Following the death of Lord Harewood, in 2012 the Music Foundation welcomed Stephen Watkins as a patron of the Music Foundation of St Peter’s Cathedral. With a long career in music and religious broadcasting, 12 years with ABC Concerts, and 10 years presenting ‘For the God Who Sings’ on ABC Classic FM, Stephen has acquired a significant audience in Australia and overseas, harvesting the advance of sacred music through the window of the Christian lectionary, significant feast days and religious seasons. Stephen received a gold medal (for Mozart, for those who have ears to hear), silver medal (for Still Glides the Stream) and bronze medal (for Bach, the Evangelist) at the NY International Radio Awards. He has been commended by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission, received consecutive tributes from the World Conference on Religion and Peace and won two certifications for ethics in the media from the Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide. Stephen noted that “The Churches always said that music speaks better than words can … music takes off where words are left behind.”
Prof Michael Burden
Michael Burden is Fellow in Music at New College, and Professor in Opera Studies in the University. He did his undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Adelaide in South Australia, and his PhD at the University of Edinburgh. He has served on the Council of the Royal Musical Association, is a patron member of the American Society for Eighteenth-century Studies, and is currently active as the immediate Past President of the British Society for 18th-century Studies. He is also on the steering committee of the Besterman Centre for the Enlightenment, a member of the Project Team for Ballad Operas Online, a Trustee of Répertoire International des Sources Musicales (RISM), United Kingdom; and on the Advisory Panel of The Oxford Centre for Life-Writing.
From 2003 to 2008, he served as a judge on the Duff Cooper Literary Prize for history, biography, politics or poetry.
He is Dean of New College, and also holds the offices of Chattels Fellow and Portraits Fellow. He served for some years on the University of Oxford Committee for the Museums and Scientific Collections, and is currently a Visitor of the Ashmolean Museum. Outside music, his interests are in art, architecture, and detective fiction.
^ From the University of Oxford Website
Former International Patron
Lord Harewood: George Henry Hubert Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood, KBE AM
Lord Harewood was the inaugural International Patron of the Music Foundation until his death in 2011. The first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, he was a music enthusiast, devoting much of his career to opera. He was editor of Opera magazine and Kobbé’s Complete Opera Book, director of the Royal Opera House, Convent Garden, chaired the Board of the English National Opera, served as Governor of the BBC and was Director of the 1988 Adelaide Festival, which featured Peter Brook’s nine-hour production of The Mahabharata. The Queen created him a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1986. In 2010 he was appointed an honorary Member of the Order of Australia “for service to the arts in Australia and to supporting Australia’s artists in the United Kingdom”. Lord and Lady Harewood hosted St Peter’s Cathedral Choir at their home in January 2007, where they had the privilege of singing for him.
Heather Bonnin OAM
Until her death in 2017 Heather Bonnin was one of Adelaide’s most loved supporters of the arts and an inaugural patron of the Music Foundation of St Peter’s Cathedral. She was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 1994 for her services to the arts. She chaired the board of the Art Gallery of South Australia as well as the Board of the National Textile Museum of Australia. Heather married the distinguished Dr James (Jim) Arthur Bonnin in 1955. Jim’s legacy to South Australia’s health system was significant. He died in 1997. Heather Bonnin is the author of ‘Hours to Remember: Life in South Australia 1889-1929’. She contributed significantly to the musical life of South Australia, especially young artists, and has been described as having the rare gift of being able to make the person she was talking to feel special about themselves. Heather had a lifelong relationship with St Peter’s Cathedral, beginning with listening to her late father, Hector McDonald, who sang in the Cathedral Choir for many decades. Her funeral was held in St Peter’s Cathedral.