2016 Australian Festival of Chamber Music

Australian Festival of Chamber MusicWinter in glorious North Queensland is set to take centre stage as some of the world’s leading chamber musicians prepare to arrive in Townsville for the acclaimed Australian Festival of Chamber Music (AFCM) from 29 July to 6 August 2016.

As most of Australia shivers through an unusually cold winter, the AFCM team is readying to shine the light firmly on Townsville North Queensland as one of the most spectacular locations for a music event anywhere in the world.

Internationally famed for its musicality, programming, headline artists and stunning location, the 2016 AFCM stars a marquee lineup of 35 artists from all over the world, six of whom will make their Australian debut. Importantly, this will be the 10th AFCM under the artistic leadership of the acclaimed pianist Piers Lane AO and will be staged in churches, theatres, galleries, gardens and on the stunning Orpheus Island.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events Kate Jones said Townsville North Queensland was a great setting for the iconic chamber music event. “The Australian Festival of Chamber Music showcases Townsville and Queensland as a world class cultural events destination with amazing experiences and an enviable winter climate,” said Ms Jones said.

“The Festival plays host to some of the world’s leading chamber music artists, drawing visitors from around Queensland, Australia and the world to Townsville. I am certain visitors will make the most of this beautiful destination and all the wonderful experiences that are on offer throughout the region and throughout Queensland.”

Tickets to the majority of events are still available however, sold out events include Concert Conversations 1 with Piers Lane on Saturday July 30 with Finghin Collins, Nick Deutsch, Tasmin Little and Paul Silverthorne, as well as Concert Conversations 3 on Wednesday August 3 with Svetlana Bogosavljevic, Sa Chen, David Griffiths, Indira Koch and Wolfgang Emanuel-Schmidt. The stunning Orpheus Island concert on Tuesday August 2 is also sold out as are Gold and Silver Passes!

In a major coup, the winner of the Sydney International Piano Competition (SIPCA), acclaimed as the leading international event of its type, will perform at the festival in Townsville on Monday August 1. Held only every four years, one of the first engagements of the winner of the SIPCA will be performing at the AFCM.

The six artists readying to perform in Australia for the first time in Townsville include two celebrated Chinese artists in the charismatic pianist Sa Chen, and the superb cellist Trey Lee. They are joined by Irish superstar pianist Finghin Collins, famed French horn player Hervè Joulain, multi-award winning German violinist Indira Koch, and the acclaimed German cellist Wolfgang-Emanuel Schmidt.

Returning to what promises to be rapturous applause is Tasmin Little, the effervescent violinist from the UK who so impressed audiences in 2014. She will perform in eight events throughout the festival.

Joining her in returning to Townsville is internationally acclaimed percussionist and co-artistic director of Sydney’s Ensemble Offspring Claire Edwardes, together with the communicative clarinetist David Griffiths in company with his trio Ensemble Liaison, and one of Australia’s favourite bassists Kirsty McCahon.

Bassoonist Andrew Barnes, flautist Bridget Bolliger, violinist Michele Walsh, the gifted and versatile soprano Valda Wilson and one of the most sought after oboists of his generation, Australia’s Nick Deutsch are among other marquee artists.

One of the highlights of visiting UK pianist Andrew West’s festival program will be his performance with one of the greatest British baritones, Roderick Williams, in Schubert’s masterpiece Winterreise (Winter Journey), while acclaimed guitarist Karin Schaupp will collaborate with the very provocative and charming Australian actor Tama Matheson in the musical adventure special event, Don Juan.

The 2016 Australian Festival of Chamber Music runs 29 July – 6 August 2016. For more information, visit: www.afcm.com.au for details.

Image: courtesy of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music