Reception in support of the Queensland Youth Symphony's International Tour
Queensland Youth Orchestra President, Mr Ian Walker; Vice-President, Mr Matthew Gamer; Board Member, the Honourable Anthe Philippides; Artistic Director, Mr Simon Hewett; General Manager, Mr Geoff Rosbrook, musicians, staff and volunteers; supporters; ladies and gentlemen, good evening.
I begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and pay my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and to the First Nations people here this evening.
I am delighted to welcome you all to Fernberg tonight to support and celebrate the success of Queensland Youth Symphony.
As Governor and Patron of the Queensland Youth Orchestras, it is a great source of pride to me that, right here in this city, we have one of the best youth orchestras in the world, led by a Director of Music who commands respect as a conductor around the globe. That is truly something to celebrate.
Early in my term as Governor, Graeme and I attended the 30th anniversary concert for Chen Yang, and last October, I was honoured to present prizes to the finalists in the John Curro National Youth Concerto Competition.
Both events left us in awe of the talent and commitment of those hundreds of young musicians, but they also clearly demonstrated just how dependent the orchestras are on the hard work and dedication of the QYO staff, the extraordinary team of volunteers, and the many conductors and other professional musicians who serve this iconic orchestra.
It also reinforced for us just what a challenge it is to maintain three symphony orchestras, two concert bands, two junior string ensembles, a chamber orchestra and a Big Band, as well as undertaking an international tour every four years and working in a heritage-listed building.
I take this opportunity to thank and commend the generous sponsors and donors who are with us tonight. Without your support, the Queensland Youth Symphony would simply not be able to undertake their 14th international tour in just three months’ time. They would not be able to share the stage with didgeridoo virtuoso, William Barton, in Singapore, or perform in six of the best concert halls in Austria and Germany, including the fabled home of the Vienna Philharmonic – the very first Australian symphony orchestra, professional or amateur, ever to perform in this famous venue.
We will shortly be given a taste of what European audiences will experience when the Orchestras’ Artist in Residence, soprano Nina Korbe (pron. Neena Korber), sings for us, and when concertmaster, In Yi Chae (pron. In Yee Chay), performs an excerpt from the Tchaikovsky violin concerto which she will perform on tour. Both of them will be accompanied at the piano by Dan Le, a pianist from the Queensland Ballet.
But first, it gives me great pleasure to present QYO President, Ian Walker, with this Certificate of Vice-Regal Patronage. I look forward to continuing to support and advocate for this wonderful orchestra.