International chamber music artists and fine food are helping to redefine the idea of a ‘classic’ winter escape to North Queensland.

This year’s Australian Festival of Chamber Music (AFCM) in Townsville, which runs from 26 July to 3 August, will feature international musicians Nicholas Daniel (UK), Michael Collins (UK), Ksenija Siderova (Latvia), along the Australian Brass Quintet of Bridget Bolliger and Andrew Barnes.

The festival’s main concert takes place on the shores of Magnetic Island’s Radical Bay, after which concert-goers will take a sunset cruise for the return trip to Townsville.

The festival encompasses the ‘Chefs in the North’ dinner, which features a degustation menu using local produce and a selection of Australian wines. The dinner will be held on the lawns of Jupiter’s Casino with the chamber musicians setting the scene.

AFCM is offering a range of festival packages that include concert seats with various accommodation options.

“Winter is the best time to visit Townsville and the festival is the perfect excuse to get away and enjoy classical music in a tropical setting,” says AFCM General Manager Sue Hackett.

The festival debuted in 1991 and also extends to regional areas, which in the past have included performances in Mount Isa and Karumba.