A month ago, it looked like this year’s AFCM – originally scheduled for July 31 to August 9 in Townsville – was off the cards, another victim of the current pandemic. But now, thanks to a helping hand from the pioneering Melbourne Digital Concert Hall(MDCH), it looks like three concerts at least from what was to be the Festival’s 30th anniversary – and the last under the artistic direction of British pianist Kathryn Stott – will go ahead online.

Kathryn Stott Australian Festival of Chamber Music Artistic Director Kathryn Stott. Photo © Jacqui Ferry

“It’s been an incredibly challenging time for artists all around the world, and indeed a sad time for AFCM with the postponement of the festival for 12 months,” says Stott. “However, we are absolutely thrilled to be able to present an online festival as a way of showcasing some of next year’s artists, providing them not only with income but the opportunity to bring us together through wonderful live music making.’’

What that means is Festival Prelude, a three-day digital festival that will stream from August 7 to 9, with tickets on sale from July...