Tony Gould AM 1937

Tony Gould

In 1979, after a world-wide search, Tony Gould was appointed Director of Queensland’s new $130 million Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), which opened in 1985.

During his 23 years at the helm, QPAC attendances totalled more than eight million and there were in excess of twelve thousand performances.

Tony Gould is one of Australia’s most respected and experienced arts administrators.

Born in Sydney in 1937, he started his career as an actor in the UK and Australia. From 1961 to 1972 he worked as an arts administrator with the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust. This brought him into contact with many overseas artists and with virtually all of Australia’s major performing arts companies including The Australian Ballet and the Elizabethan Trust Opera Company (now Opera Australia).

Gould joined the ABC in 1972. After a short stint as State Concert Manager for Queensland, he moved to Sydney to become a senior member of the management team responsible for bringing some of the world’s leading orchestras and concert artists to Australia, and for presenting around 750 concerts annually.

In 1979, after a world-wide search, Tony Gould was appointed Director of Queensland’s new $130 million Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), which opened in 1985. The Centre was acclaimed for its achievements in all disciplines of the performing arts, and its contribution to the development of social-justice performing arts programs was internationally recognised. On the twentieth anniversary of his directorship, Gould’s leadership with arts-tourism initiatives was recognised with a special award from Brisbane Tourism.

In addition to his responsibilities as CEO and Artistic Director of QPAC, Gould established – and was Artistic Director of – the Brisbane Festivals from 1996 to 2004. His festivals always included a high proportion of Australian performers and performing companies. During his time at QPAC, Tony Gould was Chairman of the Board of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

He has served on the Council of the Queensland University of Technology, the Queensland Arts Council, the Queensland Cultural Centre Trust and the Music Council of Australia. He was a member of the Board of the Queensland Performing Arts Trust and served on the Australia International Cultural Council – a body established to promote Australia’s arts image overseas. He was appointed a Queensland Australia Day Ambassador on five successive occasions.

Tony Gould was admitted to the degree of Doctor of the University by Queensland University of Technology in 1998 and Griffith University in 2001. In 2002 he was appointed Adjunct Professor at QUT in the faculty of Creative Industries.

During his 23 years at the helm, QPAC attendances totalled more than eight million and there were in excess of twelve thousand performances. Though he worked with all major presenting organisations, Gould’s focus was invariably on Australian performers and creative artists. On his retirement in 2002, QPAC’s exhibition space was named the Tony Gould Gallery. In 2005 the Queensland Government named Gould a “Queensland Great”, acknowledging his “Invaluable Personal Contribution to Queensland”.

Tony Gould is an active supporter of the Actors’ and Entertainers’ Benevolent Fund (Qld). In 2008 he was presented with an AEBF Lifetime Achievement Award; he is currently the Fund’s Patron. In 1994 Tony Gould was made a Member of the Order of Australia for service to the Arts.

He and his wife Jenny have been married for 46 years and have two children: Anthony is a University Professor in Canada; and Kate is the CEO of the Adelaide Festival of Arts.

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