28/07 — 05/08/2017
May E-newsletter
Tickets selling fast!
Welcome to our May e-newsletter which includes a special message from our Artistic Director Piers Lane! Piers has been very busy performing all around the globe and we love hearing what he is up to.
In this issue we also have an interesting chat with multi-instrumentalist Poul Høxbro from Denmark who will be joining us in Townsville for the first time, we hear some concert suggestions from Ara Vartoukian from Theme and Variations Piano Services, a Platinum Partner, and we look at things to do while you are in here in Townsville for the Festival. 
If you have not got your tickets yet make sure you call the TicketShop on 1800 44 99 77 or visit today. The majority of Concert Conversations now have waiting lists as well as the concert in Sacred Heart Cathedral and we only have a limited number of Gold Passes and Silver Passes remaining.
Image: Jetty by Stephen Worner

A Message from Piers Lane 
It’s a joy to be writing this at my own desk in Putney in London. I’m getting an inordinate thrill out of domesticities like ironing and having friends over for dinner at the moment! So far this year, I’ve been in St. Petersburg, New York, Brisbane twice, Sydney, Bermagui, Melbourne twice, Spokane, Seattle, Sitka, Tucson, Townsville, Corfu, London and other places in England – a heady whirlwind of travel and concertising, with its attendant jetlag and deadlines. I’ve just played Chopin at Wigmore Hall and Tasmin Little and I have started concerts with repertoire we’ll record in June.
I’m penning this before shooting up to St. Luke's to hear Kathy Stott give a lunchtime concert with cellist Christian Poltera. We’ll have lunch afterwards and then tonight she flies off for a tour with the New Zealand String Quartet. No doubt Townsville and the AFCM will be much in our conversation this lunchtime. She’s in the throes of planning next year’s Festival and I’m still receiving requests and suggestions from artists and agents from all over, who are not yet aware that 2017 will be my final one. It’s lovely to be handing the baton to a close friend and to know that the Festival will be in the best possible hands.
I was so happy that Cyclone Debbie, though she blew away arrangements for the AGM and 2017 Program Launch, didn’t stop me giving a Chopin program at St. James’ at the end of March, as a sort of ‘farewell’ to the Townsville AFCM audience itself. It was a treat to see so many friends and to sense how soon the 2017 Festival will be upon us. It’s going to be quite a party judging from early ticket sales - be there or be square!
Warm regards,

