The Australian Festival of Chamber Music has unveiled its 2018 program, which will include six world and 16 Australian premieres – not to mention 21 artists who will be appearing at the Festival for the first time, six of whom will be making their Australian debuts. This year’s Festival in Townsville in Tropical North Queensland will be the first programmed by new Artistic Director Kathryn Stott, who is taking over from Piers Lane after a tenure of 11 years.

Australian Festival of Chamber Music, AFCM, Kathryn Stott Australian Festival of Chamber Music Artistic Director Kathryn Stott. Photo: supplied

As the AFCM’s first female Artistic Director, Stott is marking the occasion in the program. “I thought, let’s have a mini focus on female composers,” she told Limelight. “I’ve got 10 female composers featured, starting with Nadia Boulanger, who I studied with. We’ve got Australian composer Clare Johnston [now Clare Strong], Roxana Panufnik is celebrating her 50th this year so it’s great to include her, Gabriela Lena Frank has written an amazing piece called Ritmos Anchinos.” The program will also include Rebecca Clarke’s Viola Sonata, while British author and critic Jessica Duchen has written...