Kathryn Stott


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27 JULY TO 4 AUGUST 2018



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As many of you know, I regularly give coaching sessions while on the road giving concerts. In fact, I'm about to give recitals in the south of the UK and will be doing just that on this trip.  It's always wonderful to engage with young musicians, wherever they may be, and one of the many aspects of AFCM which I feel is very special is the Winterschool.

What an amazing opportunity it is for young musicians across the whole of Australia to work with many of our festival musicians, make new friends and delve further into the wonderful world of collaborative music making. It is work in progress, but I would also like to extend the course to young musicians in Asia so that we offer Australian musicians the opportunity to start networking out of their own country. This year I've invited a musician from Prague to direct the course and give regular coaching sessions. Together, we have been working on ways to take the experience a step further and now include a daily group session for all participants. With a huge variety of topics, I really feel this will add an extra dimension to what we already offer. With access to so much experience and knowledge, we hope that these talented young people will be inspired and fly!

Only a matter of weeks now until all is revealed - hope you're feeling curious and excited!



HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope you have all had a wonderful festive season and enjoyed time with family and friends. It's so difficult for us Northerners to think of Christmas in those sizzling temperatures, but wherever we are, it's a good moment to stop, recharge the batteries and catch up with the world.


I'm currently on the train whizzing through the English countryside to attend Piers Lane's big birthday concert in London. I'm sure that on behalf of all at AFCM, we wish him the happiest of birthdays!


Otherwise, it's back to the piano for me and in a few weeks I'll perform Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No.1 with the BBC Philharmonic and Sir Andrew Davies. Following this will be a recital tour in the UK and, as usual, many visits to Oslo to work with my students.


With the New Year comes the reality that my first festival for AFCM is not quite so far away. Have you any idea how excited I am? One of the hardest things in this role is keeping secrets and I am bursting at the seams to share all the wonderful artists coming together in July. However, musicians aside, I'm really curious to hear some of the music which I've programmed "live" - as it happens - experiencing it for myself: reacting, embracing, moving on, or going in for second helpings.


Festivals like AFCM remind me that it's not about me, my predecessor or the founder; it's about the collective experience of musicians, music, composers, staff, Board, volunteers and you - the audience. We're all part of this bigger picture which serves the festival. Long may that continue!

Newsletter - 6 December

Goodness - it is almost the end of the year! As we all hurl towards
Christmas, now is the time to put all the finishing touches to the
festival programme. Myself and the AFCM team are pulling out all
the stops to have everything ready for printing next year. It is
agonising not to be able to spill any serious beans before the
launch on 6th March, but it is exciting to keep looking at what is on
the musical menu and I, for one, will be thrilled when I can share my
plans with you.
As many of you know, I am rather partial to the cello, so for the
festival I thought we would have eight. Yes - 8 cellos! This is truly a
magnificent sound and you are going to love it. What else can I tell
you? Well, one of our evening performances will be a Lounge
concert in a new venue, in three parts, and with a slightly different
slant on our festival artists. Curious? I've also been doing a count of
our premieres and unless I have missed anything, we have sixteen
Australian premieres and seven world premieres. Apart from our
composer in residence, I have invited 3 musicians who all compose
which is just thrilling.
I still have some work to do this month and will be giving
performances of Shostakovich Concerto No.2 in nearby Liverpool
and making my final teaching visit to Oslo, besides meeting some
artists who will come to AFCM in 2019! ..oooops, I'm getting
Wishing you all a wonderful festive season and a very Happy

NEWSLETTER - 8 November 2017


During the past few weeks, I've been performing in South Korea, Japan and Taiwan besides giving masterclasses in London and catching up with my students in Oslo. I'm presently writing this at the start of a USA tour which will take me across most of America. Yes, it's a hectic time of the year!


I always think that this way of life makes time go too fast and what I've noticed is that the often short connections I make with friends while on the road, seem magnified and allow time to momentarily stand still. I have to say, this is something very precious.


In the middle of whizzing around the globe, I managed to have brief catch ups with a couple of our international musicians. As we're frequently on the move, musicians far and wide often keep connected with each other via the internet and musical updates are always easily accessible. But if I'm honest, I love nothing better than a good chat! That's why I'm particularly looking forward to hosting the Conversation Concerts. I know we have some fascinating stories to share with you which I'm sure will bring real insight into our wonderful collection of festival musicians. Who is learning to dance the Tango? Who have I known since childhood? Who will be on their honeymoon? No answers on postcards as I'd much rather see your faces beaming up at our guests!


I enjoyed time standing still while I wrote this, but it's now time to leave for my next destination. Looking forward to sending you more news in December.



Newsletter - 18 October 2017

Since my last message, the leaves are changing colour, the heating is on, jumpers are at the ready and our new musical season is very much underway.

I have now made a few visits to Oslo where I teach young talented pianists at the Norwegian Academy.  Oslo is a city I have been going to for many years and is part of my long association performing with wonderful Norwegian musicians.  Recently, I've been in Holland and performed with Henning Kraggerud who has just returned from a tour with the ACO in Australia.  As part of our programme, it was particularly exciting to perform his own compositions. This reminds me that in AFCM 2018, we will have three incredible musicians, all bringing their own music into the mix of seventy composers. I can't wait for you to hear them!

As you read this, I will be concluding my tour to South Korea, Japan and Taiwan with Yo-Yo Ma. It's amazing that in thirty-three years of performing together, we have never played the Prokofiev Sonata before, so a new exploration has been fascinating. Besides working together as a duo, we have often collaborated with many other musicians. One in particular made such a deep impact on me that I immediately thought they must come to AFCM. So, I'm really thrilled to share with you that we will have one member of the Silk Road Ensemble join us for the duration of the festival. The CONNECTIONS continue!

Newsletter - 7 October 2017

I wanted to write to you, now that life is somewhat back to normal for most of us, to express my true delight at taking on this role, and to share with you my thoughts for the 2018 Festival.

In 1995, sitting at my kitchen table, I created my first ever festival and called it Fauré and the French Connection. Twenty-two years on and many festivals later, I find myself coming back to the word CONNECTIONS. As the new Artistic Director of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, this word has given me so much inspiration to create my first festival programme, full of fascinating links: musical, geographical and personal.

Of course, it’s an incredible challenge living thousands of miles away from Australia to take on this particular role, but in reality, this is the great attraction. Immersing myself in a new cultural landscape, is what I’ve been doing all my life. Having performed at AFCM four times in the past eleven years, I feel to have a good understanding of its core values and tradition - this is absolutely paramount. In an age where we communicate in real time from any distance, share information and knowledge at great speed, our connections to each other appear to grow ever closer and time travel has taken on a new meaning.

As a young girl, I had some lessons with Vlado Perlemuter who had studied all the solo works by Ravel with the composer himself at his home in Montfort l’Amaury. Some years ago, I went to Ravel’s house, played this same piano and was immediately overcome by the connection to the sounds I remembered from my teacher’s concerts. I had been transported back in time. Perlemuter studied with Alfred Cortot whose teacher was a student of Chopin. It’s beautifully endless!

However, really exciting are the connections between myself and the musicians coming to AFCM, and the national and international landscapes they come from. Each has a story to tell; each can travel back in time through their musical histories, but also be part of creating a musical future together. The real adventure starts when all these ingredients interact in real time and that’s the experience and the connections I'm looking forward to sharing with you in Townsville!



For any enquiries regarding private tuition and masterclasses, please contact jane@kathrynstott.com.


© kathryn stott 2008