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This year’s Festival will pay homage to that most perfect of chamber music groups, the string quartet. The simplicity and challenge of one person to a part, -soprano, alto, tenor and bass has led many of the greatest composers to write their greatest works in this genre. The late quartets of Beethoven, the marvelous emotional impact of Schubert to Bartok and the twentieth century masters has most music lovers in little difficulty deciding what to take to that fabled desert island. Add another instrument like another cello or a clarinet and the choice is enormous and magical.

Beginning with Josef, “Papa” Haydn, known as the father of the string quartet working for the Esterhazy family near Vienna in the 1700’s up to the vibrant personality of our own Elena Kats-Chernin, Crossroads will present a feast of masterpieces accompanied by some history, folklore and fun.

Four concerts over the weekend of 8th and 9th September will present a spring extravaganza for classical music lovers of the Central Coast. Presented at Greenway Chapel at Green Point, set in the forest where a passing cockatoo has been known to contribute some dubious audience participation, it is nevertheless the finest chamber music festival between Townsville and Sydney and has flourished now for many years.

Under the guidance of Charmian Gadd and with artistic input from Francesca Bell, the support of Central Coast Conservatorium of Music and funding from the Department of Education through the Regional Conservatorium Grants Program, there will be two concerts on the Saturday and two on Sunday with a lunch break in between. Given that this year’s festival is several weeks later than previous ones, the spring weather should encourage picnics in the extensive and lovely grounds of Greenway or forays to some of the seaside restaurants nearby.

In keeping with Charmian’s philosophy of including the young and old, the group Charmian and Friends will feature some exceptional youngsters including Olivia Bell (viola), Wendy Kong (violin) and Hyung Suk Bae (cello).

“I am proud to have inspired the formation of a locally based Quartet, Dan Russell’s Phoenix Collective String Quartet comprising Dan Russell & Eva Li (violins), Ella Brinch (viola) and Caroline Otto (cello). The quartet will become part of a larger group that Dan has already formed and has had great success,” says Charmian. ”Proudly formed for the festival and planning to be the permanent string quartet of the Central Coast, we wish them luck because a professional quartet is a big challenge demanding a huge commitment of time, talent, and tolerance.”

Two other established professional Quartets will also join us, the Acacia Quartet and the Caro Quartet. Charmian will also present a group from the Sydney Conservatorium highly recommended by her friends on the teaching staff there.

Charmian Gadd
Artistic Director, Crossroads Festival of Chamber Music

CONCERT #1 - Saturday 8th September 11.00am

Dedicated to “Papa” Haydn, the father of the string quartet, this concert will feature 3 famous named quartets: Haydn’s “The Lark” and Mozart’s “Dissonant” played by Charmian Gadd & Friends, and Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden “ performed by the Phoenix Collective String Quartet.

CONCERT #2 - Saturday 8th September 3.00pm

A concert showcasing the Acacia String Quartet performing Haydn’s Quartet Op.77 No.1 followed by Elena Kats-Chernin’s “From Anna Magdalena’s Notebook”, followed by Beethoven’s Op.18 No.6.

CONCERT #3 - Sunday 9th September 11.00am

A look at instruments and their timbres and ‘colours’ and a few master works written for smaller combinations leading to the quartet & quintet format. The second half will feature a prizewinning young quartet from Sydney Conservatorium playing a Mendelssohn quartet.

CONCERT #4 - Sunday 9th September 3.00pm

The Caro Quartet will play a quartet by Karol Szymanowski, followed by Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet with the addition of Peter Jenkin and a String Quartet by Maurice Ravel.

About Us

Mission Statement

We seek to inspire our Central Coast community to engage in and value music as an integral part of life through comprehensive music education and artistic endeavour.