The RCS Ensemble

​The RCS Ensemble has undergone a transformation in the past 6 months. Earlier this year the Ensemble performed its most ambitious program to date, featuring 15 musicians in all. The concert was held in the attractive Flinders St Baptist Church in the heart of Adelaide’s CBD on 1 May. To celebrate May Day, the theme of ‘Seasons’ was selected. This featured the much-loved Vivaldi Four Seasons, performed in its entirety by Carolyn Lam, our wonderful soloist, supported by a chamber orchestra of 12 players, led by the Adelaide treasure Wendy Heiligenberg. Wendy mentored this group of emerging younger performers, who rose to the occasion, performing this timeless music beautifully. The program also included an evocative Rachmaninov Elegiac Trio for violin, cello and piano, with the piano part exquisitely performed by Michael Ierace. The program commenced with an Iranian Four Seasons by Amir Eslami Mirabadi, and the Persian flavour of this evocative music was ably captured on piccolo, flute and alto flute by Linda Pirie.

As we head towards Christmas we look forward to the Ensembles being engaged for various Christmas events. These groups will also work to build their repertoire to prepare several concert programs that can be promoted throughout Adelaide and beyond. We also look forward again to working with CoOpera, where the RCS Ensemble will commence rehearsals for the wonderful Tchaikovsky opera Eugene Onegin in November, in preparation for the interstate tour in March and April 2017. The RCS Ensemble has a busy and productive year of activities ahead.

After this hugely successful concert, attended by over 100 people, it was decided to take a different angle moving forward with the Ensemble. We resolved to provide more frequent opportunities for younger performers in more intimate concert settings. With this aim in mind, we held auditions and formed a String Quartet and Wind Quintet. The String Quartet, comprised of Lester Wong, Anna Freer (violins), Rita Reichbart (viola) and Joseph Freer (cello) were launched at the RCS Luncheon in July, performing a Haydn Quartet for Society members and guests. Both ensembles received a warm public welcome at the gala concert celebrating CoOpera’s 25th Birthday. There were several hundreds of guests present at this festive event. The String Quartet performed a rousing rendition of Piazzola’s Libertango, and the Wind Quintet provided a quirky flavour with Ligeti’s Six Bagatelles.  We look forward to these Ensembles developing over time, under the direction of Wendy Heiligenberg (strings) and Linda Pirie (winds).