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2019 Performances and Events

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David Francis, Four Winds Executive Director talks to Elizabeth Scott, Director of VOX about VOX’s forthcoming performance at Four Winds:

‘Wonder’- songs inspired by childhood | Sunday 23 June | 12.30pm – 2.30pm | Windsong Pavilion

I had the pleasure of working with Elizabeth Scott, Director of VOX when I was GM of Sydney Philharmonia Choirs…so I was really pleased to catch-up with Liz to talk about their up-coming performance at Four Winds on Sunday 23rd June at 12.30pm.

Liz mentioned that her son is now 5 years old and that the program VOX will perform is inspired by her reflections on being a mother.

Liz told me that she has chosen music that she loves “this is a program of beautiful and powerful pieces”.  She wants to present a program which explores the different lenses through which people see or experience childhood, including moments of great joy as well as profound sadness.

For Liz the pieces in this program are united by a simplicity present in their texts and stories and the fact that simplicity can be deeply moving.  For instance, Australian composer Nigel Westlake’s work ‘My Joy is Born’ builds on a simple exchange of the words, ‘sun’ and ‘son’.  Nigel’s piece is a short extract from a much larger work he wrote following the death of his son; it is one of Liz’s favorite works in the program.

There is no doubt that this program is both musically and emotionally varied – the spectrum ranges from film music to Grimm’s fairy tales via choral lullabies and Stevie Wonder…. Liz mentioned that switching between the “emotional ups and downs” throughout the program places real demand on the singers, particularly in many of the songs which are performed without accompaniment.

A version of this program has been performed in the Utzon Room in Sydney Opera House and I was interested in how the audience responded.  Liz commented that the audience loved the variety, the many colours and sound-worlds created by this “beautiful and powerful choral music”.  Many audience members reflected that  “there’s a lot that feels familiar throughout the program and a lot to connect with”.      This isn’t entirely surprising as many of the stories and tunes are familiar, and the program includes beautiful works by well-known and much-loved Australian composers.  One of the composers, Luke Byrne will be at the concert to accompany his ‘Four Songs from Grimm’s’ on piano – a suite Liz commissioned through her work at The Arts Unit, NSW Department of Education.

We talked about Liz’s role as an educator and her passion for singing.

We are in absolute agreement that singing is a lifelong activity.  Liz is a great example of someone who, through her varied portfolio of work as a teacher, choir-leader and conductor is able to nurture singer’s interests in school, through university and beyond.  VOX, whose members are between the ages of 18 and 30 are all experienced choristers and many go on to join other choirs or major Symphony Choruses, hungry to sustain their love of singing.  It’s living proof (as if we needed it) of how singing is such a fabulous way to engage in music making throughout your life.

I’ve heard this choir perform several times, most recently in the Concert Hall of Sydney Opera House – and they are stunning.

As a singer and choir-leader myself I couldn’t recommend this concert more highly; it’s going to be truly memorable. I look forward to seeing you there…

Please discover more details about this program and book your tickets for this and our other two Windsong Series concerts.

VOX: Wonder | Exceptional Sydney chamber choir touring the South Coast for one performance only.
Windsong Series 1 | Sunday 23 June | 12.30pm | Windsong Pavilion | Info and bookings


Windsong Series 2 | Saturday 17 August | 1pm | Windsong Pavilion | Info and bookings


Windsong Series 3 | Sunday 22 September | 1 – 3pm | Windsong Pavilion | Info and bookings

Photo credits VOX: John Feely | Keith Saunders

2019 Performances and Events

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Windsong Series 1 | A stunning Sunday afternoon of singing: VOX presents ‘Wonder’- songs inspired by childhood.

Sunday 23 June | 12.30pm – 2.30pm | Windsong Pavilion

VOX is a fabulous young adult choir – who better to perform a program of music to evoke childhood?

This program will inspire anyone who loves singing or simply hearing the human voice in sumptuous harmonies. It is rare for a choir of this size and expertise to tour to the Far South Coast, so this is a concert not to miss.

Childhood is a fleeting, fragile thing. It’s a time of joy but can so easily be touched by tragedy.

Whether you have children of your own or simply remember your own childhood, you’ll know the earnestness and the innocence, the sheer magic, the love and the sorrow it brings.

For this concert with VOX, Sydney’s young adult choir, Elizabeth Scott brings together exquisite music that captures the fragility and wonder of childhood.

There’s joy and humour: many choir-member’s favorite composer John Rutter pays homage to the world of children with nursery rhymes and nonsense poems, and there are highlights from Martin Wesley-Smith’s witty, environmentally aware ‘Who Killed Cock Robin’, possibly the only contemporary Australian classical song that’s been known to inspire impromptu sing-alongs!

En-route there is a choral ‘suite’ from ‘Frozen’ and expect “Double Trouble” from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and to end….music by Sting and Stevie Wonder celebrating the birth of daughters.

But heart-rending loss is present; the sombre intensity of Nigel Westlake’s Requiem for his son Eli, James MacMillan’s tender prayer in memory of the children killed in the Dunblane massacre, and Eric Whitacre’s ‘When David Heard’ dedicated to a friend who’d lost a son. This music becomes even more poignant when sung by young voices but there is solace and consolation in the luminous beauty of their sound.

