What's On Upcoming Events2023 / 2024

Variations on Goldberg Variations (Keyed Up! #1)

Main Stage

J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations is one of the most famous works in the Western canon. Our Variations on the Goldberg Variations reflects on Bach’s singular achievement through a contemporary lens. In the first half of the program, four living Canadian composers each write 7-8 variations for a total of 30 new variations, each preceded by a rendition of Bach’s original. The composers represent not only a diversity of aesthetics, but the newly-composed variations will alternate continuously between piano, harpsichord, organ and electronic keyboard. J.S. would have loved it!

In the second half, the distinguished Australian composer and pianist Paul Grabowsky returns to Soundstreams nearly a decade after appearing with his boundary-breaking Australian Art Orchestra. This time he creates his own extraordinary, jazz-inflected response to Bach’s eternally beautiful theme. Performed 36 times across Australia last season, The Sydney Arts Guide had this to say: “In this improvisation, jazz gesturing alternated with hand-crossing, complex filigree. Paul Grabowsky’s playing was effectively reminiscent of Bach’s ecstatic workings in his thirty variations.”