CONCERTS HIT RIGHT NOTE FOR MOVIE FANS
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 brisbanesymphony.org.au and 3pm Sunday, November 29, St Aiden’s Anglican Girl’s School, 11 Ruthven St, Corinda, to book ring 3847 1717 or visit brisbane symphony.org.au
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.