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  • Helen Gramotnev


Think Brisbane Music Festival is for classical music lovers only? An Evening with Amy on Friday evening proved otherwise. Combine an amazing musical voice, a one-man woodwind orchestra, and a versatility genius on the keyboard, and you get a concert of brilliant music and entertainment suited to any audience.

Alex Raineri (piano and the artistic director of the festival), Luke Carbon (woodwind virtuoso), and Amy Lehpamer (Helpmann award winning singer) brought a unique collection of classic hits to which you could sing along. With her easy presence and relatable humour, Amy effortlessly took the audience through well-known hits from musicals and movies, where each song was a delightful surprise, bringing both end-of-year reflection, and that warm fuzzy comfort that comes with positivity and familiarity.

While Alex showcased his capacity to handle an enormous keyboard repertoire, Luke proved that juggling woodwind instruments is indeed possible. Clarinet? Maybe a base clarinet? A piccolo? Maybe even a saxophone? Nothing is out of reach to this young musician, and he entertained the audiences by swapping between three or four instruments in one song!

With songs by Sondheim, Porter, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Bacharach, Cohen, King, and Gershwin, this concert was a treat for sentimentalists who enjoy a quality performance of a well-known classic. For me, this was a trip down memory lane of an early winter I spent in New York City, bringing back warm and fuzzy memories of the amazing vibe of the city. And for music and composition enthusiasts, there were some amazing instrumental arrangements, prepared and performed by Alex and Luke, to complete this well-rounded, uplifting program.

As the Brisbane Music Festival is nearing the end of its 2022 program, there is one final weekend of some amazing classical and contemporary music, running from Thursday 15 until Saturday 17 December.


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