sitsky), his brother Wesley describes him as ‘the most successful failure you’d ever seen!’, Penberthy was co-founder of both the West Australian Ballet (with Kira Bousloff) and the West Australian Opera (with Guiseppe Bertinazzo). Penberthy holds a significant place in the cultural landscape of Western Australia.
“Although his output is principally associated with the theatre through his ballets and operas,” suggests Artistic Director of the program, Jangoo Chapkhana, “Penberthy’s chamber music legacy comprises a rare and attractive collection of works written for a range of genres in a style which is highly accessible and easy on the ear.” Chapkhana continues: “Conceived using a neo-tonal harmonic vocabulary and clearly influenced by the neo-classicists, works such as the Earth Mother Fantasy for Piano, String Quartets and other chamber gems are full of colour with a melodic charm that offer the listener a unique perspective to the more intimate side of Penberthy’s style. Far removed from the large-scale orchestral works with their battery of percussion and explosive brass writing, these works offer a glimpse into the more intimate side of Penberthy and are notable for their dry humour.”
The recital at the Perth Town Hall on 18 June will feature some of Perth’s most distinguished musicians including David Wickham (Piano), Jonathan Paget (Guitar), Bernie Barz (Flute), Paul Wright (Sartory String Quartet) and Stephanie Gooch (soprano).
Program includes: String Quartet No. 5, Trio for Flute, Oboe & Piano, Lotus Music: (Three songs for Voice & Flute), String Quartet No. 5, Earth Mother Fantasy for Piano, Six Preludes for Guitar
This recital will be recorded by ABC Radio for national broadcast.

*This quote and other resource material included here are courtesy of FILMWEST Cox & Noble from their documentary-in-progress on James Penberthy A PASSIONATE LIFE.


"Gems rescued from obscurity", Neville Cohn - The West Australian