Farewell Virginia and Welcome Tracie – Chairman of the Board

While farewells are often bittersweet, we remember the legacy left behind as a true gift. After 48 years working directly and indirectly with the Sydney International Piano Competition (since 1976), Chairman of the Board and arts management visionary, Virginia Braden OAM has hung up her proverbial boots and passed the helm to Tracie Elvidge, current Board Member and business and finance professional.

Virginia has been pivotal in the management and governance of the Sydney International Piano Competition and was elected Chairman in 2017. She co-ordinated the first and second  competitions in 1977 and 1981 and consulted to the board over many years to revitalise the competition after the passing of Founder Claire Dan in 2012.

For her incredible service to the Arts, Virginia holds a Medal of the Order of Australia, and the International Society of the Performing Arts “Angel Award”.  She is an Honorary Life Member of the International Artist Managers’ Association and the Australian Music Centre.

We wish Virginia well on her next adventure and warmly welcome Tracie Elvidge into the role of Chairman as she forges the exciting road ahead for Piano+. Tracie currently serves on a number of boards, was formerly Board Member, Treasurer and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee at the Central Coast Conservatorium of Music and has her own accounting practise.

Despite her busy schedule, Tracie has a lifelong love of piano and has maintained her piano skills with a modest list of students. She continues to study classical voice and hopes to carve out time to rejoin the Sydney Philharmonic Choirs Festival Chorus.


Tracie’s aspiration for Piano+

“To honour the rich tradition of piano music while fostering the growth and recognition of our next generation of young virtuosos. Also to nurture and spread musical talent throughout the community, spreading the joy of piano playing to audiences”.


Virginia Braden OAM 

“During my tenure as Piano+ Chairman everything achieved has been with the support and hard work of my fellow Directors and Piano+ management”.


Most proud of… 

Surviving the Covid pandemic which resulted in the 2020 Sydney International Piano Competition being cancelled at short notice, inaugurating an online Competition, which attracted a truly global audience.

Commissioning the consulting work researching a new umbrella organisation intended to encompass all forms of piano playing. Piano+ was subsequently born and announced in mid 2023.

Overcoming the difficulties of the Russia/Ukraine crisis in the lead up to the 2023 Competition and against much advice accepting competitors from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

The wonderful recordings released on Decca, especially the ‘Virtuoso’ 11 CD boxed set of the Competition pianists 1992-2016 – our history for all to hear.


What do I hope for the future? 

That Piano+ will continue to be supported by our many valued Donors and Friends and will be granted funding from the Government to guarantee its stability. I hope that the organisation continues to grow with new projects, helps the careers of many young artists and celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2027 in grand style!


What’s next for me?

I look forward to continuing as a Director of the Board of Pinchgut Opera in addition to other projects.