Australian Festival of Chamber Music opening night reception and concert
Kaye and I are always delighted to have the opportunity to visit Townsville, and a chance to attend the Australian Festival of Chamber Music requires little encouragement!
This our fifth visit to a very special Festival which itself turns 28 today.
This year we look forward to another innovative program that will, as always, be enhanced by the tropical ambience of a Queensland winter.
In 2017 we celebrated the remarkable contribution of Piers Lane, whose 11-year tenure as Artistic Director of this wonderful celebration of classical music helped its international reputation continue to flourish.
We are extremely fortunate to welcome Kathy Stott to the position of Artistic Director this year.
Kathy – having only just touched down in Townsville from the UK – you must now shake off any jet lag you may be enduring, in order to present your very first Australian Festival of Chamber Music program.
And what a program it is, beginning tonight with the Lift Off concert that promises to be very special indeed.
Over the next 10 days Townsville will showcase a line-up of 38 artists, including 21 who will make their Festival debut, and six who are performing for the first time in Australia.
From the 110 pieces to be played, six are world premieres and 16 Australian premieres. What an accomplishment!
The Festival is also grateful for the efforts of the 55 volunteers, most of them locals, who will generously give 1,150 hours of their time towards its success this year. We thank you for your tremendous contribution.
This year we celebrate a new partnership with The Ville, which will host the popular Concert Conversation series and Cleveland Bay Supper Club.
I am also told that two artists – one from China and another from Argentina – will tonight introduce us to instruments rarely heard in Australia.
Kaye and I look forward to hosting tomorrow evening’s Governor’s Gala, where we will enjoy the work of composer-in-residence Julian Yu and the talents of young Australian violinist Grace Clifford.
As Governor and Patron, I welcome you all tonight and thank those in the government and private sectors who generously support the Festival.
I also thank the Festival Board and staff for your hard work and devotion to what I strongly believe is an enriching, life-affirming celebration of the important part music plays in all our lives.