Imaginative ways to share live music
Live at the Great

Imaginative ways to share live music

As a conductor and performer, what do you do when you're stuck in Sydney due to the COVID19 pandemic? Find imaginative ways to share live music of course!

Live at the Great concert in April this year.
Live at the Great concert in April this year.

With the disruption to live entertainment over much of 2020 and 2021, many artists have had to come up with creative solutions. So acclaimed Australian husband and wife conductor Vladimir Fanshil and soprano Eleanor Lyons decided to find places where they could share their music intimately with audiences.

Finding themselves in Sydney with their young family as COVID-19 lockdowns began last March, Fanshil and Lyons were unable to return to their adopted home of Vienna.

They were determined, however, to preserve the spark of live music performance.

What began as a modest project performing in lounge rooms to audiences of just 20 guests all over Sydney, Live at Yours has grown to include regional tours, the ACT and smaller venues including cafes, art galleries and, in a coup for the Jewish community, The Great Synagogue.

As many community members would know, The Great Synagogue has wonderful acoustics. Last year Fanshil ran three inspirational Live At Yours concerts at The Great Synagogue. The experience is not just about the exquisite music and sublime acoustics, but is a full multi-sensory immersion with changing-coloured lighting of the columns and starred ceiling that sets the mood for each piece.

Lynn Niselow, general manager of The Great Synagogue, said “the synergy of our heritage-listed architecture lit up in colour with the embracing acoustics and live music vibrations create an unforgettable concert experience”.

Live at the Great concert held at The Great Synagogue in June this year.

For Fanshil, the concerts help unite the community.

“They are the perfect way to bring the Jewish community together over fine music in a venue close to our hearts,” he said.

“These concerts have also been a great opportunity to open up to the broader community and invite them in and showcase The Great’s magnificent heritage building, outstanding acoustics and Jewish culture.”

The first Live At The Great concert in February will officially launch The Great Synagogue Foundation and will feature concert pianist Konstantin Shamray and cellist Umberto Clerici in a program titled Kol Nidrei. This will be followed by Bach to Bolling, Enigmatic Gershwin and Folk Tales and Legends.

Rabbi Benjamin Elton, chief minister at The Great Synagogue, is excited by the program.

“The Live at The Great concerts have been a highlight of the past year, filling the synagogue with beautiful music and hundreds of people to enjoy it. We are looking forward to next year’s season – we are all in for a treat.”

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