I love heading along to Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s Launch each year. It’s a chance to hear from the dynamic Alondra de la Parra, to listen to snippets of music from the upcoming season and hear anecdotes about the artists and instruments we can look forward to in next year’s program. Each year brings different delights and 2019 is no exception with a greater emphasis on Australian works and artists, a greater diversity of instruments being showcased and new Maestros, as well as former well -loved season favourites to look forward to. There really will be something for everyone!
Queensland Symphony Orchestra audiences will be treated to 10 magnificent Maestro concerts, a spotlight on Australian composers and will be showcasing concertos for harp, clarinet, guitar, oboe, cello, trombone, double bass, viola as well as piano and violin. Alondra de la Parra says she hopes audiences will go home loving one piece of music and being puzzled by another.
Artist – in – residence is the English pianist – Paul Lewis, who is hailed as one of the greatest pianists of the 21st century. Paul will perform in four concerts and be recording in the more intimate studio sessions. Paul is an expert in the music of great masters, particularly Beethoven. This will be his debut with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.
Soprano, Queenslander – Morgan England Jones will be back performing with Paul Lewis in the first of the Maestro series with Heavenly. This will be performed on February 16 under the baton of Alondra de la Parra. Other Maestro concerts are Romeo and Juliet with conductor Diego Matheuz and as an added treat French harpist – Marie Pierre Langlamet.
Dreamscapes arrives in April featuring the work of celebrated Australian composer Elena Kats Chernin, followed by Copland’s concerto for clarinet performed by Italian Alessandro Carbonare.
In May much loved performer Piers Lane, who first came to perform with QSO forty – two years ago is back on piano in the epic Cathedral of Sound. He is followed in June by Soulful Journeys conducted by Daniel Blendulf with soloist Spanish cellist, Pablo Fernandez.
Unusually there will be a Viola soloist – Nils Monkemeyer playing in July’s Great Symphony and in August Alondra de la Parra returns to take up the baton for New World featuring majestic music inspired by America. Guests at the launch were excited to listen to the lively Appalachian Springs from this concert. It was one of my favourites!
Romance and Revolution will see Alondra team up with Artist- in – Residence Paul Lewis to perform Australian composer Paul Vine’s V – an orchestral fanfare, plus Beethoven and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 in B flat. October sees the return of Brisbane born – Ray Chen an acclaimed violin superstar who returns with the aptly named Ray Chen Returns featuring the music of Bach, Handel and Mendelssohn in what promises to be a memorable evening.
The final in the Maestro series for November will be a music lover’s dream – Tchaikovsky and Beethoven with Alondra de la Parra conducting and the exciting Serbian violinist Nemanja Radulovic to solo in a concert of breathtaking beauty.
Excitement is already building in my house for the Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire in Concert opening the year on February 9. Tickets to this event always sell quickly so go to Ticketek to secure yours.
The Last Night of the Proms is this year showcasing Australian and British music and a unique event which Alondra was excited to reveal was the Latin American Gala on August 17 which is an orchestral sound off like no other with guitarist Yamandu Costa. The concert is based on a love of Latin American football and as a proud Alondra said, “paying homage to when they won the World Cup.” After having just been in France and seeing their celebrations upon winning the football World Cup I know this concert is sure to raise the roof!
Paul Lewis in Recital will feature a feast of piano masterpieces, including Haydn, Brahms and Beethoven up close and personal in the Queensland Symphony Orchestra studio. Get your tickets early for this intimate concert. Finally in November, Lewis and de la Parra will perform again together in Timeless, the closing gala.
Music on Sundays
For those who like a more relaxed musical session – the much loved Music on Sundays may be just the ticket. The year offers five outstanding concerts including Animal Kingdom featuring favourites like Flight of the Bumble Bee, Sounds from the Deep with classical guitarist Karin Schaupp sharing watery tales or Toys and Puppets featuring one of my favourites, talented double Bassist Phoebe Russell as a soloist playing her iconic Lion Head Bass.
Chamber Players Series
Guests at the launch were treated to a magnificent performance of Beethoven by the Chamber Players featuring a string quartet led by the talented Bernard Hoey on Viola. Violinist Rebecca Seymour revealed that being a part of the Chamber Players, “ Allows the players to extend ourselves and play with friends. We choose the music ourselves and it’s more intimate.” This year even sees a full trumpet ensemble. There are five Chamber Players concerts to choose from.
Voice is not forgotten with two epic Choral events being staged. First is Opera Gala featuring a night of Verdi and Puccini under the guidance of Italian born conductor Giovanni Reggioli with soloists Natalie Aroyan ( soprano) and Kang Wang ( tenor) plus the Brisbane Chorale. The second is the much – loved Handel’s Messiah with soprano- Sara Macliver, mezzo soprano -Helen Charleston, tenor- Gwilym Bowen and bass baritone- Laurence Williams performing with the Brisbane Chamber Choir.
Wave And Excite
The celebrated Wave Festival will return with modern sounds, technology and the hottest contemporary acts with poets, hip hop artists, beatbox artists and electronic musicians in this cutting edge music event not to be missed. Excite will roll out a great mix of new and familiar family works especially geared towards the kids in your life.
The 2019 Queensland Symphony Orchestra season promises to be one of their best yet, so whether you come along to relax, feel the room shake or to make your spine tingle there is something for everyone. Subscriptions are available from August 15 with individual tickets on sale from October 29. The Launch gave us a little taste of what’s in store with voices from before and voices from today. Under the enthusiastic baton of Alondra de la Parra the energy and music on show promises to be a treat for the senses with some diverse soloists and a colourful range of music.
Freelance writer, wife and mother of three sons, occasional supply teacher and aspiring romance author, Michelle Beesley can be most often found in a coffee shop chatting with friends or beside a rugby field cheering on her favourite teams.
Michelle is a prolific—albeit reluctant—traveller, keen walker, bookworm and yoga enthusiast who loves anything pink or sparkly (including champagne!).