Four Winds Easter Festival 2019: wrap-up

Updated 24 April 2019

Now well established as one of the two annual festivals in the Four Winds’ year long program, the Easter festival in Bermagui and surrounds this year gave patrons a delicious musical feast.

Living Arts Canberra attended as media guests the full day program in the sound shell on Saturday and the half day on Sunday. We sincerely thank the Four Winds for their generous hosting, fine organisation and inspired programming.

Listen to Barbie’s interviews with Executive Director of Four Winds David Francis, composer/pianist Elena Kats-Chernin, and pianist/conductor Stefan Vladar. We’ll shortly also have interviews with Artistic Director James Crabbe with scholarship holder Nyah Cockle, and lutenist Jakob Lindberg.

On Saturday morning Iris White’s welcome to country with Warren Foster and the Gulaga Dancers was followed by works by Ross Edwards, Lior Navok, Elena Kats-Chernin and Lisa Young.

In the afternoon we heard Josh Rogan/Jeremy Rose/Sandy Evans with contemporary western jazz fused with Indian traditions and then leapt into Stefan Vladar and the Australian String Quartet with the fascinating Brahms Piano Quintet in F Minor Opus 34 – how does a program like that work, you might ask. Well it did. It was a n exhilarating afternoon.

Sunday was billed as Beethoven in the Bush. The Beethoven was preceded by Riley Lee and the Enigma Quartet’s presentation called The Five Elements with works by Ross Edwards, Stuart Greenbaum, Elelna Kats-Chernin, Anne Boyd and Holly Harrison – a fine evocation of the natural world and so suited to the natural setting of this festival where the sound of the sea, the wind and the birds is ever present.

Coco’s Lunch took us on a world musical journey with influences from  South India, their original vocal music notable for the beautiful harmonies and joyous presentation along with their respect for the natural bush setting of the Four Winds.

And then the Beethoven with the stellar Stefan Vladar at piano and conducting – the Coriolan Overture and the Piano Concerto no. 3 in C Minor Op. 37 – which had the audience on its feet for several minutes of ovation. Vladar’s generous acknowledgement of all the musicians on stage was particularly impressive the Festival Orchestra was given a well-deserved moment in the sun.

We also attended as ticket buying customers the After Dark session on Saturday at the Bermagui Surf Club, which was a most enjoyable and relaxed musos’ jam including Bobby Singh, Sarangan Sriranganathan, Compass Quartet, James Crabb and Elena Kats- Chernin. The free public concert on Friday night at the Dickinson Oval embodied the ethos of the festival and Four Winds organisation – connection to community, working respectfully with the traditional owner of the land and the presentation of beautiful and innovative music and culture programs.

For information about upcoming events and to support Four Winds, especially the Create and Inspire Youth programs see

Listen to Barbie’s interview with James Crabb.