UPDATE: An inadvertent error appears in our promotional material for this year’s AFCM Festival. While Piotr Anderszewski’s performances in Townsville are an Australian exclusive, we recently have been made aware that his debut, and only previous appearance in Australia, was in performance with the ACO in 2001. We regret the error.
The Australian Festival of Chamber Music has announced 2015’s headline act, and it’s undoubtedly one of the biggest programming coups in Australia this year: a series of performances by Polish pianist Piotr Anderszewski. The engagement is the centrepiece of the AFCM’s birthday celebrations as the Queensland-based Festival marks its 25th anniversary this year.
Considered to be one of the finest pianists in the world, Anderszewski is notoriously selective about his performing engagements, and so his decision to give three major concerts during the ten-day festival in the tropical North Queensland city of Townsville is an endorsement of the AFCM’s quality and reputation. Known for his perfectionism, astonishing technical prowess and his superb musical insight, the pianist’s most recent recording, Bach’s English Suites No 1,3 & 5 for Warner Classics, has been met with almost unequivocal praise since its release at the end of last year.
During the AFCM, Anderszewski will perform Mozart’s Concerto in A major, accompanied by the Camerata of St John’s, which he will direct from the keyboard, as well a performance of Bach’s English Suites, the subject of recent critical acclaim. He will also give a mixed recital, the specifics of which are yet to be confirmed.
The announcement has been met with evident delight by some of Australia’s most esteemed musicians. Conductor and music educationalist Richard Gill said, “AFCM has scored the musical scoop of the decade. Piotr Anderszewski’s appearances at the AFCM demonstrate just how spectacularly important this festival has become nationally and internationally.”
Brisbane Baroque Artistic Director, Leo Schofield was similarly impressed with the announcement. “Tradition, respect and trust are achieved not only by unswerving commitment to quality but also by choice of artists and performers who distinguish the special from the quotidian offerings,” Schofield remarked. “The choice of the great Polish Hungarian pianist Piotr Andrewzewski is inspired.”
The man behind the engagement, AFCM Artistic Director Piers Lane, has negotiated financial backing from the Queensland Government, meaning that Anderszewski will be performing exclusively in Townsville and nowhere else in the country. “I trust that people will flock to Townsville to hear him because he won’t be playing anywhere else in Australia and he may not return for a very long time,” Lane said. “It’s a moment that people should grab.”
In addition to Anderszewski, Lane has assembled some of the world’s most in-demand international artists for this year’s festival, which takes place from July 31 to August 8, including award-winning Australian saxophonist Amy Dickson, Chinese cello superstar Li-Wei Qin, and AFCM favourite, British violin virtuoso Jack Liebeck.
Full listings of the 2015 Australian Festival of Chamber Music is available on their website. Tickets go on sale March 18.