Speeches

The Governor is invited to speak at a wide range of significant official, ceremonial and community events, including the Opening of Parliament, ANZAC Day ceremonies and events for Patron groups. A selection of these speeches is available below in a searchable database.

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 at Government House, Brisbane

Morning Tea in Honour of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra

Our 24th Governor and 25th Governor-General, Dame Quentin Bryce; Australian Brandenburg Orchestra Managing Director, Mr Bruce Appelbaum; members, friends, supporters and enthusiasts of the Orchestra; Kaye and I welcome you all most warmly to Government House this morning.

Do you know what day it is? It is Antonio Vivaldi’s birthday. I confess I didn’t know that – our Communications Manager told me this morning!

I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands around Brisbane and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.

I hope the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra musicians here today enjoyed playing last night’s wonderful music as much as we in the audience enjoyed hearing it. Thank you Paul and colleagues, and guest soloist Mr Xavier de Maistre – whom we are delighted to have in Brisbane – thank you all for sharing your amazing musicianship and brilliant artistry with us.

We are fortunate to live at a time when music like Vivaldi’s can boast many devoted enthusiasts among both musicians and audiences.

It was not always so.

The music of both Antonio Vivaldi and J.S Bach, for instance, was known only to a limited number of connoisseurs but otherwise largely ignored or forgotten for many generations after their deaths.

But the wheel has well and truly turned. Baroque music that was highly popular in its time, and later rejected as old-fashioned, has once more become a staple of the concert hall repertoire.

And what music! The corpus of Baroque music is rich in masterpieces and many other pieces that are ‘merely’ excellent.    

Yet I understand that the challenges of playing this music are legion – among them instruments and instrumentation, articulation, ornamentation, and tempos.

Undaunted, the Australian Brandenburg has since 1989 brought ‘period’ music to Australian audiences, including works that stray a little outside the porous timelines of music dubbed ‘Baroque’.   

Paul Dyer is on record as saying that, in hindsight, he views his ambition and naivete in those early days with disbelief.

But sometimes naivete can be a very good thing. We are grateful that the experience did not deter Paul and his collaborators from carrying on with their ambitious project. 

We are grateful that he and his fellow musicians continue to champion this wonderful repertoire in the best possible way – by playing it with skill, vivacity and passion to Australian audiences, including Brisbane audiences since 2015.  

And playing it, moreover, on instruments that take us as close as can reasonably be expected to the original Baroque soundscape – minus the constant chatter and movement that eighteenth century audiences are said to have indulged in!  

I thank the Council, Board, support staff and musicians of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra for their roles in adding so much wonderful colour to the music palette we hear in Australian performance spaces, and in enriching our lives through performance of this glorious music.

Kaye and I wish the Orchestra every success in the future, and we look forward very much to your return to Queensland. Thank you.