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Thursday 31 January 2019

After 30 years: the day the music dies

Australia’s most famous chamber music event will close in November 2019 after 30 stellar years of music, wine, food and friendship.

Tickets to the 30th and final Huntington Estate Music Festival go on pre-sale in mid-February, with remaining tickets available to the general public on March 1.

Family-owned and -operated Huntington Estate winery will celebrate 50 years of operation in 2019.

Owners Tim and Nicky Stevens said they have reluctantly decided to end the festival in its prime in order to focus on the core business of growing grapes and making wine. 

“It’s been a privilege to partner with Carl Vine and Musica Viva Australia to host the Huntington Estate Music Festival in Mudgee for the past 13 years,” says Nicky Stevens, festival CEO and general manager of the winery.

Bob and Wendy Roberts established Huntington Estate in 1969 and, with Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, established the festival in 1989; the first of its kind in Australia.

Since 2006, the Stevens family has presented the festival, with Carl Vine AO as artistic director, and Musica Viva providing the artistic content. Fine music, wine, local produce and a beautiful countryside location have proved a winning combination for audiences, musicians and critics alike.

Discussing the reasons for the change Tim Stevens said: “An event of this stature and duration requires weeks of intensive preparation. Our barrel hall is transformed into a concert hall, the packing shed into an art gallery and the grounds into a restaurant and bar.

"Presenting 10 concerts across eight days is exhilarating but exhausting for all concerned. Running a small business is already more than a full-time job, and we have taken the decision that the grapes, the wine, our young children and staff must come first.”

Beyond 2019, Huntington Estate will continue its long association with chamber music as an active wine sponsor of Musica Viva, Opera Australia Foundation and the Omega Ensemble, and by supporting music development in the community of Mudgee.
Huntington Estate Music Festival will run on November 16-17 and November 20-24.
Go to or call (02) 6373 3825. 

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