Sensible birds fly to the warmth in the winter. Humans, not being birds and not always sensible, have to make special plans to escape the cold. Sensible music-lovers can fly to Townsville for the Australian Festival of Chamber Music (July 31-August 8). The programing is varied and of high quality, presented, in the words of Artistic Director, Piers Lane, by ‘personable, top drawer performers….in a party atmosphere’.
This year will be the 25th anniversary of what is a well run and successful operation, attracting many from the south. Last year the Festival sold over 14,000 tickets, 55 per cent from interstate. Performances take place in a variety of attractive and suitable venues ranging from the Townsville Civic Theatre to The Old Courthouse Theatre. The program is well paced, not too leisurely, but relaxed. A clue to the programming style is the Long Table Lunch at the Pacific Bay Surf Living Club. The artists come from all over and they are certainly ‘personable’. In many respects the Festival is anchored by the Camerata of St. John’s, which impressed so many during the recent Brisbane Baroque.
This being chamber music, we’re not supposed to talk about stars, but there is no ignoring the star quality of Piotr Anderszewski, the Polish born pianist who will be soloist in three concerts including the Governor’s Gala when he’ll play the Mozart Piano Concerto in A major K414 with the Camerata of St. John’s. Time to plan an escape to the sun.
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