Perth Chamber Orchestra presents Bach by Candlelight


Hayley Rowntree. Picture Andrew Ritchie.
Hayley Rowntree. Picture Andrew Ritchie.

LEARNING to play the recorder at school was something many students and parents had to endure.

But for Hayley Rowntree, it was the start of her music career.

“My brother already played the violin and my parents wanted me to learn a different instrument, so flute seemed like a natural progression,” she said.

She upgraded to the flute when she was 10 years old and by 14 she had launched her performance career, playing principal flute with the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain and performing as a concerto soloist with the Gloucester Symphony Orchestra at just 16.

After finishing school, she attended the Edith Cowan Conservatorium of Music (now WAAPA) and has since earned herself a reputation as one of Perth’s finest and most respected flautists, playing with many of the city’s premier classical ensembles, including the WA Symphony Orchestra, Perth Symphony Orchestra and Perth Chamber Orchestra.

She also teaches at a schools and in her home studio.

She is now preparing to join the Perth Chamber Orchestra to bring the music of one of the world’s greatest composers to life in Bach by Candlelight.

Taking place in the heritage-listed St George’s Cathedral, the performance promises classics with a twist, featuring a jazz saxophonist and the cathedral’s West Organ.

Led by co-artistic directors Jessica Gethin (conductor) and Paul Wright (concertmaster), the evening will also feature WA actor James Hagan as Johann Sebastian Bach, giving an insight into 18th century Germany and the world as Bach knew it.

Rowntree will play in two pieces: Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 and WF Bach Sinfonia.

Rarely played in Perth, Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 will feature two solo flautists, with Emily Clements joining Rowntree on stage, as well as a solo violin, string orchestra and harpsichord.

“It’s not one of Bach’s most popular Brandenburg Concertos,” Rowntree said.

“Because the composition was written for solo violin, two flutes and strings, it is quite unusual scoring and therefore hasn’t been feasible.”

She said it was an honour to be performing one of the solos.

“The way Bach has so expertly and exquisitely put the composition together, and as it was originally written for a wooden flute with one key, Bach certainly pushed the instrument to its limits,” she said.THE ESSENTIALS

What: Bach by Candlelight

Who: Perth Chamber Orchestra

When: 6.30pm, August 31

Where: St George’s Cathedral, Perth

Tickets: www.perthsymphony.com