One thing that delights Brendan Joyce is when “southerners” attempt to find fault with Brisbane.
“Brisbane is alive and has been growing creatively in a spectacular way since at least Expo 88,” Brendan says.
“Seriously, why would you live in the bigger metropolitan centres at the moment when you look at what is happening here?
“All I see are artists and groups from the other cities busting a gut to be part of our ecosystem, which is both flattering and exciting.”
Raised in Ayr, Brendan relocated to Brisbane to study Music at UQ, joining a chamber orchestra called Camerata of St John’s, then a collection of high-level student musicians.
His initial attempts to turn the orchestra professional were not successful so he left to pursue further study in the US, returning after Elizabeth Morgan AM reformed the collective as Camerata and set it on the path to its current success.
“She offered me the leadership role, a newly formed board and enthusiastic players and it grew from there,” Brendan, now Camerata’s Artistic Director, says.
Brisbane’s lack of self-consciousness made it the perfect environment for Camerata to push traditional boundaries.
“Brisbane remains a place where new things can start, unladen with too much tradition. The canvas isn’t blank here but there’s still so much open space on it.”
Under Brendan’s artistic leadership, Camerata has made its mark on that canvas with innovative collaborations and ventures.
It has accompanied both Opera Queensland and Led Zeppelin Masters; made its 2013 Brisbane Festival debut as part of Expressions Dance Company’s When Time Stops; shared the stage with artists including Neil Finn and Kate Miller-Heidke; and played venues spanning studios to stadiums.
“If you want to do something here, then just get up and do it. It’ll only be you, not Brisbane, standing in your way.”