Instruments finetuned in time for Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields

Instruments across the region are set to fill the air with classical music as the Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields kicks off next week. 

Preparations are well underway with performers from as far as Milan descending on the city for what has become a renowned event around the nation.

More than 5000 music lovers are expected to attend the nine-day event, which will run from January 10 to 19.

Festival treasurer Voi Williams said the 19th annual festival looked to be another successful event.

“Audience members who keep returning year after year is a testament to its popularity,” Ms Williams said.

The festival will start at St Patrick’s Cathedral from 8pm on Friday, January 10 with an opening recital directed by Gary Ekkel.

Known for his interpretations of choral and early music, Mr Ekkel will direct soloists Helen Thompson, Hannah Irvine, Daniel Thompson and Matthew Thompson, as well as 10 part Newman College Choir, the renaissance band La Compania and an array of classical sounds

from the 1600s.

“The opening concert is very special, it’s going to be one of the greatest we have had,” assistant organiser Judy Houston said. 

“It’s not just performed as a historical piece ... it’s very theatrical.”

Twenty-three recitals will take place across Ballarat, St Arnaud, Clunes and Daylesford with the likes of Sitar player Khalil Gudaz, organist David Drury and percussionist Alex Pertout set to headline.

“It’s all about a combination of music and diversity of instruments and promoting the wonderful remaining pipe organs in the area,” Ms Williams said.

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