Please note javascript is required for full website functionality.

Community & Business

2 June, 2023

Warren Chamber Music Festival back for 2023

By Harriet Gilmore

The Warren Chamber Music Festival was held over the weekend, offering an incredible musical experience usually only reserved for the city and big music halls.

The three unique concerts in Warren and Collie, included performances by the world renowned Goldner String Quarter, celebrating their 29th concert season this year, as well as a selection of incredibly talented musicians including Peter Clark, Alexandra Partridge, Katie Yap, Anna Tomasyshyn, Collie’s very own Frances and Nick Evans and the spectacular SING Warren Choir.

Almost 500 people attended the three concerts, with opening night held at the recently opened Warren Museum and Art Gallery, a performance in the CWA hall in Collie on Saturday and the final performance at the Catholic church on Sunday.

Many locals attended the events as well as many from afar, who travelled to the area just for the festival, from places including Bathurst, Orange, Byron Bay, Caboolture QLD, Wagga Wagga, Nyngan, Coonamble, Gilgandra, and Dubbo.

 “The festival was a huge success in so many ways,” said artistic director of Warren Chamber Music Festival Frances Evans.

“Each concert was breathtakingly beautiful. The Goldner String Quartet lived up to their international reputation by leaving audiences spellbound by their amazing connections with each other as musicians, and with the audience,” said Frances.

 A great delight for all involved in the festival was discovering the absolutely superb acoustic of the Warren Museum and Art Gallery in the opening concert of the festival on Friday.

Violinist Peter Clark said during his preconcert address he believed the museum was one of the best acoustic venues in NSW, after hearing the incredible sound during practice earlier in the day. Many of the 70 plus audience who attended opening night agreed, with Warren mayor Milton Quigley saying the performance was absolutely incredible.

Local vet Erica Kennedy said she was blown away by the show which sounded amazing in the space, while Val Soulsby said, “we are so lucky to have someone like Frances [Evans] putting on such a high calibre performance in our little town.”

 Another great highlight of the weekend was local musician turned farmer Nick Evans performing two movements of the Weber Clarinet Quintet in the Collie CWA Hall concert on Saturday. After performing with energy and finesse the audience erupted into cheers and deafening clapping. His performance was truly moving and inspiring. We’ve had reports he’s already back to checking sheep and building fences!

Sunday’s performance at the Catholic church included the world premiere of a new work by Australian composer Fiona Loader, written specifically for the SING Warren choir, string septet and piano for the Warren Chamber Music Festival.

Composer Fiona Loader said “this piece was written to tell a story about the incredible grit and determination of the people of central and far west NSW rural areas who have endured so much adversity in recent years, and who have achieved incredible things despite the hardships of drought, floods, dust storms, mouse plagues and storms. The people of this land are truly inspiring, and the love of their own land is deeply touching.”

Artistic director Frances Evan had many thanks to offer when speaking to The Gilgandra Weekly on Monday.

“I must express deep thanks to Peter Clark, who delivered two engaging and thoroughly enjoyable pre-concert chats. Everyone who attended was absorbed mind, body, and soul!

“I would like to acknowledge committee members Rod Sandell, John Burke, Phil Leman, Marieanne Noonan and Nick Evans for their support and work leading up to, and during the festival. We all contribute in different ways to make a magical weekend possible for our town. A special mention goes to Audrey and Jeremy Weston, John and Sue Burke, and Sue and Frere Green for hosting some of our esteemed guests with incredible warmth and generosity. The festival committee worked hard to make the musicians feel at home and welcome in our community. That certainly occurred. All the musicians expressed their joy in being involved in the festival,” said Mrs Evans.

“Lastly, I’d like to thank the community for attending the concerts and showing deep appreciation for the musicians and their outstanding performances, expressed by no less than five standing ovations across the weekend,” she said.

The Warren Chamber Music Festival, in just its second major event, is being recognised as one of the nation’s most unique and intimate rural chamber music festivals. The committee look forward to curating the next festival, to be facilitated in 2025.

Most Popular