Bellingen (Fine) Music Festival

This was originally published back in 2017.
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Presents a distinctive blend of classical music from many traditions

The fabulous 2017 program is now complete for the 8th Bellingen (Fine) Music Festival on 22-24 September. This major annual event is proudly organized and presented by the Bellingen Community Arts Council.

Over the weekend, the lovely town of Bellingen comes alive with music in streets, parks, cafes and the admired acoustics of the Memorial Hall.

With the support of Musica Viva, we are thrilled to announce that renowned piano duo Elena Kats-Chernin and Tamara-Anna Cislowska will head the festival line-up. This passionate duo brings together two internationally acclaimed soloists with a passion for original composition, imaginative collaboration….. and fun!

Aficionados of chamber music will be delighted to learn they will be able to experience what has been described as the ‘faultless and superb’ performances of the beautiful Strelitzia Piano Trio.

Much loved local resident soprano Michelle der Kinderer, accompanied by harpsichordist Leanne Swanson will please all, and lovers of song in particular.

Virtuosic pianist Joe Chindamo is known worldwide for his fantastic jazz playing. Now in performance with violinist Zoe Black, these ‘new kids on the classical block’ duo are considered to be an ‘edgy’ and ‘welcome new and unique voice to Australian Chamber music’.

As well as performing as Duo Histoire, saxophone and guitar duo, Nick Russionello and Marilo Tanouye will be joining Joe and Zoe in this not-to-be missed event. Australian music-making at truly a world level.

For the past few years, the festival has included a concert featuring music from other world traditions. This year it will be the extraordinary vivacious group Tek Tek whose original music is inspired by tropical jungles, late night Balkan weddings, 1960s chic, and shamanistic desert rituals. The three guys and three girls captivate audiences with exclamatory trumpet; hedonistic violins and organ; deeply pulsating drums and bass; wild psychedelic electric guitar and synthesizer; and a rich smearing of harmonized singing (and wailing) thrown on top.

As always the Festival will be celebrating the abundance of talented young musicians in the region. The Festival wouldn’t be complete without the hugely popular Bellingen Youth Orchestra that will be performing, in part with the wonderful Acacia Quartet. As well, we welcome again the highly regarded youth ensemble from the Coffs Harbour Regional Conservatorium, The Academy. The festival has commissioned popular young composer Sally Whitwell for this year’s original composition, and this will be premiered by the Bellingen Youth Orchestra at the opening concert. Also, we are very pleased to continue the Music-by-Youth project for the third year.

Workshops will again feature as part of the weekend’s full program of activities – primary and secondary school strings with the Acacia Quartet, composition with Elena Kats-Chernin, a piano masterclass with Tamara-Anna Cislowska and an instrumental workshop with Zoe Black.

All this and a varied Fringe program as well, including popular local choral ensembles AkaBella and 11th Hour and the popular Classical Slam.

You can view some of the Workshops and Special Events here,  or

Check the full program out at the website

We look forward to seeing you at these events and at the festival!

We are pleased to acknowledge the contribution of the Regional Arts Fund to the festival, along with our other major sponsors Camp Creative, Bellingen Shire Council and Limelight Magazine.