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At the heart of the music: Remembering David Bradshaw

At the heart of the music: Remembering David Bradshaw

A gift from a friend: Seat A16 in Elisabeth Murdoch Hall is now dedicated to David Bradshaw (1.1.1938 – 12.5.2019).

Diana Lempriere met her friend David Bradshaw five years ago on a music tour in Germany. He was a big, tall man with a warm, gentle personality. Music was his major passion but he also enjoyed ceramics, geography and reading. He was an intellectual with a broad sense of humour. Over the three-and-a-half-week tour it became obvious that music was a shared enjoyment of theirs. 

As Melburnians, Diana and David continued to catch up together at concerts across Victoria and internationally. Their last overseas trip together was in May this year, a tour to New York to hear Wagner’s Ring Cycle at the Metropolitan Opera. Sadly, just two weeks after their return, David passed away. Diana wants her friend David to be remembered and to shine a light on the wonderful person he was. 

Originally from Wangaratta, David attended Melbourne University, before travelling and teaching school in London. He then directed the McClelland Regional Gallery in Victoria before becoming the fourth director of the Newcastle Art Gallery in the late 1970s. He commenced this role at a time when the art gallery was the second biggest in NSW. Indeed, it was the most significant regional gallery in Australia!

You can watch an archival interview with David Bradshaw on ‘The Valley’s People’ here, just two years into his tenure as director of the Newcastle Art Gallery.

He knew how fortunate the art gallery was to have a good reputation nationwide as well as great facilities. Over the next 25 years, he built on this strong foundation, championing the importance of art appreciation and education. As music was always a passion for him, he also played a role in deepening Musica Viva’s reach in the Hunter Valley during this time.

After moving to Mornington later in life, David instigated and set up a Peninsula branch of ADFAS (Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Societies) an open membership offering monthly visiting lecturers. He would still commute regularly to concerts in Melbourne and sat in his favourite seat A16 at the front of the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall. This seat has now been dedicated in David’s name for the next ten years with Diana’s donation supporting the Centre’s diverse and vibrant music programming that he so loved.

Naming a seat at Melbourne Recital Centre is a unique way to honour a special person, commemorate a significant event, or simply celebrate a love of music. To find out more about how you can Name a Seat in Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, please contact Leonie Thompson, Philanthropy & Bequests Coordinator, on (03) 9207 2648 or

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