Excitement mounts as concert nears

An adorable eccentric: David Helfgott.
An adorable eccentric: David Helfgott.

GILLIAN Helfgott has been there to witness her husband David win over discerning audiences in some of the world’s most coveted concert halls, and so it’s a little strange to find out she is ‘very excited’ and even ‘a little nervous’ about his upcoming local performances.

Fresh from a sell-out tour of Europe, David Helfgott is the headline act for this weekend’s inaugural Bellingen Music Festival.

“Audiences just loved David on his latest tour where he played to a wildly enthusiastic 3000 people in Istanbul alone but I can tell you he never stops getting excited about performing at home, and particularly at the Memorial Hall,” Mrs Helfgott said.

“He just loves playing with the Bellingen Youth Orchestra.

“He finds working with talented local kids a real thrill, and it touches my heart to see how they react to and embrace him.”

David will perform works by Chopin, Beethoven, Lizt and Mendelssohn and play alongside not just the Youth Orchestra but virtuoso cellist Claudia Douglas over the weekend.

“Peter Nance, who is the president of Camp Creative, came up with the idea of a classical music festival for Bellingen, and David and I have been only too happy to help where we can,” Mrs Helfgott said.

“The program is fantastic and the calibre of artists is world class, but what I’m really excited about is the involvement of local youth and the opportunity this will provide them to hear some of the country’s best classical performers.

“The Memorial Hall might present a few logistical challenges and may be a far cry from the Opera House in Vienna but I can assure this weekend of music will be memorable.”

Tickets for the Bellingen Music Festival are still available by calling Camp Creative on 66559326 or by visiting the Waterfall Way Centre in Bellingen, Coffs Harbour Music at Park Beach Plaza or Harvey World Travel in Nambucca Heads.

Passes for Saturday’s program cost $60, and Sunday’s programme costs $70. Weekend tickets are $110.

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