The Huntington Estate Music Festival is held each year in the Barrel Room of the winery in Mudgee, an annual celebration of great music with a unique and warm atmosphere.
Artistic Director Carl Vine devises the musical content and, in keeping with the long and distinguished history of the Festival, each year features a stunning collection of prominent international artists and outstanding brilliant young artists alongside Australia's finest musicians in stimulating programs that run the full gamut of the chamber music experience.
All concerts include generous interval refreshments and are followed by gourmet meals and a selection of the best Huntington wines. Evening concerts are preceded by a choice of aperitifs, with the full wine service continuing through the concert interval and afterwards.
The Prelude Weekend is a 2 concert, “taste of Huntington” with 2 world-class chamber music concerts featuring headline Festival artists, accompanied by food and wine of the highest quality.
This year’s Prelude Weekend offers an exclusive and exciting mix of artists from around the world and across Australia, performing favourite pieces and delicious new discoveries, all paired with glorious food and wine and a beautiful country estate.
In 2015 Austrian baritone Wolfgang Holzmair will gracefully retire from his position as one of the world’s finest interpreters of Lieder and artsong, making Huntington his first and last appearances in Australia – an extraordinary privilege for the Festival. His dramatic range is shown off in music from Schubert, and Wolf. ‘Uncommonly thoughtful, daringly original’ (New York Times)
Making her Australian debut is young French violist Lise Berthaud. Viola soloists are rare, and it is a mark of her exceptional musical talent that Lise has developed such a remarkable career so quickly, including appearances at the BBC Proms and recordings that rejoiced in her ‘powerful, effortless tone’ (Telegraph, UK).
No introduction is necessary for the Goldner String Quartet, unmatched amongst Australian ensembles for the beauty and intensity of its performances, honed over two decades of living and working together. In this, their anniversary year, the Goldners bring fresh insights to some of their favourite music. ‘Persuasive, compelling’ (Gramophone)
Pianist Ian Munro is another beloved Huntington ‘regular’, having graced the stage in past years as both performer and composer. Audiences warm to the unfussy elegance of his playing, while his colleagues adore his unusually sensitive, supportive approach to collaboration. ‘Deft sangfroid…highly accomplished’ (Sydney Morning Herald)
Emerging as one of the brightest constellations in Australia’s rising stars, the Orava Quartet take the stage at Huntington for the first time, as the culmination of a huge year including appearances for the Musica Viva Festival; in Melbourne at the Recital Centre; and in Brisbane as artists in residence for Camerata of St John’s. ‘Warmth of sound, sublime inner-voicing and spontaneity’ (The Age)
A newcomer to Huntington, Melbourne pianist Amir Farid is acclaimed for his sensitive collaborations with chamber colleagues including The Benaud Trio, as well as his ‘detailed, thoughtful’ solo performances; he appeared in Musica Viva’s Melbourne Coffee Concert series in 2014. ‘Engaging artistry’ (The Age)
Works featured in the Prelude Weekend are a wonderful mix of masterworks and brilliant new voices.
Saturday 21 November, 7pm
Wolfgang Holzmair, Ian Munro
SCHUBERT Selected songs
SHOSTAKOVICH String Quartet no 6
Lise Berthaud, Amir Farid
CONNESSON Constellation de Couronne Boréale
CONNESSON Constellation de Couronne Australe
TCHAIKOVSKY String Quartet no 1
Sunday 22 November, 11am
BACH Cello Suite no 6 in D, BWV1012
SCHUMANN Fantasie in C op 17
Wolfgang Holzmair, Ian Munro
WOLF Selected songs
Lise Berthaud, Orava Quartet
MOZART String Quintet no 4 in G minor, K516