631644_thumbnail_280_David_Helfgott_David_Helfgott_In_Concert.v1David Helfgott in Recital at the Arts Centre, Hamer Hall on 19th August 2009.

David Helfgott was recognised as an extraordinary artist with remarkable techniques and interpretation of piano repertories, especially romantic classics.

The program of the day included:


Prelude in G sharp minor Op. 32 No. 12

Prelude in G major Op. 32 No. 5

Prelude in G minor Op. 23 No. 5


Sonata No. 8 in A minor, K310


Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major Op.53

Four Encore pieces:

I was only able to identify the composers for the first two encore pieces, Chopin and Rachmaninov. The third was Liszt’s Paganini Etude in G sharp minor – La Campanella.

He ended the concert with the famous Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee.

The encore pieces were short, but were straight and direct crowd-pleasers. These pieces were tuneful and well known by many people; David Helfgott managed to conjure an entire standing ovation right after the famous Flight of the Bumblebee.

Coming from Singapore, I am used to serious and rigid classical recital concerts where applause was the only sound heard other than the actual performance.

This recital was extraordinary and different; David Helfgott not only managed to display his mastery of the piano repertoires, he was also able to bring joy to the audiences with his eccentric and random actions and gestures despite suffering from Schizoaffective Disorder. The Music by David Helfgott and the genuine laughter from the audiences filled the hall during this concert.

Jogged with skipping motion when he enters or exits the piano, and dressed in Thai inspired embroidered silk top other than the conventional tuxedo. These were things that I would never expect from a concert pianist.

He hums and sings along while playing the piano, and started buzzing while playing the Flight of the Bumblebee.

He reacted joyfully to audience applause during movements, unlike other soloist I have seen, who might be offended by the abrupt interruption.

David Helfgott performance was captivating and down to earth with no extravagant embellishment. I felt like I was enjoying a performance from someone’s living room. This was one of the most interesting classical music recitals I have attended.


David Helfgott website. 2009. Accessed on 20th August 2009 from http://www.davidhelfgott.com/

Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2009. Accessed on 20th August 2009 from http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2009/08/11/2652414.htm

The Melbourne International Arts Festival is a important festival yearly on the Australian cultural calendar, Australia’s premier celebration of international performing and visual arts.

First started in 1986 as the third Spoleto Festival (with Spoleto, Italy, and Charleston, USA), Melbourne Festival quickly forged an unique identity and remains the only festival in Australia to be born from international heritage. The Festival is one of the most significant festivals in Australia together with the Sydney Festival and the Adelaide Festival of Arts.

Each Festival brings an unparalleled feast of dance, theatre, music, visual arts, multimedia and outdoor events from renowned and upcoming Australian and International companies and artists to Melbourne.

Held over 17 days each year during the month of October, it is the pre-eminent destination festival in Australia, exclusively debuting and premiering some of the finest national and international artists and companies.

The 2009 Melbourne International Arts Festival will take place between
9 – 24 October.

The 2009 programme guide have yet to be release, but they are current holding a pre-sale for the ‘London Philharmonic Orchestra with Principal Conductor Vladimir Jurowski and featuring soloists Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Vadim Repin’.

London Philharmonic Orchestra had been recognised as one of the world most prominent and prestigious international orchestra in the world. This odd to be the one of the most significant classical music concert in Melbourne this year, and not to be missed.

“What impresses about Vladimir Jurowski almost as much as his insouciantly assured conducting technique and the high intelligence of his interpretations is the boldness that he shows in programming the London Philharmonic’s concerts.”
The Times

“This was an orchestra on fire. If Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra go on producing concerts this good we are in for a white-knuckle ride.”
Classical Source

I attended the Eighth blackbird’s ‘The only moving thing’ concert last year during the 2008 Melbourne International Arts Festival. New age classical contemporary performance with visualisations. A very imaginative and unpredictable concert.

I will definitely attend the London Philharmonic Orchestra concert this year.

Other than attending the concerts this year, I am also eyeing on the work oppurtunities section on the website, hoping some work oppurtunity appearing anytime soon.Being able to work with the 2009 Melbourne International Arts Festival will be a extremely profiting experience for me.

This is an gamelan music event held on the 17th of May 2009 from 2.00 pm to 4.30 pm at the Melbourne’s Consulate of the Republic of Indonesia.

The concert was a combined performance of different gamelan groups from all around Melbourne performing gamelan music from Java and Bali, Indonesia.

Gamelan music is a form of traditional music played in many parts of Indonesia since thousands of years ago. It originated from Java, an island of Indonesia.

