NSW Central Tablelands are the setting up for the most exquisite weekend of classical music to grace the region when the first ever Oberon Chamber Music Festival comes to town.
(min cost $8)
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The three-day celebration of joyful music-making takes place from November 24 to 26 at the historic and newly-restored Malachi Gilmore Hall, and features some stellar vocal and instrumental musicians.
From the internationally-acclaimed Streeton Trio to specially-created ensembles featuring the country's leading musicians, this will be very special experience to welcome in the summer.
Big names to grace the event include soprano Susannah Lawergren, harpist Emily Granger, local clarinettist Peter Jenkin, oboist Diana Docherty, and a slew of stars from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra among them.
Oberon is no stranger to chamber music, having hosted the Kowmung Music Festival from 1997 to 2007. Organisers then were keen to use the beautiful art-deco Malachi, but it was functioning as a warehouse at the time.
Since 2018, when Lucy and Johnny East purchased the site, it has been restored to its former glory and revived as a multi-purpose arts space, serving the community as it was originally intended.
Artistic director Emma Jardine sees Oberon as a natural choice for a chamber music festival.
"It's such a beautiful part of the country - rolling hills, beautiful scenery - and now that the Malachi has been restored, it's the perfect spot to hold a chamber music festival," she said.
Lucy East agreed, and said: "The musicians are going to be on the auditorium floor, surrounded by the audience.
"Suddenly you're right inside, you can see the music on the music stand, actually feel the instruments vibrate and experience the palpable energy, intelligence and musicality flying out of the musicians."
In addition to five concerts from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, music specialist and animateur Andy Bromberger will appear over the weekend, giving entertaining and informative free "Meet, Greet and Eat" pre-concert talks.
The rise in digital events may have increased accessibility to the arts in regional areas, but Ms Jardine said they're no substitute for the exhilarating atmosphere of a live event.
"One thing that the Covid lockdowns taught us, is how much we feed off the energy of the audience.
"They bring life to the performance as much as the musicians do... and a venue as enchanting as the Malachi makes all the difference - it will surely turn the expected outstanding performances into absolutely magical ones."
With celebrated works by Schubert, Beethoven and Ravel to the sensual tango music of Astor Piazzolla, the Oberon Chamber Music Festival promises a unique and spectacular weekend of music.
The Oberon Chamber Music Festival will be held at Malachai Gilmore Hall, 124 Oberon Street, Oberon, from Friday November 24 to Sunday November 26.
To see the full program, book tickets and find more information, visit the website at: www.oberonchambermusicfestival.com.au.
The festival is sponsored by Oberon Council through the Reconnecting Regional NSW Community Events Program.
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