Australian Festival of Chamber Music: wrap-up

Townsville 26 July to 4 August 2019
https://www.afcm.com.au

Richard and Barbie attended evening concerts at the AFCM from 31 July to 3 August 2019 as guests of the festival – we thank the Director, the Board and the organisers for this generous hospitality and for an outstanding series of musical experiences from Australian and international artists.

Barbie speaks with Christopher Lawrence about the art of concert hosting
Richard speaks with Timothy Young, Head of Piano and Chamber Music at the Australian National Academy of Music

The programs for each concert were extensive and varied – as an example here is the final night’s offering:

WU MAN 
Ancient Dances (Australian première) 
Wu Man (pipa), Robert Oetomo (percussion)

LOUIS VIERNE
Piano Quintet Op.42 in C minor
I. Poco lento – moderato 
II. Larghetto sostenuto 
III. Maestoso – allegro – molto risoluto 

Kathryn Stott (piano), Goldner String Quartet

INTERVAL

JOACHIM RAFF 
Sinfonietta for Double Wind Quintet, Op.188 
I. Allegro 
II. Allegro molto 
III. Larghetto 
IV. Vivace 

Sally Walker, Kiran Phatak (flutes), Rachael Clegg, David Reichelt (oboes), David Griffiths, Lloyd Van’T Hoff (clarinets), Ben Jacks, Rachel Shaw (horns), Martin Kuuskmann, Matthew Kneale (bassoons)

INTERVAL

JOHANNES BRAHMS 
Adagio from Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op.115 D897
Jennifer Stumm (viola) and Winterschool Strings

CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS 
Danse Macabre (arranged É. Guiraud)
Aura Go, Kathryn Stott, Timothy Young, Charles Owen (pianos)

GIOACHINO ROSSINI 
William Tell Overture (arranged by Roderick Williams) 
Aura Go, Kathryn Stott, Charles Owen and Timothy Young (pianos) and friends!

ERIC COATES 
By the Sleepy Lagoon (arranged by Roderick Williams) 
All musicians

Evening concerts were hosted by the redoubtable Christopher Lawrence whose life in music and canny understanding of how to speak to audiences enhanced the concert going experience immensely.

Festival Director Kathryn Stott joined forces (and hands)  with Timothy Young on two occasions with a thrilling and virtuosic four hand performance of FRANZ LISZT  Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 for 4 hands and the closing night rendition for eight hands on two pianos of ROSSINI’S William Tell Overture (arranged by Roderick Williams) with Aura Go, Kathryn Stott, Charles Owen and Timothy Young (pianos) along with a bit of delightful mayhem with other musical friends!

The festival had a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere despite the ‘off the charts’ (as Christopher Lawrence put it) performances of the musicians. The audiences were knowledgeable and generally ecstatic in their reception.

Planning is already underway for 2020 – keep an eye out for it on the website – it’s highly recommended, and the weather isn’t too bad either for those of us from southern climes.