Tony Gould AM, founding Artistic Director of both the Queensland Performing Arts Centre and Brisbane Festival, has died at the age of 82. A highly regarded arts leader, he played an integral part in shaping Queensland’s now thriving performing arts industry.

Tony Gould Tony Gould. Photo supplied

Born in Sydney in 1937, Gould’s career began as an actor in the UK and Australia. From 1961 to 1972, he became an arts administrator with the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust, where he worked closely with most of the country’s major performing arts companies and many international artists. Joining the ABC in 1972, he served as State Concert Manager for Queensland before moving to Sydney to become a senior member of the management team responsible for bringing international orchestras and artists to Australia.

In 1979, he was appointed Director of the new $130 million Queensland Performing Arts Centre after an international search. The venue opened in 1985 and over Gould’s 23-year tenure welcomed more than eight million visitors for more than 12,000 performances. He also served as Chairman of the Board of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra during this time.

“Tony was behind so much of what we enjoy...