Here too we have Justine Cormack, world-renowned violinist, living near Luggate with her conductor husband, Mark Taddei.
Together with a group of world class musicians, she has spearheaded “At the World’s Edge” Festival – a classical music festival launching in Central Lakes this month.
It spans three chamber music performances between Friday 15 and Sunday 17 October, venues in Wanaka, Cromwell and Queenstown. It will take the audience on a single journey designed to be experienced either in sections or as a whole.
These three performances tell the story of two rivers and the moment they meet: the Mata-Au or Clutha River in Wanaka, the Kawarau in Queenstown and the Confluence, the place their waters collide in Cromwell.
The Central Lakes landscapes were the inspiration for this festival, growing from roots in the Southern Alps, but with ambitions and support on a global scale.
In the longer term, the festival intends to mentor and coach emerging artists as they prepare for community performances. Over the course of three days, they expect to perform in ten schools, to over 2,000 students.
These community performances are fully funded and are offered to schools and students free of charge.
The festival’s title can be abbreviated to AWE, and Justine explains, “We found a quote saying, ‘AWE is when the sublime leans over us, our sense of insignificance when presented with something bigger than ourselves, something beyond our grasp’.
This is exactly how we feel when we immerse ourselves in classical music, but also exactly how we feel when presented with the majestic landscapes of Central Lakes.
Justine, as Festival Director, is joined by the festival’s Artistic Director Benjamin Baker. Taking a break from regular performances at Wigmore Hall in London, and on BBC Radio 3, Benjamin is excited to perform here.
Says Justine, “Launching the AWE Festival will be a dream come true for both Ben and me. We simply can’t wait to share this gorgeous music, together with such inspiring artists, and within such stunning acoustic spaces. It is going to be an absolute treat for everyone!”
MATA-AU, Friday, 15 October, 7.30pm, Rippon Hall, Wanaka
CONFLUENCE, Saturday, 16 October, 7.30pm, Cloudy Bay Shed, Northburn
KAWARAU, Sunday, 17 October, 5pm, Queenstown Memorial Centre