Simon Tedeschi / Kevin Hunt – ‘I Want to Play Like Him’
Join the mutual admiration society of two pianists. A two piano performance that transcends genre, resulting in a unique blend of styles and backgrounds. It stirs the jazz and classical realms into one musical recipe. The two have played throughout Australia to great acclaim. The duo are receiving rave reviews across Australia.
Tedeschi and Hunt serve up an exciting mix of audience favourites, with music from Bach to Duke Ellington and other classical and jazz greats such as Shostakovich, Debussy, Fats Waller, Brubeck and Oscar Peterson. Gershwin’s much-lauded masterpiece, Rhapsody in Blue receives a new pianistic polish from the two maestros.
Particularly exciting for the duo will be their performance of Duke Ellington’s historic ‘Black ‘ from Black Brown and Beige. Premiering at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 1943 it portrayed the history of African Americans. “Simon has always loved jazz and has recently been ‘soaking up ‘ the American Jazz feeling. Equally I have always loved classical music for its detail of sound production and composition, ” said Kevin Hunt. “The music we play together constantly weaves between jazz and classical forms, and now after years of playing together our improvising has become an exciting focus of the performance.”
Kevin Hunt is a popular and versatile jazz pianist. He has, over the last 18 years, shared the stage with international artists including: Herb Ellis, Billy Cobham, Sheila Jordon, and Larry Adler. He has also recorded and performed with most of Sydney’s prominent jazz artists.
He works with his own trio, the Kevin Hunt JS Bach Trio, and also tours extensively with Don Burrows. Kevin and Don conduct workshops and master classes for school and university students.
“They were still wanting more from pianists Simon Tedeschi and Kevin Hunt when the performance finally ended over two hours later. Whether I Want to Play Like Him is really a cabaret act or not seemed to matter less than the richly playful quality of what the performers were doing with a lot of jazz, a little classical and a bit of original.”
Canberra Times, July 23, 2008
Simon Tedeschi and John Bell AO OBE
John Bell AO OBE, founder of Bell Shakespeare Company and Helpmann Award winner, partners with internationally acclaimed, ARIA-nominated pianist Simon Tedeschi to present two fascinating performances; Enoch Arden, a deeply moving performance of Lord Alfred Tennyson’s classic 1864 poem set to music by German Romantic composer, Richard Strauss; and Bright Star, a feast of Romantic poetry and music featuring the works of Keats and Schubert.
Told through spoken word and solo piano, this timeless tale of love, loss and redemption follows the story of three childhood friends, Enoch Arden, Philip Ray, and Annie Lee. Enoch and Annie marry and start a family, but after Enoch is shipwrecked on an island for ten years, he returns home to find his soulmate Annie remarried to his best friend Philip, believing Enoch to be dead. Heartbroken when he learns of Annie and Philip’s relationship and of their child together, Enoch must decide whether to intervene or to leave the two lovers to their lives together, sacrificing his own happiness in the process.
Described by Bell as “a moving and dramatic tale of shipwreck, loss and redemption – very satisfying theatre”, Tedeschi similarly says audiences should expect of Enoch Arden, “A tragic, tempestuous, romantic tale accompanied by music of genius. Half chamber music, half theatre.
Bell, long heralded as a major creative force in the Australian theatre scene and named one of Australia’s National Living Treasures, is delighted to be performing with a musician as accomplished and masterful as Tedeschi. He says, “I love working with musicians; I love being up close and watching their technique and feeling the visceral presence of the instruments… I’ve admired Simon for a long time; he’s a bit of an entertainer and showman as well as being a great pianist. Of one thing I can assure you: Simon’s performance of Strauss’ expressive and at times exquisite score is good enough reason to have a listen.”
Premiering in 2018 is Bright Star which traces the life, love and genius of John Keats and Franz Schubert – two bright stars who were ascendant in late 19th century Europe. They were contemporaneous geniuses who never met– but both died young and both loved a woman they could never marry because they were too poor. In this theatrical presentation John Bell and Simon Tedeschi renew their triumphant partnership (following the success of “Enoch Arden”) to present a feast of Romantic poetry and music including Schubert’s Sonata no.18 in G major (‘Fantasie’).
Simon Tedeschi and Roger Benedict, viola
An extraordinary and exciting partnership between Simon Tedeschi and Roger Benedict, principal viola of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Roger Benedict has worked as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player, teacher and conductor all over the world and worked with some of the very greats. Together with Simon, they perform some of the greatest works for Viola and Piano – from Schubert to Schumann, Brahms to Shostakovitch.
“Whispers of awe and exclamations of praise could be heard amongst the buzzing crowd…every note sparkled in its new surrounds” – Blue Mountains Gazette