Australian Festival of Chamber Music Names Piers Lane Director

Classic Arts News   Australian Festival of Chamber Music Names Piers Lane Director
The Anglo-Australian pianist Piers Lane has been appointed artistic director of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in tropical northern Queensland, effective next year.

He succeeds Theodore Kuchar, who founded the festival, which is held in the coastal resort of Townsville each July, and oversaw its considerable growth over 16 seasons. "We started off in 1990 with 11 concerts," Kuchar told The Sunday Mail of Brisbane. "The 2006 festival has 30 performances over 10 days. My initial vision of a chamber music festival of the highest caliber has become reality."

Performers at the AFCM include Australian music students as well as professionals of national and international standing. Guest artists at the 2006 festival include pianists Pascal Rog_ and Boris Berman, violinist Lara St. John and the Czech Republic's Janšcek Philharmonic Orchestra, of which Kuchar is principal conductor. (Kuchar is also music director of the Cleveland Orchestra's Blossom Music Festival and principal conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, with which he has made several recordings for Naxos, and the Fresno (California), Boulder (Colorado) and Reno (Nevada) Philharmonics.)

Lane grew up in Brisbane, the Queensland state capital. He has performed widely as a recitalist and as a soloist with nearly all the major orchestras in the UK, Australia and New Zealand and at the piano festivals of the Ruhr, Singapore, Tbilisi, Manchester and La Roque d'Anth_ron. Notable among his chamber music partners have been violinist Tasmin Little, mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter and pianists Bengt Forsberg and Marc-Andr_ Hamelin. He has made numerous recordings, principally for the Hyperion label. He is a professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London and is known to listeners of BBC Radio 3 for his series "The Piano."

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