CLAS­SI­CAL mu­si­cians Ruth and An­toni Bonetti have been mar­ried for 41 years and are stal­warts of the Brisbane mu­sic com­mu­nity.

Fol­low­ing an in­ter­na­tional ca­reer, vi­o­lin and vi­ola player An­toni, 63, is mu­sic di­rec­tor and found­ing con­duc­tor of the 70-mem­ber Brisbane Symphony Orchestra and the Noosa Orchestra.

He also teaches string in­stru­ments at Noosa’s Good Shep­herd Lutheran Col­lege and at Ai­dan’s Girls’ School in Brisbane.

Ruth, 64, is a clar­inetist, per­for­mance coach, pre­sen­ter and au­thor.

The couple are both in­volved in end-of-year fam­ily fun con­certs, At The Movies with Brisbane Symphony Orchestra, to be held in Noosa and Brisbane, as part of the Brisbane Symphony Orchestra’s 25th year cel­e­bra­tion.

An­toni will be con­duct­ing and Ruth will be play­ing a dou­ble con­certo with one of the prin­ci­pal clar­inetists from each of the two or­ches­tras.

They will fea­ture movie themes from clas­sics such as Star Wars, The Man from Snowy River, Bond movies and oth­ers. Chil­dren and adults alike are en­cour­aged to dress up.

“This is a let-down-your-hairand-have-fun time,” Ruth says.

“Even the orchestra dresses up. Mu­si­cians live in black, we want to get into colour some­times.

“We’ll also play the Blue Danube so any­one’s lit­tle princesses can dance.”

To this day, Ruth says An­toni is her best friend as well as her hus­band. They met in their teens on a na­tional youth mu­sic camp in Gee­long in 1970.

An­toni played the vi­o­lin and vi­ola from a young age af­ter be­ing born into a mu­si­cal fam­ily.

His fa­ther was a vi­o­lin­ist in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and his mother was a singer and pi­ano teacher.

“I was hear­ing vi­o­lin mu­sic when I was still in the womb and my fa­ther was study­ing in Lon­don,” he says.

It was a far cry from Ruth’s child­hood in Hugh­en­den in out­back Queens­land, where she first heard a clar­inet be­ing played on ABC ra­dio, but had no idea what the in­stru­ment looked like.

When she moved to Brisbane for school years later, Ruth made it her mis­sion to learn how to play one.

Af­ter get­ting mar­ried, the Bonet­tis spent a few years traips­ing around Europe study­ing or work­ing with var­i­ous or­ches­tras in Lon­don, Swe­den, Ger­many and France.

In 1981, they re­turned to Brisbane with Ruth preg­nant with their first of three boys, and where An­toni be­came the con­cert mas­ter for the fore­run­ner to the Queens­land Phil­har­monic Orchestra, which was even­tu­ally ab­sorbed into what is now the Queens­land Symphony Orchestra.

An­toni formed the Brisbane Sin­fo­nia in 1990, while he was work­ing as Head of the Or­ches­tral Stud­ies at St Peter’s Lutheran Col­lege in In­dooroop­illy.

The not-for-profit com­mu­nity orchestra wel­comed any mu­si­cian who would like to join. As it grew from about 30 vol­un­teer mem­bers to about 70, it changed its name to the Brisbane Symphony Orchestra.

“We have a catchcry,” An­toni says. “It is that in 1990 Ruth had a baby and I had an orchestra.” At the movies with Brisbane Symphony Orchestra: Adults $20, chil­dren 3-7 $10, 3pm Satur­day, Novem­ber 28, Sun Coast Lake Kawana Com­mu­nity Cen­tre, Sports­man Pa­rade, Boka­rina. To book ring 54131400 or visit bris­banesym­ and 3pm Sun­day, Novem­ber 29, St Ai­den’s Angli­can Girl’s School, 11 Ruthven St, Corinda, to book ring 3847 1717 or visit brisbane

Pic­ture: Marc Robertson

FORCE­FUL: Ruth and An­toni Bonetti, with the Brisbane Symphony Orchestra, are hold­ing fun end-of-year con­certs fea­tur­ing mu­sic from movies and even the orchestra gets to dress up.

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