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Stars from Australia’s Symphony Orchestras to shine in Townsville next month!

Australian Festival of Chamber Music 3 mins read
Queensland Symphony Orchestra Principal Bassoon Nicole Tait to perform in Townsville next month at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music

In a wonderful nod to Australia’s Symphony Orchestras, this year’s Australian Festival of Chamber Music (AFCM) in Townsville-Gurambilbarra will welcome Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Principal Flute Prudence Davis, Sydney Symphony Orchestra Principal Trumpet David Elton, Queensland Symphony Orchestra Principal Bassoon Nicole Tait and Adelaide Symphony Orchestra Artist in Association for 2023 and rising international star Emily Sun (violin).



The four symphony orchestra stars have all answered the call of Artistic Director, Jack Liebeck, with Nicole Tait and Emily Sun making their AFCM debut.


This year 39 world-class musicians and artists will fly into the North Queensland capital for the AFCM from 28 July to 6 August, including 13 internationals. After last year’s triumphant post-Covid restarting of the acclaimed event - Jack’s first as Artistic Director - the famed British violinist has unveiled a program of 34 concerts and special events, and five world premieres. 


Of making her debut at the AFCM, Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) Principal Bassoonist Nicole Tait said she was excited to make music against the backdrop of Mount Stuart and on Orpheus Island.


“I love the landscape in and around Townville – the red earth with shavings of green, and the ever-present turquoise ocean, all overshadowed by the face of Mt Stuart. It will be a magical way to experience music making. I have a concert on Orpheus Island, performing a  Bach Sonata on the beach – that’s going to be an exhilarating experience!”


Interestingly, when Nicole was asked to write a list of instruments she would like to play during her high school’s music program, she put bassoon dead last! Little did she know she’d play it professionally as one of the best in the country!  West Australian-born, Nicole studied with Matthew Wilkie at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt am Main Hochschule in 1999, and after performances overseas building her reputation, she was appointed Principal Bassoon at QSO in 2002. She currently teaches at the University of Queensland and has played with virtually every Australian company. See Nicole’s AFCM events here


Fellow AFCM debutant Emily Sun has been described as ‘possessed of a superb talent’ (The Australian), with ‘a searing and poetic tone’ (The Guardian), with her captivating interpretations earning her international renown.


The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra Artist in Association for 2023, with performances including the world premiere of Elena Kats-Chernin’s violin concerto, and returns for concertos with Sydney and Melbourne Symphony conductors Jaime Martin and Mark Wigglesworth, she recently played alongside the great Maxim Vengerov at Buckingham Palace! That’s not all…her debut album ‘Nocturnes’ (ABC Classics) was nominated for a 2021 ARIA award; and as Violin Professor at the Royal College of Music London was awarded the Tagore Gold Medal from the RCM, presented by King Charles III himself! See Emily’s AFCM events here


She said she was excited to attend AFCM this year. “I’m really looking forward to playing wonderful chamber music with inspiring artists. I know that it will be an incredibly stimulating festival, and it is such a joy to rehearse and perform intensely during a festival atmosphere. There is a huge array of fantastic music programmed in the festival, and I am looking forward to performing works from Mozart to Stephen Johnson.” 


Principal Flute of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) since 1980, Prudence Davis has appeared as soloist in Carnegie Hall New York, in Japan with the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, in the Berlin Kammermusiksaal during the Kammermusik Fest and on many occasions in Australia. See Prudence’s AFCM events here


Rounding out the Orchestral quad for AFCM 2023 is Principal Trumpet of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, David Elton. He has played with the world’s leading orchestras, most recently as Principal Trumpet with the London Symphony Orchestra and he remains a visiting professor of trumpet at the Royal College of Music in London. See David’s AFCM events here


Other leading Australian musicians attending AFCM include internationally applauded composer and didgeridoo musician William Barton returning with a new commission; the Goldner String Quartet as Quartet-in-Residence; dynamic percussionist Claire Edwardes OAM, and harpsichordist Donald Nicholson


See the full AFCM program here


Australian Festival of Chamber Music

28 July to 6 August 2023 in Townsville-Gurambilbarra, North Queensland

Concert tickets, Festival passes and holiday packages on sale NOW | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | #afcm


AFCM principal partners include Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and Arts Queensland, and Townsville City Council. AFCM is supported by the Queensland Government, through Tourism and Events Queensland, and features on the It’s Live! In Queensland events calendar.





For media enquiries please contact Kath Rose | 0416 291 493 |

For North Queensland media, contact Heidi Hatherell | 0488 132 636 |


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