Organ enthusiasts arrive for classical music festival

CLASSICAL musical enthusiasts have arrived in time for the start of one of the nation’s biggest music festivals tomorrow.

In its 19th year, Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields is set to be bigger than ever with 10 days of classical music by international performers.

Created by organists Sergio de Pieri in the early 1990s, the festival has grown into a multi-platform event which sees visitors travelling from all over Australia to see more than 20 recitals across the city.

“There are 23 recitals held in different places, not only Ballarat, but St Arnaud, Clunes and Daylesford,” Mr de Pieri said.

“And it’s not just organs, but we have different music and instruments from all over the world.”

This year’s festival has attracted some of the world’s finest musicians, choirs and instrumentalists, including Berlin-based Australian trio Schubert, Brahms and Ian Munro, Chilean-born percussionist Alex Pertout and Italian organist Filippo Perocco.

“The festival is an iconic Ballarat event in its 19th season which highlights the art and cultural heritage of our city, but just as importantly the ability to celebrate through our beautiful historical venues,” Ballarat Regional Tourism chief executive officer George Sossi said.

Mr de Pieri said musicians from as far as France and Germany returned year after year to perform at the event.

“We have performers from countries like Sweden who ... love coming to this,” he said.

“When we first started no one thought it would work because everyone was on holidays but I knew they would come.

“You can’t find anything like this anywhere else.”

Organ maintenance technician Ken Turner.

Organ maintenance technician Ken Turner.


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