"enthralling! fine playing, the music echoed with delight"
(Brisbane Sunday Mail, October, 2005 )
"...the Bach Brandenburg Concerto was superbly performed, exhilerating in every way"
Dene Olding, Kirtley Leigh Paine,Dimity Hall,violins
(Australian Festival of Chamber Music
Townsville Bulliten, July 2005)
"Kirtley wowed the crowds at her Civic Theatre Recital"
(The Cairns Post, March, 2004)
"Virtuoso Violin with Panache"
(Nelson, N.Z. News, September, 2006)
"Kirtley's violin flirted with the piano of Pascal Roge"
(Arts Nexus Magazine, October, 2007)
"Her concerto premiere was a match made in Heaven"
(NZ Mail, September, 2006)
We are Celebrating! 2013 marks our 10th Anniversary
Paradise Concerts International Chamber Music returns in 2013 for a Residency at the Centre of Contemporary Arts in the first of a Series of four concerts to mark their 10th Anniversary.
The renowned chamber music series was a highlight of Cairns Festival last year, featuring in the Centre's own Music Series to high acclaim, and is back for 2013- promising everything Paradise Concerts is famous for: an exciting new season full of stellar artists, innovative programming, and dynamic direction.
The series includes such stellar Guest Artists as Gwyn Roberts, cello and Jenni Flemming, piano
The 2013 Concert Series, entitled Menage a Trois, will celebrate the greatest masterpieces of the classical world through the elegant and vibrant piano trio. Each concert will bring the genre to life in an interplay of the violin, cello and piano, with vivid performances of composers as diverse as Beethoven, Shostakovich, Rachmaninov, Haydn, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Prokofiev and Dvorak.
The Paradise Concerts' grand piano, a beautiful Yamaha 6 foot, acquired by the Artistic Director from a benefactor in 2010, is the centrepiece of each performance. This majestic piano is now in proud residence in The Theatre, and will feature in all four concerts over the 2013 series.
The classic piano trio combination of cello, violin and piano well-loved within classical music literature, and is a form used by almost every composer of prominence to explore the sonorities of the three instruments together. The richness of the cello dances with the soaring violin registers, and the piano's harmonic range which encompasses the total registers of both string instruments provides the perfect blend of both. The piano then provides a canvas of moods sometimes orchestral in breadth, and other times intimate.
The concerts will vary in program, and there will be different combinations of the trio and instruments showcased, providing a concert series of diversity and professionalism. Paradise Concerts also includes guest artists throughout the concert series which spotlight other instrument or vocal compositions. Each concert is presented with flair and passion by International violin soloist and Artistic Director Kirtley Leigh, in the style so beloved by concert-goers time after time. Exploring the gamut of styles and eras, the splendour and intimacy of the piano trio is a perfect starting point with which to launch this exciting new residency.
Each concert will feature a choice of ticket- either front of house at the hugely popular cabaret seating in fully wait-staffed tables of four, where drinks may be enjoyed before and during the show, or in the more traditional theatre seats which are tiered so the audience may enjoy full stage views.
Chamber Music in Far North Queensland doesn't get better than this! Paradise Concerts would love to welcome you for this special 10th Anniversary season.
Each concert will be hosted and led by solo violinist and Artistic Director Kirtley Leigh. Kirtley has been on stage for as long as she can remember. She has a career that has taken her across the globe, as soloist, in chamber concerts, recitals, and orchestras worldwide. Her performances have been celebrated in over 20 countries.
A student of the legendary virtuoso Josef Gingold, the US honoured her with the prestigious American Federation of Music Prize in New York.
As a chamber musician and recitalist, Leigh has appeared in the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, and festivals including Aspen, Point-Counterpoint and Chautauqua (USA), St. Endellion, Classics Live, Prussia Cove (UK), Klassik Aften, Bergen Festspille, and those of Oslo, Amsterdam, Vienna, Pollensa, and Hong Kong.
She has performed with orchestras worldwide, including the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, London Chamber Symphony, Midlands Philharmonic, Academy of London, Oxford and European Union Chamber Orchestras, for Queen Sophia of Spain with the Pollensa Chamber Orchestra, and for King Olaf of Norway with the Bergen Philharmonic, as well as tours with Pavarotti and the Oporto Orchestra, and with Soprano Kiri te Kanawa.
Leigh is a regular recitalist, performing with such Paradise Concerts' artists as internationally acclaimed pianists Pascal Roge, Melvyn Tan, Benjamin Martin, Clemens Leske, and James Brawn, flute sensation Jane Rutter, instrumentalists Gwyn Roberts, Markus Stocker, and William Barton, singers Joy Power-Cleary, Katerini Manolatos, and Kim Kirkman, and even Actress and Celebrities such as John Travolta and Diane Cilento.
This year's series promises to be as fulfilling as ever- the best classical chamber music, performed by the most exciting classical artists, in the most exciting venue Cairns has to offer- The Theatre at the Centre of Contemporary Arts.
