Kathryn Stott has been appointed as Artistic Director of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music (AFCM) for its 2018 – 2020 Festivals, following the departure of the incumbent Artistic Director, Piers Lane AO. Piers Lane has been at the helm of this prestigious festival for 11 years. The 2017 festival will be his last as Artistic Director.
Paying tribute to Mr Lane’s leadership, Festival Chair, Sandra Yates, said: “Piers has been a part of the AFCM family for such a long time that it is inevitably sad to say goodbye, but over the past decade, the Festival has doubled in size, and Piers’ stature as an international concert pianist has grown exponentially too. This decision will create new opportunities for Piers, and the Festival, and we part with mutual regard, and the confident expectation that we will welcome Piers back as a performer many times in the years to come.”
Commenting on the announcement, Mr Lane said ‘My times in Townsville have been among the happiest in my career. My mother’s side of the family were all born there, so the North is in my blood and my relationship with the Festival has been a very meaningful one. Though my time at the helm of the AFCM is coming to an end, my association with the city and the festival certainly won’t. And I’m thrilled that Kathy Stott will succeed me – there isn’t a more suitable artistic director on the planet! She is a truly great musician and person and has all the qualities and contacts to take the festival to new heights.’
Ms Stott has been a Festival guest three times. With an international reputation as a piano soloist, chamber musician, artistic director, and educator, she is well-known to AFCM audiences and beyond and the Board is delighted that she has accepted the role.
Commenting on the announcement, Ms Stott said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be given this wonderful opportunity of taking over the artistic baton from my dear colleague, Piers Lane, and relish the challenges that lay ahead. The AFCM holds a very special place in the hearts of so many music lovers in Australia, and I look forward to welcoming them back to Townsville and joining me on this very exciting journey.”
The 2017 Australian Festival of Chamber Music runs from July 28 – August 5, in Townsville, North Queensland.