Welcome to the 2021 Bendigo Chamber Music Festival! After a thrilling launch and sold out inaugural festival, our second festival will have a slightly different feel for obvious reasons. 2020 has been a very difficult year for musicians and audiences alike, and it is truly life-affirming finally to be able to play together. Once again in partnership with the City of Bendigo and Bendigo Venues and Events, we will bring some of Australia’s very best artists together for 15 concerts between February 3th and 7th 2021.
This year we welcome for the first time Australian woodwind royalty: the oboist Thomas Hutchinson, and clarinettist David Griffiths. Australia Opera star soprano Jacqueline Porter also makes her BCMF debut. The fabulous concertmaster and chamber musician Natsuko Yoshimoto will be joined by esteemed violinists Matthew Tomkins and Robin Wilson. Chris Moore, formerly ACO’s and now MSO’s principal viola is guaranteed to brighten up any festival’s lineup, and we are thrilled to welcome a poet of the piano and renaissance musician Ben Martin.
Returning again is our extraordinary BCMF core artist family: MSO Concertmaster Sophie Rowell and audience favourite pianist Daniel de Borah. In 2021 we also continue our passion to showcase the next generation of artists, featuring our ongoing partnership with ANAM (this year the remarkable Rathdowne Quartet, with Madeleine Jevons replacing Harry Ward, who is sadly unable to travel from Sydney), as well as a new partnership with Musica Viva’s Strike a Chord Competition.
Throughout the five days we will present a huge cross-section of chamber music favourites alongside lesser-known masterpieces, which we are sure will become favourites! From solo instruments to a sumptuous string orchestra, from Vivaldi to Gershwin, there really is something enticing in every program.
The festival will again be divided into four different concert series: an 11am “Morning Recital” series, a 2pm “Inside and Out Conversations Series”, a 5pm “Dusk Series” and an evening “Summer Nights Gala” series but with some slight COVID – 19 alterations. To maintain the balance between an intimate setting and social distancing, the 5pm concerts will only available for festival pass holders. The Summer Nights Gala concerts will also now feature 60 minute programmes and will be performed once at 7pm, and repeated at 8.30pm each evening.
In 2021 BCMF continues to be committed to its community engagement and educational concerts, with over 45 different events acquitted in 2020. There are also free events to be enjoyed by the whole community including masterclasses and cushion concerts.
We look forward to you joining us for our second festival as we make this extraordinary art-focused city sing, in the company of some of Australia’s very finest musicians – celebrating the re-emergence of live performances!