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As part of the Four Winds & Astals of Life’s Community BioBlitz at the Four Winds site on Friday 11 and Saturday 12 November…
Please join us at the …
FREE Sound Shell Concert – with FourPlay, Indie String Quartet
Saturday 12 November, 1.45 – 3pm. Food & Refreshments available from 12noon.
All welcome. Brind your low-level chairs, picnic rugs and
Friday  11 & Saturday 12 November 2016
Four Winds in partnership with the Atlas of Life and the Bournda Environmental Education Centre, is proud to announce a collaborative, free family and community event over two fun-filled days on 11 and 12 November.
Everyone is welcome to come and share in the music, nature and shared creativity by registering in any or all of the following events:
  • FREE Concert –FourPlay – Indie String Quartet will perform music inspired by rock, swing, hip hop, jazz and more, in the Sound Shell amphitheater from 1.45 – 3pm on Saturday 12 November. Food & refreshments available from 12noon or bring your own picnic.
  • Community BioBlitz – join in over 60 guided surveys including flora walks, reptile hunts, peacock spider searches, night-time moth and possum surveys and motion sensitive camera trap discoveries. Data collected will be recording a baseline of the ecological communities at the Four Winds site and surrounds, which will then allow for monitoring, and the planning of ongoing rehabilitation projects.
  • A limited number of places are also available on Saturday for Masterclass demonstrations in both photography and botanical art, hosted by the above artists. These classes only cost $20 each, and bookings are essential.
With the scientific information collected, the artists onsite will create new botanical illustrations and creative photography projects for exhibition. The Atlas of Life is also conducting a photographic competition – for details see
This exciting synthesis of science and creativity is proudly supported by Local Land Services NSW, Arts NSW, the Australian National University, the National Parks & Wildlife Service NSW, and with thanks to Cardno. It is made possible by the dedication of the Four Winds Board to the rehabilitation and protection of their Barragga Bay site and the Atlas of Life’s commitment to the preservation and celebration of the flora and fauna of the Sapphire Coast.

Four Winds Call to Artists | Bermagui Project Creative Field Studies

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Call out to Artists… Would you like to take part in a FREE Creative Field Studies project on the South Coast?

Would you like the opportunity to exhibit your artwork at the Bega Valley Shire Regional Gallery and in Canberra? 

Are you looking for new approaches and inspiration? Are you interested in the environment?sharon-field-botanical-art-mixed-flowers-exotics

This is a call out to visual artists, performing artists, media artists, textiles and fibre artists, writers, storytellers, slam poets, filmmakers, composers… artists of any medium! There will be two more Four Winds Creative Field Studies running in early 2017 in the South Coast region. If you are interested in being considered for these – whatever your art medium – please email your expression of interest to

This opportunity is brought to you by Four Winds, Arts NSW and the Australian National University. With thanks to Cardno.


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Header image: ‘Real Rivers Series’ by Carolyn Young
Inset image 1: ‘Mixed Flowers (Exotic)’ by Sharon Field
Inset image 2: ‘Grassy Woodlands’ Series by Carolyn Young
Footer image: Four Winds Nature’s Concert Hall by Robert Tacheci

Four Winds – new Artistic Director

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screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-12-33-43-pm“We are thrilled to announce the appointment of James Crabb as our Artistic Director with responsibility to lead our year-round program of activities as well as our iconic biennial Easter Festival,” said Chair of the Board Sheena Boughen. “James is an internationally acclaimed classical accordionist and a highly respected and passionate music educator.  He will deliver a vibrant, international program of events, which will animate our beautiful performance spaces, ‘Nature’s Concert Hall’, just south of Bermagui on the far south coast of NSW.”

Four Winds' new Artistic Director, James Crabb

Four Winds’ new Artistic Director, James Crabb

James commented. “This is a wonderful opportunity to build the future of Four Winds as a unique, flagship Australian arts organisation.  I am excited about the prospect of a diverse program that is truly international in its outlook but rooted in such an exceptional place.   The community is such an important part of Four Winds, and creating projects and musical experiences with and for the local community is as exciting as our potential to reach audiences nationally and internationally through our program.”

