The Lev Vlassenko Competition and Festival Grand Final Concert
Ambassador Logvinov; Shadow Minister, Ian Walker MP, and Mrs Walker; Your Honour; Patron, Mr Callinan; other distinguished guests – of which there are so many; ladies and gentlemen. I was delighted to host an afternoon tea at Government House last week, with Kaye, to welcome the Lev Vlassenko contestants and jury members to Queensland, and to thank the many donors, sponsors and volunteers who support this wonderful competition.
Meeting the competitors over afternoon tea gave me a privileged and personal insight into the lives, hopes and aspirations of every one of those remarkable young musicians.
My conversations about their passion for music and for their chosen instrument have made tonight’s Grand Final Concert even more exciting for me and, like everyone else, I am looking forward with great anticipation to the announcement of the prize winners.
It has been a thrilling evening of fine music and it makes me immensely proud, as Governor and the inaugural Patron of the competition, that this event, instigated in Queensland by Queenslanders, is now one of the most prestigious and valuable of its kind in the country.
That growth from an ambitious vision to today’s splendid reality is in no small way due to the leadership and dedication of Ian Hanger.
It’s a very long time since Ian decided to eschew a possible future as a flautist and, instead, pursue a career in the law, but his love of music has never waned.
In addition to his commitment to this competition, his input to this institution, the Queensland Conservatorium, has been enormous, from serving as President of the Friends of the Conservatorium to his appointment as a member of its Council and election as Chairman of the Advisory Council.
He also played a vital role in ensuring State Government and community support, and advocated strongly for the Conservatorium’s relocation to South Bank.
With such a vital contribution, it was most fitting that Griffith University named the Ian Hanger Recital Hall in his honour when this excellent facility opened in 1996.
The Lev Vlassenko Competition also knows the value of having such a committed advocate and supporter, and on behalf of everyone associated with the competition and all Queenslanders, I thank Ian for the tremendous contribution he has made.