Southern Cross Soloists 2023 QPAC Concert Series announced

Stars of Australian chamber music, Southern Cross Soloists (SXS) will collaborate with superstar guest artists to celebrate the romance and nostalgia of journeys in their Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) 2023 Concert Series, with tickets on sale now.

Featuring musical masterpieces of great beauty and extravagant drama, each of the three concerts will showcase principal SXS musicians and international and Australian guest artists.

Two concerts will include world premieres of new Australian works for didgeridoo and chamber music ensemble continuing the important work of the SXS Didgeridoo Commissioning Project launched in February 2022.

SXS Artistic Director Tania Frazer reflected on memories that journeys create, staying etched in a memory forever.

“Throughout history, composers and musicians were often extensive travellers and these constant journeys have frequently been the inspiration behind some of the greatest masterpieces in classical music,” Ms Frazer said.

“Our 2023 QPAC Concert Season explores this notion as we embark on a musical voyage through Paris and the heartland of Central Europe to the Americas.

“We are excited to welcome back our Guest Artist in Residence, acclaimed and award-winning, Russian-Australian concert pianist Konstantin Shamray, who wowed audiences in our QPAC concerts in 2022 with his incredible artistry, alongside our virtuosic Didgeridoo Soloist in Residence Chris Williams and our superb core line-up of talented soloists.

“We are thrilled to have two incredible superstar artists joining us for the first time: Australian jazz-great James Morrison and Grammy award-winning American guitarist, John Jorgenson, who are both collaborating with Chris Williams to compose new works as part of the ground-breaking SXS Didgeridoo Commissioning Project in 2023.

“On 26 February, we present City of Lights: From Paris, with Love, exploring the elusive allure of Paris, a temporary home to many great composers and famous musicians and artists over the centuries. We explore works by Gluck, Mozart and Prokofiev written when they were living in Paris, alongside masterworks of the great French composers Debussy and Ravel.

“For this program, inspired by the most romantic city in the world, we are joined by SXS Artist in Residence Konstantin Shamray, acclaimed Queensland violinist Courtenay Cleary, Portuguese flute soloist David Silva, and young Brisbane-born cello soloist who has just recently returned from living in Paris, Guillaume Wang.

“On 18 June, we present From the Heartland:Vienna to Budapest, offering a musical odyssey through the heartland of Central Europe to the musically rich countries of Austria, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic, showcasing the vibrant and colourful traditional folklore of their people.

“Featuring works by Liszt, Fischer, Bartók, Lutoslawski and finishing with a foot-stomping new ‘SXS-take’ on the traditional Hungarian Czardas, we are delighted to feature Australia’s renowned jazz trumpeter James Morrison in his first composition and solo performance for SXS, in collaboration with SXS Didgeridoo Soloist in Residence Chris Williams, as part of SXS Didgeridoo Commissioning project.

“We close our 2023 season on 22 October, with The New World, in a program showcasing the unique melting pot of cultures and musical genres of the Americas, from Dvorak’s works inspired by African American spirituals to Caroline Shaw’s Pulitzer Prize® winning string quartet Entr’acte and the great Argentinian tango master, Astor Piazzolla.

“The captivating program features crowd-favourites; Rhapsody in Blue by Gershwin, Artie Shaw’s jazz-inspired clarinet concerto and Copland’s ballet Rodeo, a piece that perfectly conveys America’s distinctive landscape,” Ms Frazer said.

“It is an immense pleasure to have Grammy Award-winning American guitarist, John Jorgenson making his performance and composition debut with SXS alongside our Didgeridoo Soloist, Chris Williams for the SXS Didgeridoo Commissioning Project.

“Jorgenson has recorded or toured with an impressive list of artists including Elton John, Tommy Emmanuel, The Byrds, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Jonny Cash, Emmylou Harris and Luciano Pavarotti and we could not be more excited to have him join SXS for our last concert of the year at QPAC.

“Let your wanderlust take hold and be transported as you join SXS for the ultimate musical journey of discovery at QPAC in 2023!” added Ms Frazer.

Passionate exponents for commissioning new Australian music and renowned for fostering creative partnerships with leading international soloists and composers, SXS have commissioned to date over 125 world premiere new works.

Balancing a breathtaking virtuosity with vibrant storytelling and unique, considered artistic programming, SXS is a collective of some of Australia’s leading instrumental soloists.

Company in Residence at QPAC since 2009, SXS will deliver in 2023 its 14th QPAC Concert Series and mark 28 years of excellence in music making.

Tickets are on sale now from QPAC’s website.

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