This performance was a combination of both the old world and the new world. There were traditional performances accompanied by traditional dance and theatre. There were also modern contemporary composition pieces.

This are 2 videos of Mugi Rahayu at the event. Mugi Rahayu, is a gamelan group based at Eppalock, 20 minutes from Bendigo.
The group first started in 2006 by Aaron Hall after he returned from studying Karawitan for one and a half years at Institut Seni Indonesia, Yogyakarta as part of the Dharmasiswa scholarship program.They are playing Ketawang Puspawarna. This video shows a more traditional aspect of gamelan music

They are performing Tari Gembira accompanied by traditional javanese dance in this segment.

A video of Mahindra Bali, a gamelan group run by the members and friends of the Mahindra Bali community organisation, one of the largest Balinese communities in Australia. The group started about 13 years ago with a small set of instruments, and about 5 years ago acquired the entire set of gamelan.

This video shows Mahindra Bali accompanied by a group of kids performing traditional theatre. Balinese gamelan music is louder and heavier as compared to Javanese gamelan music. The rhythm and beats are more upbeat and hyper.

This last video is a video of the Melbourne Community Gamelan, a melbourne based community gamelan group formed in 1990 under the tutelage of Poedijono.This is a contemporary piece composed by the music director, Poedijono. “Sounds of Melbourne” pictured the sounds of the city, including trams, starting at sunrise and fading out by midnight was this piece of music was trying to depict.

This performance was a true gamelan fest. Showcasing both Javanese and Balinese music all in one event. Gamelan music is soothing and whimsical, a great form of music to enjoy.

International Music Council (IMC) is a membership organisation created in 1949 by the Director General of UNESCO as the advisory body to the agency on musical matters. It is based at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris and functions as an independent international NGO maintaining a formal associate relationship with UNESCO.

IMC acts as a world expert organisation, a forum for exchange and reflection and an observatory in the field of music. Mandated to promote all types of music, IMC is an organisation habilitated to speak to governments, institutions and regions. It works through and for its members to internationally support the development and the promotion of diverse music and the role of musicians in the context of social, cultural and economic development.

The Internship programme at IMC covers 2 major segment: programme management and operations; marketing and public relations. College and university students are eligible to apply for this non-paying internship oppurtunity, the period should cover at least 3 months.

For Programme management and operations:
Applicants should have previous experience in the management of international programmes and possess good organisational skills and attention to detail. They should also be fluent in either French and English, with a good working knowledge of the other language and have good written and oral skills.
For Marketing and public relations:
Applicants should have previous experience in marketing, communications and public relations, they should possess strong written and oral communication skills in French and / or English.

This is an excellent oppurtunity for undergrad or postgrad students from college or university all around the world to work with a world class music organisation to gain valuable work experience in either one of the 2 segments.


The Arts and Media industry is segmented into; Commercial/Non-Profit Arts and Media Corporations, Commercial/Non-Profit Theatre, Opera, Symphony Orchestras, Modern Dance and Ballet, Presenting Organizations and Performing Arts Centers, Museums, Art Galleries, Commercial/Independent Radio Stations and Television Networks, Public Broadcasting, Cable Television Systems/Programming Companies, Local-access Television Channels, Film Studios, Independent Film Companies, Talent Agents, Artist Management, Arts and Media Service Organizations/ Schools and Educational Programs.

The numerous companies and organizations mentioned, each possessed their own mission statement and service purpose. Finance department, marketing, public relations, sales, fundraising, fund giving, production and operations are examples of structures within a number of the above mentioned companies and organizations.

There are heaps of opportunities available in each of these segments, with the right education, right connection, right knowledge, a suitable job will appear. I will be talking about a few jobs within these departments.

Marketing manager/Market analyst in the Marketing department of a Performing Arts Center:

To be a marketing manager/market analyst, a good knowledge in quantitative analysis, statistics and computers will be required. Responsibilities includes compiling and analyzing data for presentation, compiling and refining mailing lists, supervising the preparation and dispatch of bulk mailings, and assisting with the details of special events, festivals, tours, and promotional campaigns. The role of a marketing manager have a stronger emphasis on the quantitative and the analytical side as compared to the marketing director whose job requires to be more creative, idea-generating.

Production Manager:

Production manager directs the flow of communication between departments, supervising staff and administrative functions, and maintaining the good morale of the staff. They are also in-charged in controlling production costs; coordinate schedule of technical, creative, and related personnel before and during productions; conducts contract reviews and contract administration; supervises special events and touring productions.

