The Huntington Estate Music Festival will take a bow following the 2019 event, bringing one of Australia’s most famous chamber music festivals to a close after three decades.
In addition to this year marking the 30th anniversary of the event, the winery will also celebrate 50 years of operation.
Owners Tim and Nicky Stevens have reluctantly decided to end the Festival in its prime in order to focus on the core business of growing grapes and making wine.
“The Festival has enriched our lives, bringing so many wonderful people and experiences into our winery,” Nicky said. “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.”
Tim added, “an event of this stature and duration requires weeks of intensive preparation”.
“Our barrel hall is transformed into a concert hall, the packing shed into an art gallery and the grounds into a restaurant and bar,” he said. "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.”
Bob and Wendy Roberts established Huntington Estate in 1969 and, with Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, established the Festival in 1989; the first of its kind in Australia. Since 2006, the Stevens family has presented the Festival, with Carl Vine AO as artistic director, and Musica Viva providing the artistic content.
Huntington will continue its association with chamber music as sponsor of Musica Viva, Opera Australia Foundation and the Omega Ensemble, and by supporting music development in Mudgee.
Attention will now turn to sending the event out on a high note.
“Devising musical content for the last Huntington Festival ever has been a daunting prospect,” Mr Vine said.
“In the end I had to let the magic of this unparalleled event speak for itself, and concentrated simply on assembling a stellar collection of chamber musicians from around the world and compiling the most interesting, satisfying and surprising repertoire I could find.”
Tickets to the 30th and final Huntington Estate Music Festival go on pre-sale (by invitation only) throughout mid-February, with remaining tickets available to the general public on March 1. Opening weekend is November 16-17.
“Huntington Estate is so grateful for the support of Musica Viva, our many partners including Theme & Variations Piano Services, the ABC and our audience and artists who come from across Australia and all corners of the globe,” Nicky concluded.
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