VIRTUOSO II - A Homage to my Ancestors
S O L S T I C E
Virtuoso 2 features performances of recomposed master works of the classical masters Beethoven, Vivaldi,Rodrigo, Albeniz and Paganini with unique sounds on 10 string Spanish Electric guitars, digital keyboards or acoustic piano.
Matthew Fagan and Guest pianists perform rediscovered master works such as Beethoven Symphony No. 5 and Rodrigo’s Spanish guitar masterpiece Concierto de Aranjuez
Virtuoso 2 is a continuation of the project Virtuoso, a dedication to Matthew’s Ancestors the Parkes family, father Albert Parkes
(Matthew’s great grandfather) a fine violinist and musician and extraordinary teacher, and his three sons Cecil, Kingsley and Milton who between 1900 to 1940 had a profound effect on the Australian musical scene. Matthew has chosen piano repertoire to honour his grandfather, celebrated concert pianist Milton Parkes.
Cecil Parkes was a child prodigy violinist who toured with International star soprano Dame Nellie Melba performing in patriot concerts around Australia and toured the USA and Canada with sponsorship from Dame Nellie Melba in 1916 at the age of 13. Other than Melba herself, no other Australian artist had made such an impact on such an international stage in that period.
Cecil and well known Pianist May Broderick (Cecil’s wife) with Cellist Christine Frallion performed in the Strad Trio and featured on Australian’s first Music Sound Film with music by Frank Thring Senior of EFTEE productions.
A Book about the story of the Parkes family has been written called 'Prodigy' by Gregor Mc Shane and paints a great picture of Arts and Culture in Melbourne since Federation and these links let you know where its available.
Born in Sydney and currently based in Melbourne, pianist and Young Steinway Artist Nicholas Young has regularly concertised throughout Australia and Europe, appearing as soloist with the Vienna International, West Australian, Queensland, Adelaide and Willoughby Symphony Orchestras. An avid supporter of new music, he has given national or world premieres of several works including Calogero Panvino’s 'Sonata 101' (2010), Huck Hodge’s 'Omen, unscroll a canon war! (Hommage à Nancarrow)' (2010) and Hakan Ulus’ 'Gumu’ah' (2015) and 'Alaq' (2015).
Nicholas’ past national accolades include Keyboard Winner of the 2011 ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards, Second Prize of the 2012 Australian National Piano Award, and Winner of 2 of Australia’s most prestigious piano awards the 2016 Allison/Henderson Sydney Eisteddfod and Michael Kieran Harvey Piano Scholarships. During his overseas studies, supported by the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship, Nicholas received First Prize of the 2015 ‘Grand Prize Virtuoso’ International Music Competition (London), Third Prize of the 15th Rome International Piano Competition, and Honourable Mentions at the 7th International Rosario Marciano Piano Competition (Vienna) and 1st International Cochran Piano Competition.
In 2013, Nicholas graduated from a Bachelor of Music (Performance) with First Class Honours and received a University Medal; Nicholas undertook Masters studies at the Universitat Mozarteum Salzburg with Claudius Tanski, where he had master classes with Dmitri Bashkirov, Christian
Zacharias, Robert Levin, Dominique Merlet and Jaques Rouvier among many others. Nicholas went on to graduate with Distinction and the highest possible grades in all performance and academic components.
Pianist, Producer and Presenter, Caroline Almonte, born in Melbourne from Austrian/Czech and Italian parents, has a reputation as a gifted, versatile and sensitive artist.
She studied with Stephen McIntyre at the VCA and Oxana Yablonskaya at the Juilliard School, New York. She has won numerous awards, including winner of the keyboard section of the ABC Young Performer’s Awards and 1st prize at the international chamber music competition in Italy “Trio di Trieste”.
Caroline gives regular solo and chamber music recitals around Australia and internationally. She has performed in the United States, Canada, UK, Italy, South America, Japan and China, appeared at the Edinburgh International Festival, Bologna Festival, Melbourne and Adelaide International Cello Festival, the Dunkeld Weekend of Music, the Huntington Estate Music Festival, the Perth International Festival and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, which included a live broadcast on ABC classic FM of Bach Goldberg Variations.
Her many musical collaborations include working with members of the Australia Ensemble, the Australian String Quartet, Escher String Quartet, Flinders Quartet, Yvonne Kenny, Ralph Kirschbaum, Ian Munro, Li Wei, Miki Tsunoda - Duo Sol, Pieter Wispelway and recently in recital with Susie Park, Daniel Hope and Sarah Chang.
Along with violinist Elizabeth Sellars and cellist Molly Kadarauch, Caroline is the founding member of the Sutherland Trio, in honour of Australia’s matriach of Australian composition – Margaret Sutherland.
As a soloist, Caroline has performances with the Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, performing Rachmaninov, Prokofiev and Mozart piano concerti and also in Italy performing Mozart Piano concerti.
Caroline also performed Chu Wang Hua- Yellow River Piano Concerto in 2015 to honour the China's 70th anniversary in Melbourne.
Alongside her various performances on stage, Caroline continues a prolific teaching career and is passionate about working with young people. She teaches piano at the University of Melbourne and has been involved in several projects with the Australian Youth Orchestra, the Melbourne Youth Orchestra and the Australian Music Examinations Board and regularly gives both piano and chamber music masterclasses. She recorded and produced the solo piano series- grades preliminary - eight for the Australian Examination Board.
Caroline was a director at the Melbourne Recital Centre and is involved in the pre selection for their Bach Competition. She has been as a member of the jury for the Singapore Piano Competition, the New Zealand National Chamber music, the Melbourne Recital Centre’s Bach competition and the ABC Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year Award.
Caroline’s recording career for ABC Classics include the Peggy Glanville Hicks “Etruscan” Piano Concerto with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra , Duo Sol and a recording of English Songs with Yvonne Kenny. She was delighted to support the HUSH music Foundation, performing Nigel Westlake’s ‘Diving with George’ with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.
Caroline recently returned from a residency at Auckland University, New Zealand performing and teaching