Gracie Fields used to sing: ‘I took my harp to a party but nobody asked me to play’. I can’t imagine that ever happened to international harpist, Xavier de Maistre. But even he had a back-up plan; in parallel with his harp studies in Paris, he took a course at the LSE in Pol Sci and Economics.
The back-up hasn’t been needed. Now a soloist with major European & American orchestras, de Maistre, an exponent of both baroque and modern harps, is coming here in May as a soloist with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra. Following a path of ‘breathing new life into baroque music’, the Artistic Director Paul Dyer has announced the 2018 seasons for Melbourne and Sydney called Tales of Baroque.
Other soloists include Stefano Montanari, an Italian baroque violinist returning for a second season with the Brandenburg in a program, The Burning Violin which includes concertos by Vivaldi, Locatelli and Pisendel. Thomas Tallis’ England opens the season in February with the Brandenburg Choir and countertenor soloist, Maximilian Riebl, a local chap who looks more like a rugby league player but is already greatly admired by local audiences.
Karakorum: A Musical Journey featuring seven musicians from La Camera delle Lacrime, is a ‘medieval world folk’ ensemble from France following the 13th century travels of Franciscan monk William de Rubruck from Constantinople, to the edges of the Mongol Empire. Intriguing year.
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