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Quercus Trio: Australian Horn Trios

Version 2 2024-03-03, 11:44
Version 1 2024-03-01, 10:45
posted on 2024-03-03, 11:44 authored by Carla BlackwoodCarla Blackwood

Available for streaming on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | and numerous other streaming platforms

This debut album from Quercus Trio presents a retrospective of Australian-composed horn trios, which displays a cross- section of stylistic endeavours spanning forty years of Australian musical creativity. It features two world-premiere recordings – Larry Sitsky’s Barerq and Gordon Kerry’s No Abiding City, in combination with other major Australian horn trios. It is the first recording project of its kind, to group Australian horn trios together in one artistic endeavour.

The seed for this project came when I was living in Europe. I increasingly felt that two sides of myself were disparate: the one deeply and profoundly connected to Australia, with a strong sense of place and home; the other my musician self, the classical horn player. Australian music had not formed a strong part of my musical upbringing or identity. When I returned to Australia, I was keen to rectify this, to play music by Australian composers, and to connect these two parts of myself. I was aware of several significant Australian-composed horn trios, and, that being my favourite musical medium, it was the logical place to start.

Our definition of Australian music is simple: it is music by composers who spent considerable time
in Australia and consider themselves somehow to be Australian, no matter how multifaceted their identities. Just like the musicians of Quercus Trio – Rhodri is originally from Wales; Liz studied and worked in the UK; Carla studied and worked in Europe – most of the composers presented here cross continents in their biographies. Many were born and had their early musical training overseas, while others moved overseas to study. Yet all identify to some extent as Australian, and their music has been influenced by Australia – be it through the landscapes, the culture and audiences, or something more subliminal.

Quercus Trio

Quercus Trio is a Melbourne-based horn trio dedicated to performing the finest chamber music. The combination of violin, French horn and piano provides an extensive palette of colours and musical possibilities which Quercus delights in exploiting. Its three members – Carla Blackwood (horn), Elizabeth
Sellars (violin) and Rhodri Clarke (piano) – have all developed international reputations performing in many of the world’s premier ensembles and concert halls, each bringing a unique musical flavour to the group. Quercus is particularly interested in championing new, lesser-known and Australian works for horn trio. They are a joyful group; Rhodri, Liz and Carla are united by a deep affection for each other and for creating music together.

Album released by ABC Classic.

Album Launch Concert at Tempo Rubato, May 6 2023


Faculty of Fine Arts and Music Research Development Grant


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