Nine sensational musicians, including several brilliant emerging artists, make their Wilma & Friends debuts in 2020, joining three fabulous returning guests. Capitalising on her own background, violinist Wilma Smith has a knack of bringing together the very best of Australian and New Zealand talent in groups that ooze musical personality and chemistry, a kind of musical match-making. Up-and-coming young artists will have the chance to shine in collaboration with their established colleagues and play some of the greatest chamber music ever written in a season bursting with iconic works.
Wilma & Friends creates opportunities for our finest chamber musicians at every career stage to make new connections with kindred spirits while simultaneously inspiring their audiences and each other. An intensive week of chamber music exploration sends everybody back to their regular daily activities nourished and invigorated. Wherever possible, guest artists add value to the week by giving masterclasses or coaching chamber music groups at Scotch College which generously donates their beautiful concert hall as home base for our Melbourne concerts. By developing interstate and international connections with presenters, Wilma enables some groups to extend their concert activities beyond Melbourne and Victoria. This year, one of the groups will play two concerts in New Zealand in addition to the Scotch concert and one in regional Victoria.
Concert series such as this one are sustained by the generous philanthropy of like-minded individuals, music-lovers who, like the performers, are revitalised by the intimacy and communicative power of chamber music. Wilma & Friends is an extremely lean operation, basically a one-woman organisation, which means that donations directly fund artists’ fees and associated expenses such as travel and accommodation. Our donors’ generosity is hugely appreciated by all the musicians of the 24+ different groups that have played under the W&F banner so far.