The themes are timeless but this is a concert for today – music to showcase the beauty and raw emotional power of voices in harmony.

Choir Director Elizabeth Scott is a wonderful role model. She is a sought after conductor, choir leader, trainer of choir directors and educator. She was the first woman to conduct Handel’s ‘Messiah’ in the Sydney Opera House and is the founder Director of VOX.

Please click here and discover more details about this program and book your tickets for this and our other two Windsong Series concerts.

2019 Easter Festival

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Festivals United!

Four Winds now presents two significant Festivals; the Easter Festival and a new Youth Music Festival which was launched in November 2018.

The Youth Music Festival involved hundreds of local children and young people rehearsing and taking part. To help them all prepare, two inspirational artists worked in five schools, singer and composer Geoffrey Badger and percussionist Greg Sheehan.

Geoffrey and Greg worked in the schools each week for two terms and brought the joy of singing and playing music together into the classroom, which is not a given for many children who attend schools on the Far South Coast, so we were delighted to create this opportunity.

This incredible initiative was possible because of the generosity of individual donors to Four Winds, as well as a grant from Festivals Australia.

 Easter Festival

Geoffrey and Greg inspired over 800 young performers to take part in the Youth Music Festival at Four Winds, which was presented over three days. Two days of performances and one day of coaching, led by our Artistic Director, James Crabb. The Hon. Don Harwin, NSW Minister for the Arts, who attended the event said that the Festival was ‘truly inspirational’.

We will be sharing some of that inspiration with audiences at the 2019 Easter Festival with the second performance of ‘On the Track’ – a suite of three songs commissioned for the Youth Music Festival from composer and singer Lisa Young.

The connections run even deeper! Lisa Young is part of the vocal group Coco’s Lunch who are also performing at the 2019 Easter Festival on Sunday – as well as delivering a singing workshop which anyone can take part in, on Good Friday.

The songs Lisa wrote were a great hit at the Youth Festival. They are entitled ‘To Bermi and Back’, ‘Gerygone’ and ‘On the Track’. The performers from the premiere, Bega Valley Youth Choir, and their conductor Geoffrey Badger will be leading the singing of these songs at the Easter Festival. They will be performing ‘To Bermi and Back’ at the opening concert on Good Friday evening, followed by ‘Gerygone’ and ‘On the Track’ on Saturday in the Sound Shell – with full orchestra!

 Easter Festival

Four Winds now presents two significant Festivals; the Easter Festival and a new Youth Music Festival which was launched in November 2018.

The Youth Music Festival involved hundreds of local children and young people rehearsing and taking part. To help them all prepare, two inspirational artists worked in five schools, singer and composer Geoffrey Badger and percussionist Greg Sheehan. Geoffrey and Greg worked in the schools each week for two terms and brought the joy of singing and playing music together into the classroom, which is not a given for many children who attend schools on the Far South Coast, so we were delighted to create this opportunity. This incredible initiative was possible because of the generosity of individual donors to Four Winds, as well as a grant from Festivals Australia.

Geoffrey and Greg inspired over 800 young performers to take part in the Youth Music Festival at Four Winds, which was presented over three days. Two days of performances and one day of coaching, led by our Artistic Director, James Crabb. The Hon. Don Harwin, NSW Minister for the Arts, who attended the event said that the Festival was ‘truly inspirational’.

We will be sharing some of that inspiration with audiences at the 2019 Easter Festival with the second performance of ‘On the Track’ – a suite of three songs commissioned for the Youth Music Festival from composer and singer Lisa Young.

The connections run even deeper! Lisa Young is part of the vocal group Coco’s Lunch who are also performing at the 2019 Easter Festival on Sunday – as well as delivering a singing workshop which anyone can take part in, on Good Friday.

The songs Lisa wrote were a great hit at the Youth Festival. They are entitled ‘To Bermi and Back’, ‘Gerygone’ and ‘On the Track’. The performers from the premiere, Bega Valley Youth Choir, and their conductor Geoffrey Badger will be leading the singing of these songs at the Easter Festival. They will be performing ‘To Bermi and Back’ at the opening concert on Good Friday evening, followed by ‘Gerygone’ and ‘On the Track’ on Saturday in the Sound Shell – with full orchestra!

These three songs take their inspiration from place and nature, and celebrate coming together. ‘Bermi and Back’ references towns along the South Coast – where many of the children who took part in the Youth Music Festival go to school; ‘Gerygone’ is a small bird – the name of which can be translated as born of singing, or children of singing and finally ‘On the Track’ not only references the importance of ancient routes, but the physical synchronicity which happens when people sing together. They are a truly uplifting set of songs and we are excited that the Easter Festival audience will have a chance to hear a little of what we have been up to in the Youth Festival. Our aim is to commission songs each year, in order to create the Four Winds South Coast Song Book…

Here is an extract of lyrics from ‘On the Track’

And I can hear the four winds blowing wide and high
and I can feel the breezes moving by my side
I can hear the voices calling across the miles

If you have not already bought your ticket, we hope you will feel drawn to Four Winds on the magnificent Far South Coast of NSW to hear some fabulous music, to be amazed by world-class musicians and to enjoy the pristine natural setting, surrounded by friends.

