“It’s about as full to the rafters as I can make it,” says Kathryn Stott of her final program for the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. “I wanted to cram as much in as possible.”

Tai Murray Tai Murray. Photo supplied

This year’s theme is ‘Carnival’ and the 10-day Festival will see 31 Australian and 16 international artists descend on the town in Far North Queensland, including four musicians – British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Japanese koto virtuoso Yumi Kurosawa, Finnish cellist Jan-Erik Gustafsson and American violinist Tai Murray – making their Australian debuts.

It’s not just the Festival that’s celebrating an anniversary, it’s also the 25th anniversary year of the Goldner String Quartet – the Festival’s ensemble-in-residence – and, of course, the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.

Deborah Cheetham Deborah Cheetham. Photo supplied

Stott will celebrate the land on which the Festival takes place with a new commission by Yorta Yorta soprano and composer Deborah Cheetham. The new work, which Cheetham will perform with baritone Peter Coleman-Wright and the Goldners, will feature the language of the Wulgurukaba people. “It’s fantastic to have...