C13 The Children’s Crusade
Thursday, 4 May 2023
Printers Way, Kingston, ACT 2604
Benjamin Britten’s pacifist manifesto tells the story of 55 children orphaned at the outbreak of war in Poland in 1939, traversing the snow together, battling hunger and conflict as they search for a land where peace reigns.
Triggered by one of Berthold Brecht’s most poignant poems, Britten’s work is a stark reminder of the impact of war on children. Its message is sung by children: Canberra’s own Luminescence Children’s Choir.
Stories of children at war go back centuries, as do many folk and fairy tales. Charles Perrault’s collection of 1697 contains many of most popular fairy tales, from Sleeping Beauty to Red Riding Hood. They inspired Ravel to write one of his most magical scores.
The concert finishes with a recent rendition of a touching letter written by Sam Weiss’ great-grandmother to her little girl Nelly, as they were leaving Berlin in 1936.
Maurice Ravel, Ma mère l’Oye (Mother Goose Suite) (1910)
Berthold Brecht, The Children’s Crusade (1939)
Benjamin Britten, The Children’s Crusade, based on B. Brecht (1969)
Sam Weiss, Deine Mami (2021)
Sally Walker, flute
James Wannan, viola
Luminescence Children’s Choir, directed by AJ America
Stephanie and Edward Neeman, piano
Veronica Milroy, organ
Veronica Bailey, Thomas Chalker, Valdas Cameron, Oliver Feitz, Demi Katheklakis and Emma Piva, percussion
Christopher Carroll, narrator
ARTIST Learn more about the artist
Artist Edward Neeman
The Australian-American pianist Edward Neeman has performed across five continents. Critics have lauded him as a “true artist” with “an excellent technique” who “isn’t afraid to put a distinctive stamp on whatever he touches, without resorting to mannerism.” A top prizewinner of numerous international piano competitions, including first prize in the Joaquín Rodrigo Competition in Madrid, second prize in the Southern Highlands International Piano Competition, and third prize in the World International Piano Competition, Dr. Neeman has appeared as a soloist with the Prague Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, Kentucky Symphony, Symphony of Northwest Arkansas, and the American West Symphony.
Dr. Neeman’s debut album, Rachmaninoff & Sitsky, was released to wide acclaim in March 2016. Other recordings include a performance of the Concierto para piano by Joaquín Rodrigo with the Prague Philharmonic. Edward recently recorded Australian piano solo works for the ABC Classics in 2020. He performs regularly with his wife Stephanie Neeman as the Neeman Piano Duo, and has made numerous original arrangements for this ensemble.
After completing his undergraduate studies in Australia with Larry Sitsky, Edward studied in the United States and was awarded his doctoral degree from the Julliard School. He is a member of the currently a piano faculty at the Australian National University in Canberra.
Edward Neeman is supported by Christine Goode
Artist Stephanie Neeman
Dr. Stephanie Neeman is an active international performer and has performed to critical
acclaim across the United States, Asia, and Australia. Stephanie has won virtually all major piano competitions in Indonesia, including the first prize in the prestigious Yamaha National Piano Competition. She won first prizes in the Empire State International Piano Competition and the Lillian Fuchs Chamber Music Competition. She was also a top prizewinner and won the prize for the best interpretation and outstanding performance of Franz Liszt at the Liszt-Garrison International Piano Competition in the United States.
Dr. Neeman received her Bachelor and Master of Music at the Manhattan School of Music and her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from CCM at the University of Cincinnati as a scholarship student of James Tocco. She is currently the head of the piano department at ELMS Conservatory of Music in Jakarta and has previously served as the CEO/Artistic Director of Music for Canberra (Canberra Youth Orchestra).
Stephanie Neeman is supported by Christine Goode