The Festival’s Artistic Director, Carl Vine, has brought together an entrancing mixture of beloved artists and exciting young talent. These extraordinary musicians bring the world’s best music to life in an unforgettable experience for audience and performers alike. Food, wine and a beautiful country estate are the perfect accompaniment to a musical feast.
Pianist Piers Lane AO is one of Australia’s greatest artistic exports. Brisbane-born, his talent propelled him at an early age to London, and then straight on to the finest international stages. With his reputation for playing with ‘conviction, commitment, poeticism and music-serving virtuosity’ (The Times, UK), he elicits a miraculous range of colours and atmospheres from the piano. His repertoire for Huntington offers a glimpse of his sold-out Chopin recitals for Wigmore Hall, as well as demonstrating his famed versatility as a renowned concert soloist and adored chamber music colleague.
Some of Piers’ regular musical companions are found in the Goldner String Quartet, with whom he has made an acclaimed series of piano quintet recordings for Hyperion. And of course, the Goldners are a legendary quartet on their own account, whose performances are always a Huntington highlight! ‘Lane strikes a nice balance between assertiveness and delicacy in the piano writing, with the Goldners’ refinement and beauty of tone providing the perfect foil… poised and immaculate’ (The Guardian, UK).
Trio Dali (named for the exquisite Chinese marble, not the surrealist painter) have brought off the trick of combining three exceptional soloists into a wonderful, cohesive ensemble. Only at Huntington can you hear all three as individuals, as well as together. After a phenomenal debut tour of Australia in 2012 for Musica Viva, the Trio returns in 2016 with new violinist Jack Liebeck and his ‘ex-Wilhelmj’ Guadagnini violin. Pianist Amandine Savary shares her acclaimed lightness of touch in the Bach toccatas; while the joyousness of Christian-Pierre La Marca’s playing wins all hearts. ‘Three young players with plenty to say and the most compelling manner of saying it’ (Gramophone, 2015).
The Australian National Academy of Music’s Chamber Orchestra makes a welcome return to Mudgee, led by charismatic Australian violinist Sophie Rowell. Known to many as a longstanding member of first the Tankstream and then Australian String Quartets, Sophie is currently Associate Concertmaster of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and lends her talents to ANAM on this occasion to lead the nation’s finest young talents in music by Rautavaara, Mendelssohn and more.
Alice Giles is unquestionably one of the world’s great harpists, a rare combination of musical understanding, intellectual curiosity and technical brilliance. No stranger to Huntington, she will perform her trademark mixture of fascinating rarities and works which draw out all the beauty and grace of her chosen instrument. ‘A Paganini of the harp…equally a musical poet, or a pure classicist’ (Sydney Morning Herald)
Tamara Anna Cislowska made an unusually seamless transition from piano prodigy (she made her public debut aged 2) to respected adult colleague, at home on stages here and abroad. Having won almost all possible awards for piano performance in Australia, and countless others overseas, most recently her skills have been recognized with the 2015 ARIA for Best Classical Recording. Particularly sought after as a chamber colleague, Tamara’s striking stage presence and natural charm make her an ideal fit for Huntington.
After the resounding success of their first Mudgee appearances last year, the Orava Quartet were immediately re-invited. This time, they bring their characterful playing and technical assurance to a range of music which draws out the best of their vivid, memorable style. ‘Warmth of sound, sublime inner-voicing and spontaneity’ (The Age)
More artists (including some Wind) will be announced in due course as negotiations are completed.
Here is the list of currently confirmed works in alphabetical order:
BAX Phantasy Sonata for Viola and Harp
BEETHOVEN String quartet in C-sharp minor op 131
BORODIN Piano Quintet
BORODIN Cello Sonata
DEBUSSY Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp L137
FAURE Dolly Suite op 56
IBERT Trio for Violin, Cello and Harp
GREENBAUM String Quartet no 5
GRANT Piano Quintet (World premiere)
MENDELSSOHN Double Concerto for Violin, Piano and Strings
RAUTAVAARA Ballad for Harp and Strings
VINE Smith’s Alchemy