Sergio de Pieri takes his music very seriously, but there's an infectious enthusiasm when he begins talking about it.
He's led the Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields music festival for 25 years, and he's exceptionally proud of this year's program.
Friday night's performance of Bach's St Mark Passion has been years in the making, he said.
"St Mark Passion is not very commonly performed in the world, and I think for this festival, after 25 years, we need something special, like this Bach work," he said.
"This is a composition to play at a big festival, it's very difficult to put on for one concert only."
Famously, Mr de Pieri cooks up an Italian banquet for the musicians and guests almost every night for the festival - on Friday, soon after arriving from Mildura, he was hard at work at St Patrick's Cathedral preparing a risotto primavera.
And there's some special guests at this year's festival too, from jazz pianists and Irish folk dancers to the Lay Clerk's Choir of St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney and a Beethoven concerto at St Patrick's Cathedral.
But for Mr de Pieri, closest to his heart will be two special shows in Snake Valley this weekend.
"Snake Valley has the most beautiful church in this country, and their organ is original, from Melbourne, it's a Romantic organ still working beautifully," he explained.
"One of my students played this organ, James Forsyth, who was my first student - he came from Sydney University to play with me in 1962.
"He's a professor now, and this organ is very historical, but his daughter is playing the viola - and I'm her godfather.
"They're playing in Snake Valley on Saturday - my first student, and my first goddaughter in Australia."
Now in his 80s, Mr de Pieri is still working tirelessly to promote a love of organs and sacred music, and he's determined to continue.
"In a marriage, the 25 year anniversary is the silver anniversary - so what about the golden one? Nothing is impossible," he said, smiling.
The full program is available online - it's advised people book tickets before each show.
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