Andrew Sinclair delights in WASO’s waltz through A Night in Vienna


Andrew Sinclair. Pictures: Andrew Ritchie d483406
Andrew Sinclair. Pictures: Andrew Ritchie d483406

THE music of Johann Strauss Jr. is as ingrained in the culture to the people of Vienna as Cold Chisel or Australian Crawl is ingrained to Australians.

This is what Australian double bass player Andrew Sinclair came to realise while living in the Austrian capital for 10 years.

“Up until then the waltzes and polkas and music of Johann Strauss Jr. was the music I’d play at weddings and I didn’t really take it so seriously,” Sinclair said.

“Living there helped my music in that it gave me an appreciation for where all of these compositions were premiered and also the psyche of the people that the music was being written for.”

Growing up in Brisbane, Sinclair was given the option at school to play double bass because he was “tall, had big hands and my parents had a big car”.

He moved to Vienna with his wife in 1996 to further his studies, planning to stay for a year and only knowing how to count to 10 in German.

Ten years later, Sinclair had become fluent in the language and played with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and Vienna Symphony Orchestra.

He said he was surprised at how large the music scene in Vienna was; it was so big he never crossed professional paths with WASO artistic director Asher Fisch, who was living only a street away.

“We’ve had many discussions about the different coffee shops and bars that we used to go to, just not at the same time,” Sinclair, who teaches at UWA and WAAPA, said.

“Asher completely understands this music as well.”

Sinclair moved from Vienna to Perth in 2007 to join WASO as principal bass.

“Vienna was a fantastic place to live professionally and it’s a beautiful city, but my wife and I wanted to raise a family and give them the same sort of opportunities of living in the Australian outdoors to what we had when we grew up,” the father of two said.

WASO will perform concert A Night in Vienna on June 15 and 16 in the Perth Concert Hall.

The program will include music by Johann Strauss Jr., Fritz Kreisler and Richard Strauss.

It will open with Der Fledermaus by Johann Strauss Jr. which Sinclair said reminded him of New Year’s Eve in the Vienna Opera House, where it is played annually.

THE ESSENTIALS

What: A Night in Vienna

Where: Perth Concert Hall

When: June 15 and 16

Tickets: www.waso.com.au