Ever wondered about the numbers behind a world class music event? How far pianos travel? How far the musicians travel? Organisers of the internationally acclaimed Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville have shared some fast facts, which make this event even more outstanding….
10 days, 33 events and 40 world class artists
5 artists making their Australian debut
5 world premieres, 5 Australian premieres, and over 120 pieces to be played
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!
The 29th Australian Festival of Chamber Music (AFCM) keeps raising the bar, and from Friday 26 July to Sunday 4 August will take over Townsville for 10 days of internationally famed music-making, enjoyed in the spectacular period of wintersun for which the region is famous.
The program includes 22 concerts, five free events and four special events including an extraordinary concert on Orpheus Island and two on Magnetic Island. Always popular are the six morning Concert Conversations, the Sunset and Evening Series concerts and the inspirational Winterschool masterclasses and performances. There will be a new time and format for the entertaining Cleveland Bay Concert, now taking place on Sunday morning.
Some of the Festival’s favourite events include the Opening Night Concert, the Governor’s Gala on Saturday evening, the much-anticipated free Queens Garden Concert and Concert Conversations at The Ville where audiences can get up close and personal with the musicians.
In a move that will be applauded by Australian audiences, the 2019 Composer-in-Residence is emerging talent, Brisbane-born and London-based Connor D’Netto. World premieres by D’Netto and fellow Australian composer Jessica Wells will feature.
In another stunning coup for Artistic Director Kathryn Stott, and in keeping with her musical ace last year in hosting celebrated Chinese musician and master Sheng player Wu Tong, 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.
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 in 2019, as is the Grammy-nominated Estonian-born bassoon virtuoso, Martin Kuuskmann, who is now based in the US.
Making their debut performances in Australia at the 2019 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.
Australian-born, London-based super saxophonist Amy Dickson who was awarded the UK’s Young Australian of the Year in 2016 and twice-nominated for a Grammy™ 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.
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.
International Artists of the 2019 AFCM
Lotte Betts-Dean (Mezzo-Soprano) UK AFCM debut
Roberto Carrillo-Garcia (Double Bass++) UK Australian debut
Rachael Clegg (Oboe) UK Australian debut
Alexandra Conunova (Violin) Moldova Australian debut
Amy Dickson (Saxophone) UK Returning Artist
Liza Ferschtman (Violin) Holland Australian debut
Pavel Fischer (Violin) Czech Returning artist
Martin Kuuskmann (Bassoon) Estonia AFCM debut
Yura Lee (Violin) USA AFCM debut
Wu Man (Pipa) China AFCM debut
Johannes Moser (Cello) Canada AFCM debut
Charles Owen (Piano) UK AFCM debut
Kathryn Stott (Piano) UK Artistic Director
Jennifer Stumm USA Australian debut
Ruth Wall (Harp) UK AFCM debut
Australian Artists of the 2019 AFCM
Timothy Constable (Percussion) Returning (Sydney)
Connor D’Netto (Composer-in-Residence) AFCM debut (Brisbane/London)
Aura Go (Piano) AFCM debut (Melbourne)
Ben Jacks (Horn) Returning (Sydney)
Elizabeth Layton (Violin) AFCM debut (Adelaide)
Christopher Moore (Viola) Returning (Melbourne)
Neal Peres de Costa (Harpsichord) Returning (Sydney)
Timo-Veikko Valve (Cello) AFCM debut (Sydney)
Sally Walker (Flute) AFCM debut (Canberra)
Arcadia Winds (Wind Quintet) AFCM debut (Melbourne)
David Reichelt (Oboe), Kiran Phatak (Flute), Lloyd Van’t Hoff (Clarinet) and Matthew Kneale (Bassoon)
Australian String Quartet AFCM debut (Adelaide)
Dale Barltrop (Violin), Francesca Hiew (Violin), Sharon Grigoryan (Cello) and Stephen King (Viola – has been to AFCM previously)
Ensemble Liaison AFCM debut (Melbourne)
David Griffiths (Clarinet), Svetlana Bogosavljevic (Cello) and Timothy Young (Piano)
Goldner String Quartet (String Quartet) Returning (Sydney)
Dene Olding (Violin), Dimity Hall (Violin), Irina Morozova (Viola) and Julian Smiles (Cello)
Australian Festival of Chamber Music
26 July – 4 August 2019 | Townsville, North Queensland
Tickets on sale now at www.afcm.com.au