Piers Lane AO
Artistic Director 

Chamber Chat 
Poul Høxbro, Flutes & Percussion (Denmark)
We recently learnt a little more about the man who plays an array of interesting instruments including the pipe & bones and is an acclaimed storyteller in four languages.
Q. You have been described as a pioneer in the field of medieval music, how did this come about? I played recorder as a child, was a rock drummer/folk flute player in high school and then spent a year travelling across South America studying and playing traditional flutes and Andian music. I then started studying classic music at The Carl Nielsen Academy of Music when I came across some long and haunting pieces from 13th century Italy and I was immediately hooked. This was “classical” medieval music, and at the same time music where I could use both my background in folk and rock and my classical training. Digging into this world I kept seeing pictures of musicians playing a flute and a drum at the same time, and what was more obvious, with my background, I had to start investigating this old tradition. And thus I set off into the sunset with my pipe and tabor...
Q. This year we will see you perform with Genevieve Lacey, a much loved AFCM alumna. Your collaborations have been described as ‘defying what one would imagine is possible for two pipers’. What is so special about your partnership? Genevieve is one of my dearest friends and colleagues and we have been working together off and on for nearly 20 years now. I hope this will be reflected in our music. Playing with Genevieve makes every detail, every little turn of phrase important. And every idea possible. Our medieval fantasy “upon a time” is an integrated part of our friendship and artistic curiosity.
You can see Poul perform in our Concert Crawl - Stories and Music on Sunday 30 August from 7:30pm.   
Things to do
Take a day to discover Townsville, Nth QLD
Tuesday 1st August is a day off for everyone, including the musicians, so it’s the perfect opportunity to explore any one of the many fabulous attractions in and around Townsville.
Here is our pick of activities for your day off: 
1. Tropical Rainforest Tour – enjoy the day exploring the spectacular rainforest region just north of Townsville. Experience waterfalls, rockpools, a rainforest walk and a visit to the mountain-top village of Paluma. This small coach tour run by Festival partner Detours also takes in Balgal Beach, Hidden Valley and the Frosty Mango! Cost $135 pp incl. morning tea, lunch and national park entry. Call Detours on 07 4728 5311.
2. Umbrella Studio Exhibition ‘Sojourn’ – on display throughout the Festival period is an eclectic selection of large-scale abstraction works by celebrated photomedia artist Shane Fitzgerald. Free entry, Umbrella Studio, 482 Flinders Street.
3. Magnetic Island – enjoy this tropical delight with its 23 bays and 25kms of stunning bushwalking tracks. Take a pleasant 20-minute SeaLink ferry ride to the island and explore on your own, or book one of the many organised tours available through SeaLink.
4. Tour Townsville’s Historic Houses – enjoy a guided tour by local historians who know the stories of the Currajong House buildings, the people who lived in them and the artefacts on display. Cost $15 pp incl. morning tea. Call 07 4771 5873 to book.
Find out more on our website and don’t forget the Townsville NQ website provides a wealth of information about the region.
My Picks with... 
Ara Vartoukian
Ara is a partner and piano technician at Theme and Variations Piano Services, a Platinum sponsor of the Festival who bring all the pianos for the festival from Sydney.
What am I especially looking forward to? With such an amazing line-up of artists and programs it is as difficult as always to pick a special event.
Piers has excelled himself again and this year being his last as Artistic director, the variety and depth of performers are a testament to his immense respect in the music community.
As I stroll through the program the Concert Conversations are a particular highlight as Piers unmasks the backgrounds and thoughts of the performers. The Bach by Candlelight is another highlight as we hear these masterpieces in a very atmospheric setting.
From Russia With Love will be an amazing evening as a total contrast to the Bach however this year I reserve my special concert for the final evening. This is always a great musical treat with all the performers on stage for special tribute performances for Piers as he finishes his tenure at the festival. I’m sure there will be a surprise or two install to take away with us.  
Don't miss out on these
Special Events!
This year’s program is packed full of fine music, innovative works, variety and intrigue. We hope we can tempt you with the following special events:
1. Families' Concert - Brundibar
An entertaining short opera about hope and justice that will delight young and old. Saturday 05/08, 1:00PM, Townsville Civic Theatre. Tickets from $10.
2. Currajong House Garden Party
Wind back the clock and while away the afternoon in the histroic grounds of Currajong House with charming music and afternoon tea included. Saturday 29/07, 2:30PM, Townsville Herritage Centre. $132 per person.
3. Concert Crawl - Stories and Music
A social evening with two concerts performed in two Townsville churches. Enjoy a stroll between the two! Sunday 30/07, 7:30PM, St. James' Cathedral and St. Joseph's Church The Strand. Tickets from $80.
To book visit or call the TicketShop on 1800 44 99 77. 
Enhance your Festival Experience and Support an Artist
Artist Supporters enjoy an added dimension to their AFCM experience. You have the opportunity to support an Australian or overseas based artist and it’s a great way to get closer to the festival musicians. You will have the opportunity to meet your artist at an exclusive reception during the festival. 40% of artists still need support! Donations are tax deductible. 
For more information contact Justin Ankus on 07 4771 4144 or email  
Last chance
to get your hands on a
Gold Pass 
Thinking about immersing yourself in 9 days of amazing music? Well the Gold Pass is your best option! We've only got a handful left to sell so don't hesitate. A 2017 Gold Pass gives you priority seating at all 18 concerts in the main program, plus an exclusive Gold Pass function with four special guests: Piers Lane, Kathryn Stott, Dene Olding and James Crabb. Bus transfers are an optional extra, and AFCM Members enjoy a terrific discount on the Gold Pass. From $1,080 for Members and $1,200 for Adults. 
Advanced Winterschool Applications close this Friday
Are you part of an emerging ensemble? Well have we got an amazing opportunity for you! Apply for the 2017 Advanced Masterclass Program and you can not only gain access to top national and international artists for lessons, masterclasses, mentoring and concerts but experience the entire festival with complimentary tickets to core concerts. All advanced ensembles are invited to apply – duos, trios or quartets. This could be a life-changing experience for you!  
Sydney International Piano Competition 
Join us to celebrate 40 years of the Sydney International Piano Competition in 2017 with this spectacular national recital tour by acclaimed Japanese pianist Ayako Uehara, 2000 People’s Choice Award and Second Prize winner, in addition to the first prize winner of the 2002 Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow. Ayako will perform for one night only on 5 June in Melbourne and 6 June in Sydney. Book now for an exclusive 10% discount on full-priced tickets using the code ‘offer’ on payment. Tickets now only $49.50*. *Conditions apply. 
Angela Hewitt performs in Tasmania 
this May
Musica Viva Tasmania and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra present Angela Hewitt in concert on Saturday 13 May at 7:30pm. As one of the world’s leading pianists, she has delighted audiences in recitals and with major orchestras throughout Europe, the Americas and Asia.
Don’t miss this second concert in Musica Viva’s 2017 season at the Federation Concert Hall.
For tickets visit their website or purchase at the theatre on the night.
Little Lev Piano Festival this May in Sydney & Brisbane
The Little Lev Piano Festival is a new national professional development program for piano students aged 10-15 years. This series of Festival Masterclasses, with Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition Artistic Director, Oleg Stepanov, will feature six young pianists eager to explore their potential, improve their technical skills and learn from their peers.
Brisbane - 3pm, 13 May, AMEB Theatrette
Sydney - 6pm, 19 May, Kawai Showroom
Tickets from $8.80 on sale now. 


Would you like to forward this email to a friend? Click here.

Share This Email: Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Linked In