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The TSO's ambitious recording projects that Lang-Lessing has initiated have impressed Australian music lovers -- particularly the double-boxed CD collection of works by Australian composers. Included are several of Peter Sculthorpe's compositions that are infused with tonal gestures that keenly recall the Australian bush. Another project has been the recording of Schumann's complete symphonies. Next in production is a recording of the complete orchestral works by Mendelssohn.

Lang-Lessing is an advocate of cultural tourism, a growing phenomenon in Australia. Several festivals here are concerned with classical music. In the last month alone, Melbourne staged the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, which attracted significant numbers of international and interstate visitors. The tropical setting of Townsville in Queensland, so close to the barrier reef, is an idyllic location for the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. Tourists enjoy ten days of concerts as well as snorkelling on the barrier reef and a series of ecological talks.

The Henry Jones Hotel in Hobart, Tasmania
The Henry Jones Hotel in Hobart, Tasmania

Last weekend, the TSO presented The Mendelssohn Festival, all part of an intention to lure sophisticated travellers to Hobart as a cultural destination. I can vouch for its enjoyable, multi-dimensional nature. Participants attended three concerts, two orchestral and one chamber, a cocktail party and seafood brunch in Hobart's luxurious Henry Jones Hotel that houses a huge art collection of over 250 pieces. Also on the schedule was an expedition to Hobart's well-stocked market in Salamanca Place and a private tour through Tasmania's Museum and Art Gallery collections. The curator spoke particularly about John Glover's paintings.

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Copyright © 9 August 2007 Gillian Wills, Brisbane, Australia


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