City Hall serves up lunchtime menu of music

08 Oct 2019

Talented local musicians and the resonant tones of a Steinway grand piano are providing the perfect recipe for a lively lunch during a month-long series of free concerts being held at City Hall.

The performances will showcase a range of musical genres, with today’s concert featuring some of the world’s finest classical compositions performed by accomplished music students from across Newcastle.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the free lunchtime performances provided a fantastic opportunity for the community to engage with one of the city’s iconic cultural assets.

“Newcastle is blessed to have such a wonderful cultural heart, with the art gallery, library, Civic Theatre, City Hall and museum all within walking distance of each other within the Civic precinct,” the Lord Mayor said.

“These concerts encourage locals and visitors to explore beyond the stunning sandstone façade of one of the architectural jewels in our crown to enjoy the unique acoustics and stunning 1920s architecture of City Hall’s magnificent concert hall.”

Civic Theatre Manager Leonie Wallace said the free performances were also designed to support the wealth of local talent within the city.

“The concert hall has a history of live music events and is a renowned classical music venue, however it was also a popular venue for dances, big band events and other performances,” Ms Wallace said.

“We hope to continue these past traditions by inviting our communities to access the space, while also furthering our commitment to support artists within in our community by giving local musicians the opportunity to perform at our magnificent venue.”

Following this week’s recital of Chopin, Beethoven, Brahms and others, the Steinway will be put through its paces on 16 October with a performance by mezzo-soprano Kathryn Dries and pianist Michael Power, before the free concerts come to a close on 23 October with the next generation of classical musicians from Newcastle Grammar School.

Ms Wallace said if the initial series of concerts proved popular, there was an opportunity to establish a twice-yearly program with autumn and spring recitals coinciding with the relevant school holiday periods.

All performances run from 12.30pm to 1.15pm, with audiences invited to bring along their lunch and enjoy the free musical entertainment.

Image: Frenchman St Jazz Band