Huntington Estate Music Festival – ending and going home

Thomas Meglioranza poses for a photo for the Mudgee Guardian

The sun continued to shine over Mudgee for the last day of the 2011 Huntington Estate Music Festival. Following performances by the Adelaide Chamber Singers, Guy Johnston, Kristian Chong, Thomas Meglioranza, Caroline Almonte, Alice Giles, the Aroha String Quartet and Virginia Taylor, Saturday evening’s performance of the Bruch Octet by the Australian String Quartet, members of the Modigliani String Quartet, and Andrew Meisel was certainly a highlight and a thrilling way to finish the evening.

Sunday morning’s final concert must be one of the talking points of the Festival, however. The concert began with a light feel – arrangements of Noel Coward songs by the Adelaide Chamber Singers, a humorous Rossini duet for cello and double bass, performed by Guy Johnston and Andrew Meisel, and Thomas Meglioranza’s delivery of songs by Carrie Jacobs-Bond, among other popular fare from the WWI era, with Caroline Almonte. The concert finished on an entirely different note with the last ever performance by the Australian String Quartet in its current line-up (Sophie Rowell, Anne Horton, Sally Boud, Rachel Johnston). As Rachel explained in Saturday evenings ‘In Conversation’ session with Carl Vine, Beethoven’s String Quartet op 59 no 3 was the first work they ever performed together and as such they felt it should also be the last work they perform together. The performance was outstanding, but clearly also very emotional, with the girls evidently holding back tears as they took their final bows together. The audience rose to feet in an occasion that will surely stay with everyone present for years to come.

And so with emotions running high the 22nd Huntington Estate Music Festival came to a close. Artists and audience farewelled each other, some enjoying a final glass of wine, others taking their lunch with them for the journey home. Local musicians and Musica Viva staff have now returned home to rest and recover. International musicians are today heading to the airport for the next stop in their busy schedules. For a limited time you can listen to the live broadcast concert on ABC Classic FM’s website. The full Festival will be broadcast in March. And in the mean time the Musica Viva and Huntington Estate teams will be working hard planning next year’s Festival!

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Welcome to Musica Viva’s International Concert Season blog. Here you can follow and read more about our wonderful touring artists.

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