For Australian classical performer Leanne Glover, there are strong links between the musicality of the human voice and the oboe, the chosen instrument of her professional life in music.
It is the ties between these two forms of expression which afford her an even deeper understanding of the music she plays onstage for a living.
“The control of the breath and the physical sensation of playing a lyrical line on the oboe can help me connect to the emotional story in the music,” she says. “I try to think of it as just an extension of my voice.”
That musical voice will soon be heard at the Perth Concert Hall in a special guest appearance for the Western Australian Charity Orchestra’s upcoming concert Planet Earth: Our World in Music. A selection of works chosen to reflect the beauty of the natural world, and the importance of protecting its longevity, the concert will feature Glover on cor anglais for the Western Australian premiere of Ella Macens’ Glass Ocean.
Inspired by the majesty and delicacy of the seas across Macens’ native Australia, Glover knew that she wanted to play it as soon as she heard it. “It combines beautiful, soaring spontaneous melodies with mournful, questioning, aching lines. It is powerfully evocative and is written so perfectly for the cor anglais. I love it.”
A recipient of the Dr. V.H. Cooper Prize for Most Outstanding First Year Student, Glover achieved her Bachelor of Music with first class honours from the University of Western Australia. Following placements in Amsterdam and Zurich, where she studied under Hans de Vries, and Emmanuel Abbuel and Thomas Indermuhle, respectively, Glover has since returned to Perth. It was here that, until her retirement in 2022, she held a permanent position with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra for thirty-two years.
That connection to music and performance within Western Australia has been a staple of her professional life. Glover remains a keen supporter of the state’s active arts scene, in spite of its often being overlooked in favour of larger creative hubs on the east coast.
“I think we are incredibly lucky to have such a high calibre of artists all living and performing here,” she says. While she concedes the state capital is an isolated city, Glover also offers, “People make a choice to live in Perth … I think because of this there is a love and commitment evident in our arts community which has built a wonderfully creative and dedicated arts scene. As a performer this offers some fantastic opportunities to be involved in varied projects and to be stretched in many different directions. I love that.”
Planet Earth marks Glover’s first performance with WACO, though she has previously entered the orchestra’s orbit by other means. Having held positions teaching oboe at UWA and the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Glover in fact taught WACO’s Creative Director & Conductor Samuel Parry. “I’ve known him for many years,” she says, “and have only the deepest respect for him. It is a total pleasure to be playing this concerto with him and his orchestra.”
Planet Earth: Our World in Music will be held at Perth Concert Hall on Saturday, July 15th, at 7:00 pm. Book your tickets at perthconcerthall.com.au or call the Box Office on 9231 9999
Interview & article by Liam Heitmann-Ryce-LeMercier
Artist Headshot: Supplied.