Music lovers won’t have to wait until the 30th Australian Festival of Chamber Music (AFCM) that takes place in Townsville this July to hear extraordinary live music, because organisers have announced a three-day online Festival Overture will be held from 16 – 18 April – curated by Artistic Director, Kathryn Stott and starring some of the most famous chamber musicians.
In a truly international musical experience, chamber musicians and soloists from around the world are starring direct from London into the Melbourne Digital Concert Hall and then to fans across the globe.
“Last year, in the height of coronavirus and the shutdown of live music, we presented our very first online festival. It was a wonderful opportunity to stay connected with our audiences and our musicians,” said AFCM’s Kathryn Stott. Now in 2021 we are even more excited to present our second online festival.”
“Overture will be a three-day digital event featuring a program of stellar music and visual delights, culminating in a nightly concert streamed from London. Our three evening concerts feature international artists who were to appear this year, instead, they will delight with stunning performances all the way from the VOCES8 Centre in the UK.
With Stott herself leading the Festival Overture line-up, along with incoming AFCM Artistic Director Jack Liebeck, Katya Apekisheva, Carolyn Sampson, Joseph Middleton, Alexander Sitkovetsky, Wu Qian, Yasmin Rowe, Yelian Ho, Natsuko Yoshimoto, Imants Larsen, Timothy Young, Goldner String Quartet, David Greco, Vatche Jambazian, Elina Faskhi and Kristian Chong.
Each day begins with a welcome message from Kathryn Stott and Jack Liebeck. Musical Memories – a digital experience, will look back at each decade the Festival has been running, while Destination Dreams will showcase the beautiful areas of North Queensland that AFCM ticketholders can visit before or after the Festival.
Internationally acclaimed British violinist, and incoming AFCM Artistic Director Jack Liebeck opens the evening concert program on Friday April 16, alongside one of Europe’s most renowned and gifted pianists Katya Apekisheva, who has been described by Gramophone Magazine as a ‘profoundly gifted artist’.
Famed UK opera and concert soprano Carolyn Sampson, winner of the 2020 BBC Music Magazine Award, and Joseph Middleton, described in Opera Magazine as “the rightful heir to the legendary accompanist Gerald Moore” and by BBC Music Magazine as “one of the brightest stars in the world of song and Leider” feature in the Saturday evening feature concert, titled Elysium and featuring songs by Schubert.
The finale feature concert on Sunday April 18 at 5pm stars two members of the of famous Sitkovetsky Trio in superstar Chinese pianist Wu Qian and Russian born, London-based violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky, both revered internationally for their solo and chamber music performances…and a hugely talented married couple!
In a nod to the AFCM’s much loved Concert Conversation Series, each concert will have a 10-15 minute Q&A before or after the performance.
Mid-morning performances star artists who will feature at the real-life AFCM in Townsville this July:
- UK-born, Melbourne-based concert pianists Yasmin Rowe and Australian-Chinese cellist and fellow Melbournian (and martial arts teacher!) Yelian Ho;
- Married string superstars, violinist Natsuko Yoshimoto (violin), recently appointed Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) Co-Concertmaster and her husband, Imants Larsen, QSO Principal Viola, and
- AFCM Artistic Director and internationally revered pianist Kathryn Stott with Timothy Young, current Head of Piano at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) and a founding member of the dynamic Ensemble Liaison.
Free half-hour lunchtime concerts will be performed each day in a musical gift to fans. Day One is a special concert by the Goldner String Quartet; Day Two features Australian baritone David Greco with pianist Vatche Jambazian; and Day Three is a magical concert by cellist Elina Faskhi and pianist Kristian Chong. These concert will be available to view at 12-noon and can be viewed on mobile phone, tablets or computers!
The Australian Festival of Chamber Music: Festival Overture takes place 16 – 18 April 2021. Daily content is free. Evening concerts are ticketed – you simply need internet access to view these concerts. For more information, visit: www.afcm.com.au for details.
Image: Australian Festival of Chamber Music: Festival Overture Artists (supplied)