21 August 2014
of the Legislative Council
Sculthorpe Condolence Motion
(Rosevears) - Mr President, the Leader has just talked about Peter
Sculthorpe being a very strong and proud Tasmanian and the fact that
he was a Launceston boy. He grew up at his parents' grocery store in
St Leonards, and that weatherboard building still stands in St.
Leonards Road on the corner near the school. He was a student at
Launceston Church Grammar School, and as parents involved with the
school we knew only too well of the heritage and tradition that he
had left at the school. He was a regular visitor at the school,
always welcomed with open arms.
Launceston residents will remember Sculthorpe's
gun and fishing shop in
Brisbane Street that was run by his family. I have never seen it, it
was about 3 metres wide. So in Launceston we can claim Peter
Sculthorpe as our own.
began composing after his first piano lesson at the age of nine and
he first came to international attention in 1955, with his Piano
was performed in BadenBaden in Germany. Then came the first of the
series about the Australian outback, the Irkanda
series, which marked him then as a truly great Australian composer,
not just influenced by and copying the music developed by the great
composers of Europe and Russia. He certainly would have to be the
greatest Australian composer of our time.
quote from a tribute from Chris Latham in The
writing about Peter Sculthorpe's life:
was a great marcher to his own drum. His personal magnetism drew us
into step behind him, and before long 'Australian music' had swelled
into a happy, diverse and vibrant throng. He was a sun in our sky, a
ship in whose slipstream we could follow, a champion who blazed
trails where few had gone before. It will be very difficult for us
all to learn to be our own 'superhero' without him.
love his music because he loved it so deeply, and strove so hard to
make it true. It all unfolded so well, everything in its proper
place, all the proportions so harmoniously balanced.
own memories of his music are: I remember the controversy which goes
back some 15 or 20 years ago, when people were very confronted by a
piece of work by Peter Sculthorpe. It was quite revolutionary but I
remember when - you might remember, Mr President - we had young Ben
Austin play the piano during
my electorate tour and he has gone on to develop into such a fine
pianist. When we brought him back for a concert performance at the
Queen Victoria Museum, he chose a selection of music which included
that Peter Sculthorpe piece. He played and brought that piece of
music by Peter Sculthorpe to life. That is how you need to hear the
music of Peter Sculthorpe, in a live performance, with someone, a
fellow Launcestonian, who really interprets his music quite
brilliantly. I would love for you all to hear that music expressed in
the way Ben Austin was able to express it on the piano, and that was
a tribute. Then I remember, when Ben was catching the plane to go
back, Peter Sculthorpe was actually at the airport coming in on a
- A nice coincidence.
- A wonderful coincidence. In fact we tried to get the two to meet
but it could not be arranged. He was a wonderful man of music, and
one of our very own, who leaves a wonderful music legacy: Peter