Quartet to get cavernous response

11 June 2002, Australia

No, it's not some weird conspiracy by rock fans to silence classical musicians, but, as part of a new sponsorship deal, Australia's award-winning Tank Stream Quartet will play classical music 450 metres underground. Townsville's Australian Festival of Chamber Music (AFCM) and BHP Billiton recently concluded a triennial sponsorship agreement to support the event’s Winter Masterclass series, which will see Tank Stream play performances in the outback towns of Mt Isa and Cloncurry, as well as both inside and outside the Cannington mine, near McKinlay, for miners and their families. ‘Having a quartet making music underground gives a whole new meaning to chamber music,’ commented Mick Roche, a spokesperson for the Cannington operation, ‘Instead of the traditional image of… finely dressed people in a quiet room, the same music is enjoyed… by… people in overalls and hard hats.’ ‘Although the AFCM has an established national and international profile, its ultimate success depends upon its ability to engage the people of the Townsville and North Queensland region, and to resonate with many sections of the community here – business and cultural alike,’ commented AFCM General Manager, Jane Hickey. The Tank Stream Quartet is comprised of musicians Sophie Rowell, Anne Horton, Sally Boud and Patrick Murphy, and was a winner at both the 2002 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition and last year's National Chamber Music Competition, staged in Melbourne. The special pre-AFCM performances will be held on 29 June at the Mt Isa Civic Centre, 30 June at Cloncurry and 1 July at Cannington mine (underground performance for miners only). Further information regarding the AFCM and its full program is available online at: www.afcm.com.au Dramatic Online will run a feature article on the festival later in June.