The Cricket Banquet


Thursday 16 May

Cricket and music will come together for one evening in May as the clock is turned back 60 years to relive the ‘god of cricket’ Sir Donald Bradman’s only visit to India.

The imperial splendor of The Old Museum in Bowen Hills will be transformed for the dinner-theatre event as part of the ENCOUNTERS: INDIA festival presented by the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.

Artistic Director and creator of the event, Vincent Plush, explains the event connects the common loves of India and Australia.

“With India, it was almost too easy. We have cricket and curries in common, which was enough to begin work developing THE CRICKET BANQUET.”

In 1953, Sir Donald Bradman and his family boarded a plane from Sydney to London to attend the Ashes series. Knowing that the flight was to touch down at Dum Dum Airport in Calcutta to refuel, The Don requested that the authorities not reveal his presence, fearing pandemonium.

In this (largely fictional) re-creation of that occasion, guests will arrive to THE CRICKET BANQUET under the guise of a large crowd assembled in the airport terminal building for a banquet to welcome their hero.

The Master of Ceremonies, well-known Indian-Australian actor Nicholas Brown, will introduce performers in operatic excerpts, salon pieces and cricket songs from the 1850s to the present day, many to celebrate The Don.

Among the guests will be The Don’s own grand-daughter, Greta Bradman, an acclaimed concert singer, who will present a rare find – one of her grandfather’s own songs. Pianist, Robert Keane will join the star-studded roster of ENCOUNTERS guests and The Con Artists Jazz Band, led by Steve Newcomb. A new song, created by those cricket-tragic twins Martin and Peter Wesley-Smith, will be premiered.

A special three-course Indian banquet has been devised by Manju Jehu and Suneel (Sunny) Lalwani, the much loved owners of the Bombay Dhaba-Bombay Bliss restaurants. Guests are

There will be competitions and prizes for audience members in period costume (Calcutta, 1950s). Tickets are $160 per head or $1,400 for a table of ten (including meal and drinks).

“I have long wanted to find a way to bring cricket and music together,” Plush says of his boyhood passions. “A half-century later, I want everyone to remember this night for the rest of their lives!”

7.30pm, Thursday 16 May


ENCOUNTERS: INDIA is presented by Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University as an extraordinary seven day festival, with more than 70 leading artists from India and Australia across 70 events exploring the links between these two neighbours.


MEDIA CONTACT: Lauren Suto, 0418 799 544,

Ravi Shankar Tribute at ENCOUNTERS: INDIA

Last Wednesday (12 Dec), as I was driving from Canberra back up to Brisbane, I listened to CDs of some of the music that we’re planning to present in ENCOUNTERS: INDIA next May (Brisbane, 9-19 May 2013). One of the CDs was a selection of pieces for flute and harp, with that masterly Australian duo Geoffrey Collins (flute) and Alice Giles (harp). Their recital was recorded in Sydney in January 1993 (twenty years ago!) and released by Belinda Webster on her Tall Poppies label (TP 031).

The opening track is a lovely 13 minute piece called L’aube enchantee (The Enchanted Dawn) sur le RagaTodi’, a 1986 composition by none other than Ravi Shankar himself. Now, many musicians have serious reservations about his three Sitar Concertos, but here is a little gem of a piece which beckons familiarity and repeated listenings. Totally charmed by the piece, I told myself that we must find a way to perform it during ENCOUNTERS.

It must have been around that same time that news of the death of the 92-year-old master musician reached us.

I’m thinking we should also examine his legacy – particularly as it relates to the greater appreciation of Indian classical music in the West (The Beatles notwithstanding) – as part of our ENCOUNTERS Symposium. I’d be keen to hear what you think.


Tagore Composition Competition

As part of its focus on Indian-Australian cultural intersections, ENCOUNTERS: INDIA announces a competition for musical settings of the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941). This competition observes the centenary of the award of the Nobel Prize in Literature (1913) to Tagore, the first non-European to receive this award.

The competition relates to the composition of an art-song for high voice and piano, between 5-7 minutes in duration. The text will be drawn from the prose or poetry of Tagore. Composers must use the most recent translations by William Radice.

The winning piece will be selected by an adjudication panel on merit of craft, creativity, and engagement with text. Composers may choose to connect with elements of Indian music in their writing. The intention is that the prize-winning work/s might enter the recital repertory of singers throughout the world.

This competition is generously sponsored by Canberra-based literary figure Barbara Blackman AO.

Final judging will be conducted in the week of ENCOUNTERS: INDIA (9-19 May 2013) in Brisbane.

