Welcome from the Artistic Director

Glenn Christensen

Hello and welcome to the fourth Mackay Chamber Music Festival, July 22-24, 2022!

What a crazy few years we’ve all had… I’m really excited that we’re once again able to present this wonderful weekend of music, back in its full format of four concerts, plus an ever-expanding educational program. 

With the stress, uncertainty and isolation we’ve all experienced over the last few years, I wanted this festival to be a reprieve from that – the overall theme of the concerts this weekend will be focused on love and reconciliation, recovery and fun. As such, we’ve got brilliant works ranging from Beethoven, Brahms and Schumann to Gershwin, tangos from Piazzolla and even works by Jimmy Hendrix. The Lyrebird Trio will also present an exciting new work by Brisbane based composer, Cathy Likhuta. There really is something for everyone!

We’ve got a fantastic line-up of musicians – some you will recognise from past festivals, and others who are very much looking forward to performing for you for the first time. I’m especially excited to welcome Berlin-based, Queensland born Mezzo-Soprano Anna Smith to this year’s festival. Vocal and choral enthusiasts from the region will be dazzled by her beautiful voice in a concert alongside pianist Stewart Kelly.

Being able to provide guidance and encouragement to the next generation of musicians and music lovers is so important to the festival and all our artists. Local singers will have the chance to work with Anna Smith in our first vocal masterclass, and we’re looking forward to again holding our usual String and Piano Masterclasses for local pianists and string players and collaborate in workshops with local community and school groups.

I’m extremely grateful that the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music, and CQ University are on board again this year as major sponsors of the festival, and as such, will be the venue of this year’s festival. Thank you so much to Judith Brown and all the staff at CQCM and CQUniversity who have made this a possibility. The festival continues to go from strength to strength, and having the Con as our “home” enables us to open the doors to even more music-lovers. We’re so fortunate to have access to a world-class facility, and hope you enjoy the experience. 

I want to take the time to thank all the people who make this festival possible – I have a real team supporting me with their belief in the festival, and for that I’m beyond grateful. Thank you to our wonderful committee - I know they could be doing plenty of other things with their time, but they would move mountains to help make this weekend possible.

A special thanks must go to our major festival sponsors – the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music and CQUniveristy and Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal. A full list of supporters and donors can be found on this website, and their generosity cannot be overstated. A special mention must also go to Angela Turner from FinePrint for her wonderful work with designing websites, programs and advertising material (as well as playing a mean piano). Genius technician Brian Wilson at Piano Care has also donated his time and skills for the fourth year running to keep the pianos in top condition and sounding amazing, so a big thank you to him as well. If any locals wish to have their instrument maintained over the weekend, be sure to get in touch here.

So many of us went for so long without live music, so it’s very special to be able to share this full-sized edition of the festival with you all. I believe that everyone should have access to live music, so please let all your friends know about the weekend – we’d love to play for as many people as possible, and share in the joy, friendship and community that is synonymous with the festival. I hope you all enjoy the music as much as we will enjoy playing for you, and please do come and say hello after a concert!

Glenn