Ironwood is a renowned Australian period-instrument ensemble lauded for its historically-informed exploration of repertoire from the late-Renaissance to the late Romantic eras as well as its support of newly commissioned works.
Established in 2006, the ensemble draws on a wealth of experience and expertise bringing together specialist leaders in the field. Core members are Rachael Beesley, Robin Wilson, Julia Fredersdorff, Anna McMichael, (violins), Daniel Yeadon (cello) and Neal Peres Da Costa (historical keyboards).
Ironwood has its own subscription series, presented at the major festivals and concert series around Australia, and has toured Europe and America. With several innovative recordings on the ABC Classics and Vexations840 labels, Ironwood is regularly broadcast nationally on ABC FM and around the world. Ironwood has partnered with Musica Viva and has collaborated with The Song Company and Ensemble Offspring, exploring both old and new music in wide-ranging contexts. Ironwood has presented programs for the Historic Houses Trust of NSW, The Biennale of Sydney, the Resonate series at the Art Gallery of NSW, Peninsula Summer Music Festival and Ballarat Goldfields Festival. Ironwood has presented recitals at American Brahms Society Conference (New York, 2012), the Reactions to the Record IV Conference (Stanford University, 2014), the University of Colorado (Boulder, 2014), the Royal College of Music (London, 2015), the Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester, 2015) and Pegasus Early Music (US, 2012/2015).
Ironwood’s concerts and recordings are regularly broadcast on ABC Classic FM. Its discography includes The Bach Album – Oboe Concertos with Diana Doherty for ABC Classics, 2010, Songs for the Shadowland – music by Paul Stanhope with soprano Jane Sheldon for ABC Classics, 2010, Baroque Duets with Fiona Campbell and David Walker for Vexations 840, 2011, and Fairest Isle – (music by Purcell and Handel) with Miriam Allan for ABC Classics, 2012.
Ironwood’s recordings featured in a sound design by Jeremy Silver for a new Australian play I Want To Sleep With Tom Stoppard by Toby Schmitz for Tamarama Rock Surfers Productions, nominated for best new work in the Sydney Theatre Awards 2012.
Ironwood’s core members are highly-experienced educators at tertiary music institutions including the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the Victorian College of the Arts, and the Australian National Academy of Music, and as key personnel within arts organisations such as the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra. Ironwood has been closely involved in the Australian Youth Orchestra’s Chamber Players programme. Ironwood has an ongoing relationship with the Bundanon Trust Artists in Residence programme and, in collaboration with festivals and educational institutions, runs Developing Artist programmes in Victoria and NSW. The members of Ironwood have helped to create national networks for young HIP artists and to establish new groups and events such as the Australian Haydn Ensemble, The Muffat Collective, Pearl & Dagger Opera, Gut Instincts, and Sydney Baroque Music Festival.