About Newcastle Music Festival

The Newcastle Music Festival celebrates its sixth season in 2023, having been inaugurated in 2016, and missing festivals in 2020 and 2021. The Festival was founded by its first Artistic Directors, David Banney and Ross Fiddes, and the five festivals so far have included more than 120 concerts, with music ranging from classical to jazz, and from world music to contemporary music.

Our artists have included the best musicians of Newcastle and the Hunter Valley, as well outstanding national and international musicians. In addition, the Festival has given performance opportunities to hundreds of community musicians through the Festival Choir and Festival Strings, masterclasses, and through collaboration with a range of umbrella organisations.

The Festival has collaborated with leading Australian ensembles and organisations, including Pinchgut Opera, Opera Australia and Musica Viva. Festival innovations have included the highly successful Music on a Plate series, in which music and food are paired in iconic Newcastle venues.

In 2023, our sixth festival, we introduce Rising Stars, inviting young performers from the region to audition for a chance to perform in concert during the 2023 Festival. 

Artistic Director – David Banney 

Committee 2023

Emeritus Prof. John Rostas – President
Colleen Potts OAM – Vice-President/Volunteer Coordinator
Ross Fiddes – Secretary/Treasurer/Artistic Consultant
Jillian Fiddes – Administrator
Jillian Albrecht – Editor and Media Liaison
John Cornell – Corporate Liaison
Kerrie Coles – Community Liaison  
Greg Kerr – WHS Advisor
Ruth Newman – Rising Stars Convenor/ Administration Support

Georgi Laney – Festival Choir Convenor



BELOW: Images of performers from Festivals 2016-2022

The Newcastle Music Festival logo was created in 2016 by TAFE student Christina Atherton, whose design was selected from many beautiful designs created by students of the Diploma of Graphic Design, supervised by Gregg Carson. Christina’s effective and engaging design, based on the musical stave, provides an easily recognisable emblem for Newcastle Music Festival.