Robert Manley cello

How long have you been a student at ANAM?
Just this year

What have you chosen to perform for your recital?
I’m doing the whole Schumann concerto as well as a couple of Australian works, the first of which, the George Boyle cello sonata, I came across through ANAM in one of our Australian Voices performances this year. It’s now one of my favourite pieces so I was very lucky to be scheduled on for it. The other Australian piece is by well-known Canberra based composer, Larry Sitsky, called Improvisation and Cadenza, which was originally intended as his cello concerto – it’s just for cello alone. And a couple of classics from Bach’s sixth suite to open the show.

How long have you been preparing?
It differs for each piece; The Schumann has been an on-going project this year. This semester I’ve been working on the second and third movements. It’s not tremendously long but the material that’s packed in makes it one of the hardest concertos. There also exists a violin version

The Boyle sonata I worked on intensively earlier this year and revived it recently. The Sitsky has been sitting in my cabinet for 15 years – I was an ambitious young kid, saw it looked hard and I thought ‘I’ll play that’. I wanted to take on the challenge. I found a 1994 recording of it by David Pereira – as far as I know it’s the only recording of it. It hasn’t been played for about seventeen years.

What are you most looking forward to in your recital?
Probably playing middle movement of the Boyle sonata, it’s one of my favourites. For me it’s a welcome respite from the rest of the repertoire – wallowing in the late romantic gestures. It’s really a rich, juicy piece.

What’s the hardest thing about presenting a solo recital?
I’ll be completely honest – opening with Bach’s sixth suite, which is written for a five string cello. It also requires stamina and pacing and arranging the program wisely, making sure it’s evenly spaced so that you’re not playing all the most difficult pieces blocked together. I’ve saved the big concerto for last.

What’s your post concert ritual?
I’m not sure if it’s a ritual but I’m lucky that my mum and girlfriend are coming from down from Brisbane for the day, so I’m sure I’ll be going out for a drink with them – and spending some rare moments away from ANAM!

Finally, Favourite ice-cream?
Either boysenberry or hokey-pokey

Robert Manly
Wednesday 7 November, 2PM

Bach Allemande and Gigue, Suite No. 6 for unaccompanied cello
Improvisation and Cadenza
Boyle Cello Sonata
Cello Concerto 

Robert Manley cello


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