2019 Easter Festival info and bookings

Image credits: Chris Sheedy

2019 Highlights

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Carrillo Gantner (AC)


2019 Carrillo Gantner (AC) receives Order of Australia

Congratulations to Carrillo Gantner (AC) who has received the highest accolade in the Australian Honours system being made a Companion of the Order of Australia for ‘eminent service to the community through professional involvement in, and philanthropic support for, the performing and visual arts, and to Australia-Asia exchange.’ Carrillo’s long-term involvement with Four Winds exemplifies this ‘eminent service.’

Carrillo’s mother, Neilma Gantner, was a Four Winds founder, and Carrillo was involved from our first Four Winds Festival in 1991. Between 1994 and 2004, Carrillo and Rodney Hall were Artistic Directors and in no small measure responsible for Four Winds outstanding success. In 2002 Neilma established the Four Winds Foundation, independent from Four Winds, and through which Four Winds can apply for grants for parts of our artistic program. Carrillo is the Chair of the Foundation and he gifted the land on which ‘Nature’s Concert Hall’ is situated, to the Foundation, to allow for its development as a world class performance space. The Foundation also made significant financial contributions to the capital costs of the this amazingly beautiful, creative space that is now available for year round events including the Easter Festival and the Youth Music Festival. While Carrillo is now at arms-length from Four Winds, we continue to value his wise counsel based on his wealth of knowledge of the performing arts.

We also wish to celebrate others in the performing arts who have received Australian Honours. Elena Kats Chernin, our featured composer at the up-coming Easter Festival 2019, has been made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) ‘for distinguished service to the performing arts, particularly to music, as an orchestral, operatic and chamber music composer.’ Friends of Four Winds, Lou Bennett (previously of Black Arm Band) and Lyn Williams (of Gondwana Choirs) were both made Members of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to the performing arts.

2019 Easter Festival

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Easter Saturday and Sunday at the Four Winds 2019 Sound Shell Program Announced

Dear All,

We are at such an exciting stage of our preparations for the Easter Festival and I’m delighted to share the program for the Saturday and Sunday Sound Shell events with you.

Following the 2018 Easter Festival you, the audience, told us that what you loved about the Festival was the opportunity to discover: to discover beautiful music which was new to you, to discover new artists, and to discover new talent, all in the informal setting of the Festival. It was also really clear to me that you love to see familiar artists in new collaborations.

We’ve really listened to you and I am delighted that this Festival builds on all those themes. There is a lot here – so please settle in and read on!

What I am really confident about is that the program comprises music, which is truly beautiful and inspiring, even though the works or composers may not be household names. Who can possibly forget the relatively unknown Peteris Vasks and Osvaldo Golijov performances from the last festival, which were clear highlights.

 Easter Festival

Come and discover this amazing program of music with us…

On Easter Saturday the Sound Shell program will commence with a special ‘Welcome to Country’ which will feature a local song ‘Mother Mountain’ which was commissioned by Four Winds from Indigenous Opera Singer Deborah Cheetham, who created the song with local Indigenous Children.

Following the Welcome to Country we will enjoy a set of two works by Australian composer Ross Edwards ‘Water Spirit Song’ and ‘ Tyalgum Mantras’, which evoke music from other traditions, and the importance of being ‘present’ in today’s frenetic world. The setting of the Sound Shell provides the perfect backdrop for these works and for us all to be transported from our everyday lives into a musical world evoking other cultures and contemplation. These works will feature Riley Lee – a masterful Shakuhachi (Bamboo Flute) player who is a great friend of Four Winds – and will introduce our visiting musicians from the Australian National Academy of Music who will be a core feature of the Festival Sound Shell program.

More geographical references flow through the program on Saturday morning which includes our featured composer, Elena Kats-Chernin’s work ‘38th Parallel’ which makes literal and musical references to the border between North and South Korea. It features Christina Leonard – one of Australia’s finest Saxophone players who plays ‘an impossibly high, sustained note which appears like the sun to offer hope’….

Two short works by ANAM alumni trumpeter and composer Josh Rogan will provide interludes during the main sets of music.

We are welcoming the Arcadia Wind Quintet to the Festival who, along with musicians from ANAM will be performing an amazing piece called ‘Tetris’ by Lior Navok. For those of you who were at the 2018 Festival, this Israeli composer is a great friend of Ariel Zuckermann who was our featured flautist from Israel. Inspired by the frenetic energy of New York this work for double wind quintet reflects on our modern ‘breathless’ pace of life. What better way to reflect on how fortunate we are that the Four Winds Festival affords us time to breathe?

If you want to dive into the world of a professional musician don’t miss the masterclass in the Windsong Pavilion on Saturday lunchtime during which our international guest, Viennese pianist Stefan Vladar, will be working with pianists and sharing insights into how he approaches learning work and preparing for performances.

