Stars galore for Darwin guitar festival 

Italian guitarist Carlo Barone with concert director, CDU's Adrian Walter

Some of the finest performers on the national and international concert circuit will be in Darwin this week to headline a glittering array of talent and activities for the Seventh Darwin International Guitar Festival concert series.

The festival is hosted by Charles Darwin University (CDU) and was launched on Wednesday 27 June to the tunes of Italian guitarist Carlo Barone and concert director and dean of CDU’s Faculty of Law, Business and Arts, Adrian Walter.

Over the two week festival, more than 40 musicians from an estimated 10 countries, including Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia, Spain, the United States and Australia, will perform.

Festival Director, Adrian Walter said, ‘The festival will offer something for everyone, with an enormous program of events planned for each of the 11 days. You will hear some wonderful guitar playing by some of the finest classical guitarists in the world and we are immensely proud to bring them here to Darwin. For several from South American countries, this will be their first ever visit to Australia and for audiences to hear their playing.’

Among the galaxy of stars appearing will be:

  • Spaniard Oscar Guzman with a captivating night of Flamenco guitar music
  • Canadian Tim Brady, renowned for his innovative and exciting performances on the electric guitar
  • Sensational Australian guitarist Karin Schaupp in a solo performance
  • Brazilian guitarist Carlos Barbosa Lima, a masterful interpreter of music ranging from Gershwin to Bach and Jobim to Debussy
  • Australian guitar quartet Saffire, one of the hottest properties in the guitar world
  • Berlin based flute and guitar duo Oliver Fartach Naini and Thea Nielsen with their theme-based Tango program.

Mr Walter is himself one of the performers in the concert series and said the festival would include night-time concerts under the stars at the Town Hall Ruins and on CDU’s Casuarina Campus.

‘Leading international musicians will conduct workshops; there will be a lunchtime and twilight concert series, plus great social activity and music at the After Dark Club,’ he said.

‘There is so much to see and hear for guitar enthusiasts, that you would almost need to take 11 days off work to keep up with it all.

‘If I had to choose a handful of events, I think the opening night flamenco concert with Oscar Guzman is a must see, as is the evening of poetry and prose, a few nights later, with Rory O’Donoghue, of Aunty Jack fame,’ said Mr Walter.

‘The concert of Karin Shaupp from Australian sensation Saffire and lighting designer/composer Mary-Anne Kyriakou, immediately after the poetry and prose night at the Town Hall Ruins, is also one on my not-to-miss list.

‘Also on my shortlist would be Australian cello and guitar duo Luminesca, American lutenist Paul Beier, Brazil’s Carlos Barbosa-Lima, and of course the closing concert with the Darwin Symphony Orchestra and Australian guitar quartet, Saffire, at the Strand, CDU,’ he said.

Mr Walter also said for students and the real guitar enthusiast, the festival includes a wide range of lectures and a selection of master classes by the Festival’s featured artists.

‘Its not often Territory-based music students and guitar enthusiasts have the opportunity get up-close and personal with national and international artists like this,’ he said. ‘The master classes and lectures are a really important element of the festival.’

Bookings can be made at the CYM Shop, Building 16, CDU Casuarina Campus, 08 8946 6860, and tickets will also be sold at the door. For a full concert series brochure call 08 8946 6013.

Visit the festival website.