Gallipoli Symphony Australian Premiere Post-Performance Function
I acknowledge the Premier and Minister for Arts, the Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk; the Federal Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, the Honourable Stuart Robert; and all distinguished guests.
As we have just heard, the Gallipoli Symphony is a magnificent and highly moving commemoration of the tragedy and sacrifice of war as experienced by both sides during the ANZACs’ eight months on the Gallipoli Peninsula a century ago.
But the symphony, as I am sure you will all now agree, does more than that. The music, written by Australian, New Zealand and Turkish composers, also celebrates the courage and compassion of former enemies in first reconciling, then becoming friends and, finally, working together to promote peace.
It is evident to us all that both the Australasian and Turkish composers involved have reached into their respective, centuries-old traditions of music to create twelve movements, each responding to separate aspects of the Gallipoli experience and its aftermath.
Like a beautifully decorated Turkish Iznik tile, or a marvellous mosaic, each element of the symphony has acted as a contrast or a complement to the others, creating a whole even greater than the sum of its individual parts.
In a variety of ways which have no doubt been pleasing to us all, the music by the Australian and New Zealand composers has drawn on or reacts to the rich Western musical canon, and the far, far older musical traditions of our respective indigenous peoples.
The Turkish composers have also drawn on long-standing and deep musical traditions. The characteristic modes, quartertones, and melodic shapes of classical Turkish music have been re-imagined to enrich this 21st century symphony.
As Governor, speaking for all Queenslanders, I am delighted and honoured that the Australian premiere of Gallipoli Symphony has taken place in Brisbane. And as Patron of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, it is always pleasing to hear you play so well!
I thank all the governments involved for the commissioning and strong support of this long-term project. I thank the private sector sponsors for their generous contributions to the performance of the Symphony in Turkey and now here in Queensland.
I offer special thanks to the eleven composers involved, including the late Peter Sculthorpe, for the creative energy they have poured into this wonderful initiative.
I believe I speak for all those here tonight in expressing the hope that Gallipoli Symphony will become a much-loved part of the commemorative traditions of ANZAC Day.
It is already showing us that something consoling and noble can emerge from the grief and brutality of war.