Musica Viva Australia – 2024 Concert program

February to November 2024, various venues

The 2024 program is a blend of tradition and innovation, with seven national tours to six states and territories, four world premieres by Australian composers, and 26 of the world’s best artists including William Barton, The Choir of King’s College Cambridge, Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto and pianist Kirill Gerstein.

Barbie spoke to Musca Viva’s Artistic Director Paul Kildea about the 2024 program

The program aims to tap into all the senses.

The season begins in February with Long Lost Loves (and Grey Suede Gloves), an evening of storytelling over the piano, inspired by the work of Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer William Bolcom.

The program weaves together quasi-cabaret, part-art songs by Bolcom to create a meditation on life, love and living in the moment. Australian mezzo soprano Anna Dowsley performs Bolcom’s most remarkable songs.

In April and May Esmé Quartet make their Australian debut. They perform works including Mendelssohn’s second String Quartet and young Australian composer Jack Frerer’s Spiral Sequences.

Kirill Gerstein performs a, seven-city solo recital tour in June. In this offering, he performs virtuosic works by Liszt, Godowsky, and Chopin, alongside the world premiere of Australian composer Liza Lim’s Transcendental Etude.

The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge returns in July and August. They will perform two touchstones of the choral repertoire: Stravinsky’s Mass for choir and double wind quintet, and Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem

A new, commissioned work by Australian composer Damian Barbeler, setting words by First Nations poet Judith Nangala Crispin, grapples with the threads of history.

In August Musica Viva Australia presents a new musical collaboration between Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto and American composer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist, Gabriel Kahane. They examine what it means to be artists in the 21st century whilst honouring their classical heritage.

In September, Ensemble Q and William Barton collaborate so audiences can experience what happens when the oldest wind instrument in the world – the digeridoo – teams up with instruments which found their final form only two centuries ago. The rest of the program includes masterpieces by Brahms and Ligeti.

Rounding out the 2024 season in November is the Australian debut of Musica Alchemica. led by baroque violinist Lina Tur Bonet.

Making her debut with her hand-picked ensemble, Musica Alchemica, Bonet will perform works by Corelli, Telemann, Biber, and other jewels of the Baroque.

Image credit Jasmin Simmons courtesy of Pinchgut Opera