Simon Cobcroft appointed artistic director of the Coriole Music Festival

Cellist Simon Cobcroft has been named artistic director of the popular Coriole Music Festival, beginning his three-year tenure in 2023. He succeeds pianist Anna Goldsworthy, who has held the position since 2019.

Anna Goldsworthy and Simon Cobcroft. Photo © Jamois

“I am delighted to be the next Artistic Director of the wonderful Coriole Music Festival!” said Cobcroft.

“For nearly a quarter of a century, superb musicians from Australia and beyond have gathered at Coriole to challenge and delight audiences with boldly curated programs, combining the familiar and beloved with the rare, new and the unknown.

A diverse performer, Cobcroft has held prestigious positions with Australian and international orchestras, including Associate Principal Cello with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Principal Sub-Cello with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, and currently performs with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra as Principal Cello. He has performed at home and abroad as a soloist and has been featured as both conductor and chamber musician at the Aldeburgh, Pacific and Salzburg music festivals.

Celebrating its 23rd anniversary this year, the Coriole Music Festival is a highly anticipated event on the Australian music calendar, known for its exciting lineup of chamber music in the beautiful setting of the McLaren Vale wine region. Originally conceived by the Lloyd and Burrell families, it is now produced by the McLaren Vale Music Festival Association, chaired by Mark de Raad.

“We very much look forward to having Simon on board and experiencing all the joy his vision will bring us over the next few years,” de Raad said when announcing Cobcroft’s appointment.

“A big thank you to Anna Goldsworthy for her wonderful stewardship and excellent artistic programming over the past four years, especially during the complex times of COVID – we look forward to her continued involvement with us in other ways in the future! “

Goldsworthy, who has served as Artistic Director of the festival since 2019, now brings her wealth of experience to the Elder Conservatorium of Music at the University of Adelaide as its new Director. She also made history as the first woman to hold this position within the musical institution, which dates back to 1883.

“Simon’s deep musical intelligence and friendliness are the perfect combination for this unique festival,” she said of Cobcroft’s new role. “It is a pleasure to pass the baton to such a beloved member of our music community.

Cobcroft’s musical leadership is already evident in its willingness to explore raw and challenging themes in next year’s festival programme.

“The past few years have presented unprecedented challenges to all of humanity, and for musicians, the almost unthinkable prospect of prolonged silence and isolation,” Cobcroft said. “In 2023, the Coriole Music Festival will reflect on themes of exile, isolation and reunion, exploring the music that emanates from those who, unwittingly or eagerly, have embraced introspection and loneliness.”

“The 2023 festival will feature works by Rachmaninoff in his 150th birthday year, a composer who faced the melancholy and passion of isolation in forced exile; Britten, whose music explores fantastical and interrogative inner worlds; and Stravinsky’s kaleidoscopic imagination in America.

The festival will also feature new music by Finnish composer Olli Mustonen and revered Australian composers Paul Stanhope and Nigel Westlake, as well as a special commission from Anne Cawrse.

Festival favorite Daniel de Borah will return in 2023, while South Australian pianist Kristian Chong and Cobcroft’s award-winning Lyrebird Trio will make their Coriole debut. The full program of the festival will be announced in November this year.

The 2023 Coriole Music Festival will take place on May 20 and 21 at Coriole Vineyards, McLaren Vale.

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