Beethoven meets the bush at Easter
BY CHRIS JOHNSON
With Easter fast approaching, some turn their minds to holiday destinations where live music can be enjoyed. And the Easter long weekend provides a number of music festival opportunities around the country.
There is Bluesfest at Byron Bay and the National Folk Festival in Canberra – both promising the best of times offering world class entertainment in their respective genres. Either would be a great way to spend Easter.
But let’s talk about another, very special music festival spanning the Easter long weekend – the Four Winds Festival.
This one is also world class and it’s set in the most tranquil and scenic locations one can imagine.
It is a classical music festival in and around Bermagui on the picturesque NSW south coast.
And when they say classical … it offers the perfect blend of truly classical classics and contemporary interpretations of the music.
The festival’s Artistic Director is world renowned classical accordionist James Crabb. He explains his vision for this year’s Four Winds.
“Top of my mind is the audience experience,” he says.
“There is no doubt that the Four Winds Festival is a wonderful escape from our everyday lives. We come together with likeminded people and enjoy many hours of quality music with friends, in the most exceptional location amongst nature.
“But, believe me, that beautiful experience can be lessened if the program presented doesn’t consider what the audience is going to experience musically. Like a good meal, it’s all about balance, combinations of flavor and getting just enough of the unexpected to surprise us and leaving us wondering where we can get more.
“I’m also very conscious that the audience is musically interested, but may not know about some of the music being presented at the festival. So, part of the art of being the Artistic Director is explaining the music to the audience, giving them a sense of what to expect and how to receive the music, particularly if its less well known. For me the opportunity to share a sense of discovery with the audience is incredibly rewarding and I strive to make sure they go away having experienced something new, that they had no idea they were going to love.
“The other key aspect is working with the artists to encourage them to try new collaborations or to perform new repertoire in the context of the festival – which always generates inspired creativity and excitement, while also giving them a platform to share the repertoire they are truly passionate about or particularly known for.”
Over four days, the festival centres around two full days of music on Saturday and Sunday on the main Sound Shell amphitheatre nestled within 30 acres of bushland at Barragga Bay just south of Bermagui.
But there is plenty more at numerous other locations, from the free Friday Night concert on the oval in Bermagui, to a string of more intimate house and pavilion concerts around town and beyond.
For anyone wanting to go from the nation’s capital, there is a bus service for the first time this year, running from Canberra to Bermagui.
The line-up at this year’s Four Winds is outstanding. Check it out at http://fourwinds.com.au/ and enjoy some great music over Easter, at whichever festival you end up at.
Published: 08 Mar 2019