Saturday afternoon explores a theme of meeting places. ‘River Meeting Suite’ is not only inspired by the extraordinary life forces that exist at the meeting of rivers, but is a literal meeting of musical genres and traditions. It encompasses Indian music and singing (Sarangan Siranganathan), Tabla (Bobby Singh) and the improvisation common in jazz with the Compass Saxophone Quartet. Rather like the Festival itself, which allows audiences to go on a journey of discovery, this work discovers a space where barriers between classical, world and improvised music are broken down with truly magical results.

Saturday climaxes with a real treat. Our guest pianist, Stefan Vladar will collaborate with the Australian String Quartet in a performance of Brahm’s ‘Piano Quintet in F minor’. This substantial work will immerse you in the musical brilliance of Brahm’s music – referred to as ‘the crown of his chamber work’ – as well as the technical brilliance of these world class musicians. This collaboration is unique to the Festival. You genuinely will not hear this anywhere else so if you are looking for another reason to attend, this is probably it!

 Easter Festival

On Sunday I’ve created a triple-bill performance called ‘Beethoven in the Bush’.

You may have already read about this event, in which an array of international artists will be presenting a program of jazz and world-music inspired compositions which culminates in full orchestral performances of two works by Ludwig Van Beethoven; Coriolan Overature – which depicts Coriolanius’ dilemma between war and tenderness, followed by Beethoven’s equally dramatic work for piano and orchestra; Piano Concerto No.3.

But it’s not all big orchestral pieces during this ‘triple-bill’. This Easter-Sunday afternoon performance begins with a beautiful and evocative set of pieces for Bamboo Flute (Shakuhachi) and String Quartet performed by the masterful Riley Lee and the Enigma String Quartet. ‘Elements’ will transport listeners to a gentle sound-world inspired by the elements, the perfect piece to relax to and experience outdoors. The concert moves to jazz and world music performed by the award-winning vocal group Coco’s Lunch. This all-female ensemble never fails to enthrall audiences through their infectious energy and charisma. They sing music influenced by traditions from around the globe, generally without instruments, although rhythms and musical grooves from different traditions are often added with an array of exotic percussive instruments played by the singers themselves.
 Easter Festival

This concert embodies what Four Winds is about. Internationally renowned artists coming together in unique collaborations to perform great music inspired by nature and which places western classical music in the context of other traditions and genres. ‘Beethoven in the Bush’ is a great way for everyone to discover fabulous music in an exceptional setting and to experience the thrill of a full orchestra performing in nature.

The two Easter Festival Sound Shell days are surrounded by a wonderful array of concerts so please be sure to check out our website so that you can discover everything that is on offer at Easter 2019.

I’m looking forward to welcoming you!

Best wishes

James Crabb
Artistic Director

Early bird tickets are available until Monday 31 December 2018.

Image credits: Raine Brown Photography, Ben Marden, Chris Sheedy

 Easter Festival

The 15% Early Bird ticket offer is available until Monday 31 December 2018. The offer applies to Sound Shell Saturday and Sunday events and Windsong Concerts 1, 2, and 3

Book Here

 Easter Festival

Discover Music in Nature

Discover Now

2019 Easter Festival

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Discover Beethoven in the Bush; Easter Sunday Afternoon

Dear All,

I’m really excited to let you know about a fabulous triple-bill concert we have on Easter Sunday as part of the 2019 Four Winds Easter Sunday.

In a new level of ambition for the Festival, we are going to be delivering the thrilling sound of a full orchestra playing the mighty works of Beethoven. Come and experience one of the world’s greatest and most performed composers in the beautiful setting of the Four Winds Sound Shell.

This special triple-bill will culminate in full orchestral performances of two works by Ludwig Van Beethoven; Coriolan Overature– which depicts Coriolanius’ dilemma between war and tenderness, followed by Beethoven’s equally dramatic work for piano and orchestra; Piano Concerto No.3. Our special international guest pianist Stefan Vladar will be conducting and playing the two Beethoven performances. These are Stefan’s only performances whilst in Australia.

 Easter Festival

But it’s not all big orchestral pieces during this event. The performance will begin with a beautiful set of pieces for Bamboo Flute (Shakuhachi) and String Quartet performed by the masterful Riley Lee and the Enigma Quartet. ‘Elements’ will transport listeners to a gentle sound-world inspired by the elements, the perfect piece to relax to and experience outdoors. The concert moves from music inspired by the elements to jazz and world-music performed by the award-winning vocal group Coco’s Lunch. This all- female ensemble never fails to inspire through their infectious energy and charisma. They sing music influenced by traditions from around the globe, generally without instruments, although rhythms and grooves in music from different traditions are often added with an array of exotic percussive instruments played by the singers themselves.

This concert embodies what Four Winds is about. Internationally renowned artists coming together in unique collaborations to perform great music inspired by nature and which places western classical music in the context of other traditions and genres.Beethoven in the Bush is a great way for everyone to discover fabulous music in an exceptional setting and to experience the thrill of a full orchestra performing in nature.

I sincerely hope you will not miss this chance to be at Four Winds to share this great concert with all your family and friends, and I look forward to seeing you there! If you don’t know the Coriolan Overture…here is the great Leonard Bernstein conducting a performance…CLICK HERE.

