Canowindra Baroque Music Festival


Highlights from the inaugural Canowindra Baroquefest


The inaugural Baroquefest, Canowindra's annual three day festival of baroque music was held in  October 2015. Canowindra has become a regional hub for live classical music performance since the 1990s when David Miller AM from Sydney Conservatorium of Music first agreed to bring a group of talented students to play and sing at the acoustically sublime All Saints Church.

What grew to become the Con's week long  " Grand Western Tour" still continues after twenty years. Since Baroquefest's inception and formation of Canowindra Fine Music Inc., the aim has been to bring together highly accomplished  musicians from central west NSW, with other professionals and ensembles from Australia and  elsewhere.  A big ambition for a small town but it is the rural setting and the prevailing community spirit that creates a uniquely  intimate baroque experience.

Every concert is introduced by our elegant and articulate patron Marian Arnold, a long term producer and presenter on ABC Classic FM.  

Festival President - Richard Statham

"This is our third Baroquefest since its inauguration in 2015 and I thank the committee for their vision, commitment and skilful input building what will become a well managed, sustainable annual inland event for NSW.

Barouuefest is the only music festival of the genre in NSW, so Canowindra hangs its hat on the baroque "brand". Of course the overlap into the romantic and classical eras gives the artistic director great flexibility. As someone said, "elements of the baroque can even be heard in jazz!"

Thanks also to Australia Council of the Arts, Musica Viva, ArtsOutWest, Orange Regional Arts Foundation and Cabonne Council for their funding assistance, and to all the individual donors, as well as supporters who have paid a premium for their tickets as an act of altruism. This welcome funding kick started our festival and your ongoing support , which is very much appreciated, will keep building a great event.

We welcome the offer of a growing number of musicians and ensembles to join us in the future. It is indeed gratifying that so many extremely well accomplished musicians from afar are keen to sing and play well beyond the sandstone curtain. Our thanks to them all.

We are so fortunate to have Marian Arnold here again as Baroquefest's patron, to bring the history and wonderful sounds of the baroque era to life for us all. She and the musicians talking us through the repertoire will surely maximise our enjoyment and understanding."


Patron - Marian Arnold

"With the greatest pleasure, I would like to extend to you a warm welcome to Canowindra Baroquefest. I am deeply honoured to have been invited to be the Festival’s patron.

I grew up in the Central West of NSW and in recent years have been overjoyed to watch this region’s musical development. That this area can now boast a festival of Baroque music is a special delight.

The Baroque period encompasses what is perhaps for many of us the pinnacle of the Western harmonic tradition, with composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frederick Handel at the forefront, and most readily recognised. But its richness and depth were far reaching, and our Festival also takes in those in succeeding generations who were generously informed and influenced by the achievements of the Baroque masters. I am certain that this Festival will entertain and enlighten all of us who are privileged to attend, and my hope is that Canowindra’s enterprising new venture will succeed and prosper well into the future."


Musical Director - Andrew Baker


Andrew Baker has been working as a concert violinist, teacher, conductor, manager and researcher in the central west since 2005.

Andrew is currently first violinist of the Mitchell Quartet, leader of Colour City Chamber Orchestra, research associate in music education at Australian National University, School of Music, founder and director of Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin, and teaches around 60 students per week in school string orchestra programs.

He has held the positions of Director of the Mitchell Conservatorium, Lachlan Division, and Assistant Director and Head of Strings at Orange Regional Conservatorium, developing a wide range of music education programs in communities throughout the central west of NSW. Andrew has conducted the Bathurst Chamber Orchestra and the Lachlan Region Community Orchestra, and has performed regularly with the Orange Symphony Orchestra, Macquarie Philharmonia and Riverina Chamber Orchestra.