The panel is likely to include several visiting participants in the festival, including soprano Patricia Rozario (London), soprano Greta Bradman (Melbourne), dhrupad singer Amelia Cuni (Berlin), librettist/translator William Radice (London) and Conservatorium faculty: Stephen Cronin (Head of Composition), and Gregory Massingham and Margaret Schindler (Vocal and Opera Department).

The winning work/s will be performed by Greta Bradman as part of her recital of Tagore settings during ENCOUNTERS: INDIA, and recorded for future broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Copies of these scores will be lodged in the collections of the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University (Brisbane), the Australian Music Centre (Sydney) and the National Library of Australia (Canberra). The composers will retain copyright in their works.

Prize-money of AUD$2,000 will be distributed at the discretion of the judging panel.

Secondary school students in Queensland will be eligible for a Special Prize of $100.

Details and requirements

  • The TAGORE Composition Competition is open to composers from Australia and India under the age of 30.
  • Entrants will be required to secure copyright permissions for their settings.
  • All entries must be submitted with a signed application form (see attached).
  • The submitted work is to be an original composition that has not been previously premiered, commercially recorded, or awarded a prize.
  • Scores must be typeset on computer and submitted on A4 paper in 3 separately bound copies.
  • Entrants must submit their entries in the form of a sealed envelope containing the following:
  • the application form
  • 3 bound scores
  • a program note stating the candidate’s compositional intent (maximum 300 words)
  • a biography (maximum 250 words) and a recent photograph (400 dpi)

Please do NOT submit:

  • original manuscripts
  • loose sheets secured with a staple, paperclip or bulldog clip
  • hand-written scores that are not sufficiently legible


  • Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre reserves the right not to award the prize in the case that the panel cannot decide on a worthy composition.
  • Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre reserves the right to host or assign a host for its first broadcast.
  • Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre reserves the right to mount the first performance(s) of the prize-winning work(s) for a period of six months following the announcement of the prize-winning work(s).

Candidates are invited to submit their work no later than 5pm, Friday 1 March 2013 (postmarked) to:

Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre
The Encounters Tagore Composition Competition
PO Box 3428, South Brisbane
Queensland 4101, Australia

Submissions may be delivered in person:

Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre (QCGU, Room 2.16)

Finalist(s) will be notified of the results on Monday 15 April 2013.

Further information
Dr Nicholas NG | Assistant Curator, ENCOUNTERS: INDIA
Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre
PO Box 3428, South Brisbane QLD 4101
E | P 3735 6239 | M 0411 318 696

Tagore Composition Competition INFORMATION SHEET (PDF file)

Tagore Composition Competition APPLICATION FORM (PDF file)

The Australian – ENCOUNTERS: CHINA Review

MUSIC: Gillian Wills
From: The Australian
May 11, 2010 12:00AM

Encounters: Musical Meetings Between Australia and China.

The Queensland Conservatorium, May 6-9.

COINCIDING with the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, the Queensland Conservatorium mounted an ambitious, robust program to celebrate and probe the complex musical relationships between Australia and China.

Much more significant than a traditional music conference, the themes were explored through discussion and

Contributors included composers Gao Ping and John Huie, sheng player Wang Zheng-Ting and percussionist Vanessa

Workshops scrutinised Sichuan music, the spiritual music of Buddhism and Taoism and kunqu, or traditional Chinese opera. Concerts featured the local Sunshine Philharmonic Choir and a dazzling pipa virtuoso from Beijing.
There were film screenings of Lulu’s Opera House, a photography exhibition and discussions about the impact of
Chinese theatre and opera during the gold rush years.

Impressively, the opening concert premiered three Australian and three Chinese works, performed by the New Purple Forbidden City Orchestra from the Central Conservatory of Beijing and Queensland’s Golden Orb ensemble. The
concert is to be repeated at Beijing’s Modern Music Festival later in the month.

Curator Nicholas Ng aimed to broaden western perceptions of Chinese music – with traditional forms to folk,
contemporary and jazz – and asked audiences to consider whether pieces derived from a fusion of Australian and
Chinese idioms are evolving in to a new musical genre.

A provocative series of discussions was chaired by Vincent Plush with Anne Boyd and John Curro as panel members.
One intense discussion asked whether there are moral or economic ramifications when composers such as Puccini or
Larry Sitsky (in his Violin Concerto No.3) borrow from Chinese music.

The concluding concert, Harvest of Endurance, featured the Song Company and conductor Roland Peelman.
It included the work of 18 composers – Betty Beath, Elena Kats-Chernin, Erik Griswold and Kim Cunio among them –
and narration by William Yang.

Each evocative piece reflected on a different painting from a 50m scroll that charts the history and suffering endured by Chinese immigrants.

Copyright 2010 News Limited. All times AEST (GMT +10)