27/07 — 05/08/2018
June E-newsletter
 Festival Fever
In less than 7 weeks’ time we will be serving up a veritable feast of fine music for you to enjoy. There are still plenty of good seats available, including the Concert Conversations with Kathryn Stott; and Gold and Platinum passes.
For north Queensland patrons and those who can only stay a few days, the Festival Four package is the perfect ticket. Choose any four concerts from the Sunset Series and the Evening Series* and pay just $210 – saving you up to $46. Be spoilt for choice from the sublime performances in Love Letters and Gypsies, Pipers & Dukes to the cello octet in Life Force or the world premieres in Bach by Candlelight and Was it a Dream? There are nine concerts to choose from, so if you can’t decide which four to attend, give us a call and we’ll help you make a choice! It’s a great package and the perfect way to enjoy a mix of music. Click here for more info. 
We look forward to welcoming you to the Festival in 51 days.
Warm regards,
The AFCM Team. 
Image: Townsville Enterprise 
It's June and that can only mean one thing - AFCM is happening NEXT MONTH!
Myself and the team are all beavering away putting final touches to what we believe will be a magical 10 days of glorious music making. Only recently our Artistic Administrator told me she had been thinking about the positive energy the festival creates in and around Townsville and all thanks to our wonderful musicians and the music they will perform for you. Rebecca Alferez - I couldn't have put it better myself! That will all radiate throughout Australia and the world after the festival is over; we are indeed an international event and something to be cherished and excited about.
At the moment, I’m back home after the thrilling experience of performing Carl Vine’s Concerto for 2 pianos with Piers and both WASO and TSO. It was also a wonderful opportunity to catch up with Paul Wright, Howard Penny, Timothy Young and our 4 cellists from ANAM. To say they are excited is the understatement of the year! This week I’ll be heading to Norway and catching up with 2 really diverse musicians you’ll be hearing - Tine Thing Helseth and Lars Anders Tomter. I’m very proud to be introducing them both to Australian audiences - remember you get to hear them first at AFCM. Apart from my recitals in the UK this month, I will gradually turn my attention to repertoire for the festival and first up will be Julian Yu’s fabulous Piano Trio.
I wish I could write to you every day, but soon we’ll be chatting in person. It can’t come soon enough!

Chamber Chat 
Alexander Sitkovetsky (Violin, Russia)
Alexander appeared as a soloist in Montpellier at the age of 8 after which he was invited to enrol at the Yehudi Menuhin School. Described as one of the foremost violinists, Alexander also teaches in between his demanding concert schedule.  
Q. What are you most looking forward to at AFCM 2018? Well, so many of my friends and colleagues have performed at AFCM in the past and all have had only glowing things to say so I am really excited to experience the festival myself, and enjoy the wonderful weather and music.
Q. You've toured Australia previously, what is something you love about this country? I’ve toured Australia extensively and have loved every minute of every tour. The music making is very open minded and the hospitality is so warm and friendly. I have made great friends in Australia and I look forward to spending a lot more time here.
Q. Where is the most unusal place you've performed? There have been a few places, but perhaps the most surprising one, which turned out to be a very moving experience, was performing in a German Bunker on the Island of Jersey, which was occupied by the Germans during World War II. Some of the bunkers have been preserved almost exactly as the way they were left behind so performing in those bunkers was something very special for me.
Q. What is your fondest musical memory? I think playing with my friends and my family always brings a great amount of joy to me. There are times when you don’t even have to look at each other but through listening you react and play like one person. When that happens, that can feel very special!  
Alexander will perform in 9 concerts across the festival. 
My Picks
Gordon Kerry, Program Annotater
When I put together the program notes for AFCM, it’s always exciting to see what a range of familiar and new music is on offer.
Kathryn Stott’s first program is splendid - there are many great canonical works that we couldn’t live without, especially the violin Partitas of Bach, Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet, Barber’s Adagio, Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight’ sonata and many others.
Then there’s unfamiliar music by favourite composers - Grieg and Sibelius songs transcribed for trumpet and rarely heard gems like the four-hand piano version of Ravel’s Rapsodie espagnol. There will also be performances of unfairly neglected works - if you adore Brahms and Ravel you’ll love Ethel Smyth and Rebecca Clarke.
