Our Patron - Grant Foster
A very warm welcome to the young performers of the St George Instrumental Eisteddfod.
It is my pleasure to be the patron of this competition, knowing what is required to walk onto the stage and to perform.
It is important to remember that you are ready; your practice and your teachers' guidance has assured you of this.
Enjoy the occasion, relax and allow the music to sing.
Music is special, it can take us to new horizons, it can soothe the soul, inspire the spirit.
"When words fail, music speaks."
I wish you all the very best.
Biography of Grant Foster
DSCM, LMusA, AMusA
Born in Sydney in 1945, Grant Foster studied piano with Alexander Sverjensky at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where he obtained his Diploma of Music in 1966. During that same year Foster won the State ABC Concerto Composition with his performance of Khachaturian's Concerto. He then studied in Paris for seven years with Professor Marcel Ciampi and Denise Reviere and developed a strong technique and an inspired insight into the keyboard repertoire.
Foster started composing at an early age and composed his first opera, Dark Love, at 16. His music was heard by producers in London, resulting in his composing of incidental music for Peter Pan directed by Sir Robert Helpmann. The show was a big success and ran for seven consecutive Christmas seasons. Later on hearing of the death of Helpmann, he composed an Elegy.
A return to Sydney saw Foster recording his first major classical piano work, Rhapsody for piano and orchestra - War, Peace, Love, for E.M.I. records. Classical music reviewer in Melbourne, Bob Crimeen wrote of the Rhapsody: "He has written a composition that could in time, be regarded as one of the most significant contributions by an Australian to classical music".
Several directors from Harrods in London heard the Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra and commissioned Foster to launch their new Harrods Selection label. This consisted of a series of three piano solo CDs featuring works of the great composers and including several of Foster's own compositions. For a 4th CD he was commissioned to compose an overture, The Harrods Celebration Overture, recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Foster compositions include works for piano; songs; chamber music; a flute concerto; and piano concerto. He now lives in Bowral and has recently composed a Concerto in G minor for Piano and Orchestra: A Cry for Peace; a Song Cycle: Songs of Love and Loss; Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra and his Owl of Dubai Suite, consisting of three works inspired by his novel The Owl of Dubai.
This year Foster's Elegy: In Hommage to Sir Robert Helpmann was recorded in Moscow for the Belair Music label based in Monaco. Further recordings are to follow in 2007. Grant Foster is also the Artistic Director of the new Southern Highlands International Piano Competition.
In recent years Foster's The Pearl of Dubai Suite and Ballad of Reading Gaol were recorded in Russia for Quartz Music. His latest CD of piano works were recorded by Melba Recordings.
Foster completed his 4th Piano Concerto and his 3rd Symphony in 2019.