2021 Events

Gunnedah Conservatorium is excited to present our annual visiting Artist program, featuring William Crighton on June 4 and Nexus Quartet on June 12. Tickets available at TryBooking


William Crighton, Friday June 4 

Acclaimed Australian singer-songwriter William Crighton returns with his new single, ‘This Is Magicʼ.

‘This Is Magicʼ is the follow up to Crightonʼs powerful ‘Your Countryʼ (feat William Barton & Julieanne Crighton) released earlier this year, and the second track to be lifted from his forthcoming third studio album, due out in 2021.

“William Crightonʼs new tune defies physics. It manages to walk a tightrope between relaying a powerful and serious message while also using disarming nostalgia and good humour, All the while being as catchy as hell. Iʼm not sure how he does it….itʼs Magic” – Henry Wagons, Double J

Since the release of his 2016 critically acclaimed self-titled debut, William Crighton has established himself as one of Australiaʼs foremost contemporary songsmiths and performers. Darkly majestic follow-up Empire (2018) was named Album of the Year by Hoodoo Gurusʼ Dave Faulkner in the Saturday Paper, while Midnight Oil drummer Rob Hirst has sung the praises of Crightonʼs deeply resonant, ineffably Australian vocal delivery; a nod to his roots in the NSW Riverina, Wiradjuri Country.

Crighton has performed and been reviewed as a highlight at major festivals both in Australia and across the world including “BluesFest”, “WOMAD”, “Woodford Folk Festival”, “Tonder Festival” (Denmark), “BoomTown” (UK), “Winnipeg Folk Festival” (Canada) and “Cambridge Folk Festival (UK)” as a result of this as well as good support from streaming services such as Spotify and his own live shows, Crighton continues building a dedicated band of followers.

He has also toured with Lukas Nelson & The Promise of the Real, Missy Higgins, CW Stone King, Dan Sultan and The Beach boys. In 2020 Crighton also represented Australia as part of Global Music Match. 2020 was going to be Crightonʼs biggest international touring year including his Glastonbury Festival debut. “Weʼve been working really hard over there and had a lot planned, but so did everyone. Weʼre lucky in Australia to have dodged the worse of it to date, and Iʼm grateful that my family and I are here…weʼre even playing a bit now, hopefully going to be touring a lot more soon”. Crighton returns to the road across Australia in 2021.


Nexus Quartet, Saturday June 12 

Utterly startling … adrenaline fueled. 4.5 stars.’ Limelight Magazine

The quartet played with great energy and smooth precision full of virtuosity and fine ensemble work’ Lynne Lancaster Sydney Arts Guide

At the forefront of chamber music, Nexas Quartet are leaders in promoting existing and creating new repertoire for the saxophone quartet. The group’s success comes from a combination of personalities, virtuosic saxophone skills, and an ability to program concerts of a wide appeal that has seen the musicians perform in a multitude of settings.


Over the last couple of years the quartets has developed an ongoing collaboration with opera star Peter Coleman-Wright. This has been highlighted by the 2017 recording ‘Ballads of a Pleasant Life’ for ABC Classics. This collaboration also resulted in the show ‘Composers in Exile’ described thus by Bill Stephens for Arts Review: ‘the brilliance of the five performers, their easy charm and obvious affection and enthusiasm for the material, proved a seductive combination in a presentation which informed the mind while pleasuring the soul’. This collaboration has been presented at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, The Concourse (Chatswood), Glenn Street Theatre (Canberra), Independent Theatre (North Sydney), Camelot Lounge (Marrickville), BMEC (Bathurst).

The Nexas Quartet has always held the creation of new music as one of their prerogatives. This was exemplified by the 2016 release of their debut album ‘Current’, a reflection of their collaboration with leading Australian composers. The recording described by Stephanie Eslake for Limelight as ‘a riveting release’ contains works by Kats-Chernin, Hindson, Skipworth, Rojas and Orlovich. 

Nexas has continued to commission and perform new works as demonstrated by the 2017 premiere of Jodie Blackshaw’s concerto “Catango 5’ for saxophone quartet and wind band, and in 2018 Mark Oliveiro’s ‘Mega Vignettes’ (Extended Play - City Recital Hall). Other examples of collaborating with Australian composers include Drew Crawford on the Melbourne Theatre Company’s production of Jumpy as well as the 2015 world premiere of Matthew Hindson and Cyrus Meurant’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ with the National College of Dance. 

Collaborating with a wide range of artists has been at the forefront of Nexas’ endeavours. The quartet has performed with some of Australia’s finest musicians including Peter Coleman-Wright (opera singer), Piers Lane (pianist), Gerard Willems AM (pianist), Frank Celata (SSO clarinettist), Daniel Rojas (pianist), Stephen Cuttriss (bandoneon), Emily Granger (harp) Nicky Crayson (jazz vocalist) and David Theak (jazz saxophonist and bandleader).

Past performances have included the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Melbourne Recital Centre, Sydney Opera House, City Recital Hall (Sydney) and at World Saxophone Congresses (Scotland, France and Croatia). 

The quartet has also given live to air broadcasts for ABC Classic FM (“Tango de Saxos” as part of Melbourne Recital Centre’s 10th Birthday celebrations) and Fine Music (Sunday Live and 40th Birthday Celebration).