2017 Queensland Music Festival To Unite The Sunshine State In Song

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2017 Queensland Music Festival To Unite The Sunshine State In Song Image © Facebook

Katie Noonan recently released her first programme as Artistic Director of Queensland Music Festival (QMF).

The programme spans contemporary and classical music, large-scale community events and education programmes, with big names like Kate Ceberano, Montaigne, Isaiah, Lior, Steve Kilbey, David Hobson, Elena Kats-Chernin and Manu Delago, alongside big ambitions to unite thousands of Queenslanders in song from 7–30 July.

“I want the talented and passionate people of Queensland to be empowered to join the 2017 festival and help create performances that truly reflect the life of our diverse and vibrant state,” Katie says.

Katie Noonan - QMF Artistic Director

Katie, a passionate advocate for social justice, feminism and homegrown Queensland talent, says QMF is unlike any other music festival in the world. “I learnt about the world, its politics and its people through music, and I passionately believe in its power to educate and inspire,” Katie says.

“Since QMF started 18 years ago, it has reached more than a million people through projects in 82 regions. In 2017 we will continue this amazing legacy and we encourage all Queenslanders to hear and be heard this July. If you can talk, you can sing.”

Queensland Premier and Minister for the Arts Annastacia Palaszczuk says QMF 2017 will bring in excess of 100 performances to 45 cities, towns and remote regions over 3 weeks.

“This year’s Queensland Music Festival programme will have seven world premieres, including new works from esteemed Australian composers Dr Thomas Green, Elena Kats-Chernin, Joe Chindamo and Paul Hodge, and within the Score IT!, The Power Within and Stradbroke Chamber Music Festival programmes.

"Queensland Music Festival will also feature an Australian orchestral premiere by Austrian composer Manu Delago and a world premiere arrangement by the Brodsky Quartet’s Paul Cassidy. So it’s more than just an impressive festival line-up,” the Queensland Premier says.

“Queensland Music Festival will also give a voice to those who want to unite against domestic violence, towns who face hardship, our remote indigenous communities, women and young people struggling to get a break in the music industry and making high-quality live music accessible for our elderly in aged-care centres."

2017 Queensland Music Festival Highlights

You're The Voice

You’re The Voice is a monumental music event, which will see Kate Ceberano, Isaiah and Katie Noonan join thousands of singers on Saturday 29 July at Brisbane’s South Bank Piazza and via livestream to shine a light on the country’s domestic violence crisis. The massive project includes a Sony Foundation charity single of John Farnham's iconic anthem, featuring Katie Noonan, Kate Ceberano, Isaiah, Archie Roach, Troy Cassar-Daley and Montaigne.

The Power Within

The Power Within is the result of an 18-month project with 6 towns in Central Queensland, which have lived through the mining boom and bust, drought and flood. The colossal project in partnership with Isaac Regional Council will culminate in a world premiere musical spectacular in Moranbah starring 200 people from the community and celebrating resilience and unity 28-29 July.

Songs That Made Me

Songs That Made Me is a project offering mentorships with artists including Deborah Conway, Clare Bowditch and Hannah Macklin for several emerging female singer-songwriters in Mount Isa, Mackay and Gladstone. The project will see all the mentees perform in their hometowns with the celebrity mentors with a finale concert celebrating women in music held in Brisbane Sunday 16 July.

Silver Memories

Silver Memories will harness the healing power of music in a series of intimate concerts of classical and jazz music, performed by Queensland Conservatorium ensembles, at aged-care centres in Brisbane, Toowoomba and the Sunshine Coast.

Bach To Bush

Ensuring QMF reaches some of the most isolated corners of the state, the Bach to Bush tour will see percussionist John Morrison hop into the pilot’s seat to fly virtuoso cellist Louise King to nine Western Queensland towns for joint performances, workshops and masterclasses from 13 to 23 July.

Dan Sultan

Award-winning rocker Dan Sultan and bandmates Jan Skubiszewski and Danny Farrugia will fly into the remote indigenous communities of Aurukun, Woorabinda and Palm Island from 7 to 10 July to stage special NAIDOC Week concerts and workshops featuring blues rock, gospel and soul.

Dan Sultan
Dan Sultan

But it’s not all about the regions. Brisbane will be hosting some incredible events, including world premieres. Katie Noonan says this year’s festival spanned many musical genres, with shows for the young and old and everyone in between, to stir the emotions.

“You will laugh, cry, be wowed, informed and educated. You will be inspired, your eyes will be opened and your heart will be filled. You will have the opportunity to unite with your community and use your voice to make a difference. This is a festival for all Queenslanders, so I urge you to hear and be heard.”

Brisbane Events

On 29 July, Austrian hang soloist, composer, Björk drummer and international electronica collaborator Manu Delago will feature in a world premiere concerto written by emerging Queensland composer Dr Thomas Green to honour the father of Australia’s youth orchestra movement, John Curro AM MBE, in Hang with QYO.

Internationally celebrated composer Elena Kats-Chernin will perform ten improvised musical sketches created in response to the artworks of two iconic Australian painters, Margaret Olley and William Robinson, in The Sound of Art.

Sanctuary will feature a new commission, composed by Joe Chindamo, featuring Diana Doherty and Alexandre Oguey as well as showcase several new compositions and renowned guest artists, exploring the universal need for a safe haven in a troubled world, on 13 July.

16 Lovers Lane, a special concert on 14 July, will pay homage to one of Australia’s greatest albums, featuringTthe Go-Betweens’ Lindy Morrison, Amanda Brown and John Willsteed, with Dan Kelly, Danny Widdicombe, Luke Daniel Peacock and a guest line-up.

Jon For PM
Joh for PM

Joh for PM is a satirical musical romp created by playwright Stephen Carleton and composer Paul Hodge, starring Colin Lane (Lano and Woodley) from 7 to 16 July.

The stunning new hotel The Johnson will become a hotspot for ten nights for Immersion, a series of boutique, multi-genre musical performances by QMF stars including Montaigne, Robbie Miller, and Deborah Conway with Willy Zygier; limited to just 20 audience members per event.

While acclaimed singer-songwriter Lior will perform two intimate shows for QMF at Brisbane’s Old Museum (22 July) and the NOOSA Alive! festival (23 July).

Score It
Score It!

Many more events include the culmination of QMF’s long-running film scoring competition for school students Score IT! including a lecture by Hollywood composer Cameron Patrick on 28 July, the popular three-day Stradbroke Chamber Music Festival and the Australian premiere of Samuel Beckett’s radio play Words and Music.

The Jazz Music Institute will present JMI Up Late Series and JMI New Orleans Street Parade, while the Southern Cross Soloists will take you on a musical Journey Along the Silk Road.

After Julia will present seven new works created by female composers inspired by Julia Gillard’s leadership and the inherent gender inequality it exposed, and virtuoso organist David Gray will perform classical and symphonic works on Brisbane’s historic 1934-vintage cinema pipe organ.

For those looking for something experimental, QMF will host Aurality – an augmented reality audio project – and Super Conductor and The Big Game Orchestra – an interactive video game with a live orchestra playing sound and video effects.


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