Tales of Baroque
“Travelling with sound, allowing emotions to be tossed in a beautiful maze of magical tales has led my artistic inspiration for our 2018 season – Tales of Baroque,” Paul Dyer
The Baroque period is filled with stories of passion, love and loss - incredible adventures of the imagination. The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra’s Artistic Director and Co-founder Paul Dyer loves nothing more than for his audience to experience these stories, by bringing ancient magic to life with a modern and uniquely Brandenburg twist.
Every Brandenburg season is special, but 2018 (the orchestra’s 29th anniversary) is set to be remarkable.
“Travelling with sound, allowing emotions to be tossed in a beautiful maze of magical tales has led my artistic inspiration for our 2018 season – Tales of Baroque,” says Paul.
“Musical fantasies and stories spanning over 1000 years – some fiery, complex, lavish, suspenseful, romantic or bold – knit and navigate the six programs for our Brandenburg year.
“The international cast for our stage includes a French classical harpist; an explosive Italian violinist; a Cuban viola da gamba player; an ensemble of seven artists from Cambodia to Paris along with the delicious Brandenburg Choir and the sensational Brandenburg Orchestra. Each program reveals a story, a baroque or medieval tale, and a link from past to present.”
Karakorum: A Musical Journey features seven musicians from La Camera delle Lacrime, a ‘medieval world folk’ ensemble from France. The group was founded by tenor and music director Bruno Bonhoure and stage director Khaï-dong Luong, who was born in Cambodia and arrived in France after fleeing the Khmer Rouge.
The concert will follow the travels of 13th century Franciscan monk William of Rubruck who travelled 9,000 km journey on horseback from Constantinople to Karakorum to discover what lay at the edges of the Mongol Empire. A written account of this tantalizing tale survives and serves as the starting point for one of the many highlights in the 2018 Brandenburg season.
“Karakorum is a rare opportunity to witness a theatrical program of forgotten Eurasian chants, hymns and songs brought to life on ancient and obscure instruments,” says Paul. “The exceptional ensemble of French, Chinese, Algerian and Cambodian artists, paired with the Brandenburg – both orchestra and choir – will be thrilling. Not-to-be-missed!”
The Brandenburg Choir, along with rising-star Australian countertenor Max Riebl (who himself sang with Brandenburg Choir as a schoolboy), open the year with Thomas Tallis’ England, a stirring program of English music in which 16th century composer Tallis and his monumental legacy weave a common thread.
“I am so excited to secure the world’s greatest exponent of both baroque and modern harps,” says Paul. “Xavier de Maistre from France makes his Australian debut with the Brandenburg in 2018. He’s a perfect fit for us. He’s not afraid to push boundaries and bravely forges his own path, letting the harp sing in a distinctively new voice.”
Fiery, passionate and rebellious, Stefano Montanari is a kindred spirit of Paul Dyer. With the demeanor and dress of a rock star, baroque violinist Stefano returns from Italy for his second Brandenburg season to be soloist and guest director in The Burning Violin. He will bring explosive virtuosity and swagger to a program of major baroque concertos.
This is followed by the charismatic and energetic Cuban viola da gambist, Lixsania Fernandez. The Lixsania and the Labyrinth concerts will climax with an extraordinary tango for gambas and baroque orchestra, and will also feature Concertmaster Shaun Lee-Chen taking on Locatelli’s exhilarating and immensely challenging Concerto in D Major - the Harmonic Labyrinth.
“Paul has prepared a season like no other for 2018,” says Bruce Applebaum, Managing Director and Co-founder.
“The Brandenburg has always sought to breathe new life into baroque music,” adds Bruce. “I believe that under Paul Dyer’s continually inventive artistic direction that the company delivers performance experiences with energy and imagination and at such a consistently high musical calibre that we rival (or in my view surpass) any comparable arts organisation around the world.”
The Brandenburg has not just evolved as a company since that first performance at the Sydney Opera House in 1989, it has profoundly impacted Australia’s cultural landscape. Paul and Bruce have created an orchestra of the finest period musicians from all over Australia. Dedicated to historically informed performance practice, they have the precision, skill and passion to create the sounds of baroque on rare period instruments.
“The broader Brandenburg team strives relentlessly behind the scenes to create exceptional concert experiences, and to support and facilitate the wonderful work of our musicians and guest artists,” says Bruce.
“Likewise the continued dedication and support of our loyal subscribers, and the humbling generosity of our donors and corporate and government partners allows us to plan for a bright future and dream big!”
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Co-founders of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Bruce Applebaum (Managing Director) and Paul Dyer (Artistic Director)
Artistic Director Paul Dyer with Concertmaster Shaun Lee-Chen and musicians of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra.