A conversation with Iain Grandage; composer, conductor and Artistic Director of Perth Festival

April 13, 2021

The UWA Fogarty Scholars and Alumni had the wonderful opportunity to share a conversation with Iain Grandage, composer, conductor and Artistic Director of Perth Festival, at a recent Leadership Series event.

Iain is the first Perth-raised Artistic Director of the Festival in its 68-year history and spoke of how following his passion enabled him to work on the world stage.

Iain spoke with the Scholars about the arts, our community, Western Australia, Perth Festival, the celebration of stories, being connected, leadership and the importance of listening.

He shared his thoughts on leadership and whilst he had experienced many missteps throughout his career, he encouraged the students to always strive to enact positive change if (and when) they find themselves in a position to do so.

“Never presume you know. Always listen with open ears. That is where you will find the understanding and connection you need to move forward,” Iain said.

Iain is one of Australia’s most highly regarded collaborative artists, having won Helpmann Awards for his compositions for theatre, dance, opera, silent film and as a music director.

He has received Victorian Green Room Awards, the prestigious Sidney Myer Performance Arts Award for an individual and the APRA/AMC award for Vocal Work of the Year. He has curated the chamber music program for the Adelaide Festival and been the Artistic Director of the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival.

Iain has been composer-in-residence with the WA Symphony Orchestra and has an extensive track record of collaboration with Indigenous artists across the country. He explained to the Scholars that he had always been excited about the possibilities inherent in being Perth Festival’s Artistic Director because of the ability of the arts to change perceptions – of people, places and our history.

Share this article