Some of Queensland’s best classical performers joined more than 40 other Australian and British artists for an inspiring London benefit that raised over £35,000 for Australia’s bushfire-affected communities earlier this month.

Queenslanders were also active behind the scenes, with UK-based Queensland tech entrepreneur James Swanston providing leadership and sponsorship for the Australian Bushfire Benefit London, and TIQ London co-sponsoring the reception.

Held at the Royal Academy of Music on 1 March, the benefit featured an orchestra and choir assembled specifically for the event, and an after-show reception attended by more than 350 guests.

Queensland Agent-General and Trade and Investment Commissioner for Europe Linda Apelt said she was proud of the role Queenslanders played both behind the scenes and on stage.

‘It was an absolute honour and pleasure to attend the Australian Bushfire Benefit London Concert at the Royal Academy of Music,’ she said.

‘I am particularly proud of Queensland entrepreneur James Swanston, CEO and Founder of software firm Voyage Control, for his leadership and sponsorship of the event.

‘He worked closely with the brilliant young Australian organisers Bridget O’Donnell and Lotte Betts-Dean, and the Tait Memorial Trust and the Australian Music Foundation, and together they coordinated and delivered a magical evening of world-class entertainment.’

Ms Apelt said the event brought Queenslanders and other Australians living in the UK together with friends and supporters.

‘More than 15 outstanding Queensland musicians living in the UK performed alongside 40-plus other Australian and British classical musicians to deliver a truly incredible and heart-warming concert,’ she said.

‘The spirit of the Australian expat community and our international friends was on display as we gathered to show our support for those affected by the devastating bushfires that swept across Australia in recent months.’

Artists performing on the night included Queensland tenor Paul Tabone – originally from the Far North Queensland town of Ingham – who is currently singing in the Phantom of the Opera in London’s West End.

Other Queenslanders participating included tenor Samuel Sakker, mezzo soprano Catherine Carby, violinist Annabelle Traves, and composer Connor D’Netto, whose pieces were performed.

Funds raised from the benefit will be shared between Lifeline Australia, the Salvation Army, the Australian Bushfire Appeal and Australian Bush Heritage.

TIQ Europe is one of TIQ’s 16 international offices promoting Queensland trade and investment in 12 markets around the world.

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