Western classical music has always welcomed sounds from elsewhere, like folksong in the music of Grainger, Bartók, Villa-Lobos and Vaughan Williams. Jazz infuses works by Gershwin and Ravel, and if you’re a fan of Astor Piazzolla you’ll love the blend of moody nostalgia and vibrant dance rhythms in the work of JP Jofre, and the Afro-Brazilian influences of Gerard Brophy.
Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad has supported musicians from many cultures - the music of two of them, Zhao Jiping and Wu Tong is supremely evocative, like Chinese ink drawings, of exotic and beautiful landscapes.
The festival’s distinguished Australian composer Julian Yu brings together the music of his Chinese heritage with the Western tradition in exquisite homages to composers he couldn’t live without, Bach and Brahms.
To book call TicketShop on 1800 44 99 77.
A day to discover the region
Islands, Rainforests and Lighthouses
We give the musicians a rest on Tuesday the 31st of July (except for those performing on Orpheus), which means you get the day off too. So why not take the time to explore some of this wonderful region. Our friends at Detours are hosting an exclusive day tour to the Paluma Rainforest via Balgal Beach, the Hidden Valley and The Frosty Mango. Or experience the magic of Magnetic Island with its stunning bays and walking tracks; take a visit to the Umbrella Studios Defective Rituals exhibition or do the tour to the Cleveland Bay Lighthouse.  
Festival Prelude
Cinema Screening 26 July
The Australian Festival of Chamber Music and the Townsville Cinema Group are pleased to present the Australian premiere screening of Daniel Kutschinski's “4”.This is an independent cinema documentary on one of the world's most exciting string quartets - the Quatuor Ebène. Rather than focusing on the stage performances of the award-winning French quartet, 4 takes us behind the scenes to observe the musical and human processes usually hidden from the eyes of the concert audience: the string quartet’s struggle with scores and interpretational details, with colleagues,friends and with themselves.   One night only on Thursday 26 July.
Holiday Packages Still Available
The Australian Holiday Centre are your one stop shop for booking travel to AFCM. They have three holiday packages available including Opening Weekend, Closing Weekend and a Sunset Spectacular package, priced from $392 per person for three nights. They also have reserved seats at extra events including Concert Conversations and Orpheus Island. Cheryl and her team can book your flights, car hire, day tours and more. Call them on 1300 799 342.
Junior Winterschool Programs
Members of ‘Young Ensembles’ are encouraged to start preparing their applications for the Junior Winterschool Workshop being held on 28-29 July.  This is the first time AFCM has offered dedicated coaching to ensembles and attendees will work with International teacher, musician and composer Pavel Fischer. Please contact Rebecca if you have any questions regarding applications before they close on 29 June. 
A Spectacular Sunset Series
The Ray Golding Sunset Series concerts are the perfect introduction to chamber music or an enjoyable start to an evening out. Just one hour long commencing at 5pm, these concerts present many favourite works by world-renowned musicians. Be captivated by Beethoven on Monday, Bach on Wednesday or Boccherini on Thursday! There are five to choose from, tickets are just $52.
Relax with 40% off rail travel 
Train travel has a community spirit to it, and what a great way to start or end your journey this year. Whether you’re travelling solo, with a companion or in a group aboard the Spirit of Queensland you’re bound to meet some new and friendly faces from the comfort of your Premium Economy Seat, RailBed, or in the convenient 24-hour Club Car. Book early and save up to 40%* off. Conditions apply. Call 1300 732 087   
Past and Present Glory - Avan Yu  
One of Canada’s most exciting young pianists makes a welcome return to Australia. Avan Yu achieved international recognition when he triumphed at the Sydney International Piano Competition in 2012 and has since established a stellar international career. With a program featuring Mozart, Ravel and Liszt our subscribers can avail of a 10% discount when booking with the promo code ‘AFCM’ for the Sydney or Melbourne concert. For your chance to win a double pass enter before Friday 22 June.  
Madame Butterfly
Madame Butterfly follows a young Japanese girl called Cho-Cho (nicknamed “Butterfly) as she marries US Naval Officer Pinkerton only to have him depart for the Americas. As the years pass Butterfly awaits his return with hope, refusing any new suitor but her Pinkerton. It is only upon Pinkerton’s return that Butterfly realise their union was not as she thought, ending in one of opera’s most infamous tragedies. Redeveloped into a newly choreographed three-act ballet, Melbourne City Ballet’s production will capture the story’s essence through the fusion of traditional Japanese and classical ballet movement.  


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