It is my great privilege to direct the 25th Port Fairy Spring Music Festival, in which we celebrate two-and-a-half decades of fine music making in Port Fairy.
The Festival enjoys such rude health today in large part due to its previous artistic direction. We gratefully welcome back former Artistic Director Stephen McIntyre AM and founding Artistic Director Len Vorster, and we commemorate Festival co-founder Michael Easton ARAM ten years after he passed away with a brand-new arrangement of his magnum opus, A Voice Not Stilled.
As we celebrate ‘Memory’, we welcome back some of your favourite artists from over the last twenty-five years. We also look to the future, launching a brand-new ensemble, and featuring three Melbourne-based ensembles formed in the last year. We bring you a bumper crop of Festival premieres and commissions, and the Australian premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Orpheus and Euridice.
As ever, we are joined by some of Australia’s most celebrated singers, instrumentalists and ensembles, and this year we also offer a special focus on artists from the region.
Our piano sponsors, Kawai, have generously provided two pianos for the Reardon Theatre, so prepare yourself for two pianists – plus! The clarinet is another special focus, appearing in three different types of clarinet trio. We offer a special emphasis on youth, matching gifted young performers with professional musicians.
Memory runs as a leitmotif through this program. Composers engage in dialogue with the past: Brahms looks to Mozart in his viola quintet; Grabowsky looks to Bartok, who then looks back to Bach. We explore cultural memory, remembering the First World War, the Normandy landing, and the Holocaust. Childhood memory is a rich subject for music, as is memory of place, be it Florence, Le Chat Noir or Henry Lawson’s outback. And we allow ourselves the indulgence of some personal memories, too, reflecting on twenty-five years of exhilarating Spring Music in Port Fairy.
Join us as we remember, and as we lay down new memories for the twenty-five years to come.