Celebrated baroque orchestra to tour a pair of concerts to Queensland.

The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra has announced that Brisbane is set to become one of its permanent touring destinations from now on. The orchestra, which last week won a prestigious $80,000 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Group Award, will begin by taking their Vivaldi Unwired program to QPAC in May.

Paul Dyer’s period instrument ensemble have spent the last five years establishing a full series of six concert in Melbourne, and hopes to expand further in Queensland over the next five years since, as Dyer points out, a large number of classical music lovers from Brisbane regularly fly to Sydney to attend Brandenburg events.

“We have performed in Brisbane before and received positive feedback from audiences, who would love us to have a regular presence,” Dyer said. “It is so exciting that Brisbane audiences will now regularly be able to see Australia and the world’s finest period musicians play exquisite music on rare period instruments.”

Their first foray, Vivaldi Unwired, showcases award winning British composer Max Richter’s new version of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons recomposed for orchestra and synthesiser. For its Australian premiere tour, Paul Dyer will swap his harpsichord for an Apple Mac, and be joined by popular guest concertmaster (and leader of Queensland’s Camerata of St John’s) Brendan Joyce on solo baroque violin. Vivaldi Unwired will also feature a more traditional performance of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No 3 as well as one of CPE Bach’s Flute Concerti reimagined for soprano saxophone.

“Max Richter has perfectly illustrated how great music is constantly revealing itself and can flourish under radically different interpretations, whilst retaining its indestructible genius,” says Dyer. “He took a leap of faith when he decided to recompose such a treasured work but actually Vivaldi’s original Four Seasons would have sounded very different on the instruments of the day to the classic we now know.”

Later in the year, ABO will revisit Brisbane with imaginative and inspiring Italian guest director and soloist Riccardo Minasi (founder of his own ensemble, Il Pomo d’Oro) in an intriguing program focusing on seven recently discovered gems from a group of relatively unfamiliar Neapolitan composers: Francesco de Majo, Angelo Ragazzi and the brilliant Niccolò Jomelli.

Vivaldi Unwired is at QPAC on May 11 and 19 while Riccardo Minasi leads the ABO on October 26 and November 2