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31 July - 9 Aug 2020

Artistic Director Kathryn Stott

2020 Artist Profile


To celebrate our 30th Festival, we have more musicians performing than ever before – including 16 international artists and 29 Australian artists. The full line-up will be revealed at launch, but to whet your appetite we are ecstatic to announce the following will perform in Townsville.

More artists will be announced to AFCM Friends in December 2019, and to the general public in February 2020. Become an AFCM Friend here to enjoy early program information and early access to tickets.  

Kathryn Stott

Kathryn Stott (UK), Piano, Artistic Director
Supported by Philip Bacon Galleries

Kathryn has created another exciting and innovative program for AFCM 2020. Her own love for  music began at the age of five, making friends with the upright piano in her living room. Born in Lancashire, Kathryn studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School and the Royal College of Music. Her teachers included Nadia Boulanger, Vlado Perlemuter and Kendall Taylor. A regular visitor to international festivals both as soloist and chamber musician, Kathryn has constantly performed around the world since 1978, when she was a prize winner in the Leeds International Piano Competition. Performances continue to be varied with appearances at the BBC Proms, extensive tours of Australasia, and collaborations with artists as diverse as cellist Giovanni Sollima, JP Jofre and his Hard Tango Chamber Band and Janine Jansen. To celebrate their 30th anniversary of performing together, Kathryn recorded ‘The Arc of Life’ with Yo-Yo Ma and her recent solo release ‘Solitaires’ for BIS, continues her exploration of French works for piano.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason

Sheku Kanneh-Mason (UK), Cello  
Supported by Martin Dickson AM and Susie Dickson   

One of the brightest young stars on the classical music scene and winner of the 2016 BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition, Sheku will make his Australian debut at AFCM 2020. Sheku became a household name worldwide after playing at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle in May 2018. See his performance here. Sheku is in great demand from major orchestras and concert halls worldwide. In January 2018, his debut recording for Decca Classics, Inspiration, was released featuring the Shostakovich Cello Concerto No.1 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla. It reached Number 1 in the Classical Chart. In 2017, Sheku made his BBC Proms debut at The Royal Albert Hall as soloist with The Chineke! Orchestra, an ensemble with which he enjoys a special relationship, having taken part in their debut concert at the Royal Festival Hall in 2015. He is passionate about the importance of making classical music accessible to all and is currently the first London Music Masters Junior Ambassador. From 2018/19 he will become ‘Young Artist in Residence’ at The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic where he will take on a role in the Orchestra’s education programme.

Carolyn Sampson

Carolyn Sampson (UK), Soprano
Supported by Leslie C. Thiess and John Hughes

Equally at home on the concert and opera stages, Carolyn Sampson has enjoyed notable successes in the UK as well as throughout Europe and the US. On the opera stage her roles have included the title role in Semele and Pamina in The Magic Flute for English National Opera, various roles in Purcell’s The Fairy Queen for Glyndebourne Festival Opera (released on DVD) and Anne Truelove The Rake’s Progress and Mélisande Pelléas et Mélisande both Sir David McVicar productions for Scottish Opera.  Internationally she has appeared at Opéra de Paris, Opéra de Lille, Opéra de Montpellier and Opéra National du Rhin. She also sang the title role in Lully’s Psyché for the Boston Early Music Festival, which was released on CD and was subsequently nominated for a Grammy in 2008.

Radovan Vlatkovic

Radovan Vlatković (Austria), Horn

One of the leading instrumentalists of his generation, Radovan Vlatković has travelled the globe performing extensively as a soloist and popularising the horn as recording artist and teacher. Born in Zagreb in 1962 he completed his studies with Professor Prerad Detiček at the Zagreb Academy of Music and Professor Michael Höltzel at the Music Academy in Detmold, Germany. Radovan is the recipient of many first prizes in national and international competitions, including the Premio Ancona in 1979 and the ARD Competition in Munich in 1983 – the first to be awarded to a horn player for fourteen years. This led to numerous invitations to music festivals throughout Europe including Salzburg, Vienna, Edinburgh and Dubrovnik to name but a few, the Americas, Australia, Israel, Korea as well as regular appearances in Japan. In July 2014 he was awarded an Honorary Membership of the Royal Academy of Music (Hon RAM) in London, joining a group of only 300 distinguished musicians worldwide.

