The Brisbane Early Music Festival is coming. From 6-12 April 2020, the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University will be the venue for a series of concerts and workshops which will showcase the best of Brisbane’s musical talents alongside those of teachers and performers from interstate and overseas and stretch, nurture and challenge musicians to grow and improve their skills.
Unlike many other festivals, the focus here is on education and participation. There will be workshops for recorders and early winds, baroque strings, viola da gamba, lute and harpsichord and voices. These are precious opportunities for exploring chamber music as well as developing musicality and technique.
Many of the teachers will also perform in the series of exciting twilight concerts to be held daily. The concert series will focus on solos, duos and small chamber ensembles. Local performers will also be featured, including the Arioso Ensemble, and duo harpsichordists Catherine Stirling and Juanita Simmonds. These concerts will be a real treat for everyone who enjoys great music on period instruments.
The Festival is being run by The Early Music Society of Queensland (EMSQ). Founded in 1974, the society was formed to promote early music in Queensland, and it provides opportunities for people who play recorders, baroque strings, viols and more to come together to play and enjoy the diverse repertoire.
The President of EMSQ is Patrice Connelly, a teacher of viola da gamba and owner of Saraband Music. Having run ten National Easter Viol Schools in the past and taught viols across Australia, she has designed the Festival to maximise musical opportunities for both locals and those from interstate.
Registration for the workshops opens in December 2019, and concert tickets will go on sale in early 2020. Numbers for all workshops are limited to ensure plenty of individual attention. The repertoire taught will cover music from the Middle Ages to the Baroque and everything in between. More information can be found on festival’s website.