Maestro Zubin Mehta to conduct Australian World Orchestra in Melbourne and Sydney

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“I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to once more conducting the great Australian World Orchestra!” Maestro Zubin Mehta                                         

Maestro Zubin Mehta proclaimed it ‘one of the top ten orchestras on earth’ after conducting The Australian World Orchestra (AWO) in 2013, and in 2015 he invited the AWO to perform with him in India.

Now in 2022, the legendary Maestro will once again lead the AWO as it comes together for two unmissable and much anticipated performances at Melbourne’s Hamer Hall on 31 August and the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall on 2 September.  Maestro Zubin Mehta is recognised as one of the world’s greatest Strauss interpreters, and for these concerts he will conduct the Australian World Orchestra in performances of three of Richard Strauss’s most famous tone poems – Don Juan, Till Eulenspiegels Lustige Streiche and Ein Heldenleben.

“In truth, I became a conductor because deep down I wanted to conduct Richard Strauss’s tone poems.” Maestro Zubin Mehta

Announcing the concerts, AWO’s Artistic Director, Alexander Briger AO, said: “Following the recent challenges we are so delighted to be coming together as an orchestra once again led by one of the world’s most extraordinary conductors.

Zubin has a deep connection with the AWO musicians, forged first here in Australia, and then when we toured India with him and embarked on a number of special programs throughout India with his Mehli Mehta Music Foundation.  There is no better way to celebrate the joy of music making than for the Australian World Orchestra‘s wonderful musicians to be performing the Richard Strauss tone poems conducted by the world’s finest interpreter of Strauss.”

It has been said that what Shakespeare was to the sonnet, Richard Strauss was to the tone poem.  A tone poem (sometimes referred to as a ‘symphonic’ poem) is a piece of orchestral music, usually performed in a single, continuous movement, whose inspiration is sourced from a poem, short story, novel, or other (non-musical) source.

Strauss’s tone poems are among the most striking works of the orchestral repertoire.  The descriptive power of these compositions is intended to both inspire and move listeners, taking the concept of realism in music to an unprecedented level. Strauss’s unique expression is why his tone poems are widely regarded as the pinnacle of this orchestral form.

The Australian performances follow the Australian World Orchestra’s inaugural UK performances at the Edinburgh Festival (19 Aug) and BBC Proms (Aug 23) as part of the UK|AU Cultural Exchange. The UK concerts will be conducted by Maestro Zubin Mehta, with Australian soprano Siobhan Stagg as special guest, singing Debussy’s Ariettes oubliées, the orchestration of which was commissioned by the AWO from Brett Dean in 2015.

Read Maestro Zubin Mehta’s biography here.

Zubin Mehta
Source: AWO

About the Australian World Orchestra

Audacious, exhilarating and with limitless vision, the Australian World Orchestra (AWO) is recognised as one of the most exciting initiatives in Australia’s cultural history.

Founded in 2011 by Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Alexander Briger AO, its mission is to bring together Australia’s finest classical musicians – from ensembles at home as well as all around the world – to create something uniquely electrifying. Touring within Australia and overseas has won the Orchestra an enviable reputation and established new audiences for classical music, while the AWO education program has helped foster the next generation of Australian musicians.

The AWO’s musicians are drawn from the world’s finest orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Concertgebouw and Australia’s orchestras and ensembles. The immense talent, coupled with its grand, award-winning sound, has seen many of the world’s finest conductors including Sir Simon Rattle and Ricardo Muti lead the orchestra both in Australia and overseas. The Australian World Orchestra has been hailed by audiences and critics alike as charismatic, inspiring and one of a kind.



Richard Strauss’s tone poems

Don Juan

Till Eulenspiegels Lustige Streiche

Ein Heidenleben

Wednesday 31 August • Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne

Friday 2 September • Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House

Bookings & Information: www.australianworldorchestra.com.au

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