I’m looking forward to welcoming you!

Best wishes

James Crabb
Artistic Director

Early bird tickets are available until Monday 31 December 2018.

Sound Shell Sunday | Beethoven in the Bush
Easter Sunday 21 April 2019, 12noon – 4.00pm
Four Winds Sound Shell, Barragga Bay, Far South Coast, NSW

Featuring: Stefan Vladar (piano),Coco’s Lunch, Enigma Quartet, Riley Lee (shakuhachi) and Festival Orchestra.

Tickets: Adult $100, Concession $70
16yrs and under and Access Pass holders are free.

Image credits: Raine Brown Photography, Ben Marden

 Easter Festival

The 15% Early Bird ticket offer is available until Monday 31 December 2018. The offer applies to Sound Shell Saturday and Sunday events and Windsong Concerts 1, 2, and 3

Book Here

 Easter Festival

Four Winds events are made possible by our dedicated and generous volunteers

Volunteer Now

Performances and Events

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Four Winds ‘Folk’ Christmas

Saturday 15 December | 7.30 – 9pm | Windsong Pavilion

This Saturday evening….Mulled Wine, Mince Pies and Music

This festive concert will recall the times when people gathered together in domestic and community settings to sing and play Christmas music together. People gathering for this performance will enjoy the chance to sing carols accompanied by these fine musicians and singers, along with a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie under the stars. Christmas Folk will be an intimate, immersive and beautiful way to celebrate the season.

Featuring:
Kate Burke (voice/fiddle/guitar)
James Crabb (classical accordion)
Luke Plumb (bouzouki/mandolin)
Oscar Neyland (double bass)
with
The Friday Choir

Tickets: $40, Youth 16yrs and under FREE

2019 Easter Festival

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 Easter Festival

Give the gift of Four Winds…

Share your passion for music with friends and family this Christmas. A gift of tickets to the Four Winds 2019 Easter Festival will undoubtedly bring delight and joy.

‘Beethoven in the Bush’, our amazing triple bill concert, presented outdoors in the fabulous Sound Shell on Easter Sunday, is just $85 (Early bird price) and $70 (Concession) for a great afternoon of unforgettable music. Other Festival tickets range from $15 to $250.

Early bird tickets are available until Monday 31 December 2018.

Have a great summer holiday, and we look forward to seeing you, your family and friends at Easter.

Merry Christmas

Image credits: Raine Brown Photography, Ben Marden, Sapphie Coast Tourism

Performances and Events

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Four Winds ‘Folk’ Christmas

Saturday 15 December | 7.30 – 9pm | Windsong Pavilion

A warm and eclectic Christmas folk experience, in the enchanting Windsong Pavilion, bringing together Scandinavian, Celtic, English, Georgian, French and Australian traditional Christmas music.

Communities around the world celebrate Christmas in a variety of ways: through festivity, contemplation, reflection, food, drink, singing, playing tunes, celebrating, remembering. This concert brings together material from Scandinavian, Celtic, English, Georgian, French and Australian traditions to present a warm and eclectic Christmas folk experience.

Bega Valley Shire singer and multi-instrumentalist Kate Burke has assembled a fine line-up of musicians for this especially created performance: Tasmanian Bouzouki and Mandolin player Luke Plumb will be joined by Victorian double bassist Oscar Neyland as well as Four Winds own Artistic Director James Crabb, a Scottish classical accordion player. The Bega Valley’s celebrated Friday Choir will lend their voices to sing strident Georgian ‘Alilos’, warm and wistful Irish carols, lively French songs and an English wassail. These will be intertwined with Swedish polskor, Irish and Scottish jigs and slides, and gently improvised instrumental music based on original seasonal themes.

This festive concert will recall the times when people gathered together in domestic and community settings to sing and play Christmas music together. People gathering for this performance will enjoy the chance to sing carols accompanied by these fine musicians and singers, along with a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie under the stars. Christmas Folk will be an intimate, immersive and beautiful way to celebrate the season.

Featuring:
Kate Burke (voice/fiddle/guitar)
James Crabb (classical accordion)
Luke Plumb (bouzouki/mandolin)
Oscar Neyland (double bass)
with
The Friday Choir

Tickets: $40, Youth 16yrs and under free

2019 Easter Festival

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Five Elements with Riley Lee and Enigma Quartet

Our Sunday Sound Shell program also features the all female Enigma Quartet who will be performing works from their project ‘Five Elements’ with Riley Lee – on Shakuhachi – a traditional Japanese Flute. Enigma say “Five Elements will take you on kaleidoscopic journey through the Australian landscape that traverses universal concepts linking humanity to our natural environment and spiritual core through music”.

 Enigma Quartet and Riley Lee

Watch a sneak preview of this stunning and mesmerizing collaboration

Discover this exceptional music and these beautiful musicians in the perfect setting of Nature’s Concert Hall. There is nowhere better to experience these sublime performances – tickets are available now at our Early Bird discounted rate until Monday 31 December 2018.

