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Canberra Today 23°/26° | Tuesday, November 30, 2021 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

‘Visionaries’ lead orchestra’s new season

Jessica Cottis. Photo: Kaupo Kikkas

CANBERRA Symphony Orchestra’s 2022 season will begin with a grand flourish of Wagner and end with a summer prom on the lawns of Government House.

CSO’s chief conductor and artistic director, Jessica Cottis, has titled the years’ program “Visionaries”, in homage to both the greats of the past, such as Mozart, Wagner, Beethoven, Rameau, Sibelius, Debussy and Stravinsky and our present-day visionaries, with no fewer than 20 Australian works across the season.

Those including a commission for the Llewellyn Series from Canberra export Leah Curtis, the former Canberran who has become a leading figure in the Los Angles music scene, to be conducted by Cottis.

The programming includes works by historically important Australian composers such as Margaret Sutherland, Malcolm Williamson and Richard Meale, as well as several indigenous composers including Canberrans, Brenda Gifford and Christopher Sainsbury and one of Canberra’s leading music exponents, Michael Sollis.

Principal guest conductor Simon Hewett. Photo: Penny Bradfield

With the promise of music which is “fresh and bold, yet also reassuringly familiar,” Cottis’s flamboyant program often puts together seemingly unlike works, with film composer Bernard Herrmann’s Suite from “Vertigo” sitting alongside Wagner’s Prelude and Liebestod from “Tristan und Isolde.”

In a similar vein, the “Best of Brass” concert to be performed by the CSO Chamber Ensemble as part of the newish Chamber Classics series in Albert Hall, will put Bernstein’s Suite from “West Side Story” against Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2”.

The CSO Chamber Ensemble will premiere four new works in the Australian Series, now curated by Cottis, including a yet unspecified commission supported by the National Museum of Australia.

Singing in “Messiah,” Chloe Lankshear. Photo: 2-1 Studio

The CSO Artist in Focus for 2022 will be flautist Emma Sholl who will perform CPE Bach’s flute concerto under the baton of another guest conductor Benjamin Bayl and she will also join the CSO Chamber Ensemble for a program of Beethoven, Debussy and Saint-Saëns.

Other guest artists include violinists Courtenay Cleary and Markiyan Melnychenko, and pianist Kristian Chong.

While Cottis will conduct two of the Llewellyn Series concerts, the opening Australian Series concert, “Stargazers”, and the annual Summer Prom, principal guest conductor Simon Hewett will conduct Beethoven’s “Eroica” symphony and two hearty winter performances of Handel’s “Messiah”, featuring Chloe Lankshear, Tobias Cole, Andrew Goodwin and Adrian Tamburini.

CSO 2022, program and bookings here 


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