The Advanced Masterclass Program runs for the duration of the festival (29 July to 6 August in Townsville) and sees the country’s most promising musicians and ensembles work with some of the world’s best classical artists; for many, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime.
Students are offered extraordinary access to top national and international artists for lessons, masterclasses, workshops, coaching and mentoring sessions; where attendees can gain insight into the life of a professional musician, as well as expert tips and advice about performing live.
Michele Walsh, acclaimed violinist and Head of Strings at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, will once again direct the program, as she has since 2012. “Winterschool offers pre-professional individuals and ensembles the chance to further their musical careers through learning and socialising with world-renowned musicians. At the end of the program, the students will perform for a real festival audience- an amazing and invaluable experience.
“Over the past three years, it has been an absolute pleasure seeing the progression of students after completing the program. We have a number of students that have actually returned to the festival as performers in later years,” said Walsh.
“With this year’s program featuring a star studded lineup of 35 individual artists from all over the world, six of whom are making their Australian debut, it’s one of the musical events of the year and presents such a stunning opportunity for the Winterschool students.”
The music makers of AFCM 2016 include two celebrated Chinese artists in the charismatic pianist Sa Chen, and the superb cellist Trey Lee; Irish superstar pianist Finghin Collins, famed French horn player Hervè Joulain, multi-award winning German violinist Indira Koch, acclaimed German cellist Wolfgang-Emanuel Schmidt and Tasmin Little, the effervescent violinist from the UK.
There’s acclaimed percussionist and co-artistic director of Sydney’s Ensemble Offspring Claire Edwardes, clarinetist David Griffiths in company with his trioEnsemble Liaison, and one of Australia’s favourite bassists Kirsty McCahon; guitarist Karin Schaup, bassoonist Andrew Barnes, flautist Bridget Bolliger, the gifted and versatile soprano Valda Wilson, one of the most sought after oboists of his generation, Australia’s Nick Deutsch, pianistAndrew West and the great British baritone Roderick Williams, among others.
The Australian Festival of Chamber Music is extraordinary, not just as a leading musical event in Australia, but for its place on the world calendar; artists and guests alike attend from all over the globe because of the incredible fusion of music, friendship, experience and celebration the event creates. It will be the 10th under the leadership of acclaimed Artistic Director Piers Lane AO.