29th Chamber Music Festival Program Unveiled

Pipa player Wu Man will be making her festival debut at this year's Australian Festival of Chamber Music. IMAGE: Stephen Kahn

40 local, national and international musicians will descend on Townsville this July, following the release of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music’s (AFCM) official 2019 program this week.

This year’s 10-day Festival will feature 15 international artists, five of whom will be making their Australian debut, as well as first-time and returning national favourites including Sydney’s Goldner String Quartet.

Artistic Director Kathryn Stott said the program featured an exciting mix of performers, but which this year all boiled back to a single theme.

“The 2019 Program is wrapped around the theme of origins, drawing on origins of the music, the composers and the artists,” Kathryn said.

“An abundance of music will be featured – from the 13th century to the present day – representing cultures from all around the world. There is also a mini-focus on trios including giants like the Rachmaninov, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky Piano Trios, alongside smaller gems by Sibelius, Koechlin and more.”

The opening and closing night concerts will also celebrate origins with large-scale firsts for the Festival.

“The Opening Night Concert, titled Creations, will include the Jean Françaix Dixtuor for wind and string quartets, while in the Closing Night concert, called Full Circle, we will feature the Joachim Raff Sinfonietta for double wind quintet – both will be incredible musical events,” Kathryn said.

Some of the Festival’s most popular events would also be making a return – with slight twists.

“We will give Bach by Candlelight a little breathing space in order to explore Baroque music from Italy and beyond with Baroque Around the Clock and Bellissimo Baroque, two new highlights.

“The much-loved Families’ Concert will focus on storytelling for children and to add to this, I’ve commissioned a dramatic short story called The Final Hour so none of us are left out! The Final Hour will be performed in the glorious St James’ Cathedral, providing the perfect atmospheric backdrop to this noteworthy musical tale with a twist.”

The Australian Festival of Chamber Music will take over locations across Townsville and surrounds from 26 July – 4 August, with tickets now available here.

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