4MBS Opening Concert of 29th Annual Festival of Classics A Choral Celebration
Chair of 4MBS Classic FM, Mr Mathew Farrell and Board Members; Representing Patron, The Queensland Choir, the Honourable Ian Callinan AC QC, Board Member of The Queensland Choir, Mr Michael Toohey, Chair of the Queensland Choir, Mr Don Jameson; General Manager 4MBS, Mr Gary Thorpe; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen. As patron of 4MBS Classic FM, I am delighted to be with you for this exciting opening concert of the 2022 Festival of Classics.
I begin by acknowledging the traditional custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and extend respectful greetings to Elders, past, present, and emerging.
Tonight marks the beginning of an exceptional month of classical music in South-East Queensland with talks, special radio events, a musical memorial to the much-loved Howard Ainsworth, a full-day Romantic Marathon, as well as soloists and ensembles performing instrumental and vocal works from miniatures to full concertos – not to mention the inaugural season of Mr Mark’s Cushion Concerts for children.
The chosen focus on the Great Romantics as the theme for this year’s Festival is, of course, no accident because 2022 marks the sesquicentenary of The Queensland Choir.
This extraordinary organisation has been thrilling the souls of listeners and performers alike since the height of the Romantic era when it was established as the Brisbane Musical Union.
The Choir today proudly continues the tradition established by its founders and I congratulate the choristers, the board and the Choir’s musical leaders, particularly Kevin Power, on reaching this important milestone. I also thank 4MBS Classic FM for giving us all the opportunity tonight to enjoy some of the best-loved choral music of the Romantic era.
It should come as no surprise that the music of that era continues to thrill and inspire us. Like them, we are living at a time of rapid societal change; William Blake’s ‘dark satanic mills’ are, if anything, even more evident than they were then; and as the world slowly realises that there is no Planet B, we, too, find ourselves turning to nature for inspiration and solace, as the Romantics did.
The team that put together the 2022 Festival program have certainly been inspired. The creative energy and voluntary effort involved is truly remarkable, especially given the pandemic that has had such a profound effect on our lives for the past two years, and the floods that so recently devastated South-East Queensland.
As Governor, I am privileged to speak for all Queenslanders and on their behalf, I congratulate and thank everyone involved in bringing to fruition the 2022 Festival of Classics and this opening night concert. Graeme and I are looking forward to a wonderful evening.