Stars of Australian chamber music, Southern Cross Soloists (SXS) celebrate virtuosity and passion in their Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) 2022 Concert Series with tickets on sale now. The not-to-be-missed series, comprising of three thrilling and captivating concerts, features international piano superstar Konstantin Shamray as the 2022 SXS Artist in Residence.
Featuring musical masterpieces of great beauty and extravagant drama, each concert will showcase principal SXS musicians and guest artists and include world premieres of new Australian works for didgeridoo and chamber music ensemble.
Southern Cross Soloists Artistic Director Tania Frazer said the 2022 QPAC Concert Series program has been carefully crafted to showcase the virtuosic soloist capabilities of each principal artist of SXS.
“After the many challenges over the past two years, including soloists and guest artists being unable to perform with us due to travel restrictions, we are excited to welcome back our wonderful interstate SXS musicians; core virtuoso soloist Ashley Smith (clarinet) and James Wannan (viola) who will both be featured in our first concert in February,” Ms Frazer said.
“Continuing SXS commitment to working with the world’s most notable musicians and composers, 2022 also will see extraordinary guest artists join us on QPAC’s Concert Hall stage. “We are excited to welcome our 2022 Guest Artist in Residence, acclaimed and award-winning, Russian-Australian concert pianist Konstantin Shamray, who wowed all in our final QPAC concert in October 2021 with his incredible artistry.
Southern Cross Soloists: Jonathan Henderson, Alan Smith, Ashley Smith, Tania Frazer, Chris Williams, Nick Mooney & James Wannan
“Each program in the series will feature a bravura piano concerto, including the most popular concertos of the twentieth century by Prokofiev and Shostakovich as well as Chopin’s stunningly beautiful Second Piano Concerto.
“We also welcome Australian cello virtuoso Richard Narroway in our October concert to perform Tchaikovsky’s cello showpiece Pezzo Capriccioso,” said Ms Frazer.
Passionate exponents for commissioning new Australian music and renowned for fostering creative partnerships with leading international soloists and composers, SXS have commissioned to date over 120 World Premiere new works. 2022 is no different with the announcement of the SXS Didgeridoo Commissioning Project featuring three Australian composers, a highlight of the 2022 QPAC Concert Series.
“Featuring SXS Didgeridoo soloist Chris Williams, this multi-season project for commissioning and presenting new chamber music works for Didgeridoo and SXS will create a new canon of works with a quintessentially unique Australian flavour. This year we are featuring three Australian composers, two from Queensland (Sean O’Boyle AM and Catherine Likhuta) and Australian born/Los Angeles based composer Leah Curtis,” Ms Frazer said.
“Our 2022 concert series kicks off with an electric program in Fireworks and Fury on Sunday 20 February including the world premiere performance of a new work for Didgeridoo and chamber ensemble by Sean O’Boyle AM titled ‘Beerwah’ The Mother of the Glasshouse Mountains’.
“With a scintillating program of brilliance and colour the concert features SXS 2022 Artist in Residence, Konstantin Shamray, performing Prokofiev's devilishly difficult Third Piano Concerto, SXS clarinet soloist, Ashley Smith in the stormy and dazzling clarinet concerto by Carl Maria Von Weber, oboist Tania Frazer performing the dramatically anguished aria ‘Mea tormenta, properate’ by Johann Adolf Hasse and SXS viola soloist, James Wannan in Berlioz’s viola masterpiece Harold in Italy that was commissioned by the master virtuoso, Paganini.
“On Sunday 19 June we will present A Moment in Time, which explores some of life’s defining moments, from the sentimental and evocative to the ironic and witty, in a poignant program of nostalgic works. The concert opens with the virtuoso arias di bravura of Vivaldi performed on the oboe and Konstantin Shamray performing Chopin’s Piano Concerto No 2. The program features the world premiere of a new work by composer Leah Curtis in the second new work of our 2022 SXS Didgeridoo Commissioning Project. Tchaikovsky’s wistful and tragic Lensky’s aria follows in a new version featuring SXS flute soloist Jonathan Henderson. The concert concludes with Richard Strauss' tone poem that follows the adventures of the charmingly mischievous rogue Til Eulenspiegel, from his pranks on the rich and powerful to his untimely death at the gallows.
“For our final 2022 concert, on Sunday 2 October, we are delighted to present White Nights. From the rise of romanticism during the 19th century Russian Empire to the torturous suffering of the Soviet Union under Stalin, White Nights explores Russian and Soviet music that is imbued with lush and rich harmonies juxtaposed with human tragedy and hidden sarcasm.
“Shostakovich’s gloriously vivacious Piano Concerto No. 2 opens the program followed by Borodin’s Nocturne from his Second-String Quartet featuring Alan Smith. We are joined by Australian cello virtuoso, Richard Narroway in Tchaikovsky’s lightning-fast Pezzo Capriccioso and we present the third of our new works for SXS and Didgeridoo by Brisbane-based composer Catherine Likhuta. The highlight of the program will be Stravinsky’s exotic and magical Firebird Suite and we finish the concert with a rousing Russian Gypsy traditional folk song.
“We hope you join us for these concerts in the wonderful QPAC Concert Hall this year, as we joyously share our love of music and live performance with faithful and new audiences,” said Ms Frazer.
2022 marks Southern Cross Soloists’ 27th year of excellence in music making and its 13th QPAC Concert Series.
Balancing a breathtaking virtuosity with vibrant storytelling and unique, considered artistic programming, SXS is a collective of some of Australia’s leading instrumental soloists. Building on strong patronage SXS will perform its QPAC 2022 Concert Series in standard mode (as opposed to previous years in intimate reverse mode, with audience on stage with the Soloists), as the ensemble’s repertoire continues to gain notoriety and reaches new audiences. Presented by Southern Cross Soloists and QPAC, don’t miss this superb series of concerts in QPAC’s Concert Hall.
Tickets are on sale now at qpac.com.au or phone 136-246.