Why Space Time?

In 2009 when the University of Newcastle Chamber Choir won Channel Seven’s Battle of the Choirs competition, our wonderful benefactor, Jennie Thomas, started talking of holding an event of similar impact that would reflect the Conservatorium’s music program, one which promotes the future while cherishing musical tradition. It was decided to hold an innovative International Concerto competition that would also help celebrate the Newcastle Conservatorium’s 60th birthday in 2012.

The title, The International Space-Time Concerto Competition comes via Leonard Bernstein, the great conductor and composer, who said: “Any great art work … readapts time and space.” Music exists in time and space. Time is the backbone of music, separating one note from the next, and marking the points at which individual sounds are brought together to make the whole. Spaces are crucial too. They might be concert halls, church balconies, the position of stereo speakers in a room, or virtual spaces such as the internet. With today’s technology, music can be performed across multiple spaces at the same time.

In April 2012, musicians and composers were invited to compete for prizes worth over $50 000 in one of two categories: The Historical Category, featuring concerto music from the Baroque era (1650-1750), Classical/Romantic era (1750-1900) and Modern/Postmodern era (1900-1990s) and an Innovative Category (1990s-2012), featuring novel approaches to the visualization of concertos, and the use of digital resources, including modern remixes of traditional compositions, the use of non-traditional instrumentation and the mixing of musical genres.

Short lists were chosen for both categories in June. On 30 November and 2 December, the grand finale concerts will take place at the Harold Lobb Hall at the University’s City Campus as well as a number of locations overseas. Come and join us for one of the cutting-edge musical events of the year.