Concerts

The concert program for the 10th Bellingen Fine Music Festival was chosen to recognise the local talent of our area who helped shape our festival over the years as well as to continue to bring exciting musicians from elsewhere.


Youth and Exuberance Concert Bellingen Youth Orchestra

Presented by Camp Creative

Bellingen Youth Orchestra
‘Abounding in vitality; extremely joyful and vigorous’; the definition of exuberance so applicable to the BYO. The orchestra under the baton of Ann Phelan is preparing a wonderful program especially for the Festival and will be joined by the String School for some works.

Bellingen Youth Orchestra String School
The String School students are rehearsing every week as well to get ready for their own performance and to join the ‘Big’ orchestra on the night.

Acacia Quartet
Acacia is well known to the Bellingen Fine Music Festival audience, as they have been part of the last three Festivals.  This year they will again record graduating music students student compositions in Sydney and perform these 2-minute works again in the ‘Youth and Exuberance’ concert on opening night.

Friday 27 September
7:30 – 9:30 pm
Bellingen Memorial Hall

Adults: $35 Students: $15

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Acacia Quartet and The Academy

World Premiere at the Bellingen Fine Music Festival!

The performance of young composer Alice Chance’s brand-new work A Sundried String Quartet, includes the world premiere of the third movement, titled Tomatoes:

“If eating tomatoes had a soundtrack, it would be this movement. Imagine shaking a plant and hundreds of cherry tomatoes falling off. Bursting, fast passages, of scuttling semiquavers are interspersed with spiky and sweet motifs.”

The Acacia Quartet is well known to the Bellingen Fine Music Festival audience, as they have been part of the last four Festivals, and to Bellingen’s young string players for their energetic and inspiring workshops. Apart from performing Alice Chance’s work, they will entice the audience with Beethoven’s String Quartet in C minor, Op. 18 no 4.

Launched in 2014, The Academy is a chamber music program at Coffs Harbour Conservatorium for talented music students across the Coffs Harbour region; a unique concept that allows higher-level instrumental students to experience chamber music and performance techniques that would otherwise only be available to them in a university or professional musical environment.

Directed and tutored by the Artistic Director Pat Brearley along with outstanding tutors and occasional visiting artists, students come together weekly to rehearse and work at an advanced level, focussing on a wide range of skills, music and topics involved with ensemble playing, giving them the advantage of becoming well acquainted with all aspects of performing chamber music.

The Academy performs regularly at the Conservatorium and throughout the local region and Bellingen fine Music Festival is delighted to again showcase the young musical talent of The Academy at the 2019 Festival.

Saturday 28 September
10:00 – 11:00 am
Bellingen Memorial Hall

Adults: $25 Students: $10

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Ensemble Q

Ensemble Q: an Australian collective ensemble, performing the finest chamber music and creating pathways for Australia’s most talented young musicians. Ensemble Q is Ensemble in Residence at Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University and run by co-Artistic Directors Paul Dean and Trish O’Brien.

Embarking on their 3rd year in 2019, Ensemble Q are known for their dynamic programming and exceptionally high standard of playing.

Their concert at the Festival is not to be missed: an exciting program including works of Mozart, Schubert, Strauss’ Metamorphosen, and the wonderful Clarinet Quintet by Jean Francaix.

Saturday 28 September
2:30 – 4:30 pm
Bellingen Memorial Hall

Adults: $35 Students: $15

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David Helfgott, Suzanne Sherrington, Lachlan Wilkins

Presented by IGA Bellingen

David Helfgott performed at the inaugural festival in 2010 and The Festival is proud to welcome him back at the tenth anniversary. David will perform Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky and he and Lachlan also will perform together just like ten years ago when the Festival was first launched.

The Festival welcomes back two of many former Bellingen music students; rising stars, who have become wonderful musicians on the national stage.

Last year Suzanne Sherrington and Lachlan Wilkins were briefly back in Bellingen to participate in the 10th anniversary concert of the BYO.  This year they help celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Festival with solo performances in the first half of the Saturday evening concert.

Saturday 28 September
7:30 – 9:30 pm
Bellingen Memorial Hall

Adults: $35 Students: $15

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Joseph Tawadros (with James Tawadros)

Presented by Bellingen Shire Council

Joseph Tawadros is one of Australian music’s most impressive and charismatic figures: a composer, improviser, storyteller and brilliant exponent of the oud: the Egyptian lute.

Classically trained on this king of Middle Eastern instruments, Tawadros’s virtuoso technique and curiosity have brought him into contact with the worlds of jazz, classical and world traditions to create music that transcends labels and shatters borders.

The almost telepathic rapport with his brother James playing percussion on the Req – an Egyptian tambourine and the Bendir – a frame-drum, often leads to moments of joyous spontaneous invention, making their performances true musical events.

“Joseph Tawadros is blessed with one of the most inquisitive musical minds around, evident by just a casual glance at his past collaborations. These have ranged from the Australian Chamber Orchestra to Zakir Hussain, from Neil Finn and Katie Noonan to Jack DeJohnette and Bela Fleck.” (SMH John Sand 2015)

Sunday 29 September
2:30 – 4:30 pm
Bellingen Memorial Hall

Adults: $35 Students: $15

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Wilson Zwartz Dewhurst Stuart

Presented by Planet Lighting

Wilson Zwartz Dewhust Stuart is a ‘Stellar’ group put together by Jonathan Zwartz specially for the occasion:

Julien Wilson
“A tenor saxophone making gentle, sensuous jazz is a grand tradition, like paddle-steamers cruising on wide, slow rivers… music where the horn’s sound seems to melt in your ears, becoming creamy, viscous and rather sly.” (John Shand – SMH)

Jonathan Zwartz
“In a world of instant gratification, and record labels churning out predictable one hit wonders, Jonathan’s music is a tonic for the soul.”
(Australian Cultural Foundation)

Carl Dewhurst
“…he is such a pure, intuitive improviser… Like a liquid, Dewhurst fills any context, but never blandly so.”(SMH)

Hamish Stuart
One of the most sought-after, respected and loved drummers in Australia. “He puts air around the beat, eschews cliché, and brings to bear beautifully-tuned drums, the sound of which always fits the context like a glove.” (John Shand SMH)

Sunday 29 September
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Bellingen Memorial Hall

Adults: $25 Students: $10

Buy tickets in advance or at door