My clarinet quintet Songs from the Bush was given a beautiful performance in Kangaroo Valley at the ‘Valley Dreaming’ concert on May 5. I must thank clarinettist David Rowden for his care and attention in getting to know what I was attempting to do with this piece, especially as it is far from being an extrovert virtuoso vehicle for the soloist. He was sensitively supported, framed, chorused by four esteemed and wonderful colleagues, every one of them an exceptional soloist in their own right. My sincere thanks to Natsuko Yoshimoto and her husband Imants Larsens (violins), Roger Benedict (viola) and my old friend David Pereira (cello) for making me very happy, as well as reassured. You never quite believe that your music is any good until someone comes along and seems to believe in it more than you do.
Congratulations, too, to Belinda Webster and the team for another remarkable festival unlike any other.