East Meets West In Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons

Triple ARIA award-winning Egyptian-Australian Joseph Tawadros stars in: East meets West in Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons 9- 23 February.

joseph tawadros

Joseph Tawadros

Triple ARIA award-winning Egyptian-Australian Joseph Tawadros is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and virtuoso of the eight-stringed Arabic oud, the sensually pear-shaped long-lost forerunner to the guitar.

A household name internationally in classical and world music, The Australian hailed him as a “musical explorer” and “major league player”. In this concert, Tawadros brings with him the sounds of the near East in a selection of works from his hit album, Permission to Evaporate, as well as new works written for the ACO which explore the crossroads of oud and string orchestra.

The Sydney Morning Herald said of Permission to Evaporate: “An instrument is like a painter’s brush, and the limits are of the heart and imagination, not of prescribed traditions and techniques. Herein lies the wonder of Tawadros’ 11th album – using that same brush he has created not just new pictures, but new colours in which to paint them.”

Tawadros pulled off a hat trick with his third consecutive ARIA for World Music for Permission to Evaporate. The album was recorded in just two days in New York working with a super group of musicians, including triple Grammy Award-winning American bassist Christian McBride, American premiere electric jazz-rock guitarist, Mike Stern, one of Australia’s leading keyboardists, Matt McMahon, along with his fine-fingered percussionist brother, James Tawadros.

Eye-catching with his waxed moustache and bowler hat, Tawadros is notching up new and diverse honours. He won the 2014 NSW Premier’s Multicultural Award for Arts and Culture, and was 2014 NSW Finalist for Young Australian of the year. Tawadros has a keen comedic sensibility, and his quick wit and mid-song banter both delights and disarms audiences. He’s toured with Akmal, and we recently saw him in fun-filled action as guest presenter on the red carpet at the 2014 ARIAs.

In this concert, Tawadros and Richard Tognetti explore musical connections between East and West, interweaving tracks from Permission to Evaporate with Baroque masterpieces including Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. A runaway success when first published, The Four Seasons has eclipsed most every other instrumental work of the Baroque era in popularity.

Richard Tognetti said “Is there a more ingenious collection of concertos than Vivaldi’s Four Seasons – the contest between harmony and invention? I don’t think so!”

Playing an old warhorse such as Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is about contextualising – I feel strongly that there are direct influences that the Venetian composers had from the Middle-East: Africa through the Arabian Peninsula” said Richard Tognetti. “It’s been a dream of mine to marry the music of Egyptian classical musician Joseph Tawadros with Venetian Baroque music.”


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