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Brisbane secures leading national cultural festival

Queensland will stage Australia’s only Baroque festival under a new three-year agreement, reinforcing the state’s reputation as a cultural mecca.  

Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) CEO, Leanne Coddington, said the popular festival, previously hosted in Hobart, would see a series of exclusive cultural events staged in Brisbane in April.


“The nine-day Brisbane Baroque, artistically directed by art impresario Leo Schofield AM, is the only one of its kind dedicated to this art form in Australia,” Ms Coddington said.

“Cultural tourism is a significant contributor to the economy and vibrant events such as Brisbane Baroque are an important lure in attracting more visitors to Queensland. 

“We anticipate that this event will generate more than 36,000 visitor nights and $9 million in visitor spending through until 2017. 

Brisbane Baroque is a cultural celebration of late 17th and early 18th century music, which will be staged at venues such as the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), Brisbane City Hall, the Queensland Conservatorium Theatre, and select churches throughout Brisbane.

Brisbane Baroque will feature an exclusive Australian-first production of Faramondo, a rare opera by George Frideric Handel, one of the most prolific composers of the Baroque era.  

“With continued growth, TEQ expects the event to compete globally with other major international Baroque festivals such as the Valletta International Baroque in Malta, the Boston Early Music Festival in the USA, and the Göttingen International Handel Festival in Germany,” Ms Coddington said.

Brisbane Baroque will be promoted as part of It’s Live! In Queensland, an initiative which highlights the perfect union of world-class events and destinations.” 

Brisbane Baroque Artistic Director, Leo Schofield, said he was delighted the event was making its way to Queensland’s capital city in 2015.

“This city aspires to be the cultural capital of Australia and in recent years has made huge strides towards that goal,” said Mr Schofield.

“Queenslanders certainly understand the value of cultural tourism which is why a unique festival of early music has such appeal.” 

Executive Director, Jarrod Carland, said Brisbane provides the perfect backdrop for locals and visitors to experience unique cultural offerings.

“Not only will Brisbane Baroque feature leading overseas artists, it will also provide an opportunity to showcase the talents of young Australian and Queensland musicians,” Mr Carland said.  

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Media Contact: Tourism and Events Queensland, 07 3535 5225