Karin Schaupp and Umberto Clerici

The first of three Musica Viva concerts for 2018 was a sell-out and proved to be a memorable occasion, with the audience enjoying an exquisite evening of music from Karin Schaupp (guitar) and Umberto Clerici (cello). The day before, Karin gave a workshop on performance nerves and anxiety, showing why she is one of Australia’s preeminent authorities on the phenomenon known as “stage fright”. At the same time, Umberto delivered an afternoon of masterclasses to some of our aspiring young cellists, with timely advice on stylistic interpretation and technique.

Prior to the actual concert, the pair answered questions from an enthusiastic gallery of music lovers, then took to the stage for two hours of spell-binding duo music, with the audience demanding an encore. At times throughout the evening, it was easy to forget that you were listening to just two stringed instruments on stage. Often times Umberto took the cello into a range usually reserved for violas and violins, while Karin alternated between imitating a piano accompaniment to taking the lead, with many harp-like melodies in slower passages contrasted with exciting virtuosic playing in faster pieces.

It was wonderful to see so many of our young musicians in attendance, with Umberto remarking afterwards, “…the best thing was having so many young music students at the concert, and this is 100% merit to NECOM”.