Townsville tunes in to chamber music

Australian Festival of Chamber Music set to take over Townsville


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Townsville will become Australia's chamber music capital with 10 days of concerts and special events.

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Rising star Grace Clifford

Rising star Grace Clifford

Thirty-eight of the world’s best chamber musicians are descending on Townsville for the Australian Festival of Chamber Music.

For 10 days, the city will be filled with music as it hosts 32 events including six world premieres and,16 Australian premieres, with 110 pieces played.

The festival, from July 27-August 5, is being curated by new artistic director UK pianist Kathryn Stott.

This year eight pianos will be transported more than 4500km from Sydney for the event.

Also flying into Townsville alongside their acclaimed masters will be an 1859 Jean-Baptise Vuillaume violin, a famed Stradivarius made in 1703, a Ritter Viola from 1877,  a 1714 David Tecchler cello and the ancient Chinese Sheng, among many others. 

Composer-in-residence is Melbourne-based Julian Yu.

His Passacaglia will be performed by Philadelphia-based violinist Grace Clifford, who at age 20 will be the youngest artist to ever attend the festival.

Other highlights will be from the quartet-in-residence, the Goldner String Quartet, and the Cello Octet.

Led by Stott this stunning performance will feature four visiting musicians and four young musicians from the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne.

“The sound of a cello octet is just so glorious, and this seemed like the ideal way to make it happen,” Ms Stott said. 

The Sunset Series concerts act as a wonderful introduction to chamber music.

The one-hour concerts will be staged at Townsville Civic Theatre, 5-6pm, over five nights. 

  • Tickets: afcm.com.au
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