Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music founder David Chisholm will guide the curation of the three-day event from across the Tasman Sea next year.
Mr Chisholm, who founded BIFEM in 2013 and acts as its artistic director and CEO, will take on the role of senior lecturer in composition at the University of Auckland from January.
But he will still be a regular visitor to Bendigo with BIFEM set to forge ahead to its seventh year from September 6 to 9, 2019.
“The festival has been programmed remotely five out of the last six years,” he said.
“One of associate artists is based in Paris, another is across New Zealand, Australia and Europe, one is in London and one is in Melbourne.
“It’s complex but they all know Bendigo so well and the ground team (who help organise) the event in Bendigo are terrific.”
Mr Chisholm has lived in Golden Square for the last four years and knew the international potential of the festival after its first year.
“After the first edition I definitely knew I was on to something,” he said. “Every festival has its challenges and surprises but (BIFEM) has garnered international and national respect.
“There is a smaller local audience (than what we would like) but there's deep respect for the festival in Bendigo.”
While the move to the Land of the Long White Cloud is somewhat daunting, Mr Chisholm believes it will add an extra dimension to the festival.
“Certainly Bendigo will still be a beacon for me but this was an incredible opportunity,” he said.
Next year’s BIFEM will co-incidentally have a New Zealand flavour.
“There’s always big influx of visitors from New Zealand for festival, so in that sense I have been aware of the (exploratory music) activities in New Zealand over the last seven years,” he said.
“We already have something planned for next year that has a New Zealand focus. It was in place before I was offered my position.”
Mr Chisholm said his appointment was the cherry on top of a big year for him.
“I was a little surprised (to get the appointment). I secured my doctorate earlier this year and am relatively fresh but at the same time it is a great result for my (music composition),” he said.
“The opportunity to build a program and develop a curriculum was exciting to the pedagogue in me. I can take what learned here to more significant position.
“It was a very complex decision emotionally and professionally. I feel a bit vindicated in that I am valued and recognised. I have sometimes struggled with (accepting) that sense of recognition despite the successes with festival.”
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