With the internationally acclaimed Australian Festival of Chamber Music 2008 wrapped up, current Chair Marg O’Donnell is handing over the baton after a stellar four year term that has ended on a high note with this year’s festival boasting the highest ticket sales in its 18 year history.
Ms O’Donnell has announced that Ms Jenny Bott, Chief Executive of the University of New South Wales Foundation and former CEO of the Australia Council will step up to the podium to lead this important event forward as the new Chair.
“We have just celebrated a truly extraordinary festival,” said outgoing Chair Marg O’Donnell. “More festival events were sold out than ever before and in two years our audience has grown 20 per cent. Jenny is coming on board at an exciting time and I am thrilled she has accepted the post,” she said. “Being able to secure such an experienced, talented and approachable person in Jenny is a great coup for the Festival.”
Jennifer Bott is Chief Executive of the University of New South Wales Foundation, responsible for generating private income for the University from business, foundations, alumni and other sources. Prior to this, she was the Chief Executive Officer of the Australia Council, the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory body. Presiding over the organization officially charged with enriching the life of the nation by supporting and promoting the arts, Jennifer oversaw a staff of 150 and an annual budget of over $161 million. Before joining the Australia Council in 1999, she spent seven years as General Manager of Musica Viva Australia and has held senior management positions at Opera Australia and the Arts Council of Australia.
Hosted by Artistic Director pianist, Piers Lane, the AFCM this year featured an outstanding core music program of 24 concerts with 28 world class artists performing 80 compositions along with 20 emerging artists.
Dates for the festival in 2009 are yet to be announced as the Board remains in negotiation with Townsville City Council and the V8 Super organisation.
“This festival, now the largest chamber music in the southern hemisphere, continues to cement itself as a major music calendar event, popular the world’s leading artists, as well as an audience which travels from right across Australia to attend,” said O’Donnell.