The Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s Season 2016 line up has been unveiled, revealing an extraordinary year of music featuring conductors and soloists of the highest calibre, matched with history’s best repertoire, and blanketed by a company celebrating a record-breaking past two years. In an international triumph for Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO), superstar pianist Lang Lang will headline the Mid-Season Gala. Hailed by millions of fans worldwide as the most flamboyant, original and daring virtuoso on the planet, Lang Lang’s performance with QSO will be a moment in musical history for Queensland.
Joining Lang Lang with the QSO during 2016 are some of the true legends of music – the great Maxim Vengerov in the Tchaikovsky Gala, Simone Young withMahler, China’s legendary Yu Long, Alondra de la Parra, Louis Schwizgebel and more, headlining a breathtaking year of 38 concert events.
The renowned Nikolai Demidenko will join QSO as Soloist-in-Residence for 2016. Demidenko and QSO have enjoyed a long association and many sold out houses. Together, they will embark on an adventure never before seen at QSO – all five Beethoven piano concertos across two evenings in May and October. Demidenko is the second Soloist-in-Residence for QSO, following the engagement of Shlomo Mintz in 2015 as the first ever appointed by an Australian orchestra. QSO is delighted to note that, since it took this lead initiative, two other major orchestras, in the Adelaide and Sydney Symphonies, have followed suit.
The star-studded line-up at QSO continues with the announcement of internationally acclaimed beat boxer Tom Thum as Artist-in-Residence for QSOCurrent, and The Australian Voices as Ensemble-in-Residence. Johannes Fritzsch returns as Conductor Laureate, and exciting young Russian-born pianist and conductorNatalia Raspopova, commences as Assistant Conductor. The much-anticipated announcement of QSO’s new Music Director will take place early in the 2016 Season.
QSO’s 2016 program is testament to its ongoing commitment to supporting local artists, small arts organisations and Australian talent. Its Ensemble-in-Residence, The Australian Voices, will feature in four QSO mainstage events; partnerships with the Lisa Gasteen National Opera School and the Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition will result in young, up-and-coming performers on stage with QSO throughout the year. QSOCurrent will feature Queensland, and Australian contemporary composers and performers, whilst QSO’s Music on Sundays concert series is proudly 100% Australian in its artist line-up.
In a quirky take on the amuse-bouche, QSO will introduce the amuse-oreille (amusement for the ear), a series of bite-sized pieces of new music written by Australian composers as a complement to some of the major works featured throughout the Maestro Series.
New to the QSO mainstage season in 2016 is the Choral series, a collection of astonishing masterworks that worship the human voice, with epic highlights in Mozart’s Requiem and Orff’s Carmina Burana. Choral joins the Maestro Series, Morning Masterworks, Music on Sundays, QSO Chamber Players, QSOCurrent and the international sounds of WorldBeat, as well as a great family and all-ages event – Raiders of the Lost Ark – rounding out what is an unprecedented season of music.
QSO Chief Executive Officer Sophie Galaise said the upcoming season of stunning soloists, conductors, blockbuster events, exclusive performances and new programs heralded an extraordinary year of music to come, and followed an already remarkable period of achievements led by the Orchestra’s history-making million dollar Maestro Series in 2014.
“Every concert promises a musical adventure. 2016 will be a year of transformative moments. Of powerful experiences, from the serene to the vibrant, the exhilarating to the breathtakingly beautiful,” she said. “And what a triumph to bring the virtuosic and dazzling Lang Lang to our doorstep. This will be an astonishing evening.”
“Being able to perform with artists the calibre of Lang Lang, Vengerov, Yu Long and de la Parra among others, and to add to our In-Residence program with names such as Nikolai Demidenko, Tom Thum and The Australian Voices is testament to the reputation of this Orchestra around the globe, as one of immense musicality, one of vision, strength and dynamism.”
February 6 will see a blockbuster concert event of a different kind as Raiders of the Lost Ark relives the magic of Indiana Jones on the silver screen. Marking the 35th anniversary of the film, John Williams’ epic score of the original great adventure will be performed live to film by the QSO.
The first of QSO’s 2016 WorldBeat events takes place on February 11, The Year of the Monkey, celebrating Chinese New Year with a joyous fusion of traditional Chinese music, great Western masterpieces and the contemporary genius of Qigang Chen’s dazzling Reflection of a vanished time. The Chinese New Year concert will be presented under the proud patronage of His Excellency Mr Ma Zhaoxu, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in Australia. Another much anticipated WorldBeat event is the Bella Italia! concert on October 20, presented under the patronage of Brisbane’s Italian Consul, Mr Ludovico Carlo Camussi.
The Season Finale on November 29 and 30 will be a rare opportunity to witness a showcase of the formidable technique and heartrending musicality of the great Maxim Vengerov. After performing his signature piece, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, Vengerov will take up the baton to conduct Tchaikovsky’s final symphony, his most personal and poignant work, in a performance not to be missed.
QSO’s signature Maestro Series begins under the baton of the dynamic Alondra de la Parra on February 27 when the 100-strong orchestra will perform Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony. On March 17, QSO’s past Soloist-in-Residence (2015) Shlomo Mintz returns for an impeccable pairing with conductor Jessica Cottis in a blissful all-Mozart program.
Nikolai Demidenko will present his long established credentials as a Beethoven authority as he performs three works from the piano concerto cycle on May 21 (completing the cycle on October 15). Then, on August 19, legendary Chinese conductor Yu Long will take the stage for a glittering performance ofEnchantements oubliés by countryman Qigang Chen, Saint-Saëns’ The Egyptian piano concerto and Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.
August also sees the event blockbuster Carmina Burana take the stage as a part of the new series, Choral. One of the most recognized and famous pieces of music of all time, the glorious masterwork will be conducted by none other than Yu Long.
QSO’s Morning Masterworks, Music on Sundays and QSO Chamber Players Series each welcome a range of superb soloists for the 2016 Season.
QSOCurrent and WorldBeat return for 2016, bringing a fusion of musical styles and sounds to the city. QSOCurrent will once again bring an eclectic program of genre-busting beauties and off-the-wall beats to shine the spotlight on contemporary music for 24 hours of ‘music that moves,’ while WorldBeat will takeover Brisbane City Hall for a celebration of the rhythms of the global village.
Is it too early for a standing ovation for Season 2016?
Subscriptions to Season 2016 open 9am, Friday August 14, 2015.
Three-concert packages begin from $150. Flexible packages are available ranging from set series to create-your-own concert series. Subscribers enjoy discount prices, priority seating and a host of other discounts and privileges. Single tickets go on sale October 26, 2015.