A performer at the 2012 Four Winds Festival, James has appeared at many festivals globally including at Aldeburgh and the London Proms, and with the ACO in Japan and Europe. He is renowned for his exciting performances of repertoire spanning six centuries as well as being an authority on the music of Astor Piazzolla.  James’ diverse background includes performing with Neil Finn and Patti Smith, music theatre productions, contemporary dance collaborations and two longstanding professorships of Classical Accordion departments in Denmark and Austria.  James has extensive experience as a musical director, recording producer and has recorded with various leading labels and artists internationally.

James onsite at Nature's Concert Hall!

James in Nature’s Concert Hall.

“Music-making at any level must be a two-way natural, enjoyable, memorable and enriching experience for the performer and listener regardless of age, knowledge, ability or experience. I aspire to excellence but this is not to be confused with elitism – music is for everyone!” – James Crabb

CLICK HERE to listen to ABC South East interview with James Crabb – 21 Oct 2016

Griffyn & Red Note Making Music in the Valley

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Griffyn Ensemble and Red Note Ensemble have been in residence this week in the lead up to the Sisters in Crime weekend, spending time with local residents and creating new music inspired by this experience.

Come along and hear their music and a little about their time in the Bega Valley. Its free!
A showing of the music created will be held on Friday 7 October at 6PM in the Bermagui Community Centre Hall.


Bermagui children informing the creation of new music

Griffyn Ensemble have traveled from Canberra and Red Note Ensemble all the way from Scotland to create new music as part of our Bermagui Project. Big thanks to Regional Arts Fund and Arts NSW for making this possible!

Joe Chindamo, jazz pianist, and the Australian String Quartet

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Joe and asq

Four Winds Father’s Day – Oysters & Music

Enjoy Father’s Day afternoon with fresh oysters and beautiful music inside the Four Winds’ Windsong Pavilion, Bermagui. Joe Chindamo, routinely described as one of the best jazz pianists in the world, will join the Australian String Quartet, Australia’s chamber music group of excellence, in concert and conversation. Hear Joe’s high-energy work Tempesta followed by Joe talking about his composition and influences before the ASQ delight us with Schubert and Mendelssohn.

The event goes from 2 – 4pm. Oysters and refreshments will be available for purchase or bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the beauty of the Four Winds site. As an extra bonus, ticket holders are invited to attend the final stages of the rehearsal between 12noon and 1pm – for no extra charge.

Gates open at 11.30am. Adults $27. 16yrs & under FREE.

Bookings essential: or call 6493 3414

Festival of Dangerous Ideas | Satellite Event

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The Windsong Pavilion, Bermagui, will play a part on the national stage next Saturday 3 September 2016 as 1 of 16 sites across Australia connecting audiences live to the Sydney Opera House’s Festival of Dangerous Ideas.

Session 1 runs from 11.30am – 12.30pm with Lionel Shriver, bestselling American author, will suggest that to Break a Rule a Day is better for your health than an apple. When systems of mass schooling took root in the 19th century, their goals were very different to those of today, yet we have retained their standardised, homogenised structures. What would real education for the 21st century look like? And what kind of revolution would it take to put it in place?

Session 2 runs from 1.30pm to 2.30pm with journalists Annabel Crabb and David Marr discussing whether the Federal Election gave us The Government We Deserve? Whichever way we vote, politicians say the electorate always gets it right at the ballot box. Cynics are more inclined to think that we get the government we deserve. Did we get it right this time? What does the election tell us about our faith in our political leaders? Are we a nation that can’t make up its mind?

Make a day of it – A lunch pack and refreshments are available to purchase or you can bring your own picnic and enjoy the surrounds of the beautiful Four Winds site. The day will be Facilitated by Ian Campbell, Director of ‘About Regional’ and ABC South East radio veteran, there will be plenty of opportunities to get involved and interact with the live nation-wide conversation on the day.

1 session $16.50, both sessions $30. 16 & under FREE. Bookings essential at or call 6493 3414.


FODI_flyer for web page

Concert Grand Piano en route to Four Winds

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Thanks to the valued donors of the Four Winds A Key to the Future campaign, a new 7ft Shigeru-Kawai Semi-Concert Grand piano is arriving this week. The piano will be on trial in the beautiful Windsong Pavilion at Four Winds, Bermagui.

