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,

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)

Encounters India Bazaar & Beyond Bollywood

Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 May

For one weekend in May, the chaotic and riotous colour and sounds of a Mumbai market will be transported to Brisbane.

The ENCOUNTERS INDIA BAZAAR will transform the Cultural Forecourt of QPAC and locale with dozens of stalls offering Indian food and crafts, fashion and henna painting, meditation and spiritual nourishment, as well as a dazzling array of music and dance.

The weekend will be opened by the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Councillor Graham Quirk, who will also participate in a public discussion about cities and sustainability with his counterpart from Hyderabad, India’s sister city.

From 4pm on Saturday afternoon BEYOND BOLLYWOOD, an all-ages free public concert, will take to the stage in the Courier-Mail Piazza. Leading the line-up will be one of Brisbane’s favourite local musical ensembles, Topology, led by composer-bassist Robert Davidson, a longtime aficionado of traditional Indian music.

An exciting collaboration between the Australian Art Orchestra and the Sruthi Laya ensemble from South India will follow. Since 1996, members of the AAO have been working with their Indian colleagues to produce new pieces which deftly illustrate fusions of the two musical traditions. On this occasion, anticipated to be the last collaboration of its kind, the musicians will present new works under the evocative title “Between Two Oceans”.

Leading members of the AAO will be supported by jazz students from the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University who have been engaged in workshops during the course of the ENCOUNTERS week.

Following a short break, the music resumes at 6pm with a set from the Queensland Youth Symphony Big Band, under their director Rafael Karlen.

The surprises of Bollywood will begin at 7pm, with a battalion of taxis disgorging a troupe of Indian singers and dancers, a flying violinist and Bollywood music and dance from Brisbane’s leading musicians, bands and dancers. The event will be hosted by Nicholas Brown, himself a renowned Bollywood singer-dancer.

From roughly 9pm, the final hours of the evening will be surrendered to Indian DJs who will invite the Bollywood dancers and singers to coax members of the audience to Bolly-dance into the night.

In all, this weekend-long explosion of Indian music, dance, food and ritual will be long remembered as many Brisbane people make their first passage to India – without the need for a passport!

9.00am to 6pm, Saturday 18 May & 9.00am to 4pm, Sunday 19 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,

The Darbar Night Series

Five unforgettable experiences

On five successive evenings, ENCOUNTERS: INDIA creates dialogues in music fit for a king and his court reminiscent of the great Moghul Emperors of India who entertained lavishly at their royal court, the Darbar.

Each concert will explore an aspect of music from the vantage points of Indian traditions and Western culture. Three of these dimensions – rhythm, melody and drone – come together in the final two concerts, the ensemble and the guru, in this case an Australian creator/composer.

7.30pm, Monday 13 May: RHYTHM
Drumming from India, California and Australia will pulsate through the opening DARBAR concert, as Aneesh Pradhan demonstrates the poise and virtuosity of a North Indian tabla solo, while Queensland artists Tunji Beijer represents the South. Special tribute will be paid to Terry Riley, the American guru-composer who drew our ears and imaginations to the intricate glories of Indian music. Iconic works will be introduced by the composer himself in a video conversation, and then performed by Topology and every percussionist at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.

7.30pm, Tuesday 14 May: THE VOICE
Glorious melodies from several traditions and eras soar through the second DARBAR concert, with soprano superstar Patricia Rozario joined by Indian dhrupad singer Ritwik Sanyal, khyal star Shubha Mudgal, and much loved Brisbane singers Heather Lee and Margaret Schindler.

7.30pm, Wednesday 15 May: THE DRONE
That ‘prince of the cello’ Rohan de Saram is the central figure of the third DARBAR concert, as he leads the sumptuous sound of a cello orchestra. Our ‘carpet of cellos’ will perform music from India, London and Australia, much of it especially written for Rohan. Into this we add a tanpura, a sitar, a dancer and from Australia the didgeridoo, the oldest known drone in the history of sound.

7.30pm, Thursday 16 May: THE ENSEMBLE
Two leading ensembles representing the twin traditions of Indian music present the fourth DARBAR concert. From the north (Hindustani) come the khyal singer Shubha Mudgal and her ensemble, and from the south (Carnatic) come the venerable Guru Kaaraikkudi Mani and his musicians. In separate halves of this historic evening, they represent both traditions at their most magnificent, with breath-taking spontaneous improvisations intersecting with moments of profound introspection.

7.30pm, Friday 17 May: THE GURU
The final DARBAR concert celebrates our ‘guru’, the Australian composer Peggy Glanville-Hicks in her centenary year (she was born in Melbourne in 1912 and died in Sydney in 1990). In a male-dominated composing world, Peggy styled herself “PGH” and her music encompassed the traditions of ancient Greece and India, as well as that of post-war New York City. With slides and film and an array of live performances, including several world premieres, two close friends from her final years in Sydney, guest composer Ross Edwards and artistic director Vincent Plush share their repertoire of “PGH-stories” and introduce a sampling of the extraordinary breadth of her music.

Generously supported by the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, the DARBAR series brings together the twin traditions of India, as well as its diaspora on both sides of the Pacific. Even more, it creates a unique and perhaps historic platform for all traditions to explore common dimensions in music.

All performances will take place in the Queensland Conservatorium Theatre, South Bank.

