The international musicians of Grammy Award-winning supergroup Silkroad Ensemble will perform their genre-defying music in Brisbane for the first time at Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) on Thursday 7 March 2019.

For one night only in the Concert Hall at QPAC, extraordinary musicians from around the world will present a never-to-be-seen-again concert converging centuries, continents and cultures.

Drawing on a rich tapestry of traditions, nationalities also instruments including tabla, bagpipes, shakuhachi, and strings, audiences can expect a repertoire including popular jazz, traditional Vietnamese, Chinese and Kazakh music; Finnish folk song; Jugalbandi (Indian classical) and much more.

Described as “vibrant and virtuosic” by the Wall Street Journal, superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma founded Silkroad Ensemble in 1998 as a radical experiment seeking to understand the fear and insecurity sparked by globalization. Bringing together musicians from many corners of the Silk Road to co-create a new artistic idiom, the ensemble creates a musical language founded indifference and collaboration, a metaphor for the benefits of a more connected world.

A collective of virtuoso musicians from over 20 countries, Silkroad Ensemble’s work is a vibrant, passionate and ecstatic celebration of world music, both instrumental and vocal, performed by outstanding contemporary musicians representing dozens of disciplines and artistic traditions.

The lineup of nine extraordinary musicians coming to QPAC includes two of Silkroad’s co-artistic directors Jeffrey Beecher on bass and multi-percussionist Shane Shanahan, together with internationally acclaimed Galician bagpipe master and classical pianist Cristina Pato, pioneering cellist Mike Block, multi-talented percussionist Mark Suter, Indian tabla player Sandeep Das, violist Mario Gotoh, Wu Tong, who has played the sheng and suona since he was five, and Kayhan Kalhor who is an internationally acclaimed virtuoso on the kamancheh (spiked fiddle).

The performers, who are internationally leading teachers, producers, and music advocates, take time off from playing with the world’s best orchestras and pre-eminent music academies to tour the globe with Silkroad Ensemble.

Silkroad Ensemble has recorded seven albums with its most recent, the Grammy Award-winning, Sing Me Home, developed and recorded alongside the 2016 documentary feature about the ensemble, The Music of Strangers.

QPAC Chief Executive John Kotzas said bringing globally renowned artists such as Silkroad Ensemble to Brisbane is part of the Centre’s ongoing commitment to bringing the best international live performance events to Queensland audiences.

“Music is a universal language we can all understand. It brings people together, evokes emotion and connects cultures and can help us all understand the world we live in and Silkroad Ensemble was founded on this very philosophy,” said Mr. Kotzas.

This is an exceptionally rare opportunity to experience the exhilarating, world-class artistry of Silkroad Ensemble here at QPAC.”

Qiu_Xia _He _and _André _Thibault_IMAGE
Photo:Qiu Xia He and André Thibault

The Silkroad, formerly the Silk Road Project, Inc., is a not-for-profit organization, initiated by the cellist Yo-Yo Ma in 1998, promoting collaboration among artists and institutions, promoting multicultural artistic exchange, and studying the ebb and flow of ideas.

The project was first inspired by the cultural traditions of the historical Eurasian Silk Road trade routes and now encompasses a number of artistic, cultural and educational programs focused on connecting people and ideas from around the world.
It has been described as “art and educational organization that connects musicians, composers, artists, and audiences around the world” and  “an initiative to promote multicultural artistic collaboration.”