Music Administrator of a Symphony Orchestra:

This position is an operational position that requires the possession of a professional understanding of music. The music administrator has to deal with the rehearsal scheduling for the company and the soloists, arrange substitutes for important performers, arrange accommodations, transportation, hospitality and amenities for visiting artists, prepare lists of substitute programs, performers and pieces so that the music director can be made informed of decisions, work with the general manager to negotiate artists’ contracts to control the financial budget, and archive past performances for future programming.

Artist Manager:

A artist manager is a person who develops and protect their artists’ careers and also promote and negotiated their employment contracts at the same time. The best artist managers usually have well-educated taste in their area of specialization within the performing arts and media industry, and they are very selective in choosing talent they represents. In addition to these, they must have an extensive networking and a reliable reputation amongst those people, companies and organizations that hires or books the artists. These people, companies and organizations looking to hire or book artists include presenters, managers of concert halls, performing arts centers, theatre and opera companies, symphony orchestras, recording companies, casting agents, film companies, and many others. Artist mangers might also be responsible for the marketing, publicity, touring, and contractual arrangements.


Stephen Langley and James Abruzzo, 1990, American Council for the Arts publishing. Jobs in Arts and Media Management.

Jennifer Radbourne and Margaret Fraser, 1996, Allen & Unwin Pty Ltd. Arts management: A practical guide.

Experimenting with the new website: blip.tv.

Spain by Chick Corea uploaded onto blip.tv.

Chick Corea is a multiple Grammy Award winning American jazz pianist, keyboardist, drummer, and composer.

He was one of my major music influences. I was motivated by his virtuosity in jazz piano, and started learning jazz music apart from my classical training.

This is a youtube video of Misi Nggak Mungkin, a pop/rock-gamelan fusion band from Indonesia performing the mission impossible theme song with a new arrangement.

They combined the ancient traditional gamelan music of Java, Indonesia, with western percussion instruments and guitars, accompanied by hilarious theatrical performances.

Using the traditional gamelan to play modern musical rhythms and music, displayed the diversity of this music.

This performance was absolutely hilarious and entertaining.

“Arts” referring to arts in any field; music, dance, theater, fine, visual or  digital arts.

Arts manager in the 1990s were usually university educated in an art form with a business degree in management or marketing, or with graduate qualification in arts administration.

The most effective arts managers are those who combine a sensitivity to the arts and an administrative background.

The increasingly corporate nature of arts organisation requires a manger who displays sophisticated business skills but not at the expense of a genuine appreciation of creativity in art and cultural practice.

Qualities required to be a good arts manager: ‘knowledgeable in the art with which he/she is concerned, an impresario, labor negotiator, diplomat, educator, publicity and public relations expert, politician, skilled businessman, a social sophisticate, a servant of the community, a tireless leader, humble before authority, a teacher, a tyrant and a continuing student of the arts.’ Rockefeller Panel Report, 1965.

The Eighth Blackbird is a group of highly skilled contemporary classical music performers with degrees in music performance from a highly selective Oberlin Conservatory, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and Northwestern University.

Described by The New Yorker as “friendly, unpretentious, idealistic and highly skilled,” the Grammy Award-winning eighth blackbird promises its ever-increasing audiences provocative and engaging performances. They are widely lauded for its performing style, often playing from memory with virtuosic and theatrical flair, and its efforts to make new music accessible to wide audiences.

A New York Times reviewer raved, “eighth blackbird’s performances are the picture of polish and precision, and they seem to be thoroughly engaged…by music in a broad range of contemporary styles.”

Eighth blackbird held a performance in Melbourne last year at the BMW Edge in Federation square during the Melbourne International Arts Festival, and i was present at their show.

The program included two works. The first, Double Sextet, represents a return to the rhythmic intensity that is synonymous with Steve Reich’s most venerable works such as Music for 18 Musicians and Drumming and features eighth blackbird performing simultaneously, both live and pre-recorded. The second work, singing in the dead of night, is inspired by eighth blackbird’s distinctive predilection for memorisation and is a continuous weave of music and motion; an intrepid collaboration between composers David Lang, Michael Gordon and Julia Wolfe and choreographer Susan Marshall.

Their performace was exhilarating, filled with anticipation and suspense. Eight blackbird is one of the contemporary classical groups around that achieved world wide recognition and worth sparing time to enjoy and learn.

Jason Mraz & special guest Bushwalla Live in Melbourne on the 21st of April at Melbourne Festival Hall.