The 24th Huntington Estate Music Festival took place on 20-24 November 2013 and featured an amazing collection of wonderful musicians from around the world.
From the UK we welcomed the Doric String Quartet, praised by the Financial Times (UK) for their ‘subtle lyricism and perfect matching of colour and phrasing’. This was the group's Australian debut performance.
Freddy Kempf brought his magical pianism to the grand intimacy of the Barrel Room.
Usually found in the great concert halls of Europe and the USA, this London-born musical wizard’s performances was a highlight of 2013.
As BBC Music Magazine put it, ‘Wonderful delicate playing and a fine sense of style’. Renowned tenor Andrew Goodwin made a most welcome return to Mudgee, alongside his regular recital partner and fellow St Petersburg Conservatory graduate (and Young Concert Artists Trust alumnus),Daniel de Borah. ‘Magnificent…flawless control… crystal clear tone…’ - CityNews on Andrew Goodwin. ‘I was immediately impressed by his pianism, his musicianship and his ability to draw the listener into his musical world.’ - Stephen Hough on Daniel de Borah.
We were lucky to include Ramon Ortega Quero in the line-up, a dazzling, prize-winning young oboe player from Spain, and as always, we were fortunate to draw on a dazzling constellation of fine Australian string players.
The 2013 festival included violinists Paul Wright, Elizabeth Sellars and Sophie Rowell, violist Sally Boud, cellist Rachel Johnston and bassist Andrew Meisel. It wouldn’t be Huntington without at least three of the Goldner Quartet in attendance: Dimity Hall, Irina Morozova and Julian Smiles.
The 2012 Festival revealed the talents of the young ANAM chamber orchestra; 2013 presented the Academy’s wonderful Director: leading clarinettist, ‘the excellent Paul Dean’ (Sunday Times UK). Paul was joined in the woodwind department by Emma Sholl, the highly talented Associate Principal of the Sydney Symphony.
Pianist Ian Munro is always a popular figure at the Festival: ‘a flawless interpreter, his playing full of imaginative colour and supple elegance’ (The Australian). 2013 also featured him as a composer, with the world premiere of his new Piano Trio, commissioned by longstanding Huntington attendees John and Jo Strutt.
Further keyboard power was provided by one of Melbourne’s brightest rising stars, Hoang Pham, fresh from postgraduate studies in the US and making his Huntington debut. Tim Buzbee took the flag as Huntington's first ever Tuba soloist, acclaimed by Fanfare magazine as "a fine musician who can make his tuba variously sing like a violin and bark like an angered dog ... His sense of phrasing is as astonishing as his tone colouring". His wife Jessica Buzbee was another fresh new face at Huntington, an extraordinary prize-winning Nordic trombonist who has performed all over the world.
Low brass tones rumbled around the glorious acoustic of the Huntington's Barrel Room.