Image credits: Raine Brown Photography, Musica Viva

2019 Easter Festival

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Fabulous female ensembles at the Four Winds 2019 Easter Festival

“Celebrations of life, places, love and unity…”

We’ve just celebrated our inaugural Youth Music Festival at Four Winds. A highlight was our Festival Commission ‘On the Track’ by Lisa Young who is not only a wonderful composer, but also a stunning vocalist and founder of the all-female, 5 part vocal group ‘Coco’s Lunch’ – who will be performing on Easter Sunday in the Four Winds Sound Shell.

Coco’s lunch exudes energy and joy in their unaccompanied vocal performances. Audiences are transported by the blend of these exceptional voices as they explore sumptuous harmonies, rhythms and musical influences from around the world, but particularly from India and Africa. All their beautifully crafted performances are infused with the spirit of Jazz. They have toured all over the world, are multi award winners and will be performing at the 2019 Easter Festival in partnership with Musica Viva.

 Coco's lunch

See/hear Coco’s Lunch perform their latest single ‘Other Plans’

Coco’s Lunch is living proof that the world’s first instrument – the human voice – is still the finest and most versatile…As singers they prove that the voice has no bounds…’
The Hindu, India

‘Tight and soulful…sheer joy… There are no down moments – just celebrations of life, places, love and unity… A national treasure indeed…’ The Clothesline, Adelaide (4.5 stars)
‘Inordinately, preposterously, almost slanderously talented.’

Phillip Adams, ABC Radio National, Australia

Image credits: Raine Brown Photography, Musica Viva

Youth Music Festival

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Countdown to Youth Music Festival!

There is a palpable sense of excitement building in schools along the Sapphire Coast as they enter the final stages of preparation for the inaugural Four Winds Youth Music Festival.

As we are writing this enews, 100 young people from Bermagui and Tathra are rehearsing on the Sound Shell Stage and helping the Four Winds team test the logistics of moving over 1000 children around the site ready for various huge performances!

Everyone is welcome to come and share in this Friday’s Schools Showcase Performance and this Sunday’s Festival Concert.

We have some important VIPS coming along this Friday to hear our young people perform: NSW Minister for the Arts, the Honourable Don Harwin MLC will be attending as will NSW Minister for Infrastructure and local member for Bega, Andrew Constance. Bega Valley Shire Councilor, Mayor Kristy McBain is also attending to show her support for the importance of music making among young people.

So what’s happening?

Schools Showcase Performance Concert
Friday 16 November, 12noon – 2pm
Four Winds Sound Shell
Entry by voluntary donation of $10 on the door, 16yrs and under free.

Friday is a celebration of young people’s music making.

Come and hear over 800 young people sing with Western Sydney Youth Orchestra and The Australian Voices. We’ve a festival commission written by Lisa Young called ‘From Bermi and Back’, and are featuring ‘Mother Mountain’ written by Deborah Cheetham and local Yuin children at Four Winds in 2017; it has been orchestrated especially for this performance.

Then….massed percussion! The sound of hundreds of children in rhythm…
School showcases continue throughout the concert with more singing and percussion before the Western Symphony Youth Orchestra bring the event to a rousing conclusion.

Youth Music Festival Concert

Sunday 18 November, 11am – 2pm
Four Winds Sound Shell and Windsong Pavilion
Tickets $30 (in advance or on the door), 16yrs and under free.

Sunday’s Youth Music Festival Concert is a showcase of exceptional talent. Young people from across the region are coming together to perform as soloists, in small groups formed for this Festival and as part of our guest orchestra and choir.

Our Artistic Director James Crabb has been personally coaching all the local young musicians to prepare them for their performances, which include everything from singer-songwriters to classical chamber music. James is even going to perform with some of the young musicians, so this is an amazing opportunity for everyone to enjoy new collaborations – and for us to see that in action!

So, come along on Sunday to hear exceptionally talented local young people performing in the Windsong Pavilion, before having a bite to eat from one of our vendors, after which you’ll make your way down to the Sound Shell to hear Western Sydney Youth Orchestra perform. You will also experience the world premiere of our Festival Commission ‘On the Track’ by Lisa Young performed in it’s entirely by The Australian Voices and Bega Valley Youth Choir.

There’s no doubt that you will know someone taking part in the Youth Festival – please come along and be amazed by their talent.

Friday Features:
Bermagui, Narooma, Tanja, Tathra, Tilba primary schools – pretty much the entire schools are taking part!

Along with…The Australian Voices and Western Sydney Youth Orchestra.

Sunday Features:
The following local musicians who will be performing in the Windsong Pavilion and in the Sound Shell. The music is a mix of styles, everything from original songs to Mozart, from A-ha to Haydn!
The Arco String Quintet: Jarrah Catlin (1st violin), Isabella Lightly (2nd violin), Miller Northam (2nd violin), Luca Ziino (viola), Nyah Cockle (cello).
Hunter Bailey-Watts (piano)
Bega Valley Youth Choir
Imogen Bichard (double bass)
Ana Browne (vocals)
Candelo Primary School
Mora Fiedler (piano/vocals)
Juliet Fitzmaurice (vocals and guitar)
Zosha Fitzmaurice (vocals)
Emma Hunt (violin)
Jasper Lay (guitar)
Ruby Newell (taiko)
Amelie Ziino (voice and violin)

The Youth Music Festival has been long in preparation! Our amazing artist-in-schools Geoffrey Badger and Greg Sheehan will conduct on the day to bring the results of their work in local schools to a fabulous climax. Deborah Cheetham and the Short Black Opera team have been rehearsing and teaching Mother Mountain so that everyone can join in with this song inspired by our place. James Crabb has been coaching young performers and will perform alongside them. Lisa Young and Gordon Hamilton have been composing and arranging music just for this event – and the Four Winds team have been bringing it all together!

