Opening of the Ian Potter Southbank Centre

Opening of the Ian Potter Southbank Centre

Saturday 1 June 2019

It was wonderful to participate in the opening of this amazing new facility located right next to The Recital Centre and the VCA, and home to the new Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.

The event opened with a traditional smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country in Linear Park, with Boon Wurrung Elder, N’arweet Carolyn Briggs accompanied by student performers from the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development. A fanfare composed by Mark Pollard invited all to enter the building.

ABC’s Virginia Trioli was the MC for the formal proceedings. After speeches by the Vice –Chancellor of the University of Melbourne, Duncan Maskell and Chairman of the Ian Potter Foundation, Charles Goode AC, the Honourable Martin Foley, MP formally declared the building open.

Guests were then invited to roam the building and experience a wide range of genres all performed by students. I was particularly impressed by the sizable Conservatorium Orchestra performing Bartok’s, Concerto for Orchestra (Mvts 4 and 5) as well as Dvorak’s, Carnival Overture and Brahms, Hungarian Dance No. 5.

It was impossible to hear all performances, which included jazz, solo piano, vocal performances both traditionally operatic and modern. Current students also held interactive composition and Ethnomusicology demonstrations.

The last performance of the evening was Barry Conyngham’s, gripping Bushfire Dreaming and Tchaikovsky’s lush, String Serenade (Last Mvt)

Throughout the event, delicious food and drinks of all kinds were available a plenty.

The architects designed the building to connect with the outside but at the same time, warding off unwanted vibrations from the outside and within the building itself, for all its numerous practice and performing rooms. Lucky Melbourne to have this stunning educational edifice!

Josie Thomas
Victorian Music Teachers' Association

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