“The most important symphony in the history of music”
Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s Chief Conductor Umberto opens Season 2023 with Beethoven’s ODE TO JOY – to a standing ovation!!

Beethoven met Barton this weekend when Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s famed Maestro Series opened with three performances of ODE TO JOY – a concert for the ages.

ODE TO JOY saw Chief Conductor of the QSO Umberto Clerici lead the Orchestra, with internationally acclaimed didgeridoo virtuoso William Barton and powerhouse violinist Véronique Serret along with soprano Eleanor Lyons, mezzo soprano Deborah Humble, tenor Andrew Goodwin, baritone Michael Honeyman and the Brisbane Chamber Choir performing Beethoven’s magnificent Symphony No.9 (Choral) along with Sculthorpe’s celebrated Earth Cry.

Barton and Serret also performed, for the first time in the Concert Hall, their collaboration Kalkani, described as ‘a message of peace and love carried by the eagle spirit’.

This incredible season opener featured, “the most important symphony in the history of music in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony,” said Maestro Clerici. “It celebrates the equality of all humankind. It is a universal celebration of love for humanity, and the apex of the classical period.”

Clerici added that composer Peter Sculthorpe was the ‘Australian Beethoven’, the founding father of Australian classical music. Sculthorpe added a didgeridoo part to his famed Earth Cry specifically for William Barton 16 years after he originally composed the piece, and “when I first heard William playing Earth Cry, it was summoning up the whole landscape. It was a revelation,” said Clerici. “This version was premiered, with William and our QSO in 2002, and it was a privilege to perform it live again.”

In addition to these two works by Beethoven and Sculthorpe, William Barton and Véronique Serret recently laborated on a musical project called Heartland. In this concert, their music was transformed into a stunning orchestral version.

Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s Season 2023 is a year of grand masterpieces and intimate chamber moments, world premieres, and experimental music experiences, anchored by some of Queensland’s biggest music names in Ray Chen, Piers Lane and William Barton, and featuring some of the greatest music in the world in Don Quixote, The Planets, Beethoven’s heroic Symphony No.9, and what will be one of the most spectacular productions of 2023, Wagner’s Ring Cycle.

Barton Meets Beethoven at the Concert Hall at QPAC
Friday 17 February 7.30pm AND Saturday 18 February 1.30pm AND Sunday 19 February 1.30pm
Barton & Serret Kalkani (QLD Premiere)
Sculthorpe Earth Cry
Beethoven Symphony No.9 (Choral)

Conductor Umberto Clerici
Soloists William Barton, didgeridoo
Véronique Serret, violin
Eleanor Lyons, soprano
Deborah Humble, mezzo soprano
Andrew Goodwin, tenor
Michael Honeyman, baritone
Choir Brisbane Chamber Choir

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