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Courtenay Cleary in Recital

Sunday 28 March, 2021
Gandel Hall, National Gallery of Australia, 2pm

This event is sold out.

Courtenay Cleary Violin
Alex Raineri Piano

Francis POULENC Sonate pour violon et piano, FP. 119
Béla BARTÓK Violin Sonata No. 2, sz. 76
Arthur BENJAMIN Sonatina for Violin and Piano

Complimentary afternoon tea following the recital

“Francis Poulenc wasn’t one to shy away from politics in his music. Penned in France during World War Two, this violin sonata was provocatively dedicated to the Spanish poet Federico García Lorca, thought to have been assassinated during the Spanish Civil War either for his socialist leanings or his sexuality. Each movement references Tea for Two, a popular song banned by the occupying Nazi forces. Devastated by Ginette Neveau’s tragic death shortly after her rapturous premiere of the work, Poulenc revised the final movement, weaving in the gut-wrenching phrases for which the piece is now known.

Béla Bartók too found himself at odds with the rise of fascist powers, many of his later works bearing the weight of war and oppression. This earlier work is filled with fragments of traditional Hungarian folk melodies, juxtaposed with violent outbursts of passion and anger.

Described by the composer as a work of ‘charm and gaiety rather than of philosophical import,’ Arthur Benjamin’s mischievous violin sonatina is actually one of his more harmonically complex works.”

Courtenay Cleary


Box Office
If you have received tickets in the post, please show them on entry for contactless checking. If you have not received your tickets due to postage delays, CSO ticketing staff will check your name off at the door. This concert is sold out.

When to arrive
Please around around 1.30pm for a 2pm start. Please allow plenty of time for parking as there is a major exhibition currently running at the National Gallery of Australia (NGA).

Cloaking is available on the ground floor of the NGA.

Free weekend parking available in the underground carpark off King Edward Terrace and above ground carpark off Bowen Drive. Limited mobility parking available in both carparks (assisted lift access to the NGA via underground carpark only).

Concert programs
Program notes are included in the first edition of rest, the new CSO print magazine. Copies will be available for purchase ($10 – card only). Subscribers receive one complimentary copy per concert ticket – please bring your program vouchers.
Program notes are also available online at

Complimentary afternoon tea will be served following the recital.

The recital will run for approximately one hour without interval.


We are working closely with Gandel Hall to deliver a COVID-safe concert experiences for musicians, staff and patrons.

  • Do not attend if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or if you should be self-isolating or in quarantine.
  • Give each other space – regardless of seating configuration, please be mindful of physical distancing as you move around the venue.
  • Practise good hand hygiene, including washing hands frequently with soap and water and covering coughs / sneezes with a tissue or your elbow. Hand sanitiser will be provided.
  • Check in on arrival using the Check In CBR app. QR codes will be displayed at the entrance to the National Gallery of Australia.

For more information about CSO COVID-safe measures and our COVID-19 ticket exchange policy, visit

Information specific to the NGA is available at

We encourage patrons to stay up to date with ACT Government advice via

Presented by The Aerie at Narrabundah, by Lendlease

Image: Pia Johnson