Out West Piano Fest
Join music specialist Phillip Sametz for a unique weekend of sublime piano music by some of Australia’s leading musicians at the inaugural Out West Piano Fest at Blackdown Farm near Bathurst.
Enjoy three days of intimate concerts showcasing eminent Australian pianists, including Alexander Gadjiev, Tamara-Anna Cislowska, Stephanie McCallum and Calvin Abdiel in the beautiful surroundings of country NSW.
Crafted by the Sydney International Piano Competition, the festival’s program highlights include compositions by Chopin, Debussy and Bach, among others.
Between performances, benefit from private pre-performance talks with your tour leader, music specialist Phillip Sametz, and delight in a selection of gourmet food and wine carefully chosen to complement the festival’s theme.
Arrive in Sydney on suggested Qantas flights. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your flights and other travel arrangements, including pre-tour accommodation and a private transfer from the airport.
Meet tour leader Phillip Sametz and fellow travellers at a Sydney CBD hotel (venue to be confirmed) at 9:30am. Depart Sydney to Bathurst with a stop en route for lunch in the Blue Mountains.
This evening, enjoy an exclusive panel discussion between the artists and Phillip followed by dinner at the hotel.
Begin the morning with a pre-performance talk by Phillip. Then, transfer to Bathurst to visit the stunning Abercrombie House, considered a heritage treasure of the region. The historic mansion is a Victorian-Tudor-style house of the 1870s with an impressive façade and extensive grounds.
After lunch, transfer to Blackdown Farm, the venue of the festival, and once home to the Australian artist Tim Storrier and a fine example of Australian heritage architecture. Attend the opening concert of the Out West Piano Fest entitled Welcome Dance, centred in dance form and structure that inspired many great piano works.
Chopin – from Mazurkas Op.56 (No.2 in B Major and No.3 in C Major)
Chopin – Waltz in A-flat Major Op.42
Chopin – Polonaise in F-sharp Minor Op.44
Chopin – Ballade No.4 Op.52
Ravel – La Valse
Debussy – Petite Suite
Fauré – Masques et Bergamasques Op.112
Saint Saëns/Liszt – Danse macabre
After the concert, return to the hotel and enjoy some time at leisure.
This evening, enjoy an Italian-themed dinner served al fresco in the olive grove at Blackdown Farm, followed by a concert entitled Notte Italiana, with celebrated transcriptions from Italian operas and symphonic works by composers including Rossini, Respighi, Scarlatti and Bach.
Rossini – Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Overture)
Scarlatti – Sonata in E Major K.162
Scarlatti – Sonata in G Minor K.450
Respighi – Three Preludes on Gregorian Melodies No.1
Bach – Concerto in D minor BWV 974 for oboe
Malipiero – La Mascherata delle Principesse Prigionière
Ponchielli – Danza delle Ore ‘’La Gioconda’’
After breakfast, join Phillip for a pre-performance talk, followed by a morning concert entitled Reflective Moments, dedicated to music inspired from sacred themes.
Bach – Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd Cantata, BWV 208
Messiaen – Visions de l’Amen No.1 Amen de la Création
Chopin – Polonaise-Fantaisie Op.61
Vine – Five Bagatelles No.5 Threnody
Liszt – Consolations S.172 No.3
Scriabin – Piano Sonata No.5 Op.53
Bach – Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben BWV 147
Bach – Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring Cantata, BWV 147
Edwards – Tyalgum Mantras
After the concert, enjoy a long table lunch under the canopy of the farm’s magnificent crab-apple tree walk before attending an afternoon concert entitled Dazzling Perfection, featuring piano concertos of the Romantic period.
Chopin – Piano Concerto No.2 Op.21
Liszt – Piano Concerto No.1 S.124
Brahms – Variations on a Theme by Haydn Op.56b
This evening, delight in a cocktail reception in the rose garden before tonight’s performance entitled Debussy in Nature, an elegant musical offering that takes inspiration from Debussy and his connection with, and adulation of nature.
