2015 Queensland Music Festival

Dabba YarrabilAs the Queensland Music Festival (QMF) enters its second week, cities, towns and remote corners across the state will unleash the power with a spectrum of musical encounters from classical to gypsy, Indian Kirana gharana and opera, transforming lives through music. Arts Review takes a look at some of the performances on offer.

Mount Isa Celebrates
Thursday 24 and Friday 25 July 2015
Mount Isa Celebrates will bring together a star-studded line-up of performing artists, with an impressive array of instrumental and vocal talent born and bred in the city, performing the world premiere of Australian composer Matthew Dewey’s brand new work. Headlining both performances will be jazz star James Morrison, stunning vocalist Emma Pask, violin virtuoso Ian Cooper, renowned concert pianist Ambre Hammond and musical wonders the John Morrison Trio.

Cooper & Hammond: Classics, Gypsy and Jazz
Saturday 25 July to Saturday 1 August 2015
Australian classical violinist Ian Cooper and inimitable pianist Ambre Hammond will fly across Far North Queensland and Cape York, painting a musical landscape that encompasses not only classical but a vivacious blend of gypsy and jazz for Cooper & Hammond: Classics, Gypsy and Jazz concert.

Twilight in the Red Box
Friday 24 and Friday 31 July 2015
Bringing a series of captivating chamber performances to the State Library of Queensland’s stunning riverside Red Box. The Twilight in the Red Box concerts are dedicated to supporting Queensland’s next generation of musicians, and are curated by cellist Patrick Murphy from The University of Queensland (UQ).

Dabba Yarrabil our languages our songs
Saturday 25 July 2015
Dabba Yarrabil will invite crowds to join them at Kuril Dhagun (State Library of Queensland) in celebration of Queensland’s traditional languages, music and song. The celebration will share their songs in five different Indigenous languages and highlighting the importance of contemporary song in encouraging family language use.

Opera at Jimbour
Saturday 25 July 2015
QMF and Opera Queensland (OperaQ) are expecting crowds of more than 8,000 people to flock to a Western Downs paddock for one of the state’s most iconic free music events, Opera at Jimbour. The popular event will present a semi-staged concert version of Johann Strauss’ Fledermaus, performed by OperaQ soloists, its Toowoomba Community Chorus, and Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Andrew Mogrelia.

Unrepresentative Swill, Sing, Prime Minister
Wednesday 29 July 2015
Topology and The Australian Voices will take words from famous speeches delivered by Australian Prime Ministers converting them into a musical suite in Unrepresentative Swill. From Menzies’ Declaration of War to Whitlam’s Well May We Say; Abbott’s, A Stain on Our Souls to Gillard’s Misogyny speech; powerful words from pivotal moments in our nation’s history will be married seamlessly to an overlay of stirring music and choral work.

Billie & Me – Wendy Matthews Sings Billie Holiday
Thursday 30 July 2015
In the centenary year since Billie Holiday’s passing, this evening of classic songs will allow for an intimate and introspective translation of some classic and not so classic Billie Holiday pieces, an iconic woman whose soul and music has long been admired.

James Morrison with special guests Megan Washington and Marian Petrescu
Friday 31 July 2015
Trumpet maestro James Morrison will join forces with ARIA Award-winning songstress, Megan Washington, and the fleet-fingered genius of Romanian jazz pianist, Marian Petrescu, for a monumental performance. The trio of geniuses will share the stage for the first time ever and thrill audiences with an evening of musical brilliance and sheer talent.

A Faure Foray
Saturday 1 August 2015
Known for their innovative approach and presentation of high quality performances, DeClassified Music will feature the Australian Piano Quartet in their first concert of 2015, fresh from their triumphant debut at London’s Barbican Centre. The Sydney -based group has quickly established a reputation as one of Australia’s premier and most exciting chamber music ambassadors.

Under this Sky – Logan’s Musical Celebration
Saturday 1 and 2 August 2015
The largest community production in its history, showcasing the ambition and talent of more than 700 Logan locals from the culturally diverse South East Queensland city. Under This Sky explores a day in the life of the pulsing City of Logan, boasting original rousing musical numbers written by and for the community, and spectacular choreography accompanied by a booming orchestra.

Keys to the City
Continues to Sunday 2 August 2015
A large-scale, unique social musical event that will see digital pianos pop-up around 40 locations in Brisbane – from parks to libraries, beachside to city street and the highways and hills, inviting Brisbane residents to come and play encouraging everyone from young to old, beginner to virtuoso, solo performers to ensembles of any kind participate.

Country Song
Continues to Saturday 8 August 2015
Country Song is inspired by true life experiences of Indigenous singing superstar Jimmy Little. This Queensland Theatre Company world premiere will offer a witty and warm musical journey, celebrating healing and the power of song.

“Music has the power to move people and transform lives, and QMF is passionate about bringing sublime sounds to people wherever they are in the state,” says Artistic Director, James Morrison. “The geographic scale and musical legacies created by QMF’s monumental regional projects make the festival unique in Australia, and possibly the world.”

The Queensland Music Festival continues to Sunday 2 August 2015. For more information, visit: www.qmf.org.au for details.

Image: Dabba Yarrabil