Townsville is bouncing back; it is also tuning up for the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. Battered by the recent floods, this resilient community will be more than ready to welcome visitors to their part of paradise for the Festival from 26 July to 4 August. Even more than usual, it will be a rewarding experience for those attending including 40 of the best chamber musicians in the world; 15 are international artists, five of whom are performing in Australia for the first time. Six ensembles will appear including the Goldner String Quartet, the Australian String Quartet and the wonderfully named Barrier Reef Orchestra.
Announcing the program a couple of weeks ago, the Festival Artistic Director, Kathryn Stott said: ‘The 2019 Program is wrapped around the theme of Origins, drawing on origins of the music, the composers and the artists’. An abundance of music is featured from the 13th century to the present day in 22 concerts at various times of day and night in delightful settings such as Orpheus Island followed by a sunset cruise and a buffet dinner. There are many familiar composers, sometimes in less familiar pieces. One example is Kathryn Stott herself, playing at a morning concert in The Pavilion of The Ville Resort, with cellist Johannes Moser, in Beethoven’s 7 Variations on the glorious Pamina/Papageno duet from The Magic Flute. (Trigger warning: This duet is now politically very incorrect but I’m sure Townsville will cope with this as with all other challenges.)
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