Queensland Music Festival Launches 20th Anniversary Program
Queensland Music Festival today launches a transformative state-wide program unfolding an unforgettable musical journey through the cities, regions and remote corners of Queensland and celebrates twenty years of bringing the gift of music to all corners of the state. A program which focuses on musical excellence, curiosity and creation, public participation and making a difference through music, the biennial event cements its place as the ‘largest, most diverse music festival in the world’.
With a legacy of bringing the gift of music to over one million Queenslanders over its history, Queensland Music Festival this year delivers a rich tapestry of events as diverse as the state itself, from the public spectacle of The Mount Isa Blast, to a choir of thousands joining ‘Help Is On Its Way’ to shine a light on men’s mental health, to public favourite Opera at Jimbour and an original chamber commission to bring attention to Winton’s endangered Night Parrot, the program will surprise and delight all ages.
The event, under the Artistic Direction of Queensland treasure Katie Noonan, will also deliver a piano activation to captivate the imagination of Brisbane, a musical tribute to the lives of women’s rights campaigner Merle Thornton and genius Queensland composer John Rodgers through to projects to discover the next generation of Queensland composers and to rediscover and gazette important pieces of our Indigenous musical history.
“The 2019 Queensland Music Festival program is a true reflection of the paths the event has walked over its last twenty years,” said Katie Noonan. “Queensland Music Festival has always reflected the Queensland of yesterday, today and tomorrow and this year’s event is a true representation of that. It shines a light on things Queenslanders hold dear, hidden stories of our state and gives opportunity for the public to participate. Anyone with a voice can sing and using music to engage, educate and inspire is what Queensland Music Festival is about.”
Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch congratulated Queensland Music Festival on 20 years of bringing communities together through the power of music.
“Since 1999, Queensland Music Festival has captivated more than one million people and involved more than 100 communities across the State, inspiring a love of music and leaving lasting legacies,” Ms Enoch said.
“This year’s program includes more unique experiences that celebrate the diversity of our musical talent and help deliver cultural tourism benefits to our regions.”
This year’s program highlights include:
HELP IS ON ITS WAY
Less than half of Australians living with a mental health issue seek professional help with men being much less likely to seek help than women. Suicide is currently the most common cause of death for males aged 15-45 years and people living in regional areas are at a significantly higher risk. On Saturday 27 July 2019, in a spectacular event, thousands of voices - choirs and individuals from across the State - will sing together in support of positive mental health. Led by acclaimed conductor, Dr Jonathon Welch AM, this mass choir will sing the powerful anthem ‘Help is on its Way’ with special guest and two-time ARIA Hall of Fame inductee, Glenn Shorrock. The concert will be live-streamed from our website, so you can host your own community concert and be a part of this unique choral experience. With participants coming together both at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre and joining in online across the country, the event will engage over 10,000 people as Glenn Shorrock takes the project on the road to visit Chinchilla, Barcaldine, Moranbah, Hughendon, Birdsville, Cunnamulla, Townsville and Beaudesert.
THE MOUNT ISA BLAST
One of Queensland Music Festival’s signature community events, The Mount Isa Blast will celebrate the city’s beauty, originality and diversity in an arena spectacular featuring over 200 participants at Kalkadoon Arena. The event will tell a story of the town through song, and spoken word as well as referencing previous Queensland Music Festival projects including the legendary Bob Cat Dancing and Bob Cat Magic, Swinging Utes and Mount Isa Celebrates.
OPERA AT JIMBOUR
A regular Queensland Music Festival event since 2003, Opera at Jimbour returns for a musical gala featuring the greatest opera classics of all time. Located on the glorious grounds of Jimbour House in Queensland’s Western Downs, Opera at Jimbour promises a full day of fun for the whole family. Stroll through the market stalls, pack a picnic and immerse yourself in live opera performances from Simon Kim, Sarah Crane, Hayley Sugars, Shaun Brown and the Queensland Youth Orchestra. MC and Director Jason Barry-Smith will be on site as Master of Ceremonies, while Vanessa Scammell will be on conductor duties.
