Over three millennia worth of history at 2019 Australian Festival of Chamber Music

From an ancient Chinese pipa to a viola from the time of Elizabeth I…

Over three millennia worth of history at the 2019 Australian Festival of Chamber Music

26 July – 4 August 2019 | Townsville, North Queensland

In July, the world’s best chamber musicians, singers and composers will be flying into Townsville for the 2019 Australian Festival of Chamber Music and joining the 40 artists will be the essential tools of the trade – their magnificent instruments.

From a late 16thcentury Gasparo da Salo viola to a Lorenzo Ventapane cello from 1827, a Sydney-made post-WWII viola to an ancient Chinese pipa (history dates to the 2ndCentury AD), the instruments played by the artists are just as awe-inspiring as the musicians themselves.

A snapshot of the musicians and magnificent instruments of the 2019 AFCM include:

· In a coup for this year’s AFCM, the world’s premier pipa virtuoso and leading ambassador of Chinese music, Wu Man will make her Festival debut. A founding member of the legendary Silk Road Ensemble with celebrated Cellist Yo Yo Ma, she will be playing an instrument that dates to the Qin and Han Dynasties – nearly two thousand years!

· Scottish harpist Ruth Wall makes her Festival debut and will play three different types of harp including a Renaissance brae harp that she’s bringing with her from the UK as there wasn’t one in Australia anywhere!

· Celebrating its 24th season in 2019 the famed Goldner String Quartet is the AFCM Ensemble-in-Residence, and between them, their instruments have over 820 years of experience! Dene Olding plays a Joseph Guarnerius violin from 1720, Dimity Hall a Nicolò Gagliano violin circa 1760, Irina Morozova plays a 1947 viola made by A E Smith of Sydney and Julian Smiles owns a Lorenzo Ventapane cello from 1827.

· Dale Barltrop of the Australian String Quartet will be making his AFCM debut. He is currently concertmaster of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and has appeared as solist and director with the Australian World Orchestra duier Sir Simon Rattle. Dale plays a 1784 Guadagnini Violin from Turin.

· Francesca Hiew the Australian String Quartet’s Second Violin has been touring the world performing since the age of nine! She will be making her AFCM debut. Francesca plays a 1748-49 Guadagnini Violin from Piacenza.

· Australian String Quartet’s violist, Stephen King, holds a Doctorate in Chamber Music and amongst his many achievements, was the Associate Prinicapl Viola of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. Stephen plays a 1783 Guadagnini Viola from Turin.

· Known for the seductive power and “opal-like beauty” of her sound, viola player Jennifer Stumm has also received international acclaim over her her viral TEDx talk about the viola and the blessings of being different. Jennifer plays a viola by Gasparo da Salo c1590. Around 80 of Gasparo da Salòs pieces still exisit with one of his violas auctioned off in 2010 for $US542,500.

· Christopher Moore studied piano and violin before he discovered his passion lay in the rich harmonic and rhythmical complexities the viola! Chistopher plays a 1610 Maggini viola on loan from an anonymous benefactor.

· Timo-Veikko “Tipi” Valve is one of the most versatile musicians of his generation performing as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral leader on both modern and period instruments. Tipi plays a 1616 Brothers Amati cello kindly on loan from the ACO Instrument Fund.

· Sharon Grigoryan from the Australian String Quartet was previously in the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra as well as the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra. 2019 marks her AFCM debut. Sharon plays a c1743 Guadagnini Violincello from Piacenza.

The 29th AFCM takes place in Townsville from Friday 26th July to Sunday 4th August and features 22 concerts, five free events and four special events including an extraordinary concert on Orpheus Island and two events on Magnetic Island. Curated by the internationally acclaimed pianist Kathryn Stott, the 2019 AFCM will feature 5 world premieres, 5 Australian premieres and over 120 pieces being played!

Some of the Festival’s favourite events include the Opening Night Concert, the Governor’s Gala on Saturday evening, the much-anticipated free Queens Garden Concert and Concert Conversations at The Ville where audiences can get up close and personal with the musicians.

Australian Festival of Chamber Music: 26 July – 4 August 2019 | Townsville, North Queensland

www.afcm.com.au| Facebook | Twitter | #afcm19

/Public Release.