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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | June 15, 2021

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Australian Festival of Chamber Music 30th Program Announced

Australian Festival of Chamber Music 30th Program Announced
Claire Matthews

Australian Festival of Chamber Music has announced tickets are on sale for its 2020 program, celebrating their 30th anniversary and Beethoven’s 250th.

Held from 31 July to 9 August, in Townsville, North Queensland, the festival welcomes emerging and acclaimed young chamber musicians from across Australia and abroad.

The lineup includes 47 artists, including 31 Australian and 16 international, four world premieres and 11 Australian premieres, with a total of over 125 pieces being performed.

Acclaimed violinist and teacher, Pavel Fischer, and Artistic Director Kathryn Stott will direct the Festival’s Winterschool program.

Artistic Director Kathryn Stott said the 2020 program is not to be missed.

“We have music spanning centuries and continents, and exciting commissions and premieres all mixed into a joyous potpourri of the most celebrated chamber music repertoire ever written.”

Featured international artists include: Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Adam Walker, Alexander Stikovetsky, Amalia Hall, Lise Berthaud, and Marianna Shirinyan.

Australian artists include: Kirsty McCahon, William Barton, Zoe Black, Tobias Breider, Mark Gaydon, James Crabb, Lloyd Van’t Hoff, Timothy Young, the Tinally String Quartet and Nexas Saxophone Quartet.
AFCM’s youngest ever performer, 12-year-old violinist Christian Li, will make his debut at the festival this year.

Minister for the Arts Leanne Enoch said Queensland Government funding would support the new commissions and artists.

“These exciting commissions, supported with an additional $25,000 funding under the Queensland Arts Showcase Program, are a great way to celebrate the AFCM’s 30 years in Townsville.”

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said AFCM was a vibrant hub for promoting Townsville’s tourism industry.

“The ACFM has grown from strength to strength in recent years. It now generates $3.7 million and more than 35,000 visitor nights.”

“This goes to show how important events like these are to Townsville’s tourism industry – supporting local jobs and local businesses”, Ms Jones said.

The 2020 AFCM is also an official event partner of the North Australia Festival of Arts, in Townsville this July.

2020 Australian Festival of Chamber Music Fast Facts:

  • 10 days, 32 events and 47 world class artists
  • 4 artists making their Australian debut (Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Tai Murray, Jan-Erik Gustafsson & Yumi Kurosawa)
  • 4 world premieres, 11 Australian premieres and more than 125 pieces performed
  • Over 110 composers, 42 of whom are alive today, from 23 nationalities (including 33 Australian composers)
  • 15 female composers featured in the program
  • 13 different instruments showcased at the Festival, plus voice and dance
  • 8 pianos transported 4,524kms from Sydney to Townsville via Theme and Variations
  • 16 musicians travelling from overseas
  • 31 musicians travelling from within Australia
  • 336,041kms travelled by artists to get to Townsville
  • 1 instrument never played at AFCM before – the Japanese Koto
  • The youngest ever performer at AFCM, Christian Li, aged 12 years old
  • And the third and final Festival for Artistic Director, UK pianist Kathryn Stott

Australian Festival of Chamber Music Highlights:


  • Deborah Cheetham AO – New Work: Opening Night Concert, Friday 31 July.
  • Goldner Variations on the theme ‘Ode to Joy’ (from Beethoven’s biggest symphony): Governor’s Gala, Saturday 1st August, 7.30pm.
  • Songs by Roderick Williams: Thursday 6th August, 7.30pm, Evening Series.
  • Dancenorth – Control: Thursday 6th August, 7.30pm, Evening Series.


  • Immortal Beloved:  Thursday 6th August at 5pm, Sunset Series.


  • Future Stars Special: Friday 7 August, 3pm
  • Palm Island Concert: Tuesday 4 August, departs at 9am

FESTIVAL SPECIAL – Concert Conversation 6 with Kathryn Stott – devoted to Goldners: Saturday 8 August, 10am

FESTIVAL FAVOURITE – The Families’ Concert – Stan and Mabel: Saturday 8 August, 1pm



What: Australian Chamber Music Festival
Where: Townsville, North Queensland
When: 31 July to 9 August 2020

Tickets: AFCM Website

Details on AFCM’s Winterschool program here

Images Supplied