The cello is a bowed string instrument of the violin family. Its four strings are usually tuned in perfect fifths: from low to high, C2, G2, D3 and A3. Music for the cello is generally written in the bass clef, with tenor clef or alto clef, and treble clef used for higher-range passages.
The cello enjoys a large solo repertoire with and without accompaniment. As a solo instrument, the cello uses its whole range, from bass to soprano, and in chamber music such as string quartets and the orchestra’s string section, it often plays the bass part, where it may be reinforced an octave lower by the double basses.
Where to go in Melbourne if you are in the market for a cello? A passion first and a business second, Ferguson Strings in East Brighton creates cellos, violins and violas using traditional methods.
Born in Liverpool, England, founder Tom Ferguson immigrated to Adelaide in the 1970s, where he worked as a production engineer. Upon retirement and inspired by his love for music and woodwork, Tom decided to follow a long held passion to make musical instruments. Early instruments were made from traditional European maple and spruce timbers, but later Tom began creating designs using rare Australian timbers (some of them 2500 years old) to produce instruments delighting with a sound equal to their European counterparts.
Tom made over 120 instruments – many of which were copies of Stradivarius and Guarneri –before leveraging his engineering background and woodcraft skills to create his own design, ‘The Ferguson’. Each instrument is uniquely made from Australian timber to create an exquisite tone. and deliver a superior sound, Types of woods used include Huon pine, celery pine, king billy pine, kalantas cedar, alpine ash and selected eucalypts. Future generations will marvel at these magnificent creations.
Cellos are extraordinary instruments that are capable of producing the most glorious sounds at the hands of extraordinary musicians. Cue the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, an ensemble truly passionate about period music of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Founded in 1989, the Brandenburg has become a leading voice in the Australian cultural landscape, embracing a historical era full of passion, electrifying vitality and artistic excellence.
The orchestra’s name pays tribute to the Brandenburg concertos of J.S. Bach, renowned for his musical genius. Performing with traditional instruments from the period – cellos, violins and violas – the Brandenburg breathes fresh life into Baroque and classical music to deliver unforgettable performances. Music includes work from well-known composers like Bach, Vivaldi and Mozart mixed with some lesser-known but equally as fascinating musicians such as Zelenka, Corrette and Merula. Today, with five ARIA awards for Best Classical Album under their belt, the Brandenburg’s celebrated musicians collaborate with some of the world’s leading talents and have performed more than 1000 concerts nationwide.
We are also so fortunate to have the musical mastery of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO), right here on our doorstep. The nation’s first professional orchestra, the MSO has been the sound of the city of Melbourne since 1906. It was the first Australian orchestra to perform overseas in 1965 and the first to debut at Carnegie Hall in 1970.
MSO regularly attracts great artists from around the globe including Anne-Sophie Mutter, Lang, Renée Fleming and Thomas Hampson, while bringing Melbourne’s finest musicians to the world through tours to China, Indonesia, Europe and the United States. Committed to shaping and serving the city it inhabits, the MSO regularly reaches beyond the customary classical audience by collaborating with artists such as Sting, Brian Cox, Nick Cave, Kate Miller-Heidke and Tim Minchin. From its home at Hamer Hall and free summer concerts at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, to its Secret Symphony performances at mystery inner-city locations, the MSO continues to inspire a broad range of audiences with more than 160 concerts a year.
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