There is a wonderful opportunity to hear the instrument during the forthcoming performance ‘Race Against Time’ this weekend on Sunday 7 August at 2pm.
Two of Australia’s finest pianists Tamara-Anna Cislowska and Alan Hicks will be performing. Tamara was recently guest (expert) commentator on ABC Classic FM, for the live ABC Classic FM broadcasts of the Sydney International Piano Competition. Her CD, Butterflying, was at no.2 on the ARIA Classical charts in July.
Tamara Anna Cislowska_piano_image
‘Race Against Time’ is a gripping and moving story about the life of Australian Frederick Septimus Kelly – Gold medal Olympian rower, decorated soldier, renowned pianist and brilliant composer whose life was tragically cut short by the Great War.
Carrillo Gantner is joining the ensemble of exceptional artists to narrate the performance. Carrillo will be reciting words from Kelly’s diary, some of which tell of his time on the South Coast.
Four Winds Presents: Race Against Time, Sunday 7 August, 2 – 5.30pm (with interval). Gates open at 1pm. Windsong Pavilion, Four Winds, Bermagui Adults $25. 16 & under FREE. Bookings @ or call 6493 3414.
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Four Winds | Live Music | Race Against Time

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Four Winds Presents: Race Against Time

The Words & Music of Australian Composer F S Kelly

@ The Windsong Pavilion, Four Winds, Bermagui

When: Sunday 7 August, 2-5.30pm. Gates open at 1pm. Refreshments available.
Cost: $25 Adults. 16 & under FREE. Bookings Essential @

Enjoy a Sunday afternoon of beautiful music and powerful story telling inside the warmth of the Windsong Pavilion at Four Winds, Bermagui, on Sunday 7 August, 2pm.

A celebration of a life cut short by the tragedy of war, this concert is an opportunity to connect with the exceptional life of an Australian war hero, an Olympic gold medallist, and an Australian musical genius – Composer, Frederick Septimus Kelly – featuring words from his diaries as well performances of his beautiful pastoral music by an ensemble lead by Christopher Latham.

Carrillo Gantner, son of Four Winds’ founder Nielma Gantner, will read excerpts from Kelly’s travelling diaries, which talk of his time in the Bermagui area. You will also hear some of the first modern-day performances of his works composed 100 years ago, performed by five superb musicians led by Christopher Latham (violin) who was previously Artistic Director of Four Winds. Carrillo and Christopher will be joined by Tamara Anna Cislowska (piano), Louise Page (soprano), Christina Wilson (mezzo), and Alan Hicks (piano). Kelly’s music reflects the early 20th Century ‘pastoral’ style. It is highly melodic and reminiscent of British composes like R Vaughan-Williams and Elgar.

Fredrick Kelly was mainly educated in England and Germany and was a friend of the great French composer Maurice Ravel who championed Kelly’s music. Kelly was one of the first world war’s most active creators, writing music throughout the Gallipoli and Somme campaigns in a true race against time; he was killed at the Somme in 1916.

Don’t miss this beautiful afternoon of words and music in the Windsong Pavilion.

Vivaldi, Four Seasons | June 2016

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On June 9, 2016 Four Winds supported by our creative partner the Sydney Opera House held our second Live Streaming event for the school children of our region.

Thanks to the generous gifts of our Grow and Flourish donors Four Winds now has the technology to “stream” across the internet performances that are held at the Opera House in real time. This capacity is not open to many of our smaller schools and many of the larger ones enjoy the visit to the beautiful Windsong Pavilion where they and their teachers can interact creatively with one another in nature.

135 children from Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2 attending Moruya, Wolumla, Bermagui and Tilba Primary Schools visited the Four Winds site at Barragga Bay where they enjoyed a highly interactive performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. The Primary Proms String Quartet and an energetic puppeteer and actor introduced the music to the young ears.

The children learnt about Vivaldi’s transformation of the seasons’ sensations and sounds to music – from the silvery pizzicato notes of winter to the final dramatic movement of the summer thunderstorm.


After the performance the children thoroughly enjoyed an outdoor lunch and play after being trapped inside much of the week before with our torrential rains. The weather and seasons were at the forefront of their minds after such extremes.

