UK violin virtuoso Jack Liebeck to lead Australian Festival of Chamber Music from 2021

Australian Festival of Chamber Music

The Chair of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Sandra Yates AO, today announced the appointment of internationally acclaimed British violinist Jack Liebeck as the incoming Artistic Director of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music (AFCM).

“AFCM has undertaken an international search to replace current Artistic Director, Kathryn Stott, who steps down at the conclusion of the 2020 Festival,” Ms Yates said.

“Jack Liebeck is one of the world’s great violinists and teachers. Today we are delighted to share not only news of his appointment as incoming Artistic Director of AFCM, but also to acknowledge that Jack will take up the position as the first Émile Sauret Professor of Violin at the Royal Academy of Music, which was announced in London today.

Mr Liebeck said he is thrilled to have been appointed as Artistic Director of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music from 2021, taking over from the wonderful Kathryn Stott.

“As a player, I experienced seven enjoyable AFCM’s during Piers Lane’s tenure, forging many links and musical friendships. Now in its 30th year, the event has proven to be one of the outstanding chamber music festivals in the world, and perhaps the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. I look forward to programming my first festival in Townsville posthaste!”

Jack has worked with major international conductors and orchestras including Andrew Litton, Leonard Slatkin, Karl-Heinz Steffens, Sir Mark Elder, Sakari Oramo, Vasily Petrenko, Brett Dean (Royal Stockholm Philharmonic), Daniel Harding (Swedish Radio), Jukka Pekka Saraste (Oslo Philharmonic), David Robertson (St Louis Symphony), Jakub Hrůša and many orchestras across the world including Belgian National, Queensland Symphony, Moscow State Symphony, Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, Indianapolis Symphony and all of the UK orchestras.

Mr Liebeck has had an acclaimed recording career, including Dvorak (Sony Classics) which won Classical Brit Young Artist of the Year in 2010. He has recorded the Brahms Violin Sonatas with pianist Katya Apekisheva and a complete Bruch concerto series with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. His recent recording of the Brahms and Schoenberg violin concertos with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrew Gourlay is due for release in March 2020.

No stranger to the role, Mr Liebeck is the artistic director of his own music festivals Oxford May Music, the DESY Humboldt Science and Music Series in Hamburg, and Alpine Classics in Grindelwald, Switzerland. He has a great interest in the links between music and science, appearing regularly with luminaries such as Professor Brian Cox.

His fascination with all things scientific has included performing the world premiere of Dario Marianelli’s Voyager Violin Concerto and led to his most recent collaboration, A Brief History of Time, with Professor Brian Cox and Daniel Harding. This new violin concerto was commissioned for Jack by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra from regular collaborator and composer Paul Dean, and is written in commemoration of Professor Stephen Hawking; A Brief History of Time received its world premiere in November 2019.

AFCM Executive Director Gavin Findlay said the AFCM team was excited at the prospect of working with Mr Liebeck.

“The Australian Festival of Chamber Music is the largest and most prestigious chamber music festival in Australia, taking place in Townsville’s stunning tropical winter in July-August for 30 years,” Mr Findlay said.

“Jack knows our Festival well, and we are most fortunate to have another musician of such international stature at the helm. As just the fourth Artist Director in AFCM’s stellar 30-year history, Jack is ideally placed to build on the legacy forged by Kathryn Stott, Piers Lane AO and founder Theodore Kuchar.”

Dates and Ticket Details

The full program and artist line-up will be announced on Tuesday 25 February.

General public tickets, passes and holiday packages go on sale on Wednesday 26 February.

AFCM Friends have been able to purchase tickets since 2 December.

Australian Festival of Chamber Music: 31 July – 9 August 2020 | Townsville, North Queensland| Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | #afcm2020

AFCM principal partners include: Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and Arts Queensland, and Townsville City Council. The multi-award-winning Australian Festival of Chamber Music is recognised as a major event on the Tourism and Events Queensland calendar. The Queensland Government is proud to support the Australian Festival of Chamber Music through Tourism and Events Queensland as part of the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar, worth $800m to the state’s economy in 2019.

/Public Release.