The Harpist – Xavier de Maistre, Forging Lasting Impressions

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Xavier de Maistre harpist, courtesy artist

If you love beauty and sublime music, the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra (ABO) concert to be presented with guest star internationally renowned Harpist Xavier de Maistre in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in May, 2018, will certainly be a concert for you.

Considered a true virtuoso, Xavier de Maistre is constantly pushing boundaries forging his own path to let the harp sing with a distinctive new voice. His expressive performances are said to be marked by an astonishing range of nuance and colour, as he forges deep and lasting impressions with his audience.

“Xavier is one of the most sought-after classical artists on the planet!” says Paul Dyer, Artistic Director. “We are incredibly fortunate to have him for our 2018 season.”


Harpist from Cycladic Greece, 3000 BCE

One of the oldest instruments in the world, the Harp has evolved over thousands of years from the format of a ‘hunter’s bow’ into being one of the largest and most loved instruments of the orchestra, which for many strumming its strings, has become a life calling.

Winning International competitions since he was sixteen and now 35, Xavier de Maistre has a wealth of experience at playing all over the world.

The works he interprets have contributed to his reputation as one of the most creative and extraordinary musicians of his generation.

De Masitre BEST

Xavier de Maistre harpist, courtesy artist

He is renowned for performing keyboard concertos by Mozart and the boy wonder’s Symphony No. 20 in D Major, K. 133 composed when he was only 16 and staying in Salzburg in between trips to Italy, is scored for two flutes, two oboes, two horns, two trumpets and strings.

It should be a very special experience to have the harp take a role.


Xavier de Maistre harpist, courtesy artist

Xavier de Maistre gives masterclasses at the Julliard School in New York and teaches at the Hamburg Academy of Music, realising how important it is to share his own talent and experiences with the students of the future. He has been described as a ‘charismatic virtuoso’ who has the ability and talent to ‘… create inner worlds of exquisite sensitivity filled with light and shade’.

The program includes the ABO’s first performance of a work by French impressionist composer Maurice Ravel (1875 – 1937), who was renowned for extolling the qualities of a perfect Swiss watchmaker’s works; intricacy and precision.

Ravel was born in Switzerland, as indeed was de Maistre, with the composer perhaps better known to today’s audiences for his fabulous Bolero (1928).

Another interesting work on the program composed by Francois-Adrien Boieldieu (1775 – 1834) is his Harp Concerto in C Major, Op. 82, well known to French romantics.

The Boieldieu will be followed by the Symphony No 1 in D Major composed c1893 by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788) one of JS Bach’s most prolific and well known sons of whom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart said of his much-admired senior colleague “… he is the father, we are the children”.

de Maistre’s sixth album for Sony Classical, focuses on Spain and on works originally written for the guitar, for the piano and for full orchestra.

FlamencoIt’s wonderful to see a work by Spanish composer Manuel De Falla (1876-1946) on the program. De Falla moved to live in Paris from Madrid in 1907 where he met Claude Debussy, Paul Dukas and Maurice Ravel.

The latter’s works influenced De Falla’s orchestration of his fiery Spanish Danse from La Vida Breve – an opera in two acts and four scenes which were refined for what is the standard performance today in 1913.

De Falla sort to restore the purity of flamenco, whose golden age is usually considered to be roughly between 1780 – 1845, after returning to Spain to live in 1914.

He promoted it as a mysterious sophisticated art form, whose roots seem to relate to the Roma migration from Rjasthan in northwest India to Spain between the ninth and fourteenth centuries.

“Composed in 1895 by the Spanish composer and guitarist Francisco TárregaReceurdos de la Alhambra is one of the most famous of all Spanish pieces and has been a part of the repertory of every major guitarist from Andrés Segovia to John Williams,” says Xavier. “Even when played on the guitar, this is a very demanding piece, but on the harp the sustained tremolando represents a particular technical challenge.”

The final work on the program Vltava (The Moldau) is a much-beloved stunningly beautiful one of six symphonic poems collectively known as Má vlast (My Country) by Bohemian composer Bedrich Smetana (1824 – 1884), who was seeking to capture the atmosphere of the meadows and forests of his beloved Czech countryside.

Surely the Xavier de Maistre concert will be very special indeed.

Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2018

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Xavier de Maistre harpist, courtesy artist

The Harpist – Xavier de Maistre

Sydney | Melbourne | Brisbane

Paul Dyer Artistic Director
Xavier De Maistre (France) harp
Australian Brandenburg Orchestra

Mozart Symphony No. 20 in D Major, K. 133
Boieldieu Harp Concerto in C Major, Op. 82
C.P.E. Bach Symphony No. 1 in D Major, Wq. 183/1
Ravel Pavane pour une infante défunte
De Falla Spanish Danse from La Vida Breve
Tarrega Recuerdos de la Alhambra
Smetana Vltava (The Moldau) from Má vlast

Concert duration approximately 2 hours, including one interval.
Please note concert duration is approximate only and is subject to change

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