In their 70th birthday year, it seems that Musica Viva have pulled out all the stops.

The musical champagne corks are already popping as Musica Viva Australia celebrates its 70th birthday with the brilliant Canadian Baroque ensemble Tafelmusik this month, launching a stellar season that will culminate in a gala recital tour by Russian superstar violinist Maxim Vengerov. But at the heart of the celebration is the fourth biennial Musica Viva Festival, which runs over four days at Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music from Thursday April 9 to Sunday April 12.

This year’s festival will be a chamber music hothouse of around 30 events featuring 60 musicians, about 40 of them young Australian performers, with the undoubted highlight being three concerts featuring legendary Latvian-born Israeli cellist Mischa Maisky. There will be seven subscription concerts featuring top international performers alongside their Australian counterparts, as well as performances by members of the Australian Youth Orchestra, tutorials, workshops and talks, a film festival and plenty of activities to keep children engaged as well. There’s even an open mic segment being recorded by ABC Classic FM. As Carl Vine, Musica Viva’s artistic director says: “Chamber music is a miraculous exemplification of human endeavour, and...

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