“AT the CSO we believe that life is better with music. It is our voice in love, heartbreak, joy and wonder; it is the universal language that expresses the inexpressible,” CEO of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, Sarah Kimball, enthused tonight (August 1) as the orchestra launched its 2018 season at the National Portrait Gallery.
The event also saw Nicholas Milton, CSO chief conductor and artistic director, joined by Matthew Hindson, curator of CSO’s Australian Series, speaking about the stories behind the music planned for next year.
Canberra’s premiere orchestra, the CSO consistently attracts world class performers and is the largest performing arts organisation and employer of musicians in the region.
Milton expressed the hope that the selected works would “invigorate your senses, elevate your spirits and open your hearts to a transcendent world of exquisite beauty, expressed through music”. Nicholas continued by announcing an additional concert in the flagship “ActewAGL Llewellyn Series” and says the 2018 program features soloists on piano, double bass, saxophone, violin, as well as a cello, violin and piano trio.
The central ActewAGL Llewellyn Series would present symphonic works by Beethoven and Shostakovich, works by Elgar and Ravel, Berlioz’s revolutionary masterpiece “Symphonie Fantastique”, and the symphonic dances from Bernstein’s “West Side Story”, Milton explained.
The additional Recital Series will provide audiences with music in a more intimate setting as solo artists perform at the Wesley Music Centre, with afternoon tea provided for guests.
“The Australian Series”, founded and again curated by Hindson, will see the National Portrait Gallery welcome top Australian instrumentalists, including regular CSO musicians, perform three different, one-hour concerts of cutting-edge, classical Australian compositions, some of them world-premiere performances.
An initiative for 2018 will be “Artist-in-Focus” initiative, showcasing the artistry of one exceptional musician in concerto, chamber music and recital performances throughout the year.
Fittingly, the enormously popular Canberra-born and trained cellist, Julian Smiles, has been selected as the first Artist-in-Focus.
“One of the country’s most versatile performers, Julian is a dear friend to the CSO and a wonderful colleague who will inspire all of us with his consummate musicianship,” Milton said, in introducing Smiles to perform for guests at the season launch.
Born in Canberra, Smiles studied cello with Nelson Cooke at the Canberra School of Music and received his early orchestral experience with the CSO. Over the course of his luminous career, he has occupied many important positions in the Australian classical music scene and is now cellist with the Australia Ensemble and the Goldner String Quartet.
Regular public events like the Shell Prom and the CSO Opera Gala will continue as usual, while “Strings in the Salon” recitals at Hotel Hotel are add-ons for those who book early.
And, CSO is not all tie and tails, its next “Symphony in the Park” at Stage 88 in March next year will be the CSO “Killer Queen Experience”.
Canberra Symphony Orchestra 2018 Season, now open for bookings to cso.org.au