Petroc Trelawny

Petroc Trelawny (UK), BBC Presenter 

Petroc Trelawny will be the Festival Concert Host in 2020. He is one of the best-known voices on BBC Radio Three where he presents the daily Breakfast programme. This summer was his 20th consecutive season introducing BBC Proms on radio and television.  He presents the live BBC broadcast of the Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s Day Concert, and in June 2019 hosted BBC Television’s ‘Cardiff Singer of the World’ for the eleventh time.  Last year he presented the international telecast of Eurovision Young Musician to more than two dozen countries from Edinburgh and the Eurovision Choirs from Gothenburg. Petroc has introduced TV profiles of arts figures including Dame Fanny Waterman, Julian Bream and Yehudi Menuhin.  He has presented performances by the Royal Ballet shown in cinemas around the world, and last September anchored note-by-note coverage of the Leeds Piano Competition for Medici.tv.  In 2015 he hosted the first ever BBC Proms Australia, a week of concerts and recitals in Melbourne broadcast live on ABC Radio.

Pavel Fischer

Pavel Fischer (Czech Republic), Violin and AFCM Winterschool Director

Pavel Fischer was born in Zlín in 1965. He heralds from a musical family background, his father, Eduard Fischer, was a well-known composer and conductor who also founded the ŠKO in Zilina.In the years between 1979-85 he completed his studies of the art of violin playing at the Prague Conservatoire, which he further continued at AMU (1985-89) under the guidance of Professor Nora Grumlíková. As a soloist he has performed with a long list of both Czech and international orchestras. During his time at the Prague Academy of Music he concentrated intensively on the study of chamber music and in the year 1988, together with the pianist Ivo Jančik, he became the outright winner of the international chamber music competition in Trapani, Italy. More recently, Pavel has become even more dedicated to his teaching activities - giving masterclasses both at the Royal college and the Royal Academy in London, the Concertebouw and the Quartet Academy in Amsterdam, at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester and, in the year 2008, he became a violin tutor at the RNCM in Manchester and as of this year also at the Birmingham Conservatoire.

Diana Doherty

Diana Doherty, (Australia), Oboe

Diana Doherty is widely regarded as one of the most talented Australian instrumentalists working today. Notable successes include performing Ross Edwards’ Concerto for Oboe with the New York, Liverpool and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestras, appearances with Australia’s and New Zealand’s leading Symphony Orchestras, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, St. Lawrence String Quartet, Musica Viva, the Seymour Group, Four Winds Festival, Ensemble Kanazawa, Japan, Townsville Chamber Music Festival, and at many international festivals, including Prague Spring Festival, MusicaRiva festival,  Italy, Bratislava Music Festival and the ‘Young Artist in Concert’ Festival in Davos, Switzerland.

Goldner String Quartet

Goldner String Quartet (Australia)

Australia’s pre-eminent string quartet and an ensemble of international significance, the Goldners have been favourably compared with the best in the world. The Quartet is named after Richard Goldner, founder of Musica Viva Australia. Launched in 1995 and still retaining all founding members, the musicians are well known to Australian and international audiences through their performances and recordings and for their concurrent membership of the Australia Ensemble @UNSW. All members have occupied principal positions in organisations such as the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Australian Chamber Orchestra. Unanimous audience and critical acclaim followed their Wigmore Hall debut in 1997 ensured the Goldner Quartet’s invitations to prestigious UK and European festivals. Performances in the USA and throughout Asia have followed, in addition to several tours of New Zealand. Next year will mark the Goldner Quartet’s 25th year of performing at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music! Its members include Dene Olding (violin 1), Dimity Hall (violin 2), Irina Morozova (cello) and Julian Smiles (cello).

Be the first to know about other artists joining us in 2020 by becoming an AFCM Friend HERE

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