Melbourne Chamber Choir

Melbourne Chamber Choir

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Melbourne Chamber Choir has been a distinguished contributor to the Melbourne choral scene for more than thirty years. Our small, four-part choir (SATB) prides itself on performing chamber works from Medieval to contemporary times, as well as showcasing new Australian works. We are also happy to tackle oratorio and even some opera.

Our 2017 Program

Our major commitments for 2017 include:
April 30 – Choral@Montsalvat – a light-hearted romp through ‘life cycles’.
May 13 – Brahms Requiem a collaboration with Vic Chorale.
August 19 – Venetian Renaissance music – a stirring concert, with brass and mighty organ.
September 9 – John Monash Oratorio – a major premiere at the Arts Centre, Hamer Concert Hall working with an orchestra and with other choirs and school orchestras from around Victoria.
December 2 – Bach Christmas Oratorio.

Our Musical Directors

Dr David Kram, our musical director, made his conducting debut in Italy in 1969. He was repetiteur and conductor at the Grand Théâtre de Genève (Orchestre de la Suisse Romande); Kapellmeister, Stadttheater Basel (Basler Sinfonieorchester, Radio-Orchester Basel); Erster Kapellmeister, Nationaltheater Mannheim; Resident Conductor, The Australian Opera (Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane), and Musical Director, State Opera of South Australia (Adelaide Symphony Orchestra).

From 1996-2009 he was Senior Lecturer at the Victorian College of the Arts/University of Melbourne (Head of Opera from 1996-2005) and Musical Director of International Opera Productions (New York/Prague) 2006-2009.

The choir is working long term with David in developing and performing his “John Monash Oratorio”, with an eventual aim of performing this very special work in France in 2018.
Our Assistant Musical Director, Alan Cook, has worked and studied extensively in Europe as a conductor, repetiteur and vocal coach. He studied conducting in Italy, where he conducted Italian opera masterpieces in Le Corti dell’Arte summer festival and accompanied singers at the famous Puccini Festival.

In Barcelona, Spain, Alan regularly coached singers including soloists of the prestigious Gran Teatre del Liceu. He guest conducted the Kharkov Symphony Orchestra, was Principal Guest conductor for the Poltava Symphony Orchestra, Ukraine, and of the Murmansk Philharmonic Orchestra, Russia.

In 2014, Alan returned to Australia to take up the position of General Manager and Assistant Artistic Director of More Than Opera and in 2016, became Assistant Musical Director of the Melbourne Chamber Choir.

Recent and past choir highlights

Choir highlights of 2014 included Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater in Castlemaine, a program of music from the Golden Age of Roman music, and a performance of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, under the auspices of the Australian Bach Society. 2015 saw us undertake a program of French music in September, including Poulenc’s beautiful and rarely performed Stabat Mater, and another very successful Bach Christmas Oratorio concert in December.

In 2016, we performed Haydn’s Creation (in partnership with Victoria Chorale), and Tchaikovsky’s 9 Sacred Pieces, as the centre piece of a program of acapella Russian music, as well as a third very successful Bach Christmas Oratorio in St Paul’s Cathedral.

Over the years we have performed with the Melbourne and Sydney Symphony Orchestras, Orchestra Victoria, the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, the percussion ensemble Synergy and the Stonnington Symphony Orchestra. We have shared concerts with the Blessed Sacrament Basilica of Christchurch, New Zealand, the North Arizona University Choir and the Corinthian Singers of Adelaide. We have sung in the Adelaide and Castlemaine Festivals, and provided the southern continent choral music for the Opening of the Beijing Olympics.

A charter commitment of the choir is to present Australian choral music, often premiering new works; and introducing new and challenging international music to Australian audiences. At Choral@Montsalvat the choir has premiered student composer works by May Andrewartha, James Wade, Meena Shamaly, Charles MacInnes, Catherine Sullivan and Courtney Williams.

Singing with us

The Melbourne Chamber Choir invites singers who have a pleasant voice, a good ear, the ability to work consistently, a love of music and the fellowship of good people to apply for membership of the choir – as Bach himself said: “Wem die Kunst das Leben ist, dessen Leben ist eine große Kunst” (“For those whose life incorporates the Arts, Life itself is a great work of art”.)
The choir rehearses every Thursday night, from 7.30 until 10.00pm, at St Mary’s Anglican Church, 430 Queensberry Street North Melbourne.

For more information, contact:

Anne Smithies (Co-President) at asmithies@berrystreet.org.au
David Hines (Co-President) at David.Hines@rch.org.au
David Kram (Musical Director) at davidkram@bigpond.com
Alan Cook (Assistant Music Director) at cookap@outlook.com