Internationally acclaimed Sydney based musician, James Crabb, has this afternoon revealed the highlights of his inaugural program as the recently appointed Artistic Director of Australia’s iconic Four Winds Easter Festival.
This exemplary event has evolved from modest beginnings in 1991, to a renowned celebration of music and music making, where in 2018 Crabb will present Four Winds’ most ambitious festival to date: bringing together more than 60 carefully selected artists and 10 ensembles for 26 performances at 10 stunning locations across five days, Wednesday March 28 to Sunday April 1, 2018.
Crabb’s debut program will take Festival goers on a global musical journey, from early music to the current day, with well-known works from such diverse composers as Haydn, Schumann, Bach, Vivaldi, Byrd, Saint-Säens, Piazzolla, Respighi, Golijov, Pärt and Kats- Chernin, in addition to the world premiere of five new contemporary compositions.
The works will be presented by a stunning line-up of musicians including celebrated British violinist Jack Liebeck and Israeli flautist Ariel Zuckermann (Music Director of the Israel Chamber Orchestra), who will take to the stage alongside some of Australia’s finest solo artists - soprano Emma Pearson, pianists Tamara-Anna Cislowska and Ian Munro, harpist Alice Giles, guitarist Aleksandr Tsiboulski, and such highly regarded ensembles as the Goldner String Quartet, The Song Company, Speak Percussion and the Australian Brass Quintet.
At the heart of the Four Winds Festival are two full days of music presented on the venue’s main stage, its iconic 2,000-person capacity Sound Shell amphitheatre. Unique within Australia, this state-of-the art facility, conceived by architect Philip Cox, is surrounded by nature, amidst 30 acres of carefully maintained natural bushland.
Over the Festival’s five days, a series of more intimate concerts will also take place at Four Winds’ Windsong Pavilion, a stunning purpose-built 200-seat indoor performance space, designed by architect Clinton Murray, which has been described as having one of the finest acoustics in Australia.
Four Winds’ signature House Concerts, held in landmark local private properties, are a Festival favourite, providing a rare and highly intimate opportunity to experience exquisite musicianship in an exclusive setting.
Free community performances, music installations to be discovered around the Four Winds site, and a special program for aspiring young musicians, all ensure a diverse range of opportunities for the entire community to engage with the Festival’s artists and their music.
“It’s the incredible natural environment where Four Winds takes place, which makes it such a unique event,” Crabb says. “It makes everyone feel like they’re sharing in something intimate, to be treasured.”
“As a musician on stage in a concert hall, you can have the overwhelming feeling of being at the centre of everyone’s attention. Then, in contrast, when you perform in nature, you have a sense of yourself as a small part of a much bigger worldly picture.”
“That’s one the main reasons that the Festival has such a great reputation amongst musicians,” Crabb continues. “They love to play here, surrounded by such extraordinary beauty. It’s incredibly humbling, connecting and rewarding.”
Since its inception Four Winds has promoted and supported a bold artistic vision. In 2018 this is reflected in the commissioning of five new works from Australian and international composers, which will premiere on the Four Winds’ stage over Easter weekend 2018.
Music lovers are invited to follow the making of these new compositions from Sydney’s Damian Barbeler, Brisbane/Calcutta based Gerard Brophy, American composer Timothy Geller, and local South Coast residents Geoffrey Badger and David Hewitt, via regular updates in the Four Winds Festival newsletter.
Sign up to discover how inspiration as diverse as Murray Bail’s multi award-winning novel, Eucalyptus, or Walt Whitman’s epic poem, We Two Boys Together Clinging (Leaves of Grass, 1855) can inform the making of music and soundscape.
A final highlight of the Festival, which Crabb is personally very excited about, is the inclusion of a short series of alternative music theatre pieces brought together under the title of ‘Sideshow Alley’. Presented as three consecutive performances on Easter Saturday evening, these one-hour shows each comprise seven music theatre works performed by nine of the Festival’s guest artists.
“Sideshow Alley presents a unique opportunity – not often found in a Festival environment – to experience world class artists expressing their musicianship in a completely different, theatrical way, up close, in a dramatic intimate space. It will be like nothing they have ever seen before!” Crabb comments. Roll up, roll up, to a world where circus meets sideshow, where illusions captivate and automaton-like players spring to life and perform at the drop of a coin!!
Set in a unique environment at Barragga Bay on the majestic south coast of NSW, the Four Winds Festival is an experience like no other. It brings world-class musicians, performers and audiences together in purpose built state-of-the-art facilities in an exceptional location amongst the majesty of nature.
Surround yourself with music, brilliance and beauty. Join us over Easter weekend, March 28 to April 1, 2018 at www.fourwinds.com.au/2018easterfestival/
All events are individually ticketed to allow Festival goers to build their own festival experience, with the exception of the Saturday and Sunday ‘Sound Shell’ programs, which are each a full day experience. Early Bird tickets are now on sale. Book by Sunday December 3, 2017 to save 15% on all ticket prices.
FOUR WINDS 2018 EASTER FESTIVAL SUMMARY
What – Four Winds 2018 Easter Festival
Where – Nature’s Concert Hall, Four Winds Rd, Barragga Bay, 9 kms south of Bermagui, on the
stunning far south coast of NSW
When – Wednesday March 28 to Sunday April 1, 2018
Times – Various concerts from Wednesday March 28, Sound Shell program, 10am to 4pm
Saturday March 31 and Sunday April 1
Book at – www.fourwinds.com.au/2018easterfestival/
Prices – Individual events from $35; Sound Shell full day program Saturday or Sunday, from
$145/ Concession $125