Australian music a big feature for groundbreaking Four Winds Festival Bermagui

Easter 2016 (March 22nd– March 27th)

The 2016 Four Winds Festival is ground-breaking: twenty five per cent of the music will be by Australian composers, in this its 25th year. The rather depressing average for most classically performing organisations in Australia in 2013 was below five per cent.

Go to an Australian Country, Blues or Folk festival and you will hear more than 5% Australian music. Go to a classical musical Festival and the music is frequently by German, French and English composers who died many years ago. It may be beautiful, but so is Australia’s music.

The Artistic Director of Four Winds, composer and musician Paul Dean says there are some wonderful Australian compositions that stand comfortably beside Mendelssohn, Mozart and Ravel  in the Four Winds program

“How is Australian music going to become embedded as part of our contemporary culture if we don’t hear it more? We will be hearing works by Sculthorpe, Stanhope and Hindson, and, importantly, the world premiere of a specially commissioned piece by James Ledger.”

Performers of this music will include extraordinary young British violinist Jack Leibeck, who has just released a new acclaimed recording of Bruch’s Violin Concerto No 1.  Jack established the Oxford May Festival in Oxford, a festival of Music, Science and the Arts and is professor of violin at the Royal Academy of Music.

Jack Liebeck _ small square

The sensational Navarra String Quartet from London are coming for their first visit to Australia and will be playing both in the Sound Shell, and the Windsong Pavilion. Singapore based Australian cellist  Li-Wei Qin, who was recently a pin up boy in Singapore Vogue, will perform Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time with award winning pianist, London based  Zubin Kanga, a specialist in contemporary music, and Jack Liebeck and Paul Dean will perform in the first Festival chamber music series in the new and breathtaking Windsong Pavilion.


The Four Winds Festival in Bermagui, NSW is a biennial event that has been held for the last 25 years. The setting is sublime – a large grassed amphitheatre in the bush, next to the sea, with a soundshell designed by famous Australian architect Philip Cox. In the last two years the Windsong Pavilion, designed by award winning architect Clinton Murray, was constructed and many musicians are saying it is has some of the best acoustics of any regional performance space in Australia – it seats just under 200 people, and has full connectivity.

Who would have thought a small rural community could raise the money and build a world class venue? But they have done, and now they have a venue to be proud of, which increasingly artists want to perform in, and composers compose for.

Program (see website for updates)

FIRST AT THE FESTIVAL FRIDAY 6 – 7PM | Sound Shell | FREE This year, our free opening concert will be held at the Festival site. Join us as we journey into the mesmerising, electro-acoustic sound dimensions of Philip Glass. Featuring Ensemble Offspring and fLing Physical Theatre in an evening exploring art, time and space.

SOUND SHELL SATURDAY 27 March 9.30AM – 4PM | Sound Shell Koora Koorai – a musical Welcome to Country. Dvorak, Wind Serenade. Ravel, String Quartet in F. Schumann, Piano Quartet. Three Taikoz performers. Butterworth, A Shropshire Lad. Sculthorpe, 8th String Quartet. Paul Stanhope, Pulse : Heart : Beat. HK Gruber, Frankenstein.
SOUNDSHELL SUNDAY  28 March 10AM – 4PM | Sound Shell Hindson (arr Power), Cello Concerto (2nd movement). Mendelssohn, Violin Concerto in E minor. Britten, Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings. Ledger, World Premiere. Shostakovich, Piano Concerto No 1. Hindson, Comin’ Right Atcha. Hind, The Tower of Silence. Gershwin, Songs (arr by Ledger). Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue.
Featured artists: Navarra String Quartet, Jack Liebeck (violin), Li-Wei Qin (cello), Taikoz, Zubin Kanga (piano), Alex Ranieri (piano), Sculthorpe Wind Quintet, Arcadia Wind Quintet, Andrew Goodwin (tenor), James Ledger (composer), Nicholas Ng (erhu).
WINDSONG CHAMBER MUSIC FRIDAY 26TH March  8PM |Windsong Pavilion, Messiaen Quartet for the End of Time, with Jack Liebeck, Li-Wei Qin, Zubin Kanga and Paul Dean.

WINDSONG CHAMBER MUSIC Saturday 27th March 6 PM |Windsong Pavilion, Haydn and Schubert featuring Navarra String Quartet, Penny Quartet and Li-Wei Qin (cello).

WINDSONG CHAMBER MUSIC Sunday 28th March 6PM |Windsong Pavilion, Britten’s 3rd String Quartet and Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet with Navarra String Quartet and Paul Dean.

There will also be three chamber music concerts in selected houses in Bermagui.


RADICAL SON LIVE @ THE DOUBLE BAR BERMAGUI, FRIDAY, SATURDAY EVENINGS : Promise to be exciting, energetic and inspirational. David Leha is an indigenous musician, songwriter and rapper and the front man of the band, Radical Son