Queensland Conservatorium celebrates a remarkable 60 years
The Queensland Conservatorium turns 60 this year.
Often described as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of Griffith University, the ‘Con’ has cemented its reputation as one of Australia’s finest music schools with a glittering roll call of alumni.
Internationally recognised musicians including Dami Im, Jayson Gillham, Katie Noonan, Piers Lane, Megan Washington, Kate Miller-Heidke, Lisa Gasteen and Brett Dean have all passed through its doors.
With players in leading positions in every Australian state orchestra, and a host of Grammy and ARIA award winners amongst its alumni, the Queensland Conservatorium is celebrating a remarkable six decades at the forefront of music education.
The Queensland Conservatorium’s success has been confirmed by a stellar performance in the rankings.
QS World University Rankings listed it among the top 50 performing arts institutions in the world, alongside internationally renowned music schools such as Juilliard, the Royal College of Music and the Paris Conservatoire. The Uni Reviews rankings recently named Griffith University the best creative arts school in the country.
It has come a long way over the past six decades.
The Conservatorium opened its doors on 18 February 1957 at the South Brisbane Town Hall with just 13 full-time students. It was based at Gardens Point through the 1970s and 80s, before moving to a new home in the heart of South Bank’s cultural precinct in 1996.
Queensland Conservatorium Director Professor Scott Harrison is himself a graduate of the ‘Con’.
He said the Queensland Conservatorium had carved out a place as one of the state’s major cultural institutions.
“Thousands of talented students have graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium over the past six decades, and we are still the dream destination for hundreds of aspiring young musicians,” he said.
“This institution has made an enormous contribution to Australia’s musical landscape across a variety of genres, from classical and jazz to musical theatre and popular music.”
Queensland Conservatorium students gain access to the industry while they study, preparing them to make their mark on the international stage.
Orchestral students have the opportunity to attend masterclasses with touring ensembles like The Academy of St Martin in the Fields, intern with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, and play alongside the country’s finest musicians in productions like Griffith Opera on the Beach.
Aspiring opera singers have the opportunity to perform in a fully-staged production each year, working with a dream team of industry creatives, including Oscar-nominated film director Bruce Beresford and Tony award-winning lighting designer Nigel Levings.
Musical theatre students tour interstate for industry showcases, perform with ensembles like the Queensland Pops Orchestra and take masterclasses with Broadway legends like Liz Callaway.
Aspiring jazz musicians play a host of gigs throughout the year, from regular sessions at South Bank’s Green Jam to the City Sounds series and weekly residencies at local clubs.
The Bachelor of Popular music students showcase their talents in the annual SEED project, which involves a spot on an album and a series of supporting gigs. They also undertake annual tours to the US to work with top record producers.
With a mix of outstanding programs and internationally renowned faculty, the Conservatorium offers a truly remarkable learning experience.