Classical Conversations

Returning in 2019 is Classical Conversations. Over 90 minutes, festival Artistic Director Stewart Kelly moderates a discussion of the life, work and musical inspiration of a noted Australian.


For the 2019 festival, we welcome broadcasting legend Margaret Throsby. We will turn the tables on Ms Throsby, whose long running national interview program on ABC Classic FM was one of the most respected programs in Australian media.

Margaret joined the ABC as an announcer in 1967. Since then she has overcome major
barriers to the accepted roles for women in broadcasting. After a dearth, for more than a
decade, of major roles for women on air, Margaret broke the sound barrier for a new
generation, becoming the first woman to read national radio news since the War years. Soon after, in 1978 Margaret was the first woman to present national television news.
She has presented a variety of music and current affairs programs, and won a devoted
audience for her high rating morning program The Margaret Throsby Show on ABC Radio Sydney.

Accolades for her achievements include: Member of the Order of Australia (for Services to Broadcasting, 1989), Variety Club of Australia’s Radio Award, Two Avion Awards for the ‘Best in the World’ in-flight audio programs (Qantas), Golden Gavel Award presented by the Law Society of NSW for Excellence in Legal Reporting, Children’s Week Award Media Award and Rostrum Speaker of the Year.

On ABC Classic FM, the five day a week Midday Interview with Margaret Throsby was one hour interview between 10am and 11 am, in which a special guest gave insight into their life and work, along with their own selection of music.

In over 20 years the list of more than three thousand guests reads like a Who’s Who of
Australians and visitors from abroad. This amazing gathering included Lord Yehudi
Menuhin, Oliver Sacks, Patricia Routledge, Dr Tim Flannery, the Hon Paul Keating, Claire
Bloom, John le Carre, Victoria de los Angeles, Spike Milligan, Jane Fonda, Cate Blanchett,
Bruce Beresford, Steve Waugh, Ian Thorpe, Ralph Fiennes, Martin Amis, The Hon Bob
Hawke, The Hon John Howard, Annie Proulx, Margaret Attwood, Jonathan Franzen, Nigella Lawson, Gerry Adams.


2018 Classical Conversation with Laura Tingle
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