Préludes Book 1, No.5 Les collines d’Anacapri
Préludes Book 1, No.7 Ce qu’a vu le vent d’ouest
Préludes Book 1, No.9 La sérénade interrompue
Préludes Book 1, No.10 La Cathédrale engloutie
Préludes Book 1, No.12 Minstrels
Préludes Book 2, No.7 La terrasse des audiences du clair de lune
Préludes Book 1, No.2 Voiles
Préludes Book 1, No.3 Le vent dans les plaines
Préludes Book 1, No.6 Des pas sur la neige
Préludes Book 2, No.2 Feuilles mortes
Préludes Book 2, No.8 Ondine
Préludes Book 2, No.4 Les Fées sont d’exquises danseuses
Check out of the hotel and transfer to Blackdown Farm for the festival’s finale, entitled Auf Wiedersehen. Delight in a performance where the festival artists join with multiple hands to create a rousing end to an enjoyable couple of days of exceptional music-making.
Mozart – Le Nozze di Figaro (Ouverture)
Gershwin/Grainger – ‘’Porgy and Bess’’ Fantasy
Poulenc – Sonata for Four Hands
Milhaud – Scaramouche Suite for Two Pianos
Smetana – Sonata for Two Pianos JB1:47
Rachmaninoff – Two Pieces for Six Hands
Saint Saëns/Liszt – Danse macabre for Eight Hands
After a farewell lunch, return to Sydney where tour arrangements conclude upon arrival in the CBD (venue to be confirmed) around 7:00pm.
Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your flights and other travel arrangements, including airport transfers, travel insurance (strongly recommended) and additional nights’ accommodation either before or after the tour.
Per person, twin-share
Deposit per person (at time of booking)
Final payment due
29 July 2022
Room category upgrade available on request; please enquire with us.
Please see Terms & Conditions for fitness level definitions.
Please see 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
- Three nights’ accommodation in a four-star hotel with breakfast daily (B)
- Tickets for all performances of the Out West Piano Fest
- Return coach transfers from Sydney to Bathurst
- Transportation throughout on comfortable, air-conditioned coaches
- Meals as per itinerary (L = Lunch, D = Dinner), including wine
- Talks and discussions with your tour leader, Phillip Sametz
- Sightseeing as per itinerary, including local guides and entrance fees
- Gratuities for drivers and waiting 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
- Airport porterage
- Items of a personal nature (e.g. telephone, laundry, room service, minibar, taxis etc.)
- Travel insurance (highly recommended; please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
Bathurst – Rydges Mount Panorama Bathurst****
N.B. Hotel of a similar standard may be substituted.
Alexander Gadjiev is an acclaimed Italian/Slovenian pianist who won the prestigious Sydney International Piano Competition in 2021 and received the Second Prize and the “Krystian Zimerman Prize for the best performance of a Sonata” at the 18th Chopin Competition in Warsaw the same year. As “BBC New Generation Artist” from 2019 to 2021, he performed in prestigious British festivals and venues and collaborated with BBC orchestras throughout the United Kingdom. Over the last years, he has been invited to perform in Japan and at major piano festivals including the Verbier Festival, the MiTo Festival in Turin, the Chopin Festival in Duszniki, the ClaviCologne International Piano Festival in Düsseldorf and Kammermusik Salzburg Festival.
Tamara-Anna Cislowska is one of Australia’s most renowned, ARIA award-winning pianists, performing and recording in Australia and internationally. Earning international prizes in London, Italy and Greece such as the Rovere d’Oro, and touring Japan and the USA as cultural ambassador for Australia, Tamara’s accolades include ABC Young Performer of the Year, the Freedman Fellowship, an Art Music Award for ‘Performance of the Year’ (ACT) and the 2015 ARIA award for ‘Best Classical Album’. She has also toured with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and performed as soloist with the London Philharmonic, Auckland Philharmonia and all major Australasian symphony orchestras.
In a performing and recording career spanning four decades, Stephanie McCallum has become renowned for a pianistic practice based on refined control of sound, nuanced artistic instincts and fearless virtuosic control. A graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and a pupil of Alkan authority Ronald Smith, she gave what The Times newspaper described as ‘an impressive debut’ at the Wigmore Hall, developing a concert career in the UK and Europe. She has performed with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, ELISION and as concerto soloist with leading Australian orchestras.
Calvin Abdiel is a prodigious young pianist who won Third Prize at the 2021 Sydney International Piano Competition and was also awarded with the Nancy Weir Best Australian Pianist prize by the international jury. Calvin made his orchestral debut in 2017 with the St Petersburg State Capella Symphony Orchestra and subsequent performances with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and the Swiss orchestra, Les Chambristes. He has been broadcasted by ABC Classic FM and Fine Music Sydney, and studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music undertaking his Honours Degree.