When Art and Music Intertwine: A Night Out with Vanguard

Great art is as irrational as great music. It is mad with its own loveliness ~ George Jean Nathan

Last month SOul sister Agnes Kang went out to a Vanguard event that creatively intertwined experience art and music at Sydney’s National Art School, featuring artist Todd Fuller.

Vanguard is an innovative program that has an important role to play in creating a strong and vibrant future for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (SSO), which is a major cultural icon in Australia and abroad.

SO… let’s get back to Agnes to tell us more about her own live orchestra experiences and particularly about her latest experience at Vanguard’s pop-up chamber music event at the National Art School.

Agnes, what’s your first recollection of an orchestra event?

My first experience at the orchestra? I suspect it may have been while I was in primary school although I do not recall the event! One of my more memorable orchestra experiences (in which I was a member of the audience) was hearing Sarah Chang play at the Sydney Opera House in 1998 or 1999. I recall her playing Mendelssohn’s famous Violin Concerto in E Minor – one of my absolute favourites!  I also had the opportunity to meet her backstage and exchange a few pleasantries. She helped me to love practising my violin!

What do you think makes Vanguard unique?

Most of my orchestral experiences are fairly traditional (they have either been in a concert hall or at the Opera House) and my exposure to orchestral music has likewise been generally traditional.

Vanguard was unique to me therefore in a number of respects:

  • It combined a performance of an artist who ‘interpreted’ the music performed by musicians on a digital platform.
  • It had the beautiful sandstone setting of the National Art School as its backdrop for all its performances.
  • It showcased modern pieces and instruments I had never even seen or heard before.
  • It had a more casual cocktail-style mood (with ample amounts of delicious canapes and drinks) that did not sacrifice the focal point being placed on the music and art.

All of this made Vanguard a truly unique experience!

Did you learn anything from going to this event?

For starters, I was not aware of Vanguard prior to attending this event. The musicians introduced at least a couple of instruments I had never seen or heard before, and played pieces which I had no knowledge of.  I appreciated this learning experience.

Also I found it interesting to see an interpretation of Ravel’s Bolero displayed through a digital platform, which then fell on members of the audience to individually interpret the artist’s interpretation!

Would you go again?

Yes, if the music was to my taste (as mentioned above I appreciate genres that are more classical, traditional or well-known) and particularly partial to violin pieces.

Want to know even more about Vanguard for yourself? Click here!

6 thoughts on “When Art and Music Intertwine: A Night Out with Vanguard

  1. Dan says:

    It’s challenging to find well-informed folks on this subject, but you seem like you realize what you’re talking about!

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