AUSTRALIAN FESTIVAL OF CHAMBER MUSIC 2024: Music, Farewells, and Premieres

 In its continuous quest to push the boundaries of chamber music, the Australian Festival of Chamber Music (AFCM) unveils an impressive lineup for its 2024 edition, promising a blend of world premieres, celebrated returns, and a few farewells. Under the artistic direction of Jack Liebeck, the festival, scheduled from July 26th to August 4th in Townsville/Gurambilbarra, North Queensland, sets the stage for an extraordinary musical journey.

With the announcement of two world premieres, the return of esteemed artists such as Stephen Johnson, Piers Lane, Roderick Williams, Lotte Betts-Dean, and Brett Dean, and the bittersweet farewell to the cherished Goldner String Quartet, AFCM 2024 promises to be an unparalleled experience for music enthusiasts.

Jack Liebeck's carefully curated program not only features renowned international and Australian artists but also includes opportunities for attendees to engage with performers through forums, masterclasses, and special events, enhancing the overall immersive experience.

Among the highlights is the return of former Artistic Director Piers Lane, whose appearance is anticipated to be a major highlight of the festival. Additionally, AFCM bids farewell to the beloved Goldner String Quartet, honouring their legacy with special Champagne Concert Conversations.

Liebeck's dedication to providing deeper insights into music is evident in the inclusion of resident musicologist Stephen Johnson, who will guide audiences through the intricacies of chamber music masterpieces, offering valuable perspectives on compositions and performances.

A unique aspect of AFCM is the Guilty Pleasures segment, where musicians showcase their favourite pieces, ranging from the eclectic to the unusual, promising surprises and inspiration.

The festival also introduces innovative concepts such as Wonderful World, featuring cellist Christian-Pierre La Marca and the Australian Youth Orchestra's Momentum ensemble, presenting a fusion of breathtaking imagery and music reflecting environmental themes.

Highlighting the premieres, AFCM will feature Stephen Johnson's Unquiet Sleepers during the Evening Concert 1 and Roderick Williams' Not Yet Here at the final Sunset Series concert, promising captivating performances that push the boundaries of chamber music.

The Minister for the Arts, Leeanne Enoch, lauded AFCM for offering a spectacular live music program set against the picturesque backdrop of tropical Townsville, underscoring the festival's significance in promoting Queensland's cultural landscape.

As AFCM continues to evolve as a global cultural event, it remains a testament to the power of music in fostering connections and enriching communities. With its blend of world-class performances, insightful discussions, and memorable farewells, AFCM 2024 is poised to captivate audiences and reaffirm its status as a premier chamber music festival.

Tickets for the Australian Festival of Chamber Music 2024 are set to go on sale on Friday, March 1st, offering concert tickets, festival passes, and holiday packages for music enthusiasts eager to embark on this musical journey.

Tickets and full program:

(Image credits: Conductor Umberto Clerici: Peter Wallis. Outdoor concert: Andrew Rankin. Others: Supplied)