The Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University has received a $1 million bequest that will benefit generations of young musicians.

Emily Reinhardt gifted the money toestablish an annual piano scholarship – an act of generosity that will ensure the best and brightest performers are able to pursue their studies at the Queensland Conservatorium.

Emily’s husband Peter came from a famous artistic family in Austria, who founded the famed Salzburg Festival and were involved in film and theatre. The family’s castle was a meeting place for writers, actors and composers and later provided the setting for the iconic film ‘The Sound of Music’.

However, like many people of Jewish descent, Peter was forced to flee Austria during WWII. He found refuge in the Netherlands, where he met Emily. The couple immigrated to Australia in 1950 to start a new life on the Gold Coast.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the German government compensated the Reinhardt family. Emily and Peter decided to gift their share of the inheritance to help foster the careers of young musicians.

Griffith University Deputy Vice Chancellor (Engagement) Professor Martin Betts said the gift from the estate of Peter and Emily Reinhardt was “remarkable”.

“This gift will create opportunities for the most talented musicians in Australia to pursue their studies at Griffith,” he said.

“Emily Reinhardt was passionate about providing an outstanding music education for our finest young performers.

“This generous endowment will benefit many generations of piano students and reflects the importance of the arts to our donors and the broader community.”

The scholarship will be open to entrance level, undergraduate students, and provide an annual stipend for the duration of their study. The first scholarship recipient will be announced later this year.

Queensland Conservatorium Director Professor Scott Harrison said that the gift would be “life-changing”.

“A gift of this magnitude underscores the vital role the Queensland Conservatorium plays in guiding the next generation of outstanding musicians,” he said.

“Music played an incredibly important role in Emily Reinhardt’s life.

“Her generous gift will have a very real impact on our students – this scholarship has the power to change lives.”