A festival of music for small ensembles

There are many reasons why small ensembles are important for Queensland Conservatorium, for the arts scene in Queensland and beyond, and for music lovers at large.

For Queensland Conservatorium as a place where we nurture and develop the musicians of the future, small ensemble–whether in classical music, contemporary art music, jazz or pop–offer our students the opportunity to learn and work together, to truly listen, to develop individual creativity, but also make it part of something bigger. It hones skills in playing together like nothing else.

For music at large–and particularly art music–there is a strong argument that in challenging financial times, small ensembles are most likely to thrive. Of course great orchestras will always exist, but not all musicians find their way into these large ensembles, and we observe challenges to their sustainanbility worldwide. A strong quartet only needs a big car or four airline tickets (maybe five to include the cello) to go and play anywhere, at overseeable costs.

Finally, and most importantly, small ensemble music making can bring music lovers intense joy. The interplay between a handful of musicians on stage, giving it everything they have, has the potential to create some of the most intimate and memorable musical moments.

And so we bring you Crossbows, a recurring mini-festival celebrating diverse music making.