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Grapes come before Music?

This year's Huntington Estate Music Festival
has been billed as the last

 

‘An event of national cultural significance’ – Music Australia

From 16–24 November 2019, experience world-class chamber music concerts, gourmet canapés, meals and award-winning wine in the beautiful rustic setting of the Barrel Hall and grounds of the Huntington Estate Winery in Mudgee, a town in the central west region of New South Wales, Australia.

Since 1989, the Huntington Estate Music Festival has been held each year in the Huntington Estate Barrel Room, a fantastic space with, according to Richard Tognetti, 'one of the greatest acoustics on the planet' and a unique atmosphere. 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 with dinner.

Tenor Andrew Goodwin, who will be making his third appearance at the 2019 Huntington Estate Music Festival
Tenor Andrew Goodwin, who will be making his third appearance at the 2019 Huntington Estate Music Festival

'A Festival the likes of which it would be hard to find anywhere else in the world. The music, the sunshine, the audience, the birdsong, the vines, the friendships made, the emotions created, all within this nest in the hills. Australia has one of the best chamber music festivals in the world in the Huntington Festival and Musica Viva with Carl Vine are ensuring it just keeps getting better.' — ABC Classic FM

Musical content is devised by artistic director Carl Vine and managed by the world's largest chamber music entrepreneur, Musica Viva Australia.

2019 Festival highlights include Ukrainian-Australian pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk, French harpist Isabelle Moretti, Ukrainian viola player Maxim Rysanov, the Australian String Quartet, tenor Andrew Goodwin, pianists Aura Go and Ian Munro, Arcadia Winds, perennial audience favourites the Goldner String Quartet, and winners of the 2018 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, Trio Marvin.

Australian soprano Amelia Farrugia and friends performing in Mudgee's famous Barrel Hall at the 2010 Huntington Estate Music Festival
Australian soprano Amelia Farrugia and friends performing in Mudgee's famous Barrel Hall at the 2010 Huntington Estate Music Festival

The opening weekend takes plac 16 and 17 November, with the main festival running from 20-24 November 2019. This is the festival's thirtieth and final edition. Tickets are on sale from 1 March 2019. Further information and booking at huntingtonestate.com.au/music-festival

Why is the festival closing its doors? In 2019, the family owned and run Huntington Estate winery will celebrate fifty years of operation. Owners Tim and Nicky Stevens have reluctantly decided to end the festival in its prime, after thirty annual events, in order to focus on the core business of growing grapes and making wine.

'An event of this stature and duration requires weeks of intensive preparation, as our barrel hall is transformed into a concert hall; the packing shed into an art gallery, and the grounds into a restaurant and bar. Presenting ten concerts across eight days is exhilarating but exhausting for all concerned. Running a small business is already more than a full-time job, and we have taken the decision that the grapes, the wine, our young children and staff must come first.' — Tim Stevens, Chief Winemaker.

'The Festival has enriched our lives, bringing so many wonderful people and experiences into our winery. We’ve shared some extraordinary moments with our audience over the years, and this spring, we look forward to presenting an unforgettable Festival, a fitting finale to this amazing event.' —- Nicky Stevens, Winery General Manager and Festival CEO

Posted 16 February 2019 by Keith Bramich

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Founding Editor: Basil Ramsey (1929-2018);
Editor: Keith Bramich