A renowned music educator, researcher and pianist has been appointed Director of the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.

Professor Bernard Lanskey led the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music at the National University of Singapore for the past 15 years and before that, was part of the senior leadership team at London’s Guildhall School of Music & Drama, overseeing their ensembles and postgraduate music programs.

His appointment to the top post at the Queensland Conservatorium reflects a lifelong connection with music, which has seen him perform in more than 40 countries and nurture generations of musicians across two continents.

Professor Lanskey said the Queensland Conservatorium had played a central role in the cultural life of Queensland for more than 60 years.

“The Conservatorium has an amazing roll call of alumni, truly inspiring faculty, incredibly committed staff and a fantastic reputation across the state, nationwide and globally.”

“It is clearly a beacon for music in Queensland and beyond. It’s exciting to come back to Queensland to contribute to such a vibrant creative ecosystem.”

Professor Lanskey grew up in Cairns, where, as a young pianist, he played the cathedral organ and took part in musicals, concert hall recitals and gigs with local pop and jazz bands.

He said music was his passport to the world. His studies took him to Paris and London, and he has worked throughout Australia, Southeast Asia, China, the United Kingdom and Europe as a pianist, festival director, recording producer and educator.

As head of the Queensland Conservatorium, Professor Lanskey wants to raise awareness of the potential of the creative arts. Beyond creating and performing, this embraces production, entrepreneurship and interdisciplinary collaboration, with a focus on social impact and industry connections.

“I love the fact that the Conservatorium is a part of a university like Griffith — it creates opportunities for collaboration across disciplines and into diverse communities,” he said.

“It’s about focusing on the student and on their evolution, and on what is next in music.”