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,

The Diaspora Twilight Series

A glimpse into Indian music and its presence across the globe

Bringing to light aspects of Indian culture barely acknowledged in the Lonely Planet guides of recent generations, the Diaspora series hints at the manifold ways in which Indian culture has permeated into the West in the past 150 years or so.

6pm, Tuesday 14 May

The first Diaspora concert begins with ancient Vedic chants, sung in Sanskrit by leading scholar-singer Ritwik Sanyal. That leads into Sanskrit settings of the Mass by Australian composer Greg Schiemer, a devotee of Indian culture for over 40 years. A short multimedia piece by Leah Barclay blends into a selection of Gustav Holst’s glorious Rig Veda hymns for female voices and harp.

6pm, Wednesday 15 May

Brisbane-based composer Leah Barclay is the central figure in the ensuing Diaspora concert – The DAM(N) Project connecting Australian and Indian communities around the common issue of global water security. In a deeply moving integration of recorded sounds, live music and dance, as well as projected images, Leah and her co-collaborators probe one of the most critical issues facing the future of the planet.

6pm, Thursday 16 May

The third Diaspora concert explores the little known origins of Flamenco, which developed from gypsy music with roots in India, and mixes it with jazz – another vibrant child of musical diaspora. Improvisation is a critical dimension in both jazz and Indian music. sA quartet of musicians, led by pianist-composer Steve Newcomb and tabla virtuoso Dheeraj Shrestha, explore the common-ground between flamenco, jazz and Indian music, providing some illuminating illustrations of a fusion form that is little known or recognised.

6pm, Friday 17 May

The final Diaspora concert celebrates the centenary of the opening of the Royal Opera House in Mumbai. What was once one of the most glowing and ostentatious symbols of the British Raj in India is more recently a déclassé cinema and venue for fashion shows. While the Maharashtran government finally restores the building, our program restores the content of this imposing grand dame to her former glory with excerpts from 19th century French opera. These reveal the Francophile fascination for all things orientales et exotiques. Join Maharajahs and Maharanis as you are invited with the upper crust of Bombay society to share the soaring melodies of Bizet, Delibes and Massenet.

All performances are 70 minutes in duration and will take place in the Ian Hanger Recital Hall of the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, South Bank.

ENCOUNTERS: INDIA is also proudly supported by and the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body; along with Brisbane Marketing, the Brisbane City Council and South Bank Corporation.

MEDIA CONTACT: Lauren Suto, 0418 799 544,

Brisbane transforms into ‘Little India’

For one week this May 13-19, South Bank will be transformed into a bustling parade of contemporary India, bringing to life the vibrant colours, tantalizing aromas and the unmistakable movement and sounds of its music styles.

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

Vincent Plush, Artistic Director of the festival says the traditional music, street bazaars, fine art, dawn ragas, cinema, fashion, debates, dance, masterclasses and daily performances will open Brisbane’s eyes to the diversity of India.

“Like most Australians, my previous knowledge of India was limited largely to ‘the three C’s. Today, Commonwealth, curry and cricket have largely been overshadowed in our imaginations by ‘the bigger B”: Bollywood. While we have all that in our program, we want to show Brisbane that there is more to India than Bollywood.” he says.

Professor Huib Schippers, Director of the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre says the event is also ideally timed, with the recent White Paper and the Prime Minister’s visit.

“As the largest and most exciting of our ENCOUNTERS series, it comes as a vibrant, resonant contribution to cultural dialogue and diplomacy as Australia seeks to re-define its relationship with India,” he said.

Bringing togethe some of the world’s leading exponents of Indian music, both traditional and contemporary, as well as dance, philosophy, meditation and spirituality, politics and more, among many free events is a weekend-long India Bazaar, which will transform QPAC’s Cultural Forecourt into an Indian market. This culminates with a free family concert in the Courier-Mail Piazza. On Saturday 18 May, commencing at 4pm, Topology and the Australian Art Orchestra with the Sruthi Laya Ensemble will perform in Beyond Bollywood. The evening ends with Indian bands, performers and dancers, with music from leading Bollywood DJs.

Other events range from sitars playing by the river band at dawn to a recreation of a 1953 dinner given in Calcutta to honour the first (and only) visit to India of ‘the god of cricket’, Sir Donald Bradman. In that program, his grand-daughter Greta Bradman will sing a song composed by her grandfather. Other Indian musicians will be well known to classical music lovers. Among these are the soprano Patricia Rozario, who sang at Princess Diana’s funeral, and that ‘prince of cellists’ Rohan de Saram.
From India come rising stars of the younger generation, singer Shubha Mudgal and tabla virtuoso Aneesh Pradhan.

Griffith University’s Film School will mount a retrospective season celebrating a centenary of Indian film-making. Next door, the Queensland College of Art presents three exhibitions of contemporary Indian textile art. At GoMA, a two-day symposium gathers leading politicans, writers and thinkers in a cultural dialogue between our countries.

“We hope that our audiences will come away with a better understanding of this vibrant culture in our midst,” says Huib Schippers. “Through ENCOUNTERS, you can almost visit India without leaving Brisbane. Certainly no need for a passport!”

ENCOUNTERS: INDIA is also proudly supported by and the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body; along with Brisbane Marketing, the Brisbane City Council and South Bank Corporation.

MEDIA CONTACT: Lauren Suto, 0418 799 544,

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)