Winter Dreams – 4th June 2023

By Madeleine Murray

THE WONDERFUL Northern Rivers Symphony Orchestra will be regaling us with Chopin piano nocturnes and the famous Schubert Trout Quintet on June 4.
To add to the pleasure, the Winter Dreams concert on Sunday will include afternoon tea.

Pianist Jonah Patuto will play Two Nocturnes, Op 62 by Chopin, followed by Franz Doppler’s Andante et Rondo for two flutes and a piano.

“This Nocturne is quite personal to me,” Jonah told The Weekly. “It’s an ‘adult’ piece, not necessarily in difficulty, but certainly in emotional depth which at times makes it difficult to empathise and then make yourself vulnerable on stage to present to an eager audience. But I find it extremely fulfilling and nourishing for the soul, and I’m hoping the audience does too.”

Jonah is a Melbourne-born classical pianist currently studying at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University under Natasha Vlassenko and Oleg Stepanov.

The keen solo and chamber musician has performed for various local eisteddfods, festivals, and special events, notably in immersive theatre with Allsorts Productions, and regular engagements with The Brisbane Club.

The talented pianist won the Ruby C Cooling Prize, and was a finalist in the Basil Jones Sonata Prize.

After the break for afternoon tea, the ensemble will play Schubert’s famous Trout Quintet, with Ayesha Gough on piano, Hugh Won on violin, Katherine Hopkins on cello, Elias Kokkoris on double bass, and Dawn Bennett on viola.

“There’s nothing like making music with others, and knowing that both audience and players are mesmerised by the result,” Dawn told The Weekly.

Assistant provost of Bond University, Dawn began professional life as a musician in the UK where she played viola in the Darius Trio of viola, clarinet and piano. The trio played the concert circuit for several years, and also ran an agency for young musicians not yet signed with an agent.

Dawn has played with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Canberra Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, and West Australian Symphony Orchestra. She has also commissioned and recorded solo and duo music by Australian women composers.

Franz Schubert wrote the Trout Quintet when he was only 22 years old. The fourth movement is a set of variations on Schubert’s earlier work, Die Forelle, a song warning young women against the dangers of being ‘caught’ by ‘angling’ men. Hence the name Trout Quintet.

Winter Dreams will be at the Tweed Heads Civic Centre at 2:30 pm, Sunday, June 4. Tickets at or at Murwillumbah Music. Enquiries 0478 012 324.