BRILLIANT local musicians will share the stage with inspiring guests when the second annual Newcastle Music Festival kicks off in the Hunter for 12 days from August 10.
With more than 300 performers, some 20 events and music traversing many styles and traditions, the festival will have something for all tastes, organisers say.
A highlight will be a visit home for Novocastrians Anthony Albrecht (cello) and Thomas Chawner (violist in the Orava Quartet), performing together for the first time since their school days in Newcastle.
Albrecht's first performance at the festival will be a selection of the solo Bach suites, which he is touring throughout the east coast of Australia in his Bach to the Bush series in June and July.
Australia's first graduate of the Juilliard School's Master in Historical Performance program in 2014, he now lives in London, where he is a research scholar at Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
He combines with the Orava Quartet to perform Schubert's sublime final chamber work, the String Quintet in C Major, in the beautiful acoustic of the Harold Lobb Concert Hall at Newcastle Conservatorium.
In the final concert, Albrecht will perform the technically demanding Haydn Cello Concerto in D Majo r with the Christ Church Camerata, and, with local cellist Gavin Clark, Vivaldi's only double cello concerto, the Cello Concerto in G Minor.
Other guest artists will include soprano Hyeseoung Kwon, who has made the role of Puccini's Madama Butterfly her own in performances for Opera Australia and other companies, violinist Anna da Silva Chen and British-based contralto Sylvia Clarke.
Mezzo-soprano Deborah Humble whose opening concert in the 2016 festival received a standing ovation, returns this year, while one of Australia's best-loved singers, John Paul Young, will perform in concert with his combo and a string quartet.An important aim of the festival is to create a stage for the city's finest local performers and this year's event will include performances by Sally
An important aim of the festival is to create a stage for the city's finest local performers and this year's event will include performances by Sally Walker (flute), Christopher Allan (baritone), Terence Koo (piano), baroque specialist Rosalind Halton (harpsichord), the Dungeon Big Band with vocalist Heather Price, and the Newcastle Youth Orchestra.
- For dates, times, venues and prices, go to www.newcastlemusicfestival.org