Van Diemen’s Band ★★★★½

Melbourne Recital Centre

The Age, reviewed by Cameron Woodhead

Crossing borders can be a difficult and dangerous proposition these days, as the pandemic and the war in Ukraine have made only too clear. In a superbly imaginative and deeply engaging program devised by violinist Julia Fredersdorff, Tasmanian early music group Van Diemen’s Band traverses geographical and stylistic borders through seventeenth-century Europe adding complementary contemporary resonances that tellingly link art to life.

The Age May 2022

An exemplar of baroque musical performance ★★★★★

State of the Art Magazine reviewed by Aryan Mohseni | May 3, 2022

This concert was a yardstick by which others should be compared. It went beyond the likes of Bach, Handel and Vivaldi, great as is the homage we all owe to them, to show us the richness of the early Baroque, and all in a way that gave an opportunity for each member of the ensemble to shine. Van Diemen’s Band is an ensemble that ought to be more known, and the mainland deserves to be graced more by its presence.

State of the Art Magazine May 2022

An inspired exercise in musical curation, expertly delivered ★★★★★

Adelaide Town Hall, Adelaide

Reviewed by Chris Reid | 29 April, 2022

When initially conceived, the theme of this concert, entitled Borderlands , addressed cultural borders of a bygone era and, by analogy, borders generally (including COVID-induced borders).  But the recent advent of the Ukraine war has given greater emphasis to the theme of war and contested borders that emerges from these composers’ lives.

Limelight Magazine April 2022

Van Diemen’s Band crosses the borderlands with exquisite results ★★★★

City Recital Hall Sydney

Sydney Morning Herald, by Harriet Cunningham | 2 May 2022

What is the relevance of a group of virtuosic musicians fastidiously recreating music of 17th century Europe for a twenty-first-century audience in Australia? Is it escapism? Consolation?

Sydney Morning Herald May 2022

Musica Viva: Van Diemen’s Band ‘Borderlands’

City Recital Hall, Sydney

Sydney Arts Guide, reviewed by Paul Nolan

As a concert concept, Borderlands, with its connotations of cultural sharing, division, battle and even distance, isolation or loneliness is a meaty, still-relevant and emotional one indeed. It is always a special thrill when early music consorts collaborate with contemporary composers and juxtapose centuries of treatise-consulting, authentic instrument tone with exciting modern performance techniques and ingenuity.

Sydney Arts Guide May 2022

Concert Review: Van Diemen’s Band/ Musica Viva

City Recital Hall, Sydney

Sounds Like Sydney reviewed Stephen McCarthy | May 12, 2022

The six musicians of the Tasmanian Baroque ensemble Van Diemen’s Band presented a concert themed on composers who wrote across stylistic and national borders. It’s a curious concept whose, main thread of interest was how well the idea could be realised through the music.

Sounds Like Sydney May 2022

‘Borderlands’ manifestly defined the mood of current times

City Recital Hall, Sydney

Classikon reviewed by Jane Downer | May 10, 2022

For Julia Fredersdorff (Van Diemen’s Band’s Artistic Director) living in Tasmania, the initial idea for Borderlands arose from the shutting down of Australian state borders, which led to thoughts of isolated lands and country extremities. 

Classikon May 2022

Concert of delicious sounds, colours and places

Llewellyn Hall, Canberra

Canberra City News, reviewed by Rob Kennedy | 12 May 2022

DESCRIBED as Australia’s baroque supergroup, Van Diemen’s Band is made up of early music specialists who create a sound so rich and authentic, it is like being transported to the Elizabethan era.

Canberra City News May 2022

A byword for excellence

Conservatorium Theatre, Griffith University

O’Connell the Music, reviewed by Clive O'Connell | May 8, 2022

The name is Tasmanian but some of this ensemble’s personnel are off-islanders; not many of us, and only some of this group, have enjoyed the gift of moving away from the modern plague to a serene retreat in the uttermost south.

O'Connell the Music May 2022

Van Diemen’s Band are bringing down the borders

Seesaw Magazine, reviewed by Penny Shaw | 27 April 2022 

Baroque ensemble Van Diemen’s Band offer a timely program that addresses issues around the shifting nature of borders.

Seesaw Magazine April 2022