Thoroughbass in The Birch Tree: Shaun, Angus, Lucy, Jo, Diana. Photo by Shaun Ng

Thoroughbass is an early music ensemble whose members play period instruments, but who have trouble staying in the past. Established in 2009 by director and harpsichordist Diana Weston, the ensemble loves to perform contemporary music as much as that of bygone eras - giving new sounds to music of the present and recent past, while staying true to their early music background. The result is varied, innovative and original repertoire and some fascinating concerts.

 

‘When you attend a Thoroughbass concert the listener can be assured of two experiences.  You will be introduced to some infrequently played compositions spanning all historical music periods, and the intimate setting will allow you to have your hand taken as you walk through the unusual and captivating musical landscape.

 

They now have a number of recordings to their credit, all available from the website. In addition, Diana’s interest in poetry and art has resulted in some gorgeous productions – a toddler’s introduction to music with Magpie Baby Book and CD and a unique publication – an ebook Backyard Friends.

 

Concerts 2018

Three individual and very different programs are on the agenda for 2018

Semele

The myth of tells of the fiery destruction of Semele, beloved of Zeus, but unable to resist challenging the veracity of his true nature. This dramatic cantata by Elizabeth Jacquet de la Guerre is sung by soprano Amy Moore.  Trio Sonatas by Rebel and Marais, performed by Stephen Freeman (violin), Shaun Warden (violin), and Shaun Ng (viola da gamba), round out this all-French program.

Latino Love Affair

A mix of contemporary and early music, with Latin overtones. Now a regular visitor to Australia, Michael Tsalka returns for another season performing concerti, duos and solos by composers from round the world – Toia, Piazzolla, Escande, A. Scarlatti, JS Bach and many others, Support on the ground comes from Thoroughbass’ violinists Shaun Warden and Shaun Ng, viola player Tara Hashambuoy, cellists Lucy Cormack and Angus Ryan, and harpsichordist Diana Weston.

Bach’s Gamba Sonatas

Shaun Ng and Diana Weston explore the complexities and intricacies of Bach’s three sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord. These are contrasted with two lyrical ones by his youngest son Johann Christian Bach – a generational world apart.


Diana is proud to be the recipient and supporter of new music. Here are some of them:  

 - Nadje Noordhuis for Magpie Baby: A Childhood Suite (commissioned by Diana Weston, 2012/13)

- Ann Carr-Boyd for Flying West (gifted by the composer, 2013/14)

 - Elena Kats-Chernin for The Birch Tree (commissioned and gifted by Dr Paul Ryan, 2014)

 - Ann Carr-Boyd for Suite for Diana (commission, 2014 for the recording The Birch Tree)

 - May Howlett for Flutter-by, my Butterfly for the recording The Birch Tree (commissioned 2014)

 - Ann Carr-Boyd for Crimson Rosella: suite for 2 harpsichords (commission, 2015).

 - May Howlett for Tilting at Windmills (gifted by the composer, 2017).

 - New works gifted to Dr Michael Tsalka for the recording Lady Huang's Album: Gabriele Toia/Variations on a Ground (2016); Max Yount/Sonatine (2016); Leonardo Coral/Tocatta (2016); and to Diana: Benjamin Thorn/Underground Currents and Diana Blom/Lady Huang's Album (2017) 

In addition artworks for various projects:

-          -  Kymba Burrows for illustrations for Magpie Baby book (commission, Diana Weston, 2013/14)

-           - Isabel Doraisamy for front cover of Blue Skies, Magpies and Goldfish (commissioned, 2013),

-           - Chiaki Namura for Akhnaten scent (commissioned by Alex Moskvin, gifted by International Flavors and Fragrances)

-          -  Isabel Doraisamy for artwork for Akhnaten (commission, 2013) and artwork for Cock Crow (commission, 2016)

-          -  Kymba Burrows for sketches for Bird in the Orchard set of greeting cards, set to a poem by Diana Weston (commission, 2016).

 - Isabel Doraisamy for the cover-art for Lady Huang's Album (commission, 2017). 


 In rehearsal for Phaedra: Shaun, Julia, Tara, Steve, Cathy, Angus, Lucy, Hester, conductor Sarah