Wollongong-born conductor Jennifer Condon will return to Wollongong to lead a 70-piece symphony orchestra in a concert raising funds for bushfire relief efforts.
The Symphony & Cocktails bushfire appeal concert, titled Rachmaninov in Red Square, will feature performances at the Wollongong Town Hall on February 29 and March 1.
All profits from the concerts will be donated to the Mayoral Bushfire Relief Funds at Wingecarribee Shire Council, Shoalhaven City Council and Wollondilly Shire Council.
The concerts will feature piano soloist Ambre Hammond, while the 70-piece orchestra will be comprised primarily of musicians drawn from the Illawarra, South Coast, Southern Highlands and Southern Sydney.
The Rachmaninov in Red Square performances will feature the works of Russian composer and pianist Sergei Rachmaninov.
Condon will return to conduct in her hometown for the first time.
Condon, who is based in Germany but retains close ties to Wollongong, said music was a great way to bring together people of all ages and backgrounds while supporting the communities most affected by the bushfires.
"Music is a unifying experience and the perfect way to celebrate the resilience of the Australian people while remembering the sacrifices experienced by so many within the community," she said.
"The way people have come together to help each other during this time is inspiring, and we want to show our support for what will be an ongoing recovery mission.
"As musicians we like to think we can bring a little joy into any situation, so the Symphony and Cocktails concerts are a way of encouraging family and friends to join together to enjoy an upbeat and exhilarating night out while continuing to help those in need.
"We want this to be an amazing social event for people of all ages and backgrounds, whether you love classical music or just want to experience the incredible sound of a 70-piece orchestra in action for the first time."
The program features Caprice bohemien, a symphonic poem for orchestra which paints an evocative scene in musical colours; Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, a showstopper for a piano soloist; and the epic adventure, Symphonic Dances.
Tickets for the two concerts are now on-sale.
Tickets can be purchased through the Wollongong Town Hall.
Visit wollongongtownhall.com.au or phone 4224 5999.
Wollongong vodka bar Red Square will create two cocktails and one mocktail especially for the event.