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Winter Takes Centre Stage

June 2, 2017 Whats On No Comments Email Email

The internationally acclaimed Australian Festival of Chamber Music (AFCM) will take place from July 28 through to August 5 in Townsville and with it, comes a raft of international artists and visitors, as well as hundreds of chamber music fans from Australia’s southern states – and all of them are in for nine days of unequalled Wintersun… as well as some extraordinary music!!

The AFCM this year features a world class program of concerts, collaborations, conversations and masterclasses performed by the world’s best chamber musicians in churches, theatres, gardens and on the stunning Orpheus Island. The final festival for celebrated Artistic Director Piers Lane AO, the program features rare, new & much loved repertoire across a nine-day program.

As most of Australia shivers through a cold winter, the AFCM will shine the light firmly on Townsville in North Queensland as one of the most spectacular locations for a music event anywhere in the world.

Winter in North Queensland is famed by holiday-makers and sunseekers around the world, with the region averaging 25 degrees each stunning day. Townsville boasts on average 320 days of sunshine each year; and with the Wintersun in July and August particularly magical, it’s the perfect destination for an international event.

Already the famed Concert Conversations with Piers Lane program is sold out, as is the Sunset Series concert Phoenix Rising at Sacred Heart’s Cathedral on Thursday August 3 and the spectacular Orpheus Island event, a signature event of the AFCM that celebrates the iconic locations of Queensland and is spoken of around the world!

A lineup of 42 extraordinary artists will perform at the event, including 13 from overseas, and three leading Australian ensembles in the Goldner String Quartet, Orava Quartet (Strings) and the Nexus Quartet (Saxophone). Four international artists will make their Australian debut at the 27th AFCM 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).

Piers Lane said the 2017 program covered a wider range of music than ever before, with his signature of juxtaposing much-loved repertoire with rare and new works peppered throughout the nine days.

Poul Høxbro will be playing medieval music on the one hand, and on the other, we shall be mounting the world premiere of a new work for string quartet by our Composer-in-Residence for 2017, Sydney-based composer Matthew Hindson, to be played by the Goldners, our Quartet-in-Residence,” he said. “We shall glory in Bach one day and be uplifted by Jake Heggie’s Pieces 9/11 the next. We shall again take the opportunity for a boat trip to Orpheus Island to view whales and stunning mid-Winter sunsets, and support and celebrate the young artists of the Winterschool on other days.”

Premier and Minister for the Arts Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Australian Festival of Chamber Music (AFCM) was a wonderful nine-day celebration of classical music that brought internationally acclaimed classical musicians, artists and music lovers from across the globe to Townsville.

“The Queensland Government is a proud supporter of the Festival, which is now in its 27th year. The Festival has established a solid international reputation as a result of its distinctive blend of chamber music, programming and experiences, all set against the natural beauty of Townsville in North Queensland.”

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