Cosmic Drama Unfolds in Gothic Edifice

“George Crumb’s reputation as a composer of hauntingly beautiful scores has made him one of the most frequently performed composers in today’s musical world.”

In a rare performance, and in a South Australian first, a duo of pianos and a polychromatic array of percussion will bring to life the exotic and ethereal soundscape of George Crumb’s twentieth century masterpiece Makrokosmos III (Music for a Summer Evening), as Soundstream Collective takes to the stage on Thu 23 Jul at Elder Hall.

Lead by world-renowned conductor Luke Dollman and joined by acclaimed pianist Tamrara-Anna Cislowska, the leading new music ensemble will present an exhilarating program inspired by JS Bach and Béla Bartók.

In Crumb’s Makrokosmos III, recognized as a magnum opus of twentieth century piano writing, the combination of two pianos and percussion first formulated by Bartók produces a richly textured experience involving no less than 50 percussion instruments from the commonly known vibraphone and metal thunder sheet to the more exotic and ancient African log drum and Tibetan prayer stones. Described by Crumb as a ‘cosmic drama’, Mekrokosmos III is an unpredictable exploration of rhythm, hinting at some divine power in the universe.

Also paying homage to Bartók and inspired by Makrokosmos III, are two Soundstream commissions. Necrology by James Rushford, featured artist of the 2014 Adelaide Festival Tectonics program, is a ciphered tombeau for Bartók that reimagines the night music elements in his Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion. Long Shadows Cast is by the 2014 Soundstream Emerging Composer recipient Samuel Smith.

The concert also features Ricercare for two pianos by Tristram Cary, who is widely regarded as one of the earliest pioneers of electronic music and familiar to many through his music for the television series Dr Who. As with Bartók, Cary paid tribute to Bach through the transcription of his music.

Soundstream Artistic Director and pianist Gabriela Smart says, “This extraordinary program draws a thread of inspiration through homage, spanning three centuries of great composers. JS Bach inspired Bartok, Crumb and Cary to write these seminal classics, while Rushford and Smith represent the younger generation of Australian composers who are shaping Australian culture through their innovative and inspirational ideas.”

The concert, Music for a Summer Evening, is part of the Elder Perspectives series.

For bookings, go to For more information on Soundstream, go to

WHAT:  Music for a Summer Evening by Soundstream Collective

WHEN:  Thu 23 July from 6:30pm

WHERE:  Elder Hall, University of Adelaide, North Terrace, Adelaide

TICKETS:  Adult $25, Concession $18

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