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 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 Far North Queensland.
While the program will be finalised in February 2020, we are pleased to publish our tour program and included performances as it currently stands.
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.
In the late afternoon, join Mary Jo and fellow travellers for a welcome briefing, followed by an early light dinner.
Transfer to the Townsville Civic Theatre for the Opening Night Concert entitled Parade, hosted by the BBC’s Petroc Trelawny and featuring performances by Australian baritone Peter Coleman-Wright, 2016 BBC Young Musician of the Year cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and the Nexus Quartet.
This morning enjoy a pre-performance talk by Mary Jo, followed by the first of the Concert Conversations series. Delight in a panel discussion with some of the festival’s premier musicians including Peter Colemen-Wright and Australian soprano Deborah Cheetham, followed by a performance.
After the performance, enjoy a short 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.
Then enjoy a private dinner at the Townsville Civic Theatre before the first Evening Series concert, entitled Ode to Joy, with British soprano Carolyn Sampson, German violinist Tai Murray and the Goldner String Quartet.
After breakfast, attend a pre-performance talk by Mary Jo, followed by the Cleveland Bay Concert, a wonderful ‘musical journey’ in two parts finishing with lunch. During the concert delight in performances by British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and the Goldner String Quartet.
Enjoy some time at leisure in the afternoon before transferring to the atmospheric setting of St James Cathedral for an evening performance entitled White Nights (details to be announced in early 2020.)
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 didgeridoo player William Barton, followed by a performance.
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. This afternoon’s concert will feature performances by Czech violinist Pavel Fischer and William Barton on didgeridoo. Later, during the Evening Series concert, delight in performances by Carolyn Sampson, Peter Coleman-Wright and Austrian horn player Radovan Vlatković.
Enjoy a private dinner at the Townsville Civic Theatre during the interval between the performances.
At the conclusion of the second concert, return to the hotel for a special farewell 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.
*Single travellers may request to share.
Please advise at time of booking.
Room category upgrade available on request; please enquire with us.
Final payment due
29 May 2020
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 Member (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 dinners
- Pre-performance talks with your tour leader, Mary Jo Capps
- Transportation on private, comfortable air-conditioned coaches
- Sightseeing, including entrance fees as per itinerary
- Gratuities for local guides, drivers and wait staff
- Hotel porterage (one piece per person)
Tour price does not include
- Flights (please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
- Airport transfers on arrival and departure
- Items of a personal nature, including telephone, laundry, room service, etc.
- Airport porterage
- Travel insurance (highly recommended; please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
The Ville Resort and Casino ****
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. A hotel of a similar standard may be substituted.
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 Goulding, 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.