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2019 Australian Festival of Chamber Music News

June 20, 2019

With six weeks until the Australian Festival of Chamber Music (AFCM) thrills classical music-lovers in glorious Townsville, several events have already sold out or are close to capacity!

Held from Friday 26 July through to Sunday 4 August, the AFCM will feature the talents of 40 of the world’s leading chamber musicians performing five world premieres and five Australian premieres across some 33 events under the leadership of Festival Artistic Director, and celebrated UK pianist, Kathryn Stott.

Tickets to the Orpheus Island Concert featuring music by international artists Wu ManRachael CleggRoberto Carrillo-Garcia, Martin Kuuskmann and Australian flautist Sally Walker have all been snapped up by eager concertgoers as have tickets to the AFCM After Party on Magnetic Island.

Several concerts are almost at capacity including the James Cook University Opening Night Concert, Creations, featuring 23 of the AFCM musicians and the Festival Farewell Concert, Full Circle.

The Concert Conversations series hosted by Artistic Director, Kathryn Stott has been extremely popular as has the Thursday Evening Series Concert Bellisimo Baroque and the two Sunday night concerts at St James Cathedral – Evening Safari and The Final Hour.

The Ray Golding Sunset Series Concert, A Tale of Two Cities: Brisbane/Boston featuring the world premiere of “String Quartet No. 3” by Composer-in-Residence, Brisbane’s own Connor D’Netto is also proving to be a strong seller.

The popularity of these concerts is an inducement for music-lovers who have not yet booked their tickets to do so quickly in order to ensure they don’t miss out on seeing electrifying performances from the likes of pipa virtuoso, Wu Man, Australian-born super saxophonist Amy Dickson, German Canadian cellist Johannes Moser and Grammy-nominated Estonian-born bassoon virtuoso, Martin Kuuskmann.

Whilst in town for the AFCM, concertgoers are encouraged to explore the spectacular coastal and island landscapes of the region and with Townsville offering a wide choice of accommodation from luxury and self-catering apartments in the city precinct to resorts on Magnetic Island as well as more economical accommodation options, there is simply no excuse not to spend a week or two escaping the winter in tropical North Queensland.

Over almost three decades, the AFCM has developed an international reputation for showcasing a distinguished line-up of Australian and overseas based artists with innovative programming across a range of chamber music styles.  The event is famed for its musicality, as much as for its collaborative spirit, with music lovers returning year after year.

Those wanting a taste of Handel should head to Concert Conversations with Kathryn Stott on Wednesday July 31 at 10am where you will hear Johan Halvorsen’s Passacaglia (after Handel).

Australian Festival of Chamber Music

26 July – 4 August 2019 | Townsville, North Queensland

Tickets and full festival program at

Facebook | Twitter | #afcm19


10 days, 33 events and 40 world class artists

5 artists making their Australian debut

80 composers featured, 21 of whom are alive today

4 female composers featured

18 different instruments showcased

10 winds being played for the first time

8 pianos transported 4,524kms from Sydney to Townsville via Theme and Variations

26 musicians travelling from within Australia

14 musicians travelling from overseas

336,041kms travelled by artists to get to Townsville

2 harps being transported 17,349km

1 double bass being driven 1,334kms

1 instrument never played at AFCM before – the Pipa

The youngest ever Composer-in-Residence, Connor D’Netto

And the second festival for Artistic Director, UK pianist Kathryn Stott

Average days of sunshine each year in Townsville – 320!

Average temperature in Townsville in winter – 24 degrees!

AFCM principal partners include; Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and Arts Queensland, and Townsville City Council. The multi-award-winning Australian Festival of Chamber Music is recognised as a major event on the Tourism and Events Queensland calendar. The Queensland Government is proud to support the Australian Festival of Chamber Music through Tourism and Events Queensland as part of the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar. Queensland, just the place to experience Australia’s best live events.

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