Sexy strings – world-renowned harpist Xavier de Maistre comes to QPAC
It’s a tale as old as time – you have a crush on someone, said crush is really into a particular thing and all of a sudden you develop an intense interest in said particular thing. While most of us can relate to exaggerating an interest in comic books or test cricket to impress a budding love interest, some people take it a step further. One such character is Xavier de Maistre, who at the tender age of nine fell head over heels for his town’s local harp teacher and took to plucking to impress her. Luckily for all of us, Xavier stuck with the harp beyond his initial infatuation – and grew into one of the world’s most celebrated classical musicians.
When it comes to the harp, Xavier de Maistre truly is a master of his craft. Most people don’t associate the harp with hot (not sorry) young French men, but Xavier breaks the mould of conventional classical artists in more ways than one. As well as not being what you expect visually, Xavier’s performances let the harp sing with a distinctive new voice, creating worlds of exquisite sensitivity. He combines his charisma with technical skill to perform pieces that are often only tackled by an entire orchestra, making his shows all the more impressive.
Artistic Director of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra Paul Dyer has crafted a program that will make audiences swoon, capitalising on the romantic and sensuous nature of the harp while adding moments loaded with intimate intensity. Xavier will play one of the greatest of all harp concertos, written by French composer François-Adrien Boieldieu (who some called ‘The French Mozart’), plus a solo bracket with three famous works transcribed for harp that Xavier has been taking all around the world. The transposed pieces come from Spanish composer and guitarist Francisco Tárrega, Czech composer Bedřich Smetana and Spanish composer Manuel de Falla, all masters of their craft.