Candlelight Concerts perform under the sky (for free) at summer’s end

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Candlelight Concerts perform under the sky (for free) at summer’s end


Summer is slipping from us. Make your last memories of the season relaxing into a balmy night at two free Candlelight Concerts.

A week before daylight savings ends, the critically acclaimed Candlelight Concerts return on March 25 and 26 for their debut in Prahran Square. Melburnians can head to the award-winning urban parkland in the southeast for evenings of live performances featuring repertoires from jazz greats and renowned movie soundtrack composers.

Candlelight Concert: Tribute to Aretha Franklin + Other Jazz Greats

The opening night on Saturday 25 March best suits jazz aficionados – new and old. The premier concert falls on Aretha Franklin’s birthday, who passed away in 2018, with the Luminosity Trio playing her most beloved songs.

The Luminosity Trio includes Melbourne-based saxophonist Cheryl Durongpisitkul, multiple-Theatre Guild Award winning vocalist and performer Elly Poletti, and Joe McEvilly, a teacher and composer and ‘the guy behind’ Movement 9, Saxplained saxophone tutorials and the Giraffe Music app.

Tentative song choices by the renowned Queen of Soul include I Say A Little Prayer, Respect and (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman. The night will also see the Trio performing popular songs by other jazz greats. The free yet quality program has a drawcard for anyone wanting to wind down to low-key tunes or even kickstart an immersive Saturday night of music – take your pick.

Candlelight Concert: Movie Soundtracks 

The following night – Sunday 26 March – hosts the second and final Candlelight Concert with performances by the Invictus Quartet and Elective Strings.

The Invictus Quartet formed while its members Rebecca Wang, Nyssa Sanguansri, Jin Tong Long and Annika Cho studied together at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. Since 2017, they have performed as a group globally, including with artist Billy Davis at Government House for the Youth Leaders Reception with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, during their Australian Royal Tour in 2018. Invictus have performed in the Candlelight Concerts since late 2020.

Elective Strings, formerly the Vivace Collective, consists of award-winning classical musicians collaborating to discover musical genres by pushing the boundaries of string ensemble sound. They regularly perform across Melbourne, with highly rated shows including Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Tribute to Queen, Daft Punk, Beatles, Ed Sheeran, Joe Hisaishi and ABBA. New and anticipated shows include Adele and Coldplay in the upcoming months – and, of course, Prahran’s Candlelight Concert.

The Sunday night program weaves in the works of highly renowned movie soundtrack composers like Hans Zimmer, Joe Hisaishi, and John Williams. Music known from cult classics will get even the most serious of us giddy, pulling tracks from Howl’s Moving Castle, Lion King, Breakfast At Tiffany’s, The Little Mermaid, Frozen, Jaws, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and many more. With something for everyone, listening to these renditions on a Sunday evening will be a tonic to many fan cultures across generations before the start of a new week.

Both concerts span 90 minutes between 7:30 and 9pm from Prahran Square’s location in Cato Street, Prahran. The Square is a 10,000-square-metre public space initiative by the City of Stonnington, celebrating community, arts and culture by hosting events like the Candlelight Concerts.

Prahran Square and the City of Stonnington have organised the Candlelight Concerts in partnership with Fever. The Candlelight Concerts aim to democratise access to culture, allowing people of all ages to enjoy live music by local musicians illuminated by candles. Promising that audiences will ‘experience music in a whole new light,’ Candlelight Concerts are currently active in dozens of countries, including Brazil, Canada, France, South Korea and the United States. More than 3 million people have attended across 100 cities to watch their iconic performances spanning genres.

In February, the Candlelight Concert also offered free events at Federation Square in Melbourne, performing to thousands across three evenings, including a Queer Icons night to celebrate Midsumma Festival.

Other upcoming Candlelight Concerts include Amy Winehouse at Meat Market on 17 March, Tribute to Queen at Collingwood Town Hall on 31 March, and Taylor Swift at The National Theatre on 13 April. But you can save your coin by experiencing this award-winning series at Prahran Square for free in the final moments of summer.

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