The 19th Bangalow Music Festival 2021 (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 19th BMF program under the theme of ‘music’s inexhaustible joie de vivre’ in the picturesque town of Bangalow. This year’s thematic is woven into a fascinating program that unfolds August 12-15, 2021.
SXS is synonymous with excellence, delivering quality music-making both in Australia and internationally. Over the past 25 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 celebrated 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. Sadly, the 2020 edition was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The incredibly successful 18th, 2019 BMF was nominated for an APRA AMCOS award for Best Regional Event. The 19th BMF 2021 program was officially launched this morning at the stunning Manor House in Bangalow, by Southern Cross Soloists’ and BMF, 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 ‘music’s inexhaustible joie de vivre’ across seven curated concerts in beautiful Bangalow’s A&I Hall from Friday August 13 to Sunday August 15. This year’s festival celebrates that music, in its full technicolour glory, has the fundamental ability to unleash a multidimensional mix of emotions that transcend the spoken word.
Announcing the program, Artistic Director Tania Frazer said, “This year’s festival celebrates music’s ability to influence our ‘joie de vivre’ in a program that evokes the spirit of the human soul, from the delicate and tender to the spirited and dramatic. Each
of the bespoke concert programs highlight music’s kaleidoscope of colours, vivid imagery, passion, nostalgic memories and love. We have a sensational line up of guest artists joining SXS at the festival this year.”
The 19th BMF (12-15 August) will play host to over 25 internationally regarded and young up and coming artists, with seven featured artists across seven curated concerts and includes three new work, world premieres. The festival is also accompanied by three very popular, often sold-out, Pre-Festival events (12-13 August). New for the festival this year is ‘BMF Bite Size’, a variety of small bite size performances and conversation events taking place in and around some of the most beautiful venues in the centre of Bangalow.
Bite Size venues are Bangalow Antiques; Ninbella Gallery and Uniting Church.
Amongst the headline artists for the 19th BMF are renowned Orava Quartet – newly appointed – BMF Quartet in Residence – making a return to the 19th BMF with their scintillating energetic performances in Concert 5 – ‘Evening with Oravas’ (7:30pm, Saturday 14 August). The Orava Quartet are commencing a three-year residency with the BMF which offers exciting collaboration opportunities this year and into the future.
Festival line-up of acclaimed chamber musicians and international soloists includes Australian-British pianist Jayson Gillham, recognised as one of the finest pianists of his generation, performing regularly with the world’s leading orchestras; award-winning New Zealand soprano Isabella Moore, a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Music Academy of the West, Santa Barbara; SXS Artist in Residence, a descendant of the Wakka Wakka people from Queensland, trumpet and didgeridoo player Chris Williams studied trumpet at the Royal College of Music in London; praised by Gramophone Magazine for his “captivating sensitivity” and “exhilarating authority,” Australian cellist Richard Narroway enjoys an international career as a sought-after performer, recording artist, and teacher; Eric Avery is a violinist, dancer and composer from the Ngiyampaa, Yuin, Bandgalang and Gumbangirr people of northern NSW; and Paula Nazarski, First Nations Aboriginal Quandamooka Ngugi Actor, Playwright & Storyteller. We are thrilled to welcome guest French Horn soloist, Nick Mooney who has recently returned from playing Principal Horn in the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Perth-based guest Concert Pianist, Gladys Chua.
Since 2002, SXS has professionally delivered 18 curated BMFs and this year will star as the opening festival performance at the 19th BMF, bringing their outstanding full line-up of artists, all renowned soloists, to audiences on Friday 13th August at 7pm, with an effervescent all-French program for Concert 1, full of lightness, fluidity and colour – all the characteristics of a glass of fine French Champagne. SXS Composer in Residence John Rotar, has arranged the Ravel and Debussy pieces for this concert. This is followed by Concert 2 – Festival Welcome – featuring all 19th BMF 2021 guest artists. Debuting at the Festival, award winning New Zealand soprano, Isabella Moore performs Verdi’s moving and tragic Desdemona arias from Otello with SXS. International piano soloist Jayson Gillham performs Scriabin’s mystical Piano Sonata no. 4 and will then be joined by the newly appointed BMF Quartet in Residence, the Orava Quartet for Brahms’s majestic masterpiece of chamber music: his acclaimed Piano Quintet in F minor. The festival is debuting a newly revised project ‘Maps and Journeys: The World’s First Astronomers’, (3:30pm, Saturday 14 August). This exciting project has been supported by Festivals Australia and features three new work World Premieres. Two new works by First Nation’s composers Brenda Gifford and Eric Avery in a concert of Australian works inspired by the night sky and the Seven Sister Constellation. Actor/writer Paula Nazarski, Composer Sean O’Boyle (also with a new work, World Premiere) and SXS Artist in Residence didgeridoo soloist Chris Williams collaborate with SXS on this project.
It was further announced today at the 19th BMF launch, that local Kyogle, NSW artist, Reuben Flower (Piano) is the recipient of this year’s Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (ADFAS) Byron Bay: ADFAS Byron Bay Scholarship Recipient. This award, now in its third year, is presented annually by ADFAS Byron Bay to an outstanding young musician from Northern NSW. The 19th BMF program proudly includes Reuben who is a 3rd year dual Bachelor of Music (Honours) and Bachelor of Science student at University of Queensland, majoring in performance mathematics. He began piano 13 years ago and especially enjoys playing works by J.S Bach, Prokofiev ad R. Schumann.
Long-time local BMF supporter Rebecca Zentveld of Zentveld’s Coffee Plantation and Roastery has been involved with the Festival since its inception and will again host the Zentveld’s Coffee Concert on Friday August 13, 11am – 12pm. Ninbella Gallery will host Inside Maps and Journeys, Friday August 13, 4-4:30pm. Meet First Nations’ performing artists featuring Eric Avery (violin), actress Paula Nazarski and SXS Artist in Residence Chris Williams (didgeridoo), as they discuss their journeys and artist practices.
Tickets for this vibrant, populace chamber music festival, along with its very popular prefestival events with local flavour – the Festival Prelude Events – Schools Concert – Maps and Journeys, The World’s First Astronomers (Thursday August 12, 11:30am and 1:30pm), the Local’s Night featuring Emerging Stars of Tomorrow (Thursday August 12, 7:00pm) and Zentveld’s Coffee Concert at Newrybar (Friday August 13, 11:00am) are on sale now. 2019’s 18th award-nominated BMF had seven sell-out performances.
Tickets can be purchased through SXS’s website www.southernxsoloists.com