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In 2019, Helpmann award-winning composer Iain Grandage curates Women of Song, a new series showcasing Australia's finest female vocalists, made possible by the Klein Family Foundation.

As major contributors to the construction of the Cultural Centre itself, the Klein Family Foundation began as the legacy of Ulrike Klein AO, and was passed over to the next generation in July 2017. Now operating entirely independently of UKARIA, the Foundation's mission is to inspire and empower sustainable solutions for positive change, with a deep commitment to health, local arts and environmental stewardship.

'UKARIA has stories within its walls a rapidly accumulating record of humanity and beauty from the concerts held within,' curator Iain Grandage said. 'Ulrike and all those who have helped create this shrine to music recognise the rewards of investment not only in the bricks-and-mortar of the venue but also in the musicians and artists who enliven it.'

'We are delighted to be in partnership with UKARIA to bring this beautiful new series to UKARIA audiences,' Klein Family Foundation Director Thora Klein said. 'It creates a binary link between the old and new generations of the Foundation, between the past and the present, and imprints our shared philanthropic passion into the future.'

The series builds on the success of Paul Grabowsky's sell-out series Four Voices, which featured artists such as Paul Kelly, Archie Roach, Lior, Vince Jones and Megan Washington.

Grandage, who curated Compassion: Chamber Landscapes in the 2018 Adelaide Festival and hosted James Crabb's UKARIA 24 in 2017, will perform on cello and piano throughout the new series, as well as making arrangements specifically designed to complement UKARIA's intimate acoustic.

'The exceptional artists Iain has chosen for this new series not only represents a snapshot of Australia's finest song writing talent, but also acknowledges the extraordinary contribution of Australian women in arts,' Thora Klein said. 'In their own unique way, all of these artists have shaped our sense of national identity. Storytelling through voice is what makes us uniquely human it takes us on journeys and to places beyond the physical. These are voices that resonate with us all, making them a powerful force to inspire positive economic and social change, which makes the series a perfect fit for the Klein Family Foundation's vision and strategic direction.'

Australian song writing icon Missy Higgins (known for hit singles such as 'Where I Stood', 'Scar', 'The Special Two' and 'Steer') opens the series in March, performing on piano and guitar and backed by a string quartet.

Grandange has made new arrangements of many of her most popular songs, allowing Missy's art to speak with unprecedented intimacy.

Kate Miller-Heidke is joined by Keir Nuttal (guitar) in May, with Grandage accompanying on piano and cello. Their collaboration at UKARIA continues to build on the success of their four-time Helpmann Award-winning opera The Rabbits.

UKARIA is also proud to present Ursula Yovich, one of the most compelling voices of Indigenous Australia. The Cultural Centre occupies a site of special significance, a place where the rituals and songs of the Peramangk people have been heard for many centuries.

'Collaborations with Indigenous artists are at the core of my practice,' Grandage said. 'Through various opportunities, I have had the privilege of collaborating with many of Australia's finest Indigenous artists, and they have welcomed me and my music to their campfire, and through them I feel more embedded in this country.'

Post-post-modern diva Meow Meow concludes the series, bringing her signature blend of performance art, cabaret and pop culture to UKARIA for the first time.

'These are creative artists at the peak of their powers, able to compose songs that distil complex ideas into radiant truths, and able to deliver them with immense heart and effortless brilliance,' Grandage said.

'The Women of Song series presented an excellent opportunity to deepen our relationship with UKARIA by offering a new and unique contribution to their cultural program,' Thora Klein said. 'Our mission is to leave a sustainable world for future generations, and to inspire and build healthy communities by supporting education and the arts.'

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