Festival hits right note for violinists

CARMEL Kaine and John Willison share a love for each other and music.

And they have been sharing their passion for music with the people of the Tweed and beyond since starting the Tyalgum Festival of Classical Music 17 years ago.

With the annual festival to start on Friday night and to continue on Saturday and Sunday, the diverse concert repertoire has the husband and wife violinists excited.

"I am looking forward to the Russian pianists -- Tatiana Kolesova and Alexey Yemtsov -- who will perform at either end of the festival," Mr Willison said.

"They have both been winners of the Sydney International Piano Competition, which is one of the premier events of its kind."

While there is a depth of talent included in this year's program, there will be one concert that the couple will look forward to most -- the reunion of The Limpinwood Ensemble on Sunday.

The Limpinwood Ensemble originally played at the couples Bald Mountain home in 1991, leading to the setting up of the music festival.

"Both Carmel and I will play again with the ensemble. It will be the same players except one, who originally played in a concert in our lounge room, and that idea later evolved into the festival," Mr Willison said.

For Ms Kaine, a virtuoso violinist who plays and teaches around the globe, it will be familiar faces in the crowd.

"We know of at least four people who will be there on Sunday who where at the original concert -- we usually get the same people back year after year which is great," she said.

Fostering an appreciation of music, as well as the talents of local musicians and aspiring young players is the aim of the festival that draws hundreds of music lovers to the small village of Tyalgum year after year.

"We play well known pieces that people recognise," said Ms Kaine.

"I can remember one year the full orchestra performed Vivaldi's Seasons and it was standing-room only at the back of the hall.

"When we set up the festival I never would have thought that it could attract such a big audience. Seeing so many people appreciate the music that I love brought a tear to my eye."

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