Members of the Yuin community including Uncle Ossie Cruse, Warren Foster Snr Warren Foster Jnr and Sonya Naylor then continued the children’s learning by sharing their Traditional Ecological Knowledge and creative talents of dance, art and storytelling – explain the signs and triggers that Yuin people notice that signify to them the seasons in the Yuin calendar which are based around food availability and sharing.

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Equipped with all this newfound knowledge the children converted the information into art by thinking creatively and expressing themselves with instruments; movement and dance; drawing and art. Our own local artists Merinda Antill, Caitlin Brown, Gabriela Green, Michael Hanlon, Marg Hansen and Justina Legoe working together with those mentioned above and the regions talented teachers and Aboriginal Liaison officers supported these activities.

The Four Winds’ Create and Inspire Program is so fortunate to have the skills of such artists and educators to draw on and share with our younger generations, supporting our regions development as a cultural and imaginative hub.

Click here to view Moruya Primary School’s response to their experience…

Costa on the Arts, Ecology & Environment at Four Winds

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Costa Georgiadis, landscape architect and well known TV personality, is coming to Bermagui. Costa will be visiting three local schools during the day and will learn more about the Four Winds Native Species Arboretum when he visits the Four Winds site.
Costa will end the day delivering a keynote address as part of the Four Winds Radical Voice Talk Series – a talk in which he will speak about his experiences of the arts, ecology, environment and community – and how what we are doing locally fits in to the national context. The 45-minute talk will be followed by an audience Q and A and will be held in the beautiful Four Winds Windsong Pavilion in Bermagui. Come and put your questions to Costa!
Wednesday 8 June 2016.
Adults $15. Children 16 & under FREE. or call 02 6493 3414.
Colin Page Photography ::


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A reflection in thoughts.

The String Contingent | Artists in Residence.

Part 1
Emotions. Challenges. Overcoming obstacles.
Opening up. Opening doors to new ways of creating music: Improvisation.

Improvising while touring and developing new pieces.

Part 2
Back at Four Winds. Recording of the new album. Live in concert.
Different perspective on improvising.
More confidence. Ease. Joy.
Listening and responding to each other in a better way.
The audience contributing that certain special factor leading to focus, excitement and beautiful tension amongst the band while performing.

With the last open recording session on Saturday night all pieces have been recorded.
The last part of The String Contingent’s residency at Four Winds has come to an end.

A challenging process with pulled back curtains.

It was a very special experience being live part of this exciting process and being able to share it with you. As a last contribution, we would like to share this video clip ‘Retrospect’ – featuring the piece ‘Mountain Time’ of their new album (title pending – suggestions welcome!).

Second live open recording session

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After a whole day of recording and rehearsing, The String Contingent performed their second live open recording session last night. It is truly amazing to observe the excitement of the audience being exclusively part of this unique experience. What made it even more special, is to see the excitement and sparkling eyes of The String Contingent after the concert – a catching mix of relief, adrenaline, pride and satisfaction. Recording with an audience live in concert definitely makes a big difference – and they love it!
Tonight is the last opportunity to live be part of it.

The photos in the gallery below capture some moments of the last two open recording concerts.

To see all blog posts here.

Photography by Rafael Schneider Mediadesign.

Open recording session – free improvisation

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After a whole day of rehearsing and recording, The String Contingent performed their first open recording sessions in the Wind Song Pavilion.
As a special reward for all the effort and commitment, all volunteers of the Four Winds Festival were invited to be part of this unique experience.

Next to the seven new pieces they developed while touring, they also perform a free improvisation piece each night of the open recording concerts.
One of the improvisation pieces will potentially make it onto the album – maybe this one?

For tickets for the live recording session on Friday and Saturday night click here.

To see all blog posts click here.

we are back

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After 22 gigs in three months, The String Contingent is back at Four Winds.
While touring, they developed seven new pieces, which they just started to record here in the Windsong Pavilion. Keep an eye on this blog to follow their journey.

On Friday and Saturday evening, we invite you to be part of this unique experience by joining the open recording sessions live in concert! Buy tickets here.

To see all blog posts click here.

