There are defining moments in everyone’s life and for cellist Janis Laurs, a crucial one occurred in Elder Hall on a sunny winter’s afternoon in 1959.
“My parents took me to see the Elder Conservatorium Junior Orchestra when I was eight years old and I was absolutely mesmerised. That day I fell in love with the cello and my fate was sealed.”
Five decades on and with approximately 450 concerts in Elder Hall under his belt, Janis Laurs has joined the campaign to help return the heritage-listed building to its former glory.
In dire need of urgent conservation works to maintain its original 1898 condition and upgrade its interior, Elder Hall is the focus of a $12 million fundraising effort.
“The rejuvenation of this iconic building is critical,” says Mr Laurs, who is the Principal Cellist of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and an Elder Conservatorium of Music graduate and senior lecturer.
“Elder Hall is fragile and in need of restoration to ensure future generations gain the same benefits we all have from this musical jewel over the past 115 years.
“Even though Thomas Elder bequeathed the funds for Elder Hall to the University of Adelaide, the responsibility to preserve it is a combined one because the University cannot foot the bill alone.
“Thousands of Adelaide residents have gained vast enjoyment and inspiration from Elder Hall concerts over the years and the onus is on all of us to