All sorts gather to launch festival
MUSIC gurus, art lovers, tourism leaders and politicians came together this morning to officially launch the 2012 Tylagum Festival of Classical Music.
This year the festival celebrates its 21st anniversary, a huge success considering Arts NSW almost withdrew funding for the event altogether, saved only by local MPs.
Festival patron Margot Anthony AM addressed the audience as the unrivalled first lady of the arts for the Tweed region.
"There's something about Tyalgum that other festivals don't have," Mrs Anthony said.
"Nestled below the world heritage caldera the whole place becomes involved, the whole community.
"This is our Tweed and this is what we are celebrating."
She said she was so pleased to have so many young musicians involved in the program this year.
"Classical music is the heartbeat of the human being," Mrs Anthony said.
"This music has been composed over 400 years ago and there's no coincidence as to why we still listen to it today.
"It's so important for young musicians to perform in this environment with a discerning audience."
Lismore MP Thomas George said he had attended the festival one year with his wife and found it had truly allowed him to relax.
"My mind opened up, my heart opened up and my body opened up and I stopped for a while and relaxed," Mr George said.
"I really appreciated it.
"Tyalgum is a destination and it is unique.
"The visitors it draws brings money outside the state into this area."
In a major coup for Tweed music-lovers, the opening concert on Friday September 7 will feature this year's first prize winner of the Sydney International Piano Competition of Australia.
Fesival coordinator Alexsandra Wilkinson said it would be a thrill to have the winner come to the intimate Tyalgum Hall.
Other highlights this year will include The Lunaire Collective, the CD launch and performance of Blue Silence by cellist David Pereira and pianist Timothy Young, performances by the Queensland Conservatorium Brass Band, the Young Virtuosi concert, Bright Sparks Music Program showcasing young local students and the grand finale by chamber orchestra Camerata of St John's.
Tickets for the September 7 - 9 festival are on sale now but will sell out quickly.