Welcome to May and a massive month of gigs.

The focus this month appears to be new music, kicking off with the Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble who are currently giving a national tour. They perform a program of Russian composers and a new work by Aussie composer Michael Smetanin on May 2nd at the Subiaco Arts Centre.

The new music continues on 4th – 6th with Defying Gravity percussion ensemble from the Academy of Performing Arts in collaboration with Kaboom percussion. Also at WAAPA on 8-12th is the Sound Spectrum Festival, the first of two festivals celebrating the composers and performers from WAAPA including an audio visual concert on the 10th titled Video Killed the Radio Star.

Meanwhile on May 5th the St George’s Cathedral Consort will perform Faure’s Requiem and Walton’s The Twelve and on the 7th the prodigious 14 year old Shuan Hern Lee will give a piano recital at 4pm as part of UWA’s Keyed Up! series.

The Perth Symphony Orchestra are presenting Bach by Candlelight on the 6th at St Matthew’s church Armadale with a sumptuous program full of surprises including Bach’s double violin concerto led by Paul Wright and Jasmin Parkinson-Stewart, plus a guest appearance by jazz musician Jamie Oehlers and complimentary wine, tied together by narration from Chris Isaacs!

This month the WA Symphony Orchestra will perform in some special events including a concert with The Whitlams on the 3rd as part of the band’s 25th Anniversary Tour and performances on the 5/6th of John Williams’ live soundtrack to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. On the 28th the WASO Chorus under Christopher van Tuinen will perform Faure’s Requiem at St Mary’s Cathedral (yes that’s the second performance this month!).

It’s also an exciting month for opera. Lost & Found opera company’s much-anticipated first production for the year will be a novel presentation of Trouble in Tahiti running from the 12-20th May at a suburban house in City Beach. And Freeze Frame opera make their first whole opera debut with an abridged version of La Boheme running the 25th-28th at the art deco Camelot Theatre, Mosman Park.

On the 14th the Darlington String Quartet will perform their first concert for the year featuring Shostakovich, Webern, Haydn and on the 21st the Perth Symphonic Chorus perform classics by Bach and Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna feautring Sara Macliver and Paull Anthony-Kneightly under the direction of Margaret Pride.

Alexandra Da Costa will feature in repertoire by Beethoven in concerts at WAAPA from the 19-20th while at UWA on the 22nd UWA students will compete at the Perth Concert Hall in the grand final for the Vose Concerto Competition.

Guitarist Slava Grigoryan joins the Australian String Quartet for a national tour kicking off in Perth on the 23rd and also that night Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt will perform Bach and others as part of a Musica Viva national tour. I recommend attending the fascinating and incredibly witty pre-concert talk for this concert which will be presented by yours truly 😉

The month ends with some more new music with Tura new music presenting the GreyWing Ensemble (includes Lindsay Vickery, Jameson Feakes and Catherine Ashley) in a Scale Variable concert built around the music of Brazil.

Happy listening!