More About Kirtley Leigh solo violin and Artistic Director
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR & VIOLIN
American/Australian violinist Leigh has a career that has taken her across the globe, as soloist, in chamber concerts, recitals, and orchestras worldwide. Her performances have been celebrated in over 20 countries. Her home is now Australia, where she has lived since relocating from London, and since receiving her Australian citizenship.
A student of the legendary virtuoso Josef Gingold, she holds a B Mus (honours) degree from Indiana University, as well as a Suzuki Teaching qualification. The US honoured her with the prestigious American Federation of Music Prize in New York.
As a chamber musician and recitalist, Leigh has appeared in the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, and festivals including Aspen, Point-Counterpoint and Chautauqua (USA), St. Endellion and Classics Live (UK), Klassik Aften, Bergen Festspille, and Oslo (Norway), Amsterdam, Vienna, Pollensa (Spain), and Hong Kong.
Leigh was a member of the Hong Kong Philharmonic (1983-87), and started her teaching career on the faculty of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts as Assistant Violin Professor. In Europe she held orchestral positions as leader in Amsterdam (1988), and in Norway where, as principal second violin of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, she was Artistic Director of her own chamber music series, performed as soloist and recorded for Norwegian radio from 1988-1991.
Residing in London for 14 years, her Duo gave its debut recital at the International Classics Live Festival. Leigh was in the UK's finest chamber and symphony orchestras, including principal second violin of the London Chamber Symphony, Assistant Leader of the Midlands Philharmonic, and member of the Academy of London, Oxford and European Union Chamber Orchestras. She was also a chamber musician/soloist at the Endellion Festival and Prussia Cove under conductor Richard Hickox.
Leigh ran her own private teaching studio while in London from 1990 - 2003, in addition was head of strings at Franciscan School, and appointed violin tutor at the Wimbledon Academy of Arts and Music (2000-2003). She was also on the faculty of the Wandsworth Music Academy (London) during this time.
European engagements included performing for Queen Sophia of Spain as Leader of the Pollensa Chamber Orchestra, and for King Olaf of Norway with the Bergen Philharmonic, as well as tours with Pavarotti and the Oporto Orchestra, Portugal, and with Soprano Kiri te Kanawa.
Leigh was one of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music's performers in 2005, as masterclass teacher and chamber music artist, ABC recording artist, and leader of the chamber orchestra. She gave her Australian recital debut in 2003, and founded, as Artistic Director, Paradise Concerts international chamber music series. In '05 Leigh toured Papua New Guinea, giving a command performance for the Prime Minister at Parliament House. The Queensland Arts Council appointed Leigh as a touring artist.
For the last 5 years she performed in recital with the internationally acclaimed pianist Pascal Roge, and appeared as guest leader and soloist with the Barrier Reef Orchestra under conductor John Hopkins OBE. She performed as soloist with Opera Queensland in '06, and toured New Zealand, giving recitals and the world premiere of a Concerto for Violin and Orchestra written for her by composer, Ross Carey. In '07 she was soloist at Opera in the Outback, She appeared as soloist/director in the debut of the Paradise Chamber Orchestra for Festival Cairns in The Eight Seasons, an innovative programme of her creation, juxtaposing Piazzolla and Vivaldi 4 Seasons. She is founder of the Paradise Chamber Orchestra, Cairns' first professional orchestra.
In '07, she was presented a RADF award in recognition of cultural excellence in Cairns. The Paradise Concerts' Gala recital of '08 featured Leigh and star pianist Melvyn Tan in performance together, and Leigh was appointed guest leader of the Cairns Community Orchestra. In '09, engagements included 2 concerto performances in Melbourne, as well as performing a rare Violin Concerto by Mendelssohn. Leigh's collaboration with exciting international artists continues at our Centre of Contemporary Arts venue. Musica Viva celebrated pianist, Benjamin Martin and Leigh formed a Duo.
The Series is also proud to now hold concerts in the iconic Art Deco Innisfail Town Hall, and is credited for bringing the Hall's Steinway into prominent use. In 2010 Paradise Concerts made its Cooktown debut at the Discovery Festival, and Leigh performed for National dignitaries at the opening gala for the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair.
Leigh continues to vigorously champion classical music in the Cairns region and also has a thriving studio for private tuition of violinists. Two of her students were accepted into the Conservatorium of Music in Brisbane, and another former student is a member of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra while completing her degree at the Australian Academy of Music in Sydney.
Her debut at the Centre of Contemporary Arts as Director and soloist in the Four Seasons in September 2011 was met with critical acclaim and her Paradise Concerts are a regular highlight of Cairns Festival for the last decade.
In 2012 Leigh began a Residency and partnership with the Centre of Contemporary Arts, Cairns, that has culminated in a 4-concert series to be held throughout each year as a cornerstone feature of the Centre's artistic calendar along with the KickArts modern arts, Jute Theatre Company, and End Credits Film Series, together providing a mecca of regular arts offerings to the Cairns'community. -
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