I wanted to write to you, now that life is somewhat back to normal for most of us, to express my true delight at taking on this role, and to share with you my thoughts for the 2018 Festival.
In 1995, sitting at my kitchen table, I created my first ever festival and called it Fauré and the French Connection. Twenty-two years on and many festivals later, I find myself coming back to the word CONNECTIONS. As the new Artistic Director of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, this word has given me so much inspiration to create my first festival programme, full of fascinating links: musical, geographical and personal.
Of course, it’s an incredible challenge living thousands of miles away from Australia to take on this particular role, but in reality, this is the great attraction. Immersing myself in a new cultural landscape, is what I’ve been doing all my life. Having performed at AFCM four times in the past eleven years, I feel to have a good understanding of its core values and tradition - this is absolutely paramount. In an age where we communicate in real time from any distance, share information and knowledge at great speed, our connections to each other appear to grow ever closer and time travel has taken on a new meaning.
As a young girl, I had some lessons with Vlado Perlemuter who had studied all the solo works by Ravel with the composer himself at his home in Montfort l’Amaury. Some years ago, I went to Ravel’s house, played this same piano and was immediately overcome by the connection to the sounds I remembered from my teacher’s concerts. I had been transported back in time. Perlemuter studied with Alfred Cortot whose teacher was a student of Chopin. It’s beautifully endless!
However, really exciting are the connections between myself and the musicians coming to AFCM, and the national and international landscapes they come from. Each has a story to tell; each can travel back in time through their musical histories, but also be part of creating a musical future together. The real adventure starts when all these ingredients interact in real time and that’s the experience and the connections I'm looking forward to sharing with you in Townsville!
Warmest regards, Kathryn.
Photo above by Nicolaj Lund
Australian Festival of Chamber Music Video
Whilst Kathyrn was here, we were able to sit down and have a chat about the festival and all that it means to her, click the image below to see the video.