The musicians are coming – July 26 to August 4!
In just two week, 40 of the world’s leading chamber musicians will fly into Townsville in North Queensland for an annual music-making celebration that is famed globally – the Australian Festival of Chamber Music (AFCM).
Held from Friday 26 July through to Sunday 4 August, the AFCM will feature five world premieres and five Australian premieres across some 33 events under the leadership of the famed UK pianist Kathryn Stott, in her second year as Artistic Director. You can almost hear it now!
And, when Brisbane-born and London-based Connor D’Netto arrives, he will make history as the youngest ever Composer-in-Residence in the event’s outstanding 29-year history.
World premieres by D’Netto and fellow Australian composer Jessica Wells will feature in the program which is headlined by 22 concerts, five free events and four special events including an extraordinary concert on Orpheus Island and two on Magnetic Island, a reflection of just how completely unique the event is on the world calendar.
In a stunning coup for Artistic Director Kathryn Stott, the world’s premier pipa virtuoso and leading ambassador of Chinese music, Wu Man will make her Festival debut. A founding member of the legendary Silk Road Ensemble with celebrated cellist Yo-Yo Ma, she will be joined by the who’s who of chamber music, with half of the artists making their AFCM debut.
Australian-born, London-based super saxophonist Amy Dickson, fresh from being named the UK’s Young Australian of the Year 2016 and Grammy™ nominated twice, returns to the AFCM in 2019. Dickson made history by becoming the first saxophonist to win a Classic Brit Award and the first ever Australian to win the Mastercard Breakthrough Artist of the Year award.
German Canadian cellist Johannes Moser, hailed by Gramophone Magazine as "one of the finest among the astonishing gallery of young virtuoso cellists," is an AFCM debut artist, as is the Grammy-nominated Estonian-born bassoon virtuoso, Martin Kuuskmann, who is now based in the US.
Also making their debut performances in Australia at the AFCM are celebrated violinists Alexandra Conunova from Moldova and Liza Ferschtman from Holland, oboist Rachael Clegg from the UK, violist Jennifer Stumm from the USA and UK-based Roberto Carrillo Garcia who plays the gamba, double bass and guitar.
Four ensembles will make their way to Townsville for the event including Adelaide-based Australian String Quartet, the Melbourne-based Ensemble Liaison, Arcadia Winds (who make their AFCM debut) and the Festival’s much-loved Quartet-in-Residence, the Goldner String Quartet from Sydney.
The AFCM has developed an international reputation for showcasing a distinguished line-up of Australian and overseas based artists with innovative programming across a range of chamber music styles. The event is famed for its musicality, as much as for its collaborative spirit, with music lovers returning year after year.
Australian Festival of Chamber Music
26 July – 4 August 2019 | Townsville, North Queensland
AFCM FAST FACTS
10 days, 33 events and 40 world class artists
5 artists making their Australian debut
80 composers featured, 21 of whom are alive today
4 female composers featured
18 different instruments showcased
10 winds being played for the first time
8 pianos transported 4,524kms from Sydney to Townsville via Theme and Variations
26 musicians travelling from within Australia
14 musicians travelling from overseas
336,041kms travelled by artists to get to Townsville
2 harps being transported 17,349km
1 double bass being driven 1,334kms
1 instrument never played at AFCM before - the Pipa
The youngest ever Composer-in-Residence, Connor D’Netto
And the second festival for Artistic Director, UK pianist Kathryn Stott
Average days of sunshine each year in Townsville – 320!
Average temperature in Townsville in winter – 24 degrees!