Everyone will be there on the day to perform with and support our young people in this celebration of music making: Please come and Join us!

Image credits: Marg Hansen, Chris Sheedy, Kristina Kingston, Craig Wall, The Australian Voices, Geoffrey Badger, Lara Crew

Youth Music Festival

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Geoffrey Badger and Greg Sheehan teach children at Bermagui Public School singing in preparation for the Youth Music Festival’s Friday showcase




Four Winds Youth Music Festival | 16 – 18 November | Sound Shell

Friday 16 November is a celebration and showcase of the music-making which has been happening in five local schools – Bermagui, Narooma, Tilba, Tanja and Tathra – all as a result of your donations.
Tickets $10 Children 16yrs and under and Access Pass holders free | 12noon – 2pm

Sunday 18 November we are presenting the Youth Music Festival Concert.
Tickets $30 Children 16yrs and under and Access Pass holders free | 11am – 2.30pm

2019 Easter Festival

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Four Winds 2019 Easter Festival | Thursday 18 – Sunday 21 April 2019 | Nature’s Concert Hall

Acclaimed Viennese Conductor and Pianist, Stefan Vladar, is coming to Australia to perform. His only Australian performances will be at the Four Winds 2019 Easter Festival.

We are delighted that Stefan Vladar, who is one of the world’s leading interpreters of classical repertoire (music written in Europe between 1750 and 1820), has agreed to join us for the Four Winds 2019 Easter Festival.

His first performance on Easter Friday evening will be a solo recital of music by the great classical composers, Schubert, Haydn and Beethoven in the wonderful acoustics of the Windsong Pavilion.

 Stefan Vladar - Photo by Gregor Titze

On Easter Saturday, Stefan will collaborate with the Australian String Quartet to play music by Brahms in the Sound Shell. That will be your only chance to hear Stefan performing chamber music in the Sound Shell.

The pièce de résistance however, is the festival finale on Sunday afternoon also in the Sound Shell. Stefan will perform two major orchestral works by Beethoven: The dramatic Coriolan Overture and the glorious Third Piano Concerto, with the added bonus that he will be conducting the Four Winds Festival Orchestra from the piano. This performance alone offers you the chance to discover something amazing; a fabulous pianist playing stunning and engaging music with some of the greatest established and emerging Australian musicians who together will form the Festival Orchestra. Beethoven in the Bush – where-else could you experience such a phenomenon other than at Four Winds?

Artistic Director James Crabb is delighted that Stefan accepted his invitation to perform at the Festival. James reflects that ‘All the works Stefan will perform are key compositions by these composers – the pinnacle of their brilliance. To hear them interpreted by Stefan is simply something not to be missed’.

Since 2008, Stefan has been Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Vienna Chamber Orchestra. It speaks volumes that in the 2015/16 season, the Vienna Concert House celebrated Stefan’s 50th birthday with a series of 13 concerts where he displayed his diverse artistic scope as a soloist, conductor, accompanist and chamber musician. In 2019 he will also be conducting and performing throughout Europe and Asia.

Whilst Stefan will be performing some core classical repertoire at the Festival, James Crabb has also conjured up some magic with amazing collaborations between artists from different cultures and traditions: Riley Lee on Shakuhachi with Enigma String Quartet, Compass Saxophone Quartet with Bobby Sing (Tabla) Indian vocalist and sitar master Sarangan Sriranganathan, vocal ensemble Coco’s Lunch – the list goes on. If you want to discover alchemy this Easter, you will find it at Four Winds.

Information about our program and all the artists performing can be found on our website.
Book your tickets now and join us for unmissable performances; the early bird period with discounts for the 2019 Easter Festival is still available – until 31 December 2018.

Image credits: Raine Brown Photography, Gregor Titze

2019 Easter Festival

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Four Winds 2019 Easter Festival | Thursday 18 – Sunday 21 April 2019 | Nature’s Concert Hall

Build your own Four Winds 2019 Easter Festival Experience…

We invite you to join us on a journey to discover different musical cultures and traditions as well as great classical works. You can participate or just sit back and experience inspiring music, performed by amazing artists in exceptional surroundings.

Just one example – a not to be missed, and unique performance, when internationally acclaimed Viennese pianist and conductor Stefan Vladar performs Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 3 with our Festival Orchestra in the Sound Shell on Easter Sunday.

