26/07 — 04/08/2019
28 Days  
Dear ,
It is the final countdown until Origins gets underway. There’s a lot of excitement building here in the Festival office. All of the musicians’ flights have been booked, the official program has been sent to print, street banners have gone up around town and the artists are busy rehearsing their pieces (we hope!).
Our Winterschool Director, Pavel Fischer will shortly arrive in Townsville to deliver some fabulous education outreach programs with the awesome A.S.H Trio. They’re off to Charters Towers, Palm Island and to four local high schools…all before Opening Night! And did we mention we have five amazing groups accepted into this year’s Advanced Winterschool? Three are from Brisbane, one from Melbourne and one all the way from Singapore – our first international group, and they are an impressive young quartet studying at the Singapore Conservatory but travelling all the way from their home base of Taiwan. We definitely encourage you to come along and see them in action at a free masterclass during the Festival.
If you’ve been contemplating whether to come to this year’s Festival, were worried you couldn’t stay for long or thought there weren’t any good seats left…then think again and book a Festival Holiday Package. Each package includes three nights’ accommodation (although you can extend) and reserved seating at three of the Festival’s most popular concerts. Choose an Opening Weekend, Closing Weekend or mid-week Sunset Spectacular package, priced from $377pp. You can also add on concerts, including the sold-out AFCM After Party and Orpheus Island concerts. So a holiday package is one of the only ways left to get to these two fabulous Island Concerts! Be quick as packages close on 1 July. Find out more here.
We look forward to seeing you in 28 Days!
Warm Regards, 
The AFCM Team. 

Message from Artistic Director, Kathryn Stott
Hello from Manchester! Well, the excitement is now mounting and before long I’ll be heading for Australia and AFCM 2019 will be in full flow. I know that everyone in the festival team is working flat out to get everything ready to host all of our wonderful musicians but to ensure our audiences are as happy as possible. While all that is happening, I’ve now fully programmed the 2020 festival and after a concert sabbatical, recently launched back into performing concerts. You’ll be relieved to know I haven’t forgotten what to do! Obviously tons of practise to do at the moment but last week I headed down to Cornwall for the wedding of one of our festival artists, harpist Ruth Wall. We can now say that she will be performing work by her husband - Graham Fitkin. Look out for ‘Recur’ in the opening concert. Ruth and Graham began their wedding ceremony with clapping music and if you want to know what that’s all about, head to the Cleveland Bay Concert. Do not try this at home! I’ve also seen Rachael and Roberto who will be making their first ever visit to Australia and are beyond excited. We realised that Roberto will be performing on 17 strings - I’ll leave you to work that out! They are both looking forward to meeting up with flautist Sally Walker again who was in Manchester for a brief spell some years ago. Pavel Fischer was in town and is delighted about the expansion of our Winterschool program and the fact he will spend an extra week working with the Townsville community before our students arrive. I see from social media that many of our festival artists are flying around the globe performing in all kinds of exciting places. One of the lovely aspects about festivals, is the coming together in one place; making new collaborative and personal friendships. There are so many opportunities in the program for all this to develop and I just love the mix of flavours both in personalities and the music itself. Can’t wait for the festival to start, and to take my first steps along the Strand - I know I’m back when I look over to Magnetic Island through those magical palm trees. My ‘Origins’ starts right there.  

Q & A with Martin Kuuskmann
This edition of our Artist Q&A comes from Martin Kuuskmann, multiple Grammy-nominated Estonian-born bassoon virtuoso and an international soloist. 
Q. What are you most looking forward to experiencing at AFCM and in Townsville?
Great music making, great collaborations and definitely absolutely fun 10 days at the AFCM. I love nature, so I know there’s lots of beauty to look forward to on that end, too!

Q. If you had to pick one work to introduce someone to the wonders of classical music, what would it be?
I love Bach, first and foremost. As an intro to someone that really knows nothing, I’d probably pick one of the slow movements of the Beethoven or Mozart piano concertos...Bach might be a bit too much to take in at first.

Q. What is your fondest musical memory?
The pile of “my fondest” performances keeps growing every year. To really dig deep, probably the first music lesson to my 3 children on the bassoon, clarinet or the piano. Just to see the excitement in their eyes is absolutely priceless, especially when they’re attempting to blow something as large as the bassoon.
Q. What piece are you particular looking forward to performing from your program?
 I really look forward to everything, but if you make me choose, then it’d be the Dutilleux. I haven’t actually done it that many times. It’s a wonderful work with loads of colors, moods...just a beautiful work.
Martin Kuuskmann performs in 10 concerts throughout the Festival, from Opening Night to Festival Farewell.  Find out more here 
Work Experience
A win-win!
Being a very small team here at AFCM means we sometimes feel like there’s just not enough hands! So we love it when JCU interns or high school work experience students join us and help ease that load. This year we’ve been lucky to welcome some exceptional young talent including Saar and Anthony from Pimlico and Bradley from JCU who started with us last week. Pictured above is Anthony, a Saxophone player who we used for a piece of filming for the television show Queensland weekender. Not the average Work placement experience! 
Speaking of much needed help, our Volunteers have been scheduled and we're so happy to have such a fantastic team support us!
Under 30 for 30
If there’s ever been a better incentive to be young…this is it!
Anyone 30 years of age or under can attend a Festival concert at the Townsville Civic Theatre for just $30 – that’s a saving of up to $53! There are 18 concerts to choose from including Opening Night, Governor’s Gala, all of the one hour Sunset concerts, full-length Evening concerts and even the hugely popular Concert Conversations held at The Ville. Or if you are a student, join for just $50 you will receive a host of benefits including two free tickets to any concert at the Townsville Civic Theatre. Find out more here.

Supporting the AFCM
The AFCM congratulates Philip Bacon AM on being recognised as the Queensland Community Foundation Philanthropist of the Year 2019. This award recognises an outstanding individual, family or family foundation with a proven record of exceptional financial generosity and leadership to one or more Queensland based non-profit organisations.
Philip has been a long term supporter of the Festival, in particular our Artistic Director position which he supports annually. We are grateful not only for his generous sponsorship but also his encouragement and belief in our artistic excellence. His genuine interest in Artistic Director Kathryn Stott’s programming is a great vote of confidence and encourages us to strive for even greater success.
There are many ways to support the AFCM, they all help and contribute to our story. For information about supporting the Festival please contact  Sue Hackett  Philanthropy Manager 07 4771 4144
Above: Philip Bacon AM at Philip Bacon Galleries with Kathryn Stott

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