Reception in support of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra
Member for Moggill, Dr Christian Rowan; Queensland Symphony Orchestra Board Chair, Mr Chris Freeman; Board Directors; ladies and gentlemen – including many generous philanthropic supporters of the Orchestra.
Kaye and I are absolutely delighted to host this reception to celebrate the Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s 2019 season, and we wish you all a very warm welcome to Government House: warm that is in the metaphorical sense – fortunately in climate terms it is refreshingly cool in the Drawing Room this afternoon!
It is a tremendous honour through this role to be able to support the Orchestra in this way – our Orchestra, now 72 years old.
My own early developing appreciation dates back to the era of renowned Conductor Rudolf Pekárek in the 1960s. And the Orchestra, now a septuagenarian of great contemporary brilliance!
And now I commit the speechmaker’s sin of speaking for a moment not of the QSO.
Kaye and I have been most privileged in recent weeks to enjoy an amazingly eclectic offering of musical experiences – reflective, in a way, of the broad public application of this Office.
Let me illustrate, on Monday we attended the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s riveting performance of Beethoven & Prokofiev at QPAC, yet on Saturday we joined The Eagles at Boondal with our Deputy Chair Rod Pilbeam and Judy.
It was remarkable to sense at Boondall the utter exultation of the 10 and a half thousand of our fellow citizens present!
And then there was the superbly ground-breaking Australian Ballet production of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: I am glad, by the way, that I don’t live in that ‘wonderland’ – rather Queensland, and then also very recently the rather edgy story, and great music, of Jersey Boys.
How all of these have been wonderful additions to our capital city’s cultural calendar.
The constants, the utterly reliable energizing constants in that calendar, are our State companies – Queensland Ballet, Opera Queensland, Queensland Theatre Company . . . and the QSO.
Already this grandly historic and impressively contemporary Orchestra’s season is off to a wonderful start, with a number of glowing reviews for the season opening concert, which Kaye and I were privileged to attend at the Concert Hall last month.
Rightly named Heavenly, it offered but a taste of what audiences can expect to hear throughout the coming year.
Browsing through the season program, I was particularly pleased to note Music Director Alondra de la Parra remark that there would be a focus this year on presenting more works from Australian composers.
I also acknowledge the QSO’s highly successful Artist-in-Residence program.
English-born classical pianist Mr Paul Lewis joins the Orchestra this year, following in the footsteps of previous Artists-in-Residence Sergio Tiempo and Maxim Vengerov.
I trust Mr Lewis’s residency with the QSO will be a true collaboration, and a rich cultural exchange for both Orchestra and pianist.
Today I also congratulate Ho-Se Kim, a young cellist and winner of this year’s Young Instrumentalist Prize.
Indeed, I congratulate all 51 applicants who aspired to this prize.
Earlier this month, the six finalists performed at the QSO’s South Bank studio.
Daunting though it is to perform at such a young age, for these fine young musicians it is the next step towards the realisation of their goals.
I thank the QSO for providing such wonderful opportunities to the next generation of creative Queenslanders.
As proud Patron of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Governor of the State, it is my pleasure to follow the Orchestra and to be a part of your journey as you bring joy to audiences through your masterful playing – and that journey, very importantly, embraces the whole of the State, so far as logistically possible.
I hope 2019 is a successful, busy, and rewarding year for all of you.
As our wonderful QSO strives for perfection, to enhance the well-being of all of us, we acknowledge that tonight, in our own way, at your Government House, by hospitality which is the very best we can accomplish!
May I be excused for suggesting a synergy between spectacular musicianship and spectacular hospitality?