Australian Festival of Chamber Music
Attend the 30th annual internationally-acclaimed Australian Festival of Chamber Music in picturesque Townsville, featuring some of the finest international and Australian musicians.
In the company of performing arts specialist Mary Jo Capps, be exhilarated by the festive atmosphere of the North Queensland city during one of Australia’s major performing arts celebrations under the stewardship of Kathryn Stott.
Attend performances over the first four days of the Festival, including the exciting Opening Night Concert, and benefit from private daily talks and analysis of the program.
Enjoy superior accommodation in a waterfront resort-style hotel as you soak up the tropical warmth of ‘winter’ in North Queensland.
Arrive in Townsville and make your way to the hotel. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your flights and other travel arrangements including a private transfer to the hotel, pre-tour accommodation or a room category upgrade.
At 4:30pm, join Mary Jo and fellow travellers for a welcome briefing, followed by an early light dinner at the hotel.
Transfer to the Townsville Civic Theatre for the Opening Night Concert entitled Parade, hosted by Australian soprano Cheryl Barker AO and Australian baritone Peter Coleman-Wright AO.
Guillaume Connesson – Techno Parade
Virginia Taylor (flute), Lloyd Van’t Hoff (clarinet), Timothy Young (piano)
Deborah Cheetham AO – Nginda Ngarrini Bi Ngya (World Premiere)
Deborah Cheetham AO (soprano), David Greco (baritone), Goldner String Quartet
Witold Lutosławski – Variations on a theme by Paganini (arr. James Crabb)
James Crabb (accordion), Piers Lane (piano)
Richard Rodney Bennett – Saxophone Quartet
Felix Mendelssohn – Octet in E flat Major, Op.20
Elizabeth Layton, Zoë Black, Grace Clifford, Natsuko Yoshimoto (violins), Christopher Moore, Imants Larsens (violas), Elina Faskhi, Yelian He (cellos)
This morning, join Mary Jo for a pre-performance talk, followed by the first of the Concert Conversations series. Delight in a panel discussion hosted by ABC broadcaster and musician Russell Torrance, who chats with some of the festival’s premier musicians including violinist Zoë Black and Australian soprano Deborah Cheetham, followed by a performance of the works discussed.
Gerard Brophy – Apollogy
Max Bruch – Romantic Pieces Op.83 Nos. 5 & 7
Imants Larsens (viola), Lloyd Van’t Hoff (clarinet), Yasmin Rowe (piano)
Hugo Wolf – Fussreise, Verborgenheit, Auf ein altes Bild, Gesegnet Sei
David Greco (baritone), Yasmin Rowe (piano)
Arvo Pärt – Fratres
Zoë Black (violin), Yasmin Rowe (piano)
After the performance, enjoy a short walking tour of Townsville city centre. Explore the beachfront promenade of the Strand, taking in Anzac Park and the Queens Gardens, followed by a visit to the Jezzine Barracks and Kissing Point Fortification.
Enjoy some free time at the hotel before returning to the Townsville Civic Theatre in the late afternoon for the first concert in the Sunset Series entitled Concertino, featuring a performance by Australian accordion player James Crabb.
Erwin Schulhoff – Concertino for flute, viola and double bass
Virginia Taylor (flute), Christopher Moore (viola), Kirsty McCahon (double bass)
Franz Schubert – Variations on Trockne Blumen D802
Virginia Taylor (flute), Daniel de Borah (piano)
Aulis Sallinen – Dance Music Suite Op.107 (Australian Premiere)
James Crabb (accordion), Elizabeth Layton (violin), Yelian He (cello), Timothy Young (piano)
Then enjoy a private dinner at the Townsville Civic Theatre before the Governor’s Gala concert entitled Ode to Joy, 25 short variations by Australian composers on Beethoven’s masterpiece, specially chosen by the Goldner String Quartet.
Ernest von Dohnányi – Sextet in C Major Op.37
Natsuko Yoshimoto (violin), Imants Larsens (viola), Blair Harris (cello), Nicolas Fleury (horn), Lloyd Van’t Hoff (clarinet), Kristian Chong (piano)
Graham Fitkin – Wiring (Australian Premiere)
Michael Duke (soprano saxophone), Timothy Young (piano)
Claude Debussy – Fêtes galantes, En sourdine, Fantoches, Clair de lune
Jacqueline Porter (soprano), Piers Lane (piano)
Various – Goldner Variations on ‘Ode to Joy’ (World Premiere)
Goldner String Quartet
After breakfast, attend a pre-performance talk by Mary Jo, then transfer to the newly opened performing arts hall at St Patrick’s College for the Cleveland Bay Concert. Delight in performances by international concert cellist Yelian He, the Goldner String Quartet and one of Australia’s finest young violinists, Grace Clifford.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Piano Quartet in G Minor No.1
Grace Clifford (violin), Tobias Breider (viola), Yelian He (cello), Kevin Chow (piano)
Benjamin Britten – Lachrymae (Reflections on a Song of Dowland) Op.48 (arr. James Crabb)
James Crabb (accordion), Christopher Moore (viola)
Carl Maria von Weber – Clarinet Quintet
Lloyd Van’t Hoff (clarinet), Goldner String Quartet
Enjoy some time at leisure in the afternoon before dinner under the stars and an evening performance at The Ville Resort. The concert, entitled White Nights, pays homage to great composers from Russia, Scandinavia and New York.
