The 18th Bangalow Music Festival 2019 (BMF), proudly owned, operated and presented by Southern Cross Soloists (SXS), one of Australia’s most formidable and long-running chamber music ensembles, today unveiled its stellar 18th BMF program under the theme of Conversations through Chamber Music. This year’s thematic is woven into a fascinating program that explores the intangible language of music; the oldest language form.
Southern Cross Soloists is synonymous with excellence, delivering quality music- making both in Australia and internationally. Over the past 24 years, SXS has established itself as one of Australia’s pre-eminent chamber music ensembles. SXS is a not for profit organisation, is a Company-in- Residence at Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) and proudly prepares for its Silver Jubilee in 2020. In addition to presenting fine chamber music nationally and internationally with world- renowned, virtuosic artists, the SXS run educational programs across Queensland, have a progressive national and international touring program and present the regional Bangalow Music Festival (BMF) each year in northern New South Wales.

The 18th BMF 2019 program was officially launched this morning in Bangalow, northern New South Wales by Southern Cross Soloists’ Chair Greg Thompson and Artistic Director Tania Frazer, with guest dignitaries, local government and business, media, musicians, and cultural/arts leaders in attendance.
Over three days, peerless musicians will explore musical heritage across nine curated concerts in beautiful Bangalow’s A&I Hall from Friday August 9 to Sunday August 11. This year’s festival celebrates and explores through its program, the true essence of chamber music: communication, collaboration and conversation. It was first published 110 years ago that chamber music is the music of friends. A truly democratic form of collaborative music without hierarchy and, without conductor, inclusively equal.

Announcing the program, Artistic Director Tania Frazer said: “Music magically tells a story and begins a conversation between the performers and the listeners, capturing hidden emotions and atmospheres that belie words or descriptions and connects us to something larger than ourselves. The joy in performing chamber music is that it is a continuous conversation where each musician must listen, react, adjust and communicate on an almost constant basis. As a musical form, all performers are equal and share leading the ensemble.”
The 18th BMF (9-11 August) will play host to over 30 internationally regarded and young up and coming artists, with 15 featured artists across nine curated concerts. This is accompanied by three very popular, often sold-out, Pre-Festival events (7-8 August). Amongst the headline artists for the 18th BMF are renowned Australian classical guitarist Karin Schaupp and Resident Conductor of the Colorado Symphony, Chris Dragon both making returning to BMF.

Violin supremo, New Zealand’s Amalia Hall says she is thrilled to be returning to Bangalow, bringing with her the vibrant New Zealand Chamber Soloists for their BMF debut, “I’m over the moon to return to the Bangalow Music Festival and to again work with the brilliant Southern Cross Soloists. Three days of the most fantastic variety of repertoire, played by outstanding, vibrant musicians, in the most beautiful surroundings – what more could one want! The air is filled with music all weekend at Bangalow, and it’s no surprise that the festival has become a yearly favourite with Australian audiences. I had such an incredible time there last year and I cannot wait to share music again in the refreshing, peaceful atmosphere of Bangalow.”
The Festival line-up of acclaimed chamber musicians and international soloists also includes the Orava String Quartet, ABC radio presenter Eddie Ayres, mezzo soprano Xenia Puskarz-Thomas, UK violinist Victoria Sayles, violist James Wannan, bassoonist Adam Mikulicz and, of course, Southern Cross Soloists with new members Blair Harris (cello) and Alex Miller (French horn). The program will feature chamber music collaborations between all these outstanding artists as well as ensembles and the popular Intriguing Journeys interview-style concert hosted by Eddie Ayres.

Since 2002, SXS has professionally delivered 17 curated BMFs and this year will star as the centrepiece performance at the 18th BMF, bringing their outstanding full line-up of artists, all renowned soloists, to audiences on Saturday evening in Concert 6.

Tickets for this vibrant, populace chamber music festival, along with its very popular pre-festival events with local flavour – the Festival Prelude Event – Celebrating Bangalow: Emerging Stars of the Region (Thursday August 8, 7:30pm), the School’s Concert featuring former Australian Ballet character actor Scott Mullins (Friday August 9, 11:00am) and Zentveld’s Coffee Plantation and Roastery Concert at Newrybar are on sale now. Last year’s 17th BMF had seven sell-out performances.

Tickets can be purchased through SXS’s website

What, When, Where

Thursday 8 August 2019
7:30pm Festival Prelude
Celebrating Bangalow: Emerging Stars of the Region
Friday 9 August 2019
11:00am Schools Concert
11:00am Zentveld’s Coffee Concert
A&I Hall
7:00pm Concert 1 8:30pm Concert 2
Saturday 10 August 2019
10:00am Concert 3 11:30am Concert 4 3:00pm Concert 5 7:30pm Concert 6
Sunday 11 August 2019
10:30am Concert 7 1:00pm Concert 8 3:00pm Concert 9
A&I Hall
Zentveld’s Coffee Plantation & Roastery
A&I Hall A&I Hall
A&I Hall A&I Hall A&I Hall A&I Hall
A&I Hall A&I Hall A&I Hall
Concert 1: Friday 7:00pm: Festival Welcome
Festival Welcome
Orava Quartet and Friends
Karin meets Dragon
Winds of the Southern Cross NZ Chamber Soloists Southern Cross Soloists
Sinfonia Concertante Intriguing Journeys Scheherazade
The opening concert features all the artists of the Festival and a smorgasbord of music.
Concert 2: Friday 8:30pm
Explores Eastern European folk music and Jewish mysticism with Mahler’s vocal masterpiece and Golijov’s epic composition about the great mystical Kabbalist rabbi from 800 years ago, known as Isaac the Blind.
Concert 3: Saturday 10:00am
Renowned Australian classical guitarist Karin Schaupp and Resident Conductor of the Colorado Symphony, Chris Dragon discuss the history of the noble guitar- an instrument embraced by cultures around the world.
Concert 4: Saturday 11:30am
Showcases the virtuoso woodwind soloists of Southern Cross Soloists
Concert 5: Saturday 3:00pm
Showcases the NZ Chamber Soloists including violin supremo Amalia Hall.
Concert 6: Saturday 7:30pm

Shines a spotlight on the virtuosity and artistry of Southern Cross Soloists, finishing with the remarkable Rachmaninov Variations on a theme of Paganini as well as the double concerto Sanctuary by Australian composer and jazz pianist Joe Chindamo.
Concert 7: Sunday 10:30am
Continuing with the double concerto concept, Sinfonia Concertante highlights Mozart’s use of multiple soloists in this fascinating program of Sinfonia Concertantes. The highlight of this concert will be the iconic and seductive Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola, K. 364, which is arguably one of Mozart’s greatest works, featuring violinist, NZ’s Amalia Hall and the Orava Quartet’s Thomas Chawner (viola).
Concert 8: Sunday 1:00pm
Returning to the Festival by popular demand after 2018, we welcome back radio personality, Eddie Ayres for Intriguing Journeys as he chats to acclaimed classical guitar soloist Karin Schaupp and the mesmerising Orava String Quartet about their lives and musical journeys.
Concert 9: Sunday 3:00pm
Keeping with exploring the conversational element of multi-instrument concertos, this concert sees Southern Cross Soloist cellist Blair Harris team up with leading US/NZ cello soloist James Tennant in Vivaldi’s stunning double cello concerto. The festival finishes on an absolute highlight- Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade in a chamber version of this exotic tale of love, intrigue and adventure as we relive the story of One Thousand and One Nights from the Arabian Nights.

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