We are also welcoming: international guests Dame Emma Kirkby (soprano) and Jakob Lindberg (lute); celebrated Australian Composer and pianist Elena Kats-Chernin; Bobby Singh (tabla) and Sarangan Sriranganathan (sitar/vocalist); the Australian String Quartet; Riley Lee (shakuhachi); Compass Saxophone Quartet; Coco’s Lunch and Enigma Quartet. The Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) will be joining us, as will our friends Arcadia Winds who are alumni of ANAM.

During the Early Bird offer you are able to build your own Four Winds 2019 Easter
Festival experience by purchasing tickets for each specific event you would like to attend. A 15% discount applies to the Sound Shell Saturday and Sunday programs as well as Windsong Concerts during the Early Bird period, which extends to Monday 31 December 2018.

You can explore the more detailed Festival Program Booklet and read about the Festival Artists here: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE DETAILED FESTIVAL PROGRAM BOOKLET PDF

Image credits: Raine Brown Photography, Marco Borggreve, Howard Williams, Jacqui Way, Chris Sheedy, David Francis

Create and Inspire

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Short Black Opera and the Dhungala Choral Connection Songbook

Thursday 8 November | 4.30 – 6.30pm | Windsong Pavilion

Professional Development Workshop for Music Teachers, Choir Leaders and Singing Enthusiasts…

A singing workshop for teachers, choir leaders and singing enthusiasts with Short Black Opera’s Deborah Cheetham, Toni Lalich and Jessica Hitchcock who will take you through the songs and languages of the Dhungala Choral Connection Songbook. Written by Short Black Opera, the collection of songs has been performed by their Dhungala Children’s Choir across the nation and offers insight and engagement into culture, Indigenous connections and languages. You will be guided through the interpretation, pronunciation and music of each song enabling their use in your own classroom and/or choir.

Cost: $60 Includes the Dhungala Choral Connection Songbook, Vol. 1 along with a CD (Live concert and Pronunciation guide)

Youth Music Festival

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Become a Four Winds Volunteer

Would you like to help bring music education to the youth of our region?

Increase your enjoyment of the inaugural Four Winds Youth Music Festival by joining in. All of our Four Winds events rely on the wonderful assistance of our Four Winds volunteers.

We have many volunteer roles we need to fill for the Youth Music Festival including; car parking assistants, artist and student care, ushers, site preparation and box office.

If you would like to help out as a volunteer on all or any of the days of the Four Winds Youth Music Festival – Friday 16 to Sunday 18 November 2018 – please goto www.fourwinds.com.au/volunteer

Photo by Ben Marden

Photo by Ben Marden

Photos by Ben Marden

Photo by Ben Marden

Photos by Ben Marden

Youth Music Festival

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Dear All,

In November there is going to be a mass gathering of musically-inspired young people from across our region and beyond at the new Four Winds Youth Music Festival.

You can experience the fabulous spectacle of our region’s talented youngsters performing and sharing music together. We are going to assemble a ‘company’ of over 1000 pupils from our local primary schools plus guests. It’s really wonderful to think that those schools and the majority of the children will be meeting and collaborating with each other for the very first time.

They will be joined by Western Sydney Youth Orchestra, The Australian Voices from Brisbane and members of Short Black Opera, as well as local internationally acclaimed musicians Geoffrey Badger and Greg Sheehan who are currently working as Four Winds Artists-in-Schools to prepare for this amazing event.

I’m really excited that we have commissioned three songs for the occasion from Lisa Young (of Coco’s Lunch) and that we will once again enjoy ‘Mother Mountain’ which local Indigenous children wrote in partnership with Short Black Opera in 2017 – but this time it will be performed with orchestral accompaniment.

This Festival is happening because Four Winds is part of a community committed to providing life changing musical experiences for young people on the Far South Coast. Music is a truly powerful force and impacts so positively on us all, particularly on our young people. Last week I was at South Coast Music Camp in Bega and experienced a wealth of talent. It is truly exciting that there is now another chance for those enthusiastic young musicians to come together to perform in large ensembles on the South Coast.

There are daytime public performances at the Four Winds Youth Music Festival on Friday 16 November from 12.00 – 1.30pm and Sunday 18 November from 11.00am – 2.00pm.

Friday is a celebration and showcase of the music-making which has been happening in five local schools – Bermagui, Narooma, Tilba, Tanja and Tathra. There will be massed percussion pieces and the world premiere of a new commission performed by a massed choir. Western Symphony Youth Orchestra will be accompanying some of the pieces including a performance of ‘Mother Mountain’ – it’s going to be an absolutely amazing event!

On Sunday, during the special Festival Concert we will hear local talent who are dedicated to their craft performing a diverse mix of music in their own right as soloists and in various small ensembles created for this festival in the Windsong Pavilion. This will be followed by large-scale performances with Western Sydney Youth Orchestra and The Australian Voices in the Sound Shell. It’s brilliant to see how excited the kids are already and the creative impact it has on their lives as well as the invaluable experience of collaborating and sharing in the sheer joy of music-making.

The Inaugural Four Winds Youth Music Festival is your chance to come and hear as well as support the next generation of dedicated and talented musicians in fabulous surroundings. I can’t think of a better way to spend the weekend – come and join us! You can find out more and book your tickets here…

Very best wishes

James Crabb
Artistic Director