The Artistic Director of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music looks back on a decade of superb music making.

He may have led the Australian Festival of Chamber Music for ten years, but Piers Lane is far from complacent about the task of programming this major event in the country’s classical calendar. You need only look at 2016’s cropof world-class artists, both imported and homegrown, to notice a distinctive note of savvy innovation percolating throughout the Festival’s nine-day programme. It’s a selection of incredible variety featuring supergroups of world famous soloists in a diverse assortment of back-to-back recitals, fascinating talks and more idiosyncratic performances, where rarely heard gems appear cheek-by-jowl with firm favourites of the repertoire.

For Lane, offering the unexpected is as vital as including the much-loved crowd pleasers. “I do like to have a bit of spice in there,” Lane quips, as I talk to him about what’s in store for music lovers heading to the North Queensland city of Townsville this July. “I’ve actually found, many times in fact, that people love to experience something new and unusual. Often they end up liking those pieces best of all.”