About Selby & Friends
Selby & Friends presents “chamber music at its best” (SMH) with six subscription seasons around Australia in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide, Turramurra and the Southern Highlands, each presented five times per year. Australian pianist Kathryn Selby, AM, created the concert series in 2007 and her guest artists include many of the finest solo and ensemble performers from Australia and around the world. The series is widely considered “world class” and of “the highest possible level of performance” with many hailing Ms Selby as not only an “entrepreneurial force” but amongst the finest of Australian artists. She was awarded the ‘AM’ as part of the Australia Day Honours, 2013.
Selby & Friends originally began as a series of concerts introducing music to children presented by Kathryn Selby at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney with a second series for general audiences in the evening, supported by IBM Australia from 1988-1993. Re-established in 2007 as a new, nationally touring series with Selby and invited guest artists, Selby & Friends has continued to present concerts of the highest quality with stunning reviews and a large and loyal audience. ABC Classic FM and the MBS network record for broadcast each tour program.
Selby & Friends is unique in that it was amongst the first in Australia to feature the artists speaking directly from the stage about their personal experiences, historical and amusing anecdotes, creating an intimate and long-lasting connection with audience members that is reflected in the consistent loyalty of returning patrons. Selby & Friends is also unique in that it is the only Australian series to mentor brilliant young Australians in a touring capacity so as to learn from within an ensemble with artists older and more experienced. Selby & Friends is also unique in that it was the first Australian series to encourage children to learn about chamber music by inviting kids 14 and under to attend the concerts for free.
Our goals are to present memorable experiences with world-class events, to support young people in a learning capacity and to help them reach their professional potential, and to support Australia’s cultural life as a vital balancing element within strong communities. To that end we have been extremely successful as our strong subscriber base, mentoring programs and consistently stunning reviews from audience and critics alike (and our popularity with national radio broadcasters) will attest.
Our 2019 Season marks 30 years since pianist Kathryn Selby returned home from the US and began creating concerts around Australia. S&F is thrilled so many who joined Kathy then are still enjoying our concerts now and we are always delighted to welcome new patrons to our ‘family’! The coming season welcomes back many old friends with whom we have shared memorable moments and introduces a virtuosic new guest as part of my program of supporting young artists on their professional journey.
We bring back another program of all-Beethoven by popular demand and continue to investigate why music moves and often defines us as human beings with fascinating works by Ravel, Britten, Clara Schumann, Scriabin, Elena Kats-Chernin, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and much more.
The big news in Canberra is our move from the limited seating at the NGA (~300 seats), to the beautiful Llewellyn Hall in special Chamber Music Mode with its intimate, reserved seating format (~ 500 seats) and all other areas blocked off. For many years the S&F seasons here have been sold out by subscription. We are delighted to now have the space to invite more patrons to enjoy our concerts in the purpose-built acoustics of this superb concert hall. We also look forward to returning home to the recently refurbished venue at Chevalier College in the Southern Highlands.
“I’m especially excited about the 2019 Season – with wonderful friends returning in new combinations, and new colleagues joining us, the music will be both joyful and thrilling to explore. Our audience is our inspiration from whom we derive as much pleasure as the performance of the music. We all cannot wait to get started,” says Selby.
We invite you to celebrate the 2019 season with us!
"titans of chamber music..." - 2018 Adelaide Advertiser May
"Tight ensemble work and three master musicians at the top of their game ensured that this was an excellent evening of chamber music featuring works seldom heard." - Daily Telegraph, March 2018
"It's a commonplace that Selby and Friends always deliver the goods at a high standard, but even by that measure, the Proud Folk concert in their third tour of the year was a cracker." - Adelaide Advertiser 2017
"As music with nowhere to hide, this is tricky stuff indeed, but these three players delivered a blockbuster performance that had the audience literally cheering." - Limelight Magazine 2017
"Yesterday, in the hands of Selby and her latest friends, cellist Clancy Newman and violinist Grace Clifford, I think I heard Dvorak’s quirky, lumpy, gushy, graceful trio as I’ve never heard it before. This was the real thing." - SMH 2017
“This was first-class chamber music from all involved, with scarcely a moment of insecurity or incoherence. It is to Selby’s credit that she is able to employ an ever-changing ensemble of musicians, whilst maintaining a symbiosis that most established piano trios would kill for. There are few musicians in the country who could achieve this so consistently.” - Dylan Henderson, Limelight, June 2016
“The successful blend and closeness Selby achieves with her trio performers despite them being guests and not a permanent ensemble is always to be greatly admired.” - Paul Nolan, Arts Hub, April 2016
“Put all … elements of this night together and you had a solid taste of Beethoven’s accomplishment across a productive span of 22 years, delivered with remarkably few slips and an impressive breadth of interpretative insight.” – Clive O’Connell, September 2016
"… At every point, this trio [Park, Newman, Selby] showed their partnership was far from an ad hoc arrangement but a true alliance of like minds in a congenial collegiality of top-notch quality.” – Clive O’Connell, April 2016
“In her concert tours Kathryn Selby has created a space in which the audience experiences living music introduced with personal reflections on the repertoire by each of the performers. It is a unique intimacy, and the consistently full houses she plays to are a testament to the wise choice of presentation for her chamber music concerts.” – Jennifer Gall, Canberra Times, February 2015
“The consistent quality of Kathryn Selby's concerts make her offerings always something to anticipate.” – Martin Duffy, The Age, November 2014
“This was chamber music playing of the highest quality…” – Peter McCallum, SMH February 2015
“Mendelssohn's Sonata for Cello and Piano No 2 impressed for the unanimity of approach from both artists – uncompromisingly ardent in its opening, a mischievous scherzo and Selby's superbly voiced Adagio chorale marvellously introducing [Clancy] Newman's exquisite, lyric cello.” – Martin Duffy, SMH/The Age, February 2015
“This is exactly what chamber music is meant to be: intimate, conversational, captivating, the music of friends, and a thoroughly enjoyable, personal experience. Kathryn Selby, with friends like these, we can’t wait for the 2014 season.’ – Gordon Forester, GLAMAdelaide, November 2013
“It is a measure of the spell cast by these performers that the transition from second to third movement, and from third to fourth, passed with scarcely a noise from the auditorium; just the sound of 1000 people holding their breaths. This is chamber music at its best. Hear them if you can.” – Harriet Cunningham, SMH, July 2013