Perth International Arts Festival Artistic Director Wendy Martin launches her first program tonight. It is the first of four programs to be rolled out during her tenure director and the word is to expect a program full of “visionaries, mavericks and dreamers”.

“It’s through the lens of their imaginations that we get to see, understand and re-imagine our world, Martin says. “Dive into the program and discover daring projects made by some of the world’s most brilliant creative minds.”

800 of the world’s visionaries will descend on Perth for a festival designed for arts lovers of all ages and tastes. As usual the festival will be spread across a variety of venues including the Festival’s new home at Elizabeth Quay.

My wrap of the classical music events is below, or go here for the full program.

The classical musical program ranges enticingly from ancient choral delights to glorious baroque, spirited ragtime, bebop and contemporary orchestral jazz. The centrepiece is Wynton Marsalis who is bringing his Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orcchestra to Perth to perform Swing Symphony with the WA Symphony Orchestra.

A dedicated Chamber Music Weekend in and around Winthorp Hall includes Mozart, Messiaen, Bartok, Liszt and Ligeti, with a day dedicated to Schubert.

The popular contemporary classical series Soft Soft Loud is back with the premiere of an intricate chamber version of Marc-Anthony Turnage’s masterpiece Blood on the Floor.

In an Australian exclusive, the all-male Corsican sextet A Filetta perform original compositions full of soaring vocals and ehavenly harmonies influenced by their island’s strong vocal traditions.Sitting alongside this is Italy’s Concerto Italiano, one of the world’s most revered early music ensembles playing Moteverdi’s 1610 Vespro della Beata Vergine on 17th century instruments.

I am excited about the variety of local and big name artists, and the span of music accoss both centuries and genres. I’ll leave you with a taster of Turnage’s Blood on the Floor performed by the Orkest de Ereprijs to whet your appetite.

The Festival runs 12 Feb to 6 March 2016. For more details and to book tickets go to