The String Contingent In Residence | Open Recording Sessions

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Don’t miss this unique opportunity to be part of The String Contingent recording their new CD in the Windsong Pavilion. A chance to share in and be part of the creative process.

The String Contingent Live Open Recording Sessions in the Windsong Pavilion, Bermagui.

This Friday 15 & Saturday 16 April 2016, 6.30pm.


Adults $25/Children 16 and under FREE

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CLICK HERE to look through The String Contingent’s BLOG

from their previous residency at Four Winds

visit and stay tuned for their new one

BLOG SPOT with The String Contingent, Artists in Residence, April 2016

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The String Contingent Live – Open Recording Sessions

6.30pm, Friday 15 & Saturday 16 April 2016

Windsong Pavilion, Bermagui

Tickets: Adults $25/Children 16 and under FREE.

Join The String Contingent in the Windsong Pavilion and be part of their creative process as they record their new CD.

Renowned acoustic chamber-folk trio The String Contingent is comprised of Australians, Chris Stone (violin) and Holly Downes (double bass), with Scotsman Graham McLeod (guitar). Over the past six years and four albums they have reached ‘the upper echelon of instrumental exploration, arrangement, composition and performance’ (Tony Hillier, Rhythms).  Their last album, ‘Facets’, features some of Australia’s most revered musicians, and showcases the stylistic flexibility of The String Contingent as they shift through baroque, classical, jazz, Indian, Celtic and Balkan elements to create a truly contemporary sound. The String Contingent are resident at Four Winds, Bermagui for one week to record their new album in the Windsong Pavilion. Be part of it by joining the live, evening recording sessions.

Four Winds 2016 Easter Festival Gallery of images

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Photo’s by Ben Marden Photography


There are many more photos to come, however, here’s a glimpse of what was a triumphant Four Winds 2016 Easter Festival…



Good Friday Night Opening Concert, 25 March 2016:

Sound Shell Easter Saturday, 2016:

Sound Shell Easter Sunday, 2016:

Four Winds conducts a festival biennially and hosts a diverse range of concerts,
workshops and community engagement projects throughout the year.
To find out what’s coming up next go to
call +61 03 6493 3414 or drop in to our office at the Bermagui Communtity Centre.

25 years strong – The Four Winds Festival 2016 a triumph!

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Four Winds Press Release

25 years strong – The Four Winds Festival 2016 a triumph!

The 2016 Four Winds Festival held in Nature’s Concert Hall at Barragga Bay, was the biggest Festival ever, with 4300 people attending across the 21 Festival events.

There was a diary of free events on Good Friday, three outstanding evening concerts at the Windsong Pavilion – entirely booked out – three beautiful and intimate house concerts, two gigs at the Bermagui Community Hall and around 1100 people on each day, Saturday and Sunday in the Sound Shell amphitheatre.

2016 Sound Shell Saturday _ reflection shot _ low res

Chair Sheena Boughen said “ We are 25 years strong, and I am thrilled at the start of our 25th year that we can launch this world class facility, and start anticipation building after such a successful event.”


Ms Boughen said that the overall impression from audience feedback was that people loved the music, some of which was challenging, some surprising, and some overwhelmingly beautiful.

The calibre of the artists, both Australian and international, was outstanding, and in what is becoming a Four Winds tradition, all the performers formed an orchestra to play the last piece, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Zubin Kanga was on the piano in an electric blue jacket, and artistic director Paul Dean played the soaring clarinet.


Local businesses noted how cheerful audience members were with happy people buying dinner, fish and chips, going to the pub, buying coffee and generally having a great time.

The food tents showcasing local produce such as Wapengo Oysters and Cobargo Home Made Ice-cream were very well attended, and the children’s tent, offering free childcare was at times at capacity.

The major fundraiser for a $100,00 to buy a Concert Grand Piano, sold by the piano key (of which there are 88,) has had a most encouraging start, and shows the support from so many audience members.


What’s next? This Sunday 3 April in the Four Winds Sound Shell at 2pm the Sydney Youth Orchestra presents ‘Mozart by the Sea’. Tickets are $10 and under 16 years free and available at the gate.

Media enquiries: Marg Hansen 0400 442 945