Season Preview: Your guide to the arts in 2024

Brisbane’s Southern Cross Soloists has announced its 2024 Concert Series, its 15th season at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre.

As it unfolds, the season will explore concepts of romance, the mystical and transformative aspects of alchemy, the exotic melodies of the Mediterranean and the artistic and multicultural vibrancy characterised by Europe’s Belle Époque.

Southern Cross Soloists in the Concert Hall, QPAC. Photo © Darren Thomas

The opening performance of the Concert Series on 3 March, Divine Alchemy, explores the transformation of challenging life experiences into extraordinary, profound, and thought-provoking musical works of art. Think of it as a musical journey forged in the crucible of adversity, said SXS Artistic Director Tania Frazer.

“The concert program showcases extraordinary works of beauty by Bach, Debussy, Mozart, and an Australian premiere of Vuillermet’s exquisitely moving piece Elegie. We’ll also present a unique work by composers Sean O’Boyle and Chris Williams commissioned for the SXS Didgeridoo Commissioning Project, inspired by the life of Wakka Wakka Elder Maureen Williams.”

On Sunday 2 June, SXS will pull the stopper on Perfumes of the East, a musical celebration of  the melting pot of countries bordering the Mediterranean, from Spanish Flamenco to the melodic and modal music of Greece and the Arabic-influenced music of North Africa.

Pianist Konstantin Shamray will play Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 5, famously dubbed ‘The Egyptian,’ a work evoking the grandeur of Luxor’s ancient temple, alongside works by Vivaldi, Kovács, Ravel and Rimsky-Korsakov.

Nina Korbe. Photo courtesy Southern Cross Soloists

Soprano Nina Korbe will present an alluring selection of songs evoking the vibrant spices and rich aromas of Mediterranean cultures, along with a new composition by composer Stephen Leek for the SXS Didgeridoo Commissioning Project.

SXS closes out it season with Magic, Mystique, and Melancholy, a performance drawing inspiration from Stravinsky’s evergreen ballet Petrushka and the intoxicating era of Ballets Russes during Belle Époque period.

Featuring masterworks by Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Dukas, Fauré and Saint-Saëns, the concert is also a showcase for the talents of guest Australian violin soloist Catherina Lee and Australian trumpet virtuoso David Elton.

Audiences will also hear the world premiere of a new work by composer Lachlan Skipworth, written for SXS and didgeridoo – the latest of more than 130 world premieres commissioned by SXS over the past three decades.

For more information on Southern Cross Soloists in 2024, visit the company website.

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