Queensland Music Festival announces 2015 program

QMF_Megan Washington, James Morrison and Marian PetrescuQueensland Music Festival (QMF) will unleash the power of music with a spectrum of musical encounters from classical to gypsy, Indian Kirana gharana and opera in 26 cities, towns and remote corners across the state from 17 July 2015.

Eleven world premieres, hundreds of workshops and performances, international stars including the world’s finest double bass player Edgar Meyer and Romanian jazz pianist Marian Petrescu will feature in the biennial festival, while thousands of Queenslanders will take part in epic regional events.

In a QMF first, Keys to the City will see pods of pianos pop-up at locations across Brisbane, inviting everyone to come and play. Brisbane residents will be able to book their 15-minutes of fame online or walk-up to a vacant piano and play. Special guest performers will also surprise and delight audiences across the city.

QMF Artistic Director and trumpet maestro James Morrison said the Festival was all about transforming lives through music and he was excited to reveal this year’s program.

“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,” said Mr Morrison. “We will fly artists to the furthest flung regions of Cape York, see one of the world’s most remote symphony orchestras perform in Mount Isa, and bring together hundreds of Logan locals in a musical celebration of their multicultural city.

“The geographic scale and musical legacies created by QMF’s monumental regional projects make the festival unique in Australia, and possibly the world.”   In an unmissable event at the Queensland Conservatorium, virtuoso double bassist Edgar Meyer will perform his own work – the famed Concerto for Double Bass and Orchestra – and his interpretation of the Bottesini Concerto No.2 performing with the Camerata of St John’s – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra.

The Grammy Award-winning artist will also take to the stage with James Morrison and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) for the world premiere of renowned Finnish composer Max Savikangas’ new Double Concerto for Trumpet, Double Bass and Symphony Orchestra. He will further perform live on ABC Classic FM’s Sunday Recital program, as well as hold a very special masterclass with budding gifted double bass students.

In a match made in heaven, James Morrison will unite with Romanian virtuoso jazz pianist Marian Petrescu and Australian songstress Megan Washington, in a return to her jazz roots, for a night of sheer musical brilliance marking the beginning of a national tour.

Powerful words and musical brilliance collide as Queensland’s Topology and The Australian Voices create a provocative narrative inspired by famous Prime Ministerial speeches made throughout Australian history, narrated by Adam Spencer and directed by Gordon Hamilton.

Other highlights include two of India’s finest musicians – veena player Jayanthi Kumaresh and classical singer Pandit Kaivalyakumar performing Spirit of India in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast – and Twilight in the Red Box sees three nights of sublime chamber performances in the State Library’s intimate riverside room.

Under This Sky, QMF’s largest community event to date, will see more than 700 Logan locals perform in two epic free outdoor concerts showcasing a day in the life of the multicultural South East Queensland city.

Mount Isa Celebrates is the result of a 16-year partnership with QMF and will see the Mount Isa Community Ensembles (MICE), with guests artists from Queensland Symphony Orchestra, perform the world premiere of Australian composer Matthew Dewey’s latest work, inspired by the remote mining city titled Symphony of the Inland Sea.

Two regional tours will see world-class musicians – Emma Pask with the John Morrison Trio, and Ian Cooper and Ambre Hammond – take to the skies in an 8-seater aircraft to perform in 12 of Queensland’s most remote locations. From Birdsville, located 1,500 km west of Brisbane with a population of less than 100, to Atherton in the Far North, and off the mainland to Palm Island, residents will enjoy free Latin, jazz, soul, classical and gypsy music concerts and workshops from some of the best musicians Australia has to offer.

Opera at Jimbour featuring Opera Queensland soloists and the Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra will see Johann Strauss’ Fledermaus (aka – The Bat) brought to life against a beautiful Western Downs backdrop. In a first for Jimbour, audience members will be invited to join in the famous ballroom scene, donning masks and waltzing to the orchestra.

One Hundred and One Years (1914-2015) in Townsville and Brisbane will commemorate the sacrifice made by our armed forces and celebrate the peace that we enjoy today. Celebrating the spirit of reconciliation, respect and symbolically binding those who were once adversaries, QMF will present the world renowned Saxon Wind Philharmonic from Germany in their Australian debut.

Score IT!, a film-scoring competition for budding film composers judged by James Morrison and renowned Hollywood film composer Cameron Patrick, will culminate in a live performance of the winning Score IT! Plus composition. Patrick will also host a public lecture Guiding the Audience’s Emotions at the Queensland Conservatorium, revealing the secrets of film scoring.

Love Stories, a unique collaboration by award-winning journalist Trent Dalton, acclaimed photographer David Kelly, internationally renowned guitarist Karin Schaupp, ARIA nominated quintet Topology and Fortitude Valley’s 139 Club will present a powerful cinematic experience to share the tender stories often hidden in the darkness of homelessness.

Leading Australian chamber ensemble Southern Cross Soloists, together with special guest Australian pianist Alex Raineri, will explore the history of the piano from its rise to popularity in the 18th century through to today in Salon.

The residents of Moranbah will be taken on a musical journey through some of the most loved movie themes of the past 30 years in Movie Magic: QYO with Hannah Macklin, a free concert by Queensland Youth Orchestra (QYO) Wind Symphony with award-winning singer Hannah Macklin, conducted by the renowned David Law.

Other events include the three-day Stradbroke Chamber Music Festival featuring French violinist Cyril Garac; a world premiere of a Straddie-themed composition by Berlin-based Australian composer Paul Hankinson; and an exclusive concert by I Musici, Italy’s oldest active chamber ensemble.  Country Song, the story of Indigenous musician and vocalist Jimmy Little, and Seed, free live original music performed al fresco by local independent bands; and the Australia Piano Quartet will feature in DeClassified Music at FireWorks Gallery.

The 2015 Queensland Music Festival runs 17 July to 2 August 2015. For more information visit: www.qmf.org.au for details.

Image: Megan Washington, James Morrison and Marian Petrescu