Bendigo music festival begins

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Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music opened on Friday morning with a children's workshop.

The workshop, called Cushion Concert: Zubin Kanga, allowed children and their families to explore music alongside acclaimed pianist Zubin Kanga.

Festival founder and artistic director David Chisholm said the festival was an amazing display.

He said each performance had a connection to the other.

He said some performances were logical and some illogical.

"The idea of the festival is for people to explore all possibilities of music," he said.

"We tried to keep ticket prices low so people could jump in when they wanted and attend what they felt drawn to."

He said it was entirely up to the audience where the festival took them.

The festival is the only one of its kind in Australia.

"We have more than 15 international artists and many Australian artists, too," he said.

He said the musicians worked in classical music tradition.

"The difference is we work with living composers," he said.

"About 90 per cent of the composers we use are actually living and breathing.

"Most are even under 40 years old."

The festival has grown from a $1500 pre-festival event in 2012 to a $250,000 event in 2014.

City of Greater Bendigo city futures director Stan Liacos said Bendigo had a strong investment in arts.

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