01 OCTOBER 2013
What Are Arts Festivals Really All About?
In recent years it seems as though every major city in the world has its own arts festival.
The recent history of the arts festival goes back to the post war years when civic leaders began looking to the arts to animate cities and build civic pride. The Edinburgh Festival -- perhaps the most famous of them all -- began in 1947, and today’s festivals are too numerous to list. But what are arts festivals really about and whose interest do they serve?
Our Chair, Sheena Boughen discusses the role of the festival on Weekend Arts, Radio National.
09 July 2013
When Four Become One
Her violin tucked under her chin, Francesca Hiew makes a discreet but audible sniff that is the cue for the music to begin. She and the three other members of the Auric Quartet are rehearsing Mendelssohn's String Quartet No 2 in A minor. The introduction is an Adagio, with quietly consonant chords and a little melodic fragment that Mendelssohn borrowed from a song of his, Ist es wahr? (Is it so?).
Great article featured in The Australian about our recent resident musicians. Read more...
26 June 2013
Auric Quartet Residency Inspires
Geoffrey Badger and Sheena Boughen flanked by the
Auric String Quartet - Jarrad, Matthew, Kate and Francesca.
Did you come and see the final concert marking the end of the Auric Quartet’s residency here in the Bega Valley? What an incredibly beautiful afternoon of music by and for the local community and supported by the Auric Quartet from the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM).
As a result of their residency here Auric had time to prepare for the finals of the Asia Pacific Chamber Music Competition, and beautifully played a piece by Mendelssohn at the concert. It was truly awe-inspiring! But what was really special about the concert was the passion and enthusiasm from the quartet and all the young string players as they played side by side.
Sheena Boughen says “These kinds of collaborations don’t work unless there is someone pulling it all together locally. That’s Geoffrey Badger. From choosing the repertoire that the Bega Chamber Orchestra, Heartsong Choir and Auric can play together to running rehearsals, organising lessons and concerts, and supporting the quartet in realising the power of community engagement. His work as music educator here in the Valley is what has made this first residency so successful from both sides. The quartet have left inspired by the generosity and appreciation from the community, totally enamored with the beauty of our place and asking when they can return! And you should hear what some of the parents have said about their young string players after lessons with the quartet members.”
Megan and Ian Campbell whose son Jim plays the violin said “It's like the light went on for Jim, he went from struggling to do his regular practice to hard to make him stop. He is very inspired.”
Our hope is that the opportunities that we can help facilitate through music education within the local community touch lives in meaningful ways. Of course our vision is to continue to excite festival participants with the music of Four Winds but when visiting artists are given the opportunity to spend time immersed in the community, sharing their music and teaching skills, transformation occurs for both community and the visiting musicians.
Tune in to ABC Classic FM on the 9th and 11th of July to hear Auric competing in the finals of the Asia Pacific Chamber Music Competition.
5 June 2013
Joining Forces: Free Concert with Auric Quartet
The delightful Auric String Quartet - Francesca, Kate, Matthew and Jarrad.
Join us for a special concert in Bega this Saturday 8 June, at 3pm in the Mumbulla School Hall. Entry is free.
The Auric Quartet, who have been in residence in the Bega Valley over the last month, will join forces with the Heartsong Choir, the Bega Chamber Orchestra and Molly Campbell to play the pieces they have been working on during this residency. Many of the usual suspects will be represented: Vivaldi, Telemann, Bach, Mozart, as well as some more contemporary pieces.
It's all got a wonderful lively dynamic that just makes you sit up and be proud to be part of music making in our region.
You'll discover that the Auric Quartet are a remarkable group of young string musicians who not only play so beautifully and intelligently, but they understand the value of being involved in making music from within a community.
They are here through a unique collaboration between the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM), Four Winds Festival and the Bega Chamber Orchestra, and have been supporting and inspiring local musicians through concerts, lessons, and ensemble work.
15 May 2013
Auric String Quartet in the Community
The Auric String Quartet put on a show at the
Mumbulla School at the beginning of their residency.
Make a note in your diary for Saturday 8 June for the free concert featuring Auric and local musicians!
Mumbulla School Hall, Bega, 3pm.
24 April 2013
Auric Quartet Here For Four Winds Residency
The Auric String Quartet in performance - Kate Sullivan,
Francesca Hiew, Matthew Laing and Jarrad Mathie.
Four Winds is delighted to announce the first project in a new partnership with the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM). In May we will introduce and welcome the Auric String Quartet, an ensemble associate of ANAM. Kate, Francesca, Matt and Jarrad are taking up residency with us for three weeks to inspire and create beautiful music in a program of intensive rehearsals, teaching and performing. Auric will split their time between Bega and Bermagui, as well as teaching individual students and rehearsing intensively amongst the spotted gum at Barragga Bay.
ANAM is Australia's premiere performance training institution for the country's finest young classical musicians. Kate Sullivan, Francesca Hiew and Jarrad Mathie are alumni of ANAM while Matt Laing is currently in his 3rd year studying with Caroline Henbest, who performed at the 2012 Four Winds Festival.
The Auric String Quartet was formed in April 2012 to perform quartets by Zemlinsky and Britten, as part of a fellowship project at the ANAM. Encouraged by positive reviews of these performances, an ease of collaboration, and a shared passion for quartet playing, the goal of forming a professional ensemble was a natural ambition.
In February 2013, the Quartet had its first public engagements as a quartet, performing Bartók, Britten and Adès at the Perth International Arts Festival Quartetthaus as part of ANAM Quartetthaus with guest cellist Michael Dahlenburg.
The partnership offers Auric the opportunity to rehearse for the Asia-Pacific Chamber Music Competition in July and contribute to the Four Winds outreach program by providing lessons for young string players in the region, and by performing with and for the community.
While in the region, the Quartet will work with the Bega Chamber Orchestra, Heartsong and other groups. They will also be making school visits and have offered one-on-one lessons. For more information about their program or to book individual lessons, please call Geoffrey Badger on 6492 0518 or the Four Winds office on 6493 3414.
There will also be two opportunities to see the Quartet perform – at the beginning of their stay when they will perform at the Mumbulla School Hall in Bega on Sunday 19 May at 3pm ($15 per head, children free, tickets at the door *NOTE CHANGE OF DATE*), with a program featuring Britten and Haydn. At the end of their residency, there will a free presentation involving students and local musicians, also at the Mumbulla School Hall in Bega on Saturday 8 June at 3pm.
We are excited to be able to share this partnership, which extends the commitment Four Winds has to music education in our region.
18 April 2013
MPs visit Four Winds and turn the first sods
Mrs Neilma Gantner (founder and patron of Four Winds),
Michael Darling (Four Winds Board member), Dr Kelly,
Sheena Boughen (Chair, Four Winds) and Neilma’s sister and
Four Winds supporter Marigold Southey
Member for Eden-Monaro Dr Mike Kelly recently visited the Four Winds Festival site to be briefed on plans for the Pavilion. He said that he was proud that the Federal Government had been such a strong partner of Four Winds.
“We know how important it is to foster a strong arts culture in our region, both in terms of the local community and in enhancing our tourist appeal,” Dr Kelly said.
“It has been a pleasure to work so closely with Four Winds over the past few years, and it gives me great pride to think that our Government has provided more than $2million in funding towards this ever-growing festival, including $1.67million from Regional Development Australia for construction of the magnificent Sound Shell and Pavilion.
“This new Pavilion will be another string to the Festival’s bow, attracting musicians from across the globe as well as giving local students and teachers a world-class facility in their own backyard.”
Member for Bega Andrew Constance also visited the site during the week. He was particularly interested to learn about the Pavilion’s acoustics, funded by artsNSW through the NSW Department of Trade and Investment. The enhancements made possible through this grant will contribute to a world-class, indoor performance facility in the region.
“The Four Winds project is an important showcase for NSW as it highlights how a regional community can conceive and achieve an ambitious project that will benefit the whole State,” said Mr Constance.
“Launching programs in the Pavilion will be a major part of the next Festival over Easter 2014,” Four Winds Chair, Sheena Boughen said.
Mr Constance and Dr Kelly contributed to excavations by turning a sod or two.
Both commented on the significant and wide ranging voluntary contributions made to the development of this project and over $1million raised from individuals and foundations.
Four Winds will start construction of the Pavilion later this month. See photos from the MPs' visit and follow construction through our Progress Blog.
One year to go!
This month we start the one year countdown to Festival 2014 so put the 18th, 19th and 20th April 2014 in your diary!
The D.A. for the Pavilion has been approved! We now have 12 months until the building must be complete so construction will commence shortly. The wires for our three-phase power are up and connection is expected in the coming weeks. Once building commences you will be able to follow the journey though our Progress Blog, from turning the first sod to the first sounds resonating from the new Pavilion at Festival 2014.
The program is coming together with the commissioning of new work underway. Previous artistic director Genevieve Lacey expanded the artistic reach of the festival with her chosen collaborations with Australian musicians from a range of genres. Paul Kildea continues the role of musical incubator, driving new music creation and performance by and for Australian artists and listeners, with the explicit intent of encouraging musicians to try unusual collaborations and to perform in new contexts.
Did you know that more often than not musicians that are brought together to collaborate in the performance of new work through Four Winds continue to play and create together into the future? The collaboration of Karin Schaupp and the Flinders Quartet resulted in a national tour and an ARIA-nominated ABC Classics recording. Lou Bennett’s Four Winds engagement has led to an on-going commission and writing partnership between the Black Arm Band and Gondwana Choirs. Since we first brought Mark Atkins and William Barton together these artists, from different playing traditions, have continued to perform as a duo.
Projects conceived by our artistic directors have also given artists’ works multiple performance opportunities. Our commissioned work, Bright Birds, composed by Damian Barbeler, is being recorded again by ABC for broadcast across the network.
And last festival, Four Winds also brought together two divisions of the ABC for the first time. Bill Brown from ABC South East NSW combined his multi-camera footage with ABC Classic FM’s recordings. These beautifully captured performances can be viewed on the ABC South East NSW website. As Easter approaches re-live last year’s favourites curled up with your laptop and a good drop!
We look forward to connecting with you all as we count down to Festival 2014. In the meantime, keep an eye on the Progress Blog for the construction of the Pavilion, and on Facebook and Twitter for other updates and bits and pieces.
Enjoy the sparkling days and cooler nights,
The Four Winds Team
Benjamin Britten book launch
We are very excited that Paul Kildea, our Artistic Director is in London to launch his new book! The book is being published to mark the beginning of the Britten centenary year in 2013.
Benjamin Britten: A Life in the Twentieth Century, the first major biography of Britten in twenty years, explores the life and music of this extraordinary artist. Paul is also presenting three lectures (7, 14 and 21 February) about Britten with Gresham College (London). You can read more about these lectures at www.gresham.ac.uk
For more information about the book go to www.penguin.com.au/products/9781846142321/benjamin-britten-life-twentieth-century
The book is available on pre-release sales through a number of online book sellers or order it from your local book shop!
Four Winds Festival wins AbaF NSW/ACT giving award
The Four Winds Festival at Bermagui has won the AbaF NSW/ACT giving award for its capital campaign to raise money to create Nature’s Concert Hall on the festival site at Bermagui. This award is in recognition of the $3.3m raised from 300 individuals, Federal and NSW governments, foundations and pro bono labour to value of $.5m.
Nature’s Concert Hall, with a Sound Shell designed by Philip Cox, and launched at Easter, and a Shed (designed by Clinton Murray), to be built in 2013 will give the region a high quality venue for a range of artistic endeavors. Both buildings were designed as a pro bono donation. Australian Business Arts Foundation (AbaF) aims to stimulate this type of arts activity and encourage the role of business and the arts partnering.
Chair Sheena Boughen, who with board members Sian Morgan Hall and Rob Tacheci attended the award dinner, commented,
“This award congratulates us all on raising the total funds required. Our Sound Shell has been welcomed, and our second building will provide a creative space for residencies and workshops, a performance space for 160 people with state of the arts acoustics and production equipment, meeting space and a kitchen. We will be open for business by the end of 2013. With broadband connectivity, all users of the space will be able eventually to connect and create with groups in our region or in Beijing or Berlin.”
“This is an award for our community and our audience and a vote for the role that arts plays in our life. We thank everyone who has invested in us and given a vote of confidence to the region. Also we thank Mr Gantner who has leased the land long term to Four Winds in a generous donation, and Genevieve Lacey for her support.”.
“The arts are core to a worthwhile life, and our economy and are worth more than $30 billion annually to Australia’s GDP. We know in our region that hundreds of people participate in music making and the arts, both as performers and support roles.
We congratulate the Queensland Symphony orchestra on their national award for this category and are inspired by their success.”