Toowoomba’s reputation as the Darling Downs cultural capital will be further enhanced next month with the return of the world-renowned Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, this year celebrating 30 years of Baroque. The free community concert Ayres and Graces will take place on Thursday 23 May at the heritage-listed Empire Church Theatre.

Presented by APA Group, which owns and operates the largest interconnected gas transmission network across Australia, the concert will be the fifth year in a row that the five-time ARIA Award-winning orchestra has brought its centuries-old musical magic to the city. Toowoomba audiences have shown a deep appreciation for the Baroque style and their growing knowledge of some of the period’s key composers such as Bach, Handel and Vivaldi.

Melissa Farrow, Brandenburg’s principal flute player, has curated the program Ayres and Graces designed to take the audience on an intimate musical journey through the diverse French and English musical landscape of the 17th and early 18th centuries. “It is really exciting for us to get out on the road and bring this style of music and playing to areas outside the capital cities, and the Toowoomba audience traditionally really engages with our performances.”

The performance will showcase a rare selection of instruments, including the Baroque flute, Baroque oboe, Baroque theorbo and viola da gamba. Farrow said that the Empire Church Theatre is the perfect venue for the performance. “Our Baroque instruments are better suited to smaller and resonant spaces, in which the music would have originally been heard. I think people are really going to enjoy the pieces selected.”

APA Managing Director and CEO Mick McCormack has been a driving force behind the Orchestra’s Toowoomba appearances over the past five years. “The new program, curated by Melissa, is incredible and I know those lucky enough to get tickets will also be captivated.”

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