Held in Townsville North Queensland where it is mid winter with calm glorious weather, the Australian Festival Chamber Music (AFCM) founded in 1991, is all about enhancing the cultural environment of North Queensland.
It attracts the world’s finest chamber musicians to perform in a variety of combinations and venues and across a range of styles through a nine day program of over thirty concerts and special events.
The natural beauty of the north of Australia has a lot to commend it, its tropical ambiance is unique and the Governor of Queensland, His Excellency The Honourable Paul de Jersey AC is its patron.
International performers in the classical music field enjoy coming down under for the enthusiasm of the welcome they receive; the experience of the Queensland relaxed lifestyle with the sun and glorious weather all inducements.
The AFCM is now not only known for the wonderful program of music if offers for the public to enjoy, but also for its Advanced Masterclass Program through its Winterschool Program open to students at both tertiary and high school levels.
Advancing career options for musicians today is a tough challenge, especially for those based in Australia. However we do have some good news for those wanting a career in the so-called classical idiom.
The AFCM is currently calling on Australia’s next virtuoso soloists, ensembles and groups to register for their Advanced Masterclass Program 2017. Festival Internships are hotly contested and are targeted at Music, Creative Arts, and Business and Marketing students
The Winterschool offers invaluable experience in planning, conducting and reviewing a Festival, by helping students to develop verbal and written communication skills, so necessary today in an all-new technology based media world.
It also offers experience of the skills that must be mastered when working in a busy, small team office environment, and much more.
Local students compete for the Theodore Kuchar Scholarship for Excellence in Music. For those under 25 who play an orchestral instrument and have a handle on classical repertoire who haven’t as yet haven’t been involved and would like to participate, the AFCM Busking Competition may be just the ticket.
International festival artists will judge this popular competition and there are only twenty places available so its important for young applicants to apply now.
“AFCM’s Winterschool offers pre-professional individuals and ensembles the chance to further their musical careers through learning and socialising with world-renowned musicians. At the end of the program, the students will perform for a real festival audience- an invaluable experience,” said AFCM Executive Director, Justin Ankus. “With this year’s program featuring a star studded lineup of 42 extraordinary artists, including 13 from overseas, and three leading Australian ensembles, it’s one of the musical events of the year and presents such a stunning opportunity for the Winterschool students.”
The AFCM in its final year under the baton of internationally acclaimed pianist Piers Lane AO, is all about celebrating life through music.
Most musicians wishing to ensure they will be pursuing their passion for the rest of their lifetime in music really do have to get their head around travelling internationally and perhaps even being based overseas if they wish to gain experience and to expand their knowledge.
It is not an easy ask, especially for young people who value the love and support of family nearby, but its also a reality that the experience in life it offers also helps them to stand on their own two feet and forge their path in life, something that in the long run we are all in this day and age finally empowered to do.
Living overseas for their career is not unique to musicians, it really includes all those in the performance art field, and a great many in the visual art field as well.
Australia’s small population can be a disadvantage in this regard, but in other arenas it can become an advantage.
Students have a unique opportunity to benefit from the counsel of their local and international heroes such as pianist Jayson Gillham who hails from Roma in Queensland, and is now based in London.
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2017