Hayes Street Beach isn’t the only hidden gem in Neutral Bay. Just steps from Thelma and Louise and the ferry wharf lies a world-class live music venue that hosts intimate concerts every weekend.

Distinguished musicians and co-directors, Lee Dionne (Yale University) and Rosie Gallagher (The Juilliard School and The Royal Academy of Music) took a risk and opened this intimate space – called Hayes Street Studio – in May 2023.

“We’ve hit the creative jackpot…,” Rosie says. “What started with an initial concert featuring some Brahms four-hands, flute, and nyckelharpa, has snowballed into weekly chamber concerts that feature the most exceptional musicians in Sydney.”

The studio is no larger than a living room, yet bursts with creativity and warmth, even fitting an impressive grand piano. Rosie says, “Over the past year, we have introduced stage and lighting effects to capture an exciting concert ambience while maintaining our trademark quirkiness and warmth that has lived with us from the beginning.”

hayes street studio

One of the studio’s distinctive qualities is its intimacy. With a capacity to seat just 30 guests, attendees find themselves mere breaths away from the performers and can feel the emotion and dedication poured into every note. Unlike your typical concert stage, performers are close enough to chat directly with the audience about their music and answer any questions about the evening’s program.

“We believe that excellent live music should be able to be shared up close and personal without paying $200 to hear it at the Opera House,” Lee explains.

In its first six months, Hayes Street Studio has hosted 31 concerts, performed 84 pieces of music and welcomed 23 musicians onstage. Some of the most renowned artists include classical violinist Kristian Winther, cellist Chris Pidcock, oboist Sarah Young, guitarist Andrew Blanch and Persian tar virtuoso Hamed Sadeghi.

Above: Hayes Street Studio founders Lee Dionne (left) and Rosie Gallagher (right)

“Our programming usually includes multiple artists on a single show, presenting everything from Beethoven piano sonatas to Piazzola tangoes, Irish folk tunes to original jazz numbers and arrangements of David Bowie,” Rosie explains.

As Lee and Rosie pursue this musical journey, they hope to continue highlighting Sydney’s local talent, pushing boundaries with multidisciplinary collaborations and welcoming international artists in 2024.

hayes street studio

“Modern life is designed to alienate us from one another, but at Hayes Street, we have witnessed the power of bringing together strangers to have a shared experience. Music is a language we can all speak, and our concerts hope to spark questions and connections, spoken aloud or not,” Rosie says.

Moreover, Hayes Street Studio is not just about performances – it’s a musical hub for the community offering private lessons in piano and flute Mondays through Thursdays, as well as occasional creative workshops for children and adults on select weekends. You can find out more here.

Where: 11 Hayes St, Neutral Bay NSW 2089

Contact: 0493 393 616

Website: https://www.hayesstreetstudio.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hayesstreetstudio/

 

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