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North Queensland set to get saxy!

May 16, 2017 Whats On No Comments Email Email

The internationally acclaimed Australian Festival of Chamber Music (AFCM) in Townsville is about to get saxy, really saxy!!  Three of the country’s leading ensembles will make the northern sojourn for the nine-day Festival from July 28 through to August 5, including in their AFCM-debut, the critically acclaimed Nexus Quartet from Sydney – four fantastic saxophonists who are set to sax up the North!

Joining Nexus Quartet is the internationally famed Goldner String Quartet as the 2017 Quartet-in-Residence, and the Brisbane-based Orava String Quartet.

Based in Sydney and formed in 2002, the four sax-masters of Nexus Quartet are Michael Duke (Soprano Saxophone), Andrew Smith (Alto Saxophone), Nathan Henshaw (Tenor Saxophone) and Jay Byrnes (Baritone Saxophone); famed for being at the forefront of chamber music in promoting existing and creating new repertoire for the saxophone. In 2016 Nexus performed with trumpeter Matthew Dempsy, and also performed the world premiere of *Matthew Hindson’s Romeo and Juliet Suite. Also last year they launched their debut album, Current. The CD features world premiere recordings by Australian composers Matthew Hindson, Elena Kats-Chernin, Daniel Rojas, Matthew Orlorvich and Lachlan Skipworth. (*Composer-in-Residence at this year’s AFCM). They have performed at the prestigious APRA Awards and around the world and already this year they have recorded for ABC classics with Opera star Peter Coleman-Wright (also performing at this year’s AFCM).

Known as Australia’s pre-eminent chamber music ensemble as well as one of the leading ensembles in the world, the Goldner String Quartethas a widespread and long-standing recognition for excellence, and is the perfect Ensemble-in-Residence for AFCM to celebrate the finale program for Artistic Director Piers Lane.  Launched for the 1995 season, and still retaining all four founding members in Dene Olding (Violin), Dimity Hall (Violin), Irina Morozova (Viola) and Julian Smiles (Cello), the Goldner String Quartet is a standout.

The Orava Quartet, founded in 2007 by Daniel Kowalik (Violin), Karol Kowalik (Cello) and Thomas Chawner (Viola), and joined in 2011 by David Dalseno (Violin), is one of the most exciting string quartets of its generation. Known for their passionate performances, they have been hailed as, “in terms of the future of Australian Chamber Music, the real deal.”

They were the graduate quartet-in-residence at the University of Colorado, in the United States, from 2012-2014 and have been based in Brisbane since late-2014, as the quartet-in-residence with the Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra. Since their return to Australia, major events have included the Musica Viva Festival, Melbourne Festival, Australian Festival of Chamber Music, and Huntington Estate Festival.

The three ensembles join a lineup of 42 extraordinary artists converging on Townsville for the AFCM, including 13 from overseas. Four international artists will make their Australian debut including Poul Høxbro (Flutes and Percussion) from Denmark, Italy’s Francesca Dego(Violin), Henk Neven (Baritone) from the Netherlands, and from the United Kingdom, Martin Owen (Horn).

Importantly, 2017 will be the final festival for celebrated Artistic Director Piers Lane AO who over his 11 years of artistic leadership has welcomed an extraordinary number of artists and guests to the North Queensland capital for this very special event, one which now captures the eyes and ears of the world’s music leaders.   AFCM Artistic Director designate, the highly distinguished UK pianist Kathryn Stott, joins the festival in 2017 as a performer.

Australian Festival of Chamber Music

28 July – 5 August 2017 | Townsville, North Queensland | Facebook | Twitter | #afcm17

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