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Two men playing grand piano and a guitar.

Two special performances in the renewed Concert Hall in 2023

The Sydney Opera House today announced two special music events in the acoustically-transformed Concert Hall in 2023 during its 50th anniversary year. Legendary Lebanese composer, singer and oud player Marcel Khalifé returns after 10 years for a special performance alongside his son, pianist Rami Khalifé on 6 February 2023. Celebrating its own 50 years, San Francisco’s three-time Grammy Award-winning Kronos Quartet return on 14 March 2023 showcasing their ground-breaking sound that redefined classical music. 

Sydney Opera House Head of Contemporary Music, Ben Marshall, says: “In a big day for lovers of singular voices in fine music, we’re beyond thrilled to welcome back the virtuosic Marcel Khalifé and the revolutionary Kronos Quartet for two landmark performances in the mighty Concert Hall next year. Come and witness the soulful father-son collaboration between the legendary Marcel and his immensely talented son Rami in February, and join us in March to celebrate two 50-year milestone anniversaries – one for the innovative, Grammy Award-winning Kronos Quartet and one for Sydney Opera House. These are two unbelievably special moments not to be missed.”

Marcel & Rami Khalifé present Legacy
Virtuoso Lebanese musician and humanitarian (named UNESCO Artist for Peace in 2005) Marcel Khalifé is an innovator in Arabic music, blending traditional and Western elements to create a sound that has captivated audiences around the world. For the first time in a decade, the iconic musician – dubbed by the Los Angeles Times as “the Dylan of Lebanon” – is returning to the renewed Concert Hall, joined by his son, the acclaimed pianist and composer Rami Khalifé. Legacy will feature a mix of Marcel’s revered classics alongside Rami’s new arrangements and original compositions, telling the story of a father and son who found solace in music in a time of exile.

Marcel and Rami Khalifé say: "We will sing and play music in Sydney, echoing the song of sailors who taught us what it is to sing and play. For the piano and the oud vibrating tenderly in the ears of children… We will sing for joy… We will sing love to conquer war. It's been ten years since our last rendezvous. Let us find a seat for nostalgia at the Sydney Opera House in 2023. Join us, so together we can change the world and replace its chaos with music, singing, and love” (Translated from Arabic).

Kronos Quartet – KRONOS Five Decades
Celebrating five decades of sound that changed the classical and new music worlds, Kronos Quartet will perform a curated selection of their trailblazing work, spanning new music and classic arrangements from composers around the world, including works by Reich, Crumb, and more. Founded in 1973, the revolutionary string troupe has been a ground-breaking force, committed to fearlessly reimagining the string quartet experience. They have commissioned more than 1,000 works, released 70 recordings, and won more than 40 major awards, including three Grammys, and have collaborated and performed with everyone from Steve Reich and Philip Glass to Nine Inch Nails, David Bowie, Paul McCartney, and Patti Smith. The 50th anniversary show heralds the debut of Kronos Quartet’s recently appointed cellist Paul Wiancko, performing alongside founder and violinist David Harrington and long-time members John Sherba (violin) and Hank Dutt (viola).

David Harrington, Founder, Artistic Director and violinist of Kronos Quartet, says: “Kronos is delighted to return to the Sydney Opera House. I love the fabulous audiences we have encountered there, in combination with the awesome architectural wonder of the hall itself and the breathtakingly beautiful setting it inhabits."