WASO’s 2020 season brochure brings a bright new look for what is sure to be the Orchestra’s best year yet.

While the announcement of each year’s program is exciting in itself, its the season brochure that many await with bated breath. 2020 brings an all-new look with WASO engaging Chinese-Australian contemporary artist Yi Xiao Chen, to create the visual expression of next year’s brochure.

Not only is Yi Xiao an incredible artist, she also happens to be a WASO subscriber, “I have attended WASO concerts for a few years and became a subscriber for the first time in 2018. I have always enjoyed classical music and grew up with Chopin and Beethoven frequently playing in the house.”

Working closely with WASO designer Imogen Arnold, Yi Xiao carefully created individual portraits inspired by the spirit of each conductor, artist or soloist featured throughout 2020, to produce a unique aesthetic for the season, “I sketched the musicians on paper with pencil, then finished the sketches on my tablet on Procreate and Adobe Draw.”


While you wouldn’t guess from the skill involved in her work, Yi Xiao’s art education has been mostly informal with the majority of her learning through visiting art galleries and museums all over the world with her family as a teenager, “I started my art career by doing illustration work for clients, mostly magazine covers and event posters. In 2018 I spent some time in Paris working with the illustration agency Atelier22, and had my first solo exhibition there.”

Multi-talented Yi Xiao even has a second career, currently working part-time as a general practitioner, “Before I started my art practice in earnest, I studied medicine and graduated in 2014. Currently, my art practice consists of contemporary painting, in particular portraiture, with the themes of cultural identity, family history, and connection to the past.” 

For Yi Xiao there is a strong connection between art and music, “They are linked by both being vehicles to express what cannot be put into words. With the series for WASO I tried to capture the spirit of the musicians and their connection to the music they are performing.”

The opportunity to be involved in the creation of WASO’s season brochure had an extra perk for Yi Xiao, being able to get an early sneak peek of the program, “I’m looking forward to Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto, Eumeralla, a war requiem for Peace, and Beethoven: The Piano Concertos.”

If you haven’t already, you can pick up a copy of the WASO 2020 season brochure at Perth Concert Hall or download here

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