Cyclone Debbie caused the cancellation of the announcement ceremony in Townsville for this year’s Australian Festival of Chamber Music but the good news got out anyway. The weather should be perfect by the time the Festival opens on 28 July so its timely to plan a trip to the north for nine days of quality music making of engaging variety. Piers Lane has been the Artistic Director since 2007; he has raised the Festival to a high standard expanding the range of musical experiences, taking advantage of the wonderful opportunities in this tropical setting.
The main program has 18 concerts plus special events including a trip to and a concert on Orpheus Island, and another outdoor event, the Currajong House Garden Party. The programming ranges from Bach through Viennese masterpieces to music of today. In amongst all that is a cabaret tribute to Marlene Dietrich, Falling In Love Again, in the Civic Theatre as part of a national tour by Jennifer Ward-Lealand. The range and quality of the artists on the program is outstanding although it is not hard to understand why artists would accept an engagement in paradise in the middle of winter. Among over 30 visiting artists are the Goldner String Quartet, the distinguished UK pianist Kathryn Scott who will take over as Artistic Director in 2018, Cheryl Barker and Peter Coleman-Wright who are two of Australia’s most justly admired singers, plus local choirs and ensembles, and of course, Piers Lane.
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