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Camden Haven Music Festival

That’s the theme for this year’s Camden Haven Music Festival – the 16th edition of this popular boutique celebration of Australian music.

For the first time in several years, there will be two events held in Taree.

“The Manning Regional Gallery is a wonderful performance space, intimate and with beautiful acoustics,” says the Festival’s Director, Alvena Ferguson. Classical music devotees can look forward to the violin and piano recital by Anna McMichael and Daniel de Borah on Wednesday 11 May, with its Mozart, Brahms and Franck program. Daniel, who gave the Festival Opening Concert in 2009, is particularly fond of the Brahms Sonata No. 2 Opus 100. The Mozart Sonata in B flat K378 was Anna’s choice – loving the beautiful proportion and flow that it has. Cesar Franck’s Sonata in A major is one of the best known works for violin and piano.

“It is a work we both had high on our list of favourites, and we hope to capture something of that time period and atmosphere,” says Anna.

In total contrast is the Gallery’s second Festival concert on Friday 13 May by Soundlabyrinth, a collaboration between classical guitarist Roger Lock and percussionist Deva Permana.  Soundlabyrinth’s program of Piazzolla’s Four Seasons, Carlo Domeniconi’s Variations on an Anatolian Folk Song, songs by Yorgos Nousis and Diego Barber, and the premier performance of a new work by Roger Lock, will have wide appeal.

“Festivals are a time to dip and try – as well as indulging what you know you will enjoy,” says Alvena Ferguson. “Each year we invite our audiences to try something new, because that’s how you expand your musical horizons.” Starting on Friday 6 May with a small and elegant soiree at Port Macquarie’s historic Roto House and finishing on Sunday 15 May with a rollicking Country & Western binge in Laurieton, this year’s program has been deliberately chosen to give everyone the chance to discover new music they might not have expected to enjoy.

“As much as possible we present our events in intimate and interesting venues, allowing the audience and performers to unite in the enjoyment and experience that only a live music performance can provide. The Festival is big on hospitality too; most of our events are accompanied by supper, afternoon tea or a glass of bubbly,”Alvena added.

From a program packed with new and interesting collaborations, how do you single out the highlights? Will it be the partnership between Katie Noonan and guitarist Karin Schaupp? Perhaps for others it will be seeing Choir of Hard Knocks founder, Jonathon Welch AM, in action conducting a community choir of locals who just love to sing. Favourites at Woodford and Bellingen Festivals, Kush Cabaret will enthrall its audience with lush costumes, ostrich feathers, bellydancing and fire-eating when they present their unique dynamic stage show.

If something more sedate takes your fancy, try Strelitzia Trio on Mother’s Day at Kendall. Their inspired program has music by contemporary composers for whom their country, environment and cultural ethos have informed their music. Don’t forget, Festival Gift Vouchers are a great way to reward Mum on her special day of the year.

To see the full Festival program, jump on the website or grab a brochure from libraries and visitor centres. Tickets are easy to get too, with several options from mail orders to personal shopping. Taree concert tickets can be purchased with cash or cheque at the Manning Gallery. All details are in the brochure and on the website.

For enquiries about the program and tickets, contact the Festival Office on 6559 6874 or email:


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