Rating: Unclassified 15+
Inspired by former Prime Minister Paul Keating’s searing eulogy for Geoffrey Tozer, music educator Richard Gill explores the remarkable and tragic story of Australia’s greatest-ever, and perhaps most overlooked, pianist.
Born in India but raised in Victoria, the late Geoffrey Tozer was a child prodigy who played with the Victorian Symphony Orchestra when he was nine years old, and at 13 became the youngest ever recipient of a Churchill Fellowship. He was a virtuoso pianist and improviser with an unprecedented repertoire, whose career saw him lauded around the world. But in Australia he struggled to achieve recognition, despite the well-documented patronage of then Treasurer Paul Keating. Tozer died in poverty in 2009, aged 54; at his memorial service, Keating delivered a characteristically unforgettable 45-minute address.
Supported by the MIFF Premiere Fund and drawing extensively on Tozer’s own archives, The Eulogy sees Keating re-stage his famous funeral oration, around which director Janine Hosking (My Khmer Heart) weaves a long overdue commemoration for the under-appreciated musician. Conductor Richard Gill AO goes on a journey to rediscover and restore Tozer’s historical legacy, while interviews with family and friends offer revealing, previously un-earthed insights, into his life and loves.
"[Tozer] deserved to be remembered alongside the Australian triumvirate of Nellie Melba, Percy Grainger and Joan Sutherland." – Paul Keating
Running time: 103 mins
MIFF Members $15 (password required)
Monday - Friday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am - 1:00pm
Other Times: One hour prior to show
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