CSO Goes South starts this week×
Image: Concertmaster of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, Kirsten Williams at Tuggeranong Arts Centre. Photo: Martin Ollman, 2023

CSO Goes South: A Twilight Soiree with Kirsten Williams and Edward Neeman

Concert Details

WHEN: Thursday 9 March, 6:00pm – 7:00pm

WHERE: Theatre, Tuggeranong Arts Centre

TICKTS: $35 Standard, $30 concession and $25 Student

BOOKINGS: Please click here to book

CSO Goes South: A Twilight Soiree with Kirsten Williams and Edward Neeman offers a French inspired program featuring: Debussy Sonata in G minor for Violin and Piano, Fauré Violin Sonata No. 1 in A major, op. 13. and Amy Beach Ballade, op. 6.

‘There is no theory,’ Debussy famously declared. ‘Pleasure is the law!’

While Debussy strenuously rejected the association, some have drawn parallels between his music and the French Impressionist painters. The Impressionists were more concerned with the essence of a thing than its substance; this program explores that shimmering, transparent quality that we often associate with nostalgia and fond remembering.

From the opening bars, Debussy’s virtuosic G minor violin sonata reveals its depth of character. Dancing between light and shadow, this melancholic work is punctuated by bursts of sunny optimism and exuberance.

One of the leading keyboardists of his time, Gabriel Fauré premiered his First Violin Sonata with violinist Paul Viardot, to whom it was dedicated – this perhaps explains the unusually demanding and virtuosic piano part. Vibrant, charming and lively, this gloriously lush work of Romantic French music showcases the composer’s distinct and original voice.

The program also includes the work of American composer and pianist Amy Beach. The solo piano work Ballade Op.6 (1894) was written as an elaboration of a song she had previously composed, My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose.  It is characterised with passionate and powerful harmonies which bring vibrant colour to her unique melodic expression.

The Artists

Kirsten Williams


One of Australia’s leading violinists, Kirsten Williams has performed widely as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician, in concert and on ABC radio. In 2019, she was appointed Concertmaster of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra. In 2021, she led the Australian National University’s Women in Music program.

Kirsten studied with Alice Waten at the Sydney Conservatorium and with Igor Ozim in Switzerland. She then joined the Royal Opera House Orchestra at Covent Garden and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, touring and recording widely. On returning to Australia, Kirsten was appointed Associate Leader of the Australian Chamber Orchestra. She has also appeared as guest Concertmaster of the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, the Sydney Philharmonia and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. From 2000–2019, Kirsten was Associate Concertmaster with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. 

A dedicated teacher, Kirsten has a central role in the CSO’s Kingsland Pathways Program, leading the Canberra Symphony Youth Chamber Orchestra for advanced players aged 12 to 19, and working with the Kingsland Fellows. She has also worked with the Sydney and Australian youth orchestras and has joined the teaching staff at the Australian National University’s School of Music. 

Kirsten has a passion for music for healing: she has recorded two CDs for the Australian Bush Flower Essences and, in 2014, was named Volunteer of the Year for her work playing in the Intensive Care Unit at Westmead Children’s Hospital. That same year, she became patron of the Goulburn Strings Project, designed to bring music education to children in low-socioeconomic, regional contexts.

Edward Neeman


The Australian-American pianist Edward Neeman has performed across five continents. Critics have lauded him as a ‘true artist’ with ‘an excellent technique’ who ‘isn’t afraid to put a distinctive stamp on whatever he touches, without resorting to mannerism.’

A top prize-winner of numerous international piano competitions, including first prize in the Joaquín Rodrigo Competition in Madrid, Edward has appeared as a soloist with the Prague Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, Canberra Symphony, Kentucky Symphony, Symphony of Northwest Arkansas, and the American West Symphony, among others.

An enthusiastic collaborative artist, he has performed with musicians including Itamar Zorman, Kristian Winther, the New Zealand String Quartet, and members of the JACK quartet. Edward has made numerous piano duet arrangements for the Neeman Piano Duo, in which he performs with his wife, the Indonesian pianist Stephanie Neeman.

Edward holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Australian National University, a Master of Music from the Manhattan School of Music, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The Juilliard School. His teachers have included James Tocco, Jerome Lowenthal, Solomon Mikowsky, and Larry Sitsky. He is on the piano faculty at the Australian National University in Canberra.


Additional concerts in the series include: CSO Goes South: Piano Trio featuring Kirsten Williams (Violin), Patrick Suthers (Cello) and Edward Neeman (Piano) on Thursday 25 May (book here), and CSO Goes South: A String Quartet with Kirsten Williams (Violin), Doreen Cumming (Violin), Tor Fromyhr (Viola) and Sam Payne (Cello) on Thursday August 31, 2023 (book here). More information will be available soon.

With thanks

This concert has been made possible through a new collaboration with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra

We need your support

Tuggeranong Community Arts Association is a community-based not-for-profit organisation with a 25-year history. We pride ourselves in supporting your local arts community. We embrace personal expression and diversity. We have a focus on participation and accessibility and helping to shape a sense of pride in the local community. You can help us by joining us in promoting community art and supporting local artists.

Help us to support your arts community