PLAY ME I’M YOURS
Queensland Music Festival invites you on a musical treasure hunt in our sparkling city. From South Bank to Shorncliffe, 20 brilliantly painted street pianos are hidden all over Brisbane for you to discover. Using the online map, explore Brisbane to find each beautiful piano, tinker on their keys and discover the wonder of the city’s surrounding landscape and community. Play Me, I’m Yours is an artwork by British artist Luke Jerram. Touring internationally since 2008, the artwork has reached millions of people worldwide, with more than 1,900 street pianos installed in over 60 cities across the globe, from Tokyo to New York, bearing the simple instruction to ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’.
THE NIGHT PARROT
A world premiere chamber music work by celebrated Australian composer, Jessica Wells has been commissioned to tell an extraordinary Queensland story. The high pitched, melodic, haunting call of the Night Parrot will be the inspiration for this new work featuring Australian dramatic soprano Morgan England-Jones with the Acacia Quartet. Presented in conjunction with Bush Heritage Australia and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, The Night Parrot will have its premiere performances as part of Queensland Music Festival in Brisbane and Winton.
THE LITTLE GREEN ROAD TO FAIRYLAND
A magical fairy tale for the littlest lovers of dance and music. Set in the Australian bush, The Little Green Road to Fairyland takes the audience on a charming journey with colourful sets and costumes that will delight all ages. Inspired by the original 1922 tale by Annie R. Rentoul and Ida Rentoul Outhwaite and featuring the Queensland Ballet with Kristin Berardi and Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra, this whimsical production will spark the imagination of our youngest audiences with a tale of love, hope, compassion, and a touch of fairy magic. The production marks Queensland Music Festival’s first collaboration with the Queensland Ballet bringing together two art forms in an enchanting co-production that will tour in three regional locations including Roma, St George and Goondiwindi before a season at Brisbane’s QPAC Playhouse.
FRANK & FEARLESS
Take a journey through the life of a true trailblazing Queensland woman, Merle Thornton – an Australian feminist activist, author and academic. Merle made history when she and Rosalie Bogner famously chained themselves to a bar rail to protest the exclusion of serving women in public bars. Join Merle in conversation with her daughter and beloved Australian Actress Sigrid Thornton on this delightful and insightful journey into the stories of the extraordinary women that helped pave the way for the freedom women enjoy today. Interspersed with the songs that made Merle’s life, played on stage by emerging all female neo-soul outfit Pink Matter with special guest vocalist Tiana Khasi, this will be a very special night to remember!
THE GENIUS OF JOHN RODGERS
The Genius of John Rodgers shares the incredible story of one of Queensland’s most renowned and eclectic musicians, Helpmann-Award nominee, multi-instrumentalist and composer, John Rodgers. There are few composers that can claim to have encapsulated the sound of this State more poignantly than John. Having worked with Queensland Music Festival since 2001, no other composer has encapsulated the sound of this State with more wit, beauty and imagination than John. From the brilliance of his song writing to the breadth of his musical vision, the concert brings together a number of John’s outstanding creative collaborators, including Kate Miller-Heidke, Erkki Veltheim, Paul Grabowsky, Scott Tinkler with Queensland Symphony Orchestra as they reminisce with this musical genius and for the first time, and showcase his incredible body of work. Music lovers, from art music to improvisation, from soulful pop to fiery flamenco, will be astonished by this moving homage to one of Australian music’s major forces.
MISSION SONGS PROJECT
Jessie Lloyd’s profoundly moving Mission Songs Project reveals what daily life was like for Indigenous Australians on Christian Missions and state-run settlements. Jessie has explored the musical journey of Indigenous Australian music connecting the traditional with the contemporary revealing the continuation of cultural practice and song traditions into the 21st century. Jessie Lloyd performs the songs, narrates their origins, and explores in music the forgotten stories that shed light on the history of our Indigenous elders, families and communities. The songs featured as part of Queensland Music Festival 2019 program will be from Queensland communities including Woorabinda, Palm Island, Cherbourg and Yarrabah. Performances will include Longreach, Palm Island, Woorabinda, Gympie and Brisbane.
LET LOVE RULE
Let Love Rule is a celebration of one of Australia’s musical treasures: the inimitable Archie Roach. Drawing from his latest release entitled “The Concert Collection 2012-2018”, Archie Roach reimagines his repertoire spanning the last 30 years and gets to the heart of what it means to be human. Archie will play these iconic songs with accompaniment from the Tinalley String Quartet, in a performance that showcases the poignancy and soulful lyricism of his work. Opening the evening is friend and collaborator Jessie Lloyd with her profoundly moving Mission Songs Project, a musical glimpse into life on Christian Missions and state-run settlements for Indigenous Australians. This one-of-a-kind evening of music, tenderness, history and above all, love, should not be missed.
TWILIGHT IN THE RED BOX
Curated by Patrick Murphy, this chamber music concert series features a new concert each week, with pieces chosen around a central theme. Located in State Library of Queensland’s beautiful Red Box space, overlooking the Brisbane river as the sun sets. The series will feature musicians from UQ’s classical music program, with the first concert being headed up by the world renown Tinalley String Quartet.
Have you ever wanted to see live music in a totally unique space? Immersion offers a completely unique opportunity to experience rising stars of the contemporary music scene up-close and personal, in a live performance like no other. This boutique concert series showcases Queensland Music Festival artists as well as other Australian musicians throughout the festival, including Ben Ely (Regurgitator), Emily Wurramara, Jack Carty and Sahara Beck. Each night features a new act for audiences to discover, and enjoy a unique and intimate experience with, …all taking place in the hotel rooms of Art Series – The
Johnson and FV by Peppers.
ON SONG AT GREEN JAM
Queensland Music Festival is bringing the State’s best young emerging singer-songwriters to Brisbane. Following a state-wide search, six aspiring singer-songwriters aged 12-18 will take to the much-loved Green Jam stage at QPAC to perform their original songs. These selected musicians will also participate in a one-on-one mentorship with award-winning Australian singer-songwriter Jack Carty, to develop their skills as songwriters and performers. Carty has toured across Australia, the UK, North America, Europe and New Zealand; including festivals from Brisbane to Barcelona and has performed with stellar acts such as Bernard Fanning, Josh Pyke, Lisa Mitchell and Matt Corby.
SCORE IT! PUBLIC LECTURE
Renowned composer and orchestrator, Cameron Patrick, returns to Brisbane to share his Hollywood industry knowledge of composing and orchestrating for blockbuster films such as Spider-man: Homecoming, Jurassic World, Star Trek Into Darkness, Inside Out and much more. This year, Patrick explores a day in the life of a film composer and looks at the roles, responsibilities and processes involved in bringing music to the screen.
Kitch Culture is a unique musical experience combining cultural arts and storytelling with music technology. Presented by award-winning artist, performer, mentor and electronic Samoan Toa (Warrior), Kitchener Wesche, this performance uncovers the power of knowing your history, your culture and your village. Kitch Culture takes you on an interactive journey of discovery as Kitch follows his roots of his family tree, from the rich history of Samoa to the shared cultural history of his children, who are proudly Samoan and Indigenous Australians.
BETWEEN THE LINES
Exclusive to Queensland Music Festival, Danny Widdicombe and Trichotomy are bringing their new LP ‘Between the Lines’ to life in a live performance which launches its international release. Danny Widdicombe (The Wilson Pickers, Honey Sliders) wrote the songs for ‘Between the Lines’ during health and relationship crises that reflect both his tenacious and positive attitudes to an all too common affiliation with adversity. This exciting collaboration between singer / songwriter Danny Widdicombe, and internationally renowned instrumental improvising group Trichotomy (Sean Foran, John Parker and Sam Vincent), is a refreshing confluence of musical styles, portraying both their wealth of experience as musicians and their deeply diverse influences.
MAPS & JOURNEYS
Navigation is one of the greatest challenges that humans have faced since the beginning of time, although with today’s technology we take it for granted. However, it actually took centuries of trial and error for man to find ways to navigate the world we live in through charting the sea, the land and the sky. Long before Europeans set foot on Australian soil, Indigenous Australians had rich astronomical traditions, and extraordinary navigational abilities. Through their unique understanding of the star constellations and their creation of star maps and Songlines, they were able to establish sophisticated trade routes covering vast distances across the Australian continent. Likewise, European explorers were using star
navigation to explore the mysterious east and unknown southern oceans. Maps and Journeys will explore the routes of both these cultures and their eventual intersection. The concert will also feature a world premiere of a new work called Ginan; the Southern Cross star given a new Indigenous name to recognise Aboriginal astronomy.
SINGING OUR SONGLINES
This performance is the culmination of a story sharing process engaging Elders connected to Inala to tell their yarns through song. Working with acclaimed singer-songwriter Shellie Morris (Wardaman/Yanyuwa) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders have created this powerful album and show that is a moving representation of their stories, lives, experiences and wisdoms. Ruminating on time, loss, love, culture and connections to lands each of these songs has come from the heart and will be sure to remain with you long after the show is over. Join our Elders as they launch their album – ‘Singing our Songlines’.
From the thunderbolt explosions of the Dies Irae to the hushed prayers of the Libera Me, Verdi’s use of vigorous rhythms, sublime melodies, and dramatic contrasts showcases the insight, passion, and drama of one of history’s most superlative opera composers in his musical setting of the venerable funeral mass. The Requiem’s composition came near the end of Verdi’s long career - after he had written all but his final two operas - and is unlike anything else in his output. This stirring performance features four of Brisbane’s finest community ensembles under the baton of distinguished conductor, Peter Luff.
JMI UP LATE
Based in Brisbane, Jazz Music Institute (JMI) is a specialist jazz school delivering courses in jazz since 1997. JMI is the highest rated Creative Arts institution in Australia for student satisfaction. JMI is the only private higher education provider in Australia that delivers a Bachelor’s degree specialising in jazz performance, producing graduates with the musical and business skills needed to thrive in the live jazz performance industry. JMI Live presents live jazz in Brisbane every Thursday night from 8pm with Jam sessions from 10pm – 12 midnight. JMI Live is renowned for its intimate setting, providing the best opportunity to listen to live jazz in Brisbane.
STRADBROKE CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL
Enjoy three days of music amid the Quandamooka Festival, winter sun, surf and, of course, the whales. Music by Czech composers is featured in two concerts, with Dvorak’s ‘Dumky’ Trio as centrepiece. Elsewhere, there’s music as a family affair in pieces by Fanny Hensel, Felix Mendelssohn and Clara and Robert Schumann. Other program highlights are a Mozart string quintet, a Brett Dean sextet and one of the all-time favourites, Brahms’s String Sextet no. 2. And the Joe Chindamo Trio take the stage at the Surf Club with music from the Great American Songbook and some of Joe’s own compositions.
Concert 3 in Ensemble Q’s series, Champions, opens with the winning group from the inaugural Queensland International Chamber Competition. An incredible start to a program featuring the aweinspiring folk song/dance infused Contrasts by Bela Bartok, one of the great legacies of the commissioning work carried out by the incredible American clarinettist Benny Goodman. And what could possibly follow this, but arguably one of the greatest single chamber works ever penned. The Quintet for piano and strings by Johannes Brahms.
Our Place explores the ever-changing relationship between neighbours and our connection to place. Neighbouring arts companies DeepBlue and The Queensland Choir’s contrasting performance styles combine, framed by innovative visual design and interactive technology. Featuring acclaimed didjeribone performer Tjupurru, and Digi Youth Arts actors, direction and design, this is a unique collaboration; an insightful piece of living, breathing art. With lush strings, fat beats, exquisite voices, and immersive visuals, Our Place weaves stories from the Indigenous connection to country, to the suburban ‘Australian Dream,’ to the rising popularity of innercity apartment living in an astounding musical and artistic collaboration.
ASQ CLOSE QUARTERS AT BROM
Taking chamber music back to its roots, the Australian String Quartet’s hour-long Close Quarters concerts are performed in unique and interesting spaces around Australia. Visit the enchanting Bromley Room at West Village and get up-close and intimate with the Australian String Quartet! In these casual, family-friendly concerts Dale Barltrop, Francesca Hiew, Stephen King and Sharon Grigoryan perform a selection of classical and contemporary works that will be sure to thrill and delight.
WOMEN OF WOODSTOCK
Brisbane’s much-loved Women in Voice will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Woodstock by paying homage to the iconic women who performed at this era-defining event. Women in Voice favourite Leah Cotterell will join Hannah Grondin, Jacqueline Marshall and Adelina Martinez with Jamie Clarke, heading up the Women in Voice band, to revisit and reflect on the music of greats such as Joan Baez, Janis Joplin, Melanie Safka, and Grace Slick. Women of Woodstock will celebrate these women and their music and the impact they have had on generations of music makers and music lovers ever since.