16 February 2022

Classical ensemble tunes up for regional tour beginning in Goulburn

| Ian Bushnell
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Acacia Quartet

The Acacia Quartet could be heading to a town near you. Photos: Little Image Co.

The Canberra region will form a key role in the first tour by a groundbreaking program bringing quality music to regional venues.

Independent touring organisation Music in the Regions was formed late last year with seed funding from the NSW Government. Its goal: to take classical ensembles into new territory, grow regional audiences and support emerging and established musicians.

The inaugural tour will feature the Orange-based Acacia Quartet, one of Australia’s most dynamic, versatile musical ensembles.

A variety of venues will set the dramatic backdrop, including Gunning Courthouse, Temora Railway Precinct, the National Theatre in Braidwood and the Southern Cross Cinema in Young.

Acacia Quartet will present a program that combines works by Mozart, Borodin and sought-after young Australian composer Alice Chance.

The quartet will open the program in Goulburn on 2 March as part of the launch of the Hume Conservatorium Creative Precinct.

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The inaugural tour through regional NSW this March will visit:

  • 2 March – Hume Conservatorium, Goulburn (opening of the Hume Conservatorium Creative Precinct)
  • 4 March – Old Courthouse, Gunning
  • 5 March – Hume Conservatorium, Goulburn (open day)
  • 6 March – National Theatre, Braidwood
  • 8 March – Young Regional Conservatorium (string development day)
  • 9 March – Southern Cross Cinema, Young (launch of the Off the Beaten Path Cultural Trail)
  • 10 March – Platform Y, Railway Precinct, Temora
  • 11 March – Cowra Civic Centre, Cowra.

Special guest at the Braidwood performance will be former cellist for the Australian String Quartet, Rachel Johnston from the Southern Tablelands.

Music in the Regions executive director Janine Collins said the tour was the beginning of long-term partnerships with regional communities in NSW.

Acacia Quartet

The Acacia Quartet will bring its classical sound to regional venues in March.

“We’re using music to build connections that endure well into the future, which is why we’re looking forward to coming back to these same areas every year for the next three years,” she said.

“This is all about offering regional audiences new opportunities to engage with music close to home, activating new creative spaces, raising the profile of regional artists and making it easier for other musicians to travel more widely by reducing the risk of touring.

“For this first program, it’s been wonderful working with community volunteers, learning about the passion that already exists for classical music. I’m excited about supporting what so many people are doing so well as we work to reveal further details of performances across the state.”

Acacia Quartet viola player Stefan Duwe said regional performances had their own special qualities.

“Regional NSW is our home. We love playing in large concert halls in the city but there’s something particularly special about performing for smaller audiences in the regions,” he said.

“We just love it. These performances are a chance to meet people we might not otherwise meet and to engage with audiences who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to hear music of this kind.”

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NSW Arts Minister Ben Franklin said he was confident audiences in Braidwood, Cowra, Goulburn, Gunning, Temora and Young would be delighted by classical music performances led by the Acacia Quartet as part of the inaugural program.

Music in the Regions emerged from a recommendation by the Create NSW Classical Music Artform Advisory Board to bring more classical musicians into regional communities.

It will support touring companies in making connections with regional conservatoriums, performing arts centres and local councils.

To learn more and book tickets visit the Music in the Regions Facebook page.

Original Article published by Ian Bushnell on Riotact.

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