The Phoenix Artist Collective is the brainchild of percussionist and composer Robert Oetomo, and conductor and music director Edward McKnight. Seeking to engage a broad range of audiences with a wide variety of music and artforms, the Sydney-based duo will perform new Australian works alongside well-loved classics, aiming to give a voice to Australian musicians and artists.
In this first concert, the orchestra will premiere a marimba concerto entitled ‘Soar’ featuring Robert Oetomo as composer and marimba soloist. Robert is an internationally acclaimed composer, with many of his works regularly performed at eisteddfods and concerts worldwide. He is also a well sought after performer and teacher of marimba and percussion.
Completed in 2012, ‘Soar’ is a standard three-movement concerto (fast, slow, fast) with a marimba cadenza linking the first movement to the second. Movements one and three contain the rhythmically driving elements of rock ‘n’ roll, whilst the second movement favors more towards components of western classical music. However, all movements contain elements of both genres. Oetomo explains that for inspiration whilst composing this concerto, he drew upon the music of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Dvorak and Stravinsky, along with the musical aspects of rock ‘n’ roll.
Following the concerto is Brahms’s Symphony No. 2 in D major. Brahms’s second symphony is widely regarded as his first truly original symphonic effort, in which the composer finds his symphonic voice and audience is treated to a masterpiece rich in warmth and humility.
The concert will be conducted by Edward McKnight. As a conductor, Edward’s style is defined by clarity, striking expressiveness and emotional energy. He is also an avid music educator, conducting and arranging music for school and community ensembles. The orchestra for this concert is made of up of Sydney-based musicians.
Robert Oetomo – Creative Director
Edward McKnight – Creative Director
Emily McKnight – Producer