Niels Gade – Octet in F Major Op.17
Dene Olding, Dimity Hall, Zoë Black, Phoebe Gardner (violins), Irina Morozova, Tobias Breider (violas), Julian Smiles, Blair Harris (cellos)
Sergei Prokofiev – Sonata for two violins Op.56
Zoë Black, Phoebe Gardner (violins)
Sergei Rachmaninov – Vocalise (for 4 hands) (arr. Anderson and Roe)
Kevin Chow, Kristian Chong (piano)
George Gershwin – Rhapsody in Blue (arr. Nexas Quartet)
Piers Lane (piano), Nexas Quartet
After a pre-performance talk by Mary Jo, enjoy a panel discussion between some of the musicians, including artists such as Australian oboist Diana Doherty and pianist Timothy Young, followed by a performance.
Georg Philipp Telemann – Fantasia No.3 in B Minor, No.7 in D Major
Diana Doherty (oboe)
Dmitri Shostakovich – Four Preludes (nos. 10, 15, 16, 24), Op.34 (arr. Dmitri Tsyganov)
Elizabeth Layton (violin), James Crabb (accordion)
Kate Moore – Icarus Song
Kirsty McCahon (double bass)
Lili Boulanger – D’un soir triste
Phoebe Gardner (violin), Yelian He (cello), Timothy Young (piano)
Errollyn Wallen – Dervish (Australian Premiere)
Blair Harris (cello), Timothy Young (piano)
Enjoy a free afternoon to relax or explore Townsville at your own pace before returning to the Townsville Civic Theatre for the second concert in the Sunset Series followed by the main evening performance.
This afternoon’s concert will feature performances by Japanese violinist Natsuko Yoshimoto and William Barton on didgeridoo.
William Barton – Square Circles Beneath the Red Desert Sand
William Barton (didgeridoo), Natsuko Yoshimoto, Phoebe Gardner (violins), Tobias Breider (viola), Blair Harris (cello)
Luigi Boccherini – Flute Quintet in D Major, Op.19 No.6, G430
Virginia Taylor (flute), Goldner String Quartet
Ferruccio Busoni – Elegie for clarinet and piano BV286
Lloyd Van’t Hoff (clarinet), Yasmin Rowe (piano)
Arno Babajanian – Piano Trio in F sharp Minor
Zoë Black (violin), Elina Faskhi (cello), Daniel de Borah (piano)
Enjoy a private dinner at the Townsville Civic Theatre during the interval between the performances, followed by the final performance.
Joseph Haydn – Piano Trio No.39 in G Major ‘Gypsy’ (arr. James Crabb)
Elizabeth Layton (violin), Julian Smiles (cello), James Crabb (accordion)
Franz Schubert – Auf dem Strom
Jacqueline Porter (soprano), Nicolas Fleury (horn), Kristian Chong (piano)
Ludwig van Beethoven – Variations in F Major Op.66
Elina Faskhi (cello), Kristian Chong (piano)
Dilys Elwyn-Edwards – The Cloths of Heaven
David Greco (baritone), Piers Lane (piano)
Ivor Gurney – Sleep
David Greco (baritone), Piers Lane (piano)
Benjamin Britten – Three Irish Folk Songs: The Minstrel Boy; How Sweet the Answer; Last Rose of Summer
David Greco (baritone), Piers Lane (piano)
Pavel Fischer – Quartet No.2 ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ (Australian Premiere)
Natsuko Yoshimoto, Elizabeth Layton (violins), Imants Larsens (viola), Yelian He (cello)
At the conclusion of the concert, return to the hotel for an informal farewell drinks reception with Mary Jo and fellow travellers.
Tour arrangements conclude after breakfast. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your flights and other travel arrangements, including additional nights’ accommodation either before or after the tour, a room category upgrade and travel insurance (highly recommended).
Per person, twin-share
Deposit per person (at time of booking)
Final payment due
21 May 2021
Room category upgrade available on request; please enquire with us.
Please see Terms & Conditions for fitness levels definitions.
Please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for current airfares and flight reservations.
New Zealand passport holders do not require a visa to visit Australia.
Tour price includes
- Accommodation in a four-star superior resort-style hotel with breakfast daily (B)
- Gold subscriber (Category 1) seats for performances of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music as per itinerary
- Meals as per itinerary (L = Lunch, D = Dinner, R = Reception), including wine with meals
- Private pre-performance talks with your tour leader, music specialist Mary Jo Capps
- Transportation on private, comfortable air-conditioned coaches
- Sightseeing, including local guides and entrance fees as per itinerary
- Gratuities for local guides, drivers and wait staff
- Hotel porterage (one piece per person)
Tour price does not include
- Airfares (please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
- Airport/hotel transfers on arrival and departure (please contact Renaissance Tours for assistance)
- Airport porterage
- Items of a personal nature, including telephone, laundry, room service, etc.
- Travel insurance (highly recommended; please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
The Ville Resort ****
The Ville is Townsville’s iconic luxury resort and entertainment destination and hosts many of the performances of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. The hotel boasts a superior waterfront location and rooms of superior comfort with views of Magnetic Island or the iconic Castle Hill. The hotel features three restaurants, as well as a vibrant bar overlooking the Coral Sea.
N.B. Hotel of a similar standard may be substituted.
The Australian Festival of Chamber Music
Since its inception in 1990, the Australian Festival of Chamber Music has been the largest festival dedicated to chamber music in the southern hemisphere. The Festival was founded by Professor Ray Golding, former Vice-Chancellor of James Cook University, and Theodore Kuchar, who continued as the Festival’s first artistic director. From 2007-2018, renowned Australian pianist Piers Lane AO acted as artistic director and widened the repertoire of the Festival to appeal to a broader audience. In 2019, the mantel of artistic director was taken up by Kathryn Stott, who has remained committed to the Festival’s aim of enhancing the cultural environment of North Queensland by presenting world-class performances to audiences of all ages in the tropical ambience of sunny Townsville.