The 4MBS Festival of Classics is Australia’s largest classical music festival, spanning three weeks and showcasing over 500 of Queensland’s finest musicians. Running 28 May – 18 June 2017 in its 24th year, this Festival focuses on ‘The British Connection’ offering 28 events across 17 venues in and around Brisbane.
The spectacular Festival opening on Sunday 28 May will feature a performance of galactic proportions. 300 musicians – Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra combined with Brisbane Symphony Orchestra, along with Brisbane Chorale and Canticum Chamber Choir take to the stage, conducted by Peter Luff, in the grand Auditorium of Brisbane City Hall.
Festival Director Gary Thorpe says, “It is fitting that this year’s Festival of Classics opens with two of the most powerful works by British composers, Holst’s remarkable The Planets and Walton’s rousing Belshazzar’s Feast.”
The beloved Piano Marathon will close the Festival on Sunday 18 June with five concerts featuring many of Brisbane’s most renowned pianists highlighting music with a British connection. The first features Mozart’s four-hand Sonata for Piano K.19d, written by Mozart during his London tour when he was just nine years old. After lunchtime, Natasha Vlassenko and Oleg Stepanov present Chopin works. Chopin gave his last public performance in London in 1848.
The Piano Marathon will end with a special performance of Holst’s The Planets played by a relay of piano duos including pianists Stephen Emmerson, Angela Turner, Jenni Flemming, Laurence Matheson, Adam McMillan and Sine Winther.
In between there is music by more British composers including Handel, Purcell, Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Gilbert & Sullivan, as well as composers inspired by Britain, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Haydn and many more.
Enjoy sublime performances by the Australian Piano Duo, Louise King (cello), Leslie Martin-Nightingale (soprano), the Festival String Quartet and QSO Young Instrumentalist winner Leanne McGowan (violin) in such beautiful venues as Newstead House, Queen Alexandra Home and recently opened SunPAC Theatre. Other interesting Festival events include film screenings and free talks in local libraries.
Experience moving classical music in full force, and up close and personal, with the most accomplished musicians Queensland has to offer.
The 4MBS Festival of Classics is run by Brisbane classical music community radio station 4MBS Classic FM. The Festival started in 1993 and has always served to highlight the wealth of local talent in and around Brisbane. The Festival has produced the Matilda award winning Amadeus production and featured professional musicians and emerging musicians who have gone on to international careers.
Gary Thorpe OAM has been Festival Director since the Festival’s inception and General Manager of 4MBS Classic FM for 28 years of the organisation’s 40-year history to date. He was awarded an OAM in the Order of Australia in 2009 for outstanding service to music and broadcasting.