Reception to Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music (AFCM
I am very pleased, as both Governor and Patron of this superb Festival, as is Kaye, to welcome you all here tonight in this the Festival’s significant 25th anniversary year.
Queensland remains very much indebted to the foresight of Professor Ray Golding and founding Artistic Director Theodore Kuchar, who in 1991 prepared the first season of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville. Over the past 25 years the Festival, grounded in their pioneering commitment and coupled with your exemplary vision and dedication, has grown into one of our State’s, indeed our nation’s, premier cultural celebrations.
Kaye and I are privileged in this role to acknowledge, and do our best to support, high community contribution. The arts bind our people in an uplifting way. And so I thank all of you for ensuring the Festival’s enduring success, and in so doing, I speak for all Queenslanders.
And of course I include our redoubtable Artistic Director Piers Lane – who has described his own connection to Queensland’s Far North as “umbilical”. Thank you, Piers, for continuing to honour Queensland through your commitment to the AFCM.
That this year’s innovative programme has once again attracted musicians of international repute, including the Festival debut of dynamic classical pianist Piotr Anderszewski, very much buttresses the Festival’s well-deserved credentials – so much so, I see Mr Kuchar will return to Australia for the first time since 2006 to participate in this year’s Festival! It is once again a programme befitting the tropical setting and warm hospitality of our North.
Kaye and I were also pleased to learn of the Festival’s increasing engagement with the Townsville community, conspicuously this year through the 25th anniversary outdoor community concert at which Tchaikovsky’s rousing 1812 Overture will feature!
I am told the audience will participate in the triumphant climatic volley of cannon fire – although it is a closely guarded secret exactly how! In a garrison city like Townsville, I am confident you will draw an enthusiastic crowd!
Kaye and I thank the current and many former members of the board present here tonight. We also thank the many wonderful sponsors and supporters, particularly those who have bolstered their exceptional contributions to enable an expanded program in this significant anniversary year.
You should all rightly be proud of the Festival’s successes over the past 25 years – may the next 25 years be just as rewarding.
Kaye and I very much look forward to attending the Festival once again in July this year, as we continue to fulfil our rewarding duties both as your Governor, and your Patron!