Matthew Barley/Cellist

Without music, life would be an error.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Australian Spirit!

I’ve just finished a week as Guest Director of the Australian Youth Orchestra’s inaugural Chamber Music Camp, and it was a very memorable time. Also a busy time: I played my On The Road recital programme early in the week, and a bit of chamber music as well as teaching, impro classes, leadership sessions, and practice. There were six string quartets taking part in the camp, all learning lots of repertoire, practicing like crazy, aiming for the Saturday concert which was amazing: 5 hours of string quartets! But the great thing about the week was the spirit of the particpants – such enthusiasm, generosity and support for each other. I’ve always found Australia to be an easy place to work in terms of the general working vibe, and this experience underlined that impression. These guys really wanted to work, and to improve their game, learn new techniques and so on – it’s such a tonic to be surrounded by musicians who are so idealistic and eager. And the general culture here seems so ‘Can do’ and positive. It was the first of five funded years of Chamber Music Camps, and I’m sure that after these five years it will continue, making a significant impact on the Australian music scene.
Now I’m off travelling for a week before my residency at the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne. Tomorrow I pick up a camper van and head off by road. 7 days of solitude in the outback. Solitude with just me, the koalas, the kangaroos, and the spiders, snakes, crocodiles. Hmmm….England seems so safe and comfy…..


  • Louise Cottone says:

    Hi Matthew! I told you I would comment on your blog so here goes…I agree with everything about the camp, is was the most amazing, surreal experience of my life, and it arrived just at a time when the countless input from Australia and the UK’s top notch musos has provided the inspiration I needed to launch me on my career path. It was so great to get to know you, and all the tutors, and I will never forget any of it! Great blog by the way…Take care and expect the unexpected…um I mean expect to hear from me in the near future! Louise 🙂

  • Rachel Homburg says:

    Hi Matthew! The camp was an amazing experience, I got so much out of it and it really inspired me to keep working with my quartet and not to give up on my dream of playing chamber music at a professional level. Thanks to the inspiration I got from the camp, my quartet has decided to focus our energies on travelling to Sydney to study further with the Goldner Quartet, and also to travel overseas to study. We are also planning to organise our own concert series next year. I want to thank you so much for your generous spirit and enthusiasm for music and life in general. It was so wonderful to meet you and get to know you, and I’ll be seeing you in Melbourne soon! Love, Rachel.

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