Katie Noonan Takes Over As Artistic Director Of Queensland Music Festival

8 February 2016 | 12:42 pm | Staff Writer

The acclaimed artist will replace James Morrison at the helm of the event

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Celebrated singer-songwriter Katie Noonan — she of George fame — has been announced as the new Artistic Director for the annual Queensland Music Festival, replacing lauded jazz musician James Morrison as his tenure comes to an end.

The news was announced by the state Premier and Minister for the Arts, Annastacia Palaszczuk, yesterday, and is a particularly impressive achievement for the quadruple ARIA winner, who is the first Queensland woman — and youngest-ever person — to take the role. Understandably, Palaszczuk heralded Noonan as "the perfect choice" to care for the direction of the festival over the next four years, effective immediately.

"Raised and based in Queensland, Katie Noonan has built an international profile and fan-base across many musical genres including jazz, opera, classical, pop and rock, but she has always kept close ties to her home state," Palaszczuck said in a statement.

"Her track record as an ARIA award winner and platinum-selling artist, her personal knowledge of Queensland that she gained touring with her bands and as a solo artist, and her far-reaching professional network make her the ideal candidate to lead future Queensland Music Festivals.

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"I'm confident Katie's artistic leadership will see her create an innovative program with sensational musical experiences to engage audiences and enhance Queensland's reputation as a culturally dynamic state."

Palaszczuk's effusive sentiments were echoed by QMF chair Athol Young, who credited Morrison's work as artistic director while keeping eyes firmly on the future for the event under Noonan's purview.

"Katie's passion, excitement and commitment to her home state really shone in the recruitment process," Young said in a statement. "James created a wonderful legacy for the festival across Queensland and we look forward to seeing Katie build on this and make it her own."

For her part, Noonan seems primed to do exactly that, saying in a statement that she wants the state's citizens "to see and hear their story and feel that this festival truly represents them".

"I want QMF to be for, about and by Queenslanders, and an event that engages, includes and celebrates the people of this fantastic state," she said.

"I also believe that everyone who talks can sing and that music brings us together like nothing else can. I want QMF to be a platform for people from all walks of life to find themselves singing — in the audience, in the shower, in the family kitchen, at choir rehearsals, on the street, even on stage with legendary singers — wherever!"

Dates and details for this year's QMF are yet to be announced, but for more information and an in-depth look at everything the event has brought to the state's landscape over the course of its colourful lifetime — it started as the Brisbane Biennial Festival Of Music (BBFM) back in 1991 — head over to its website, or swing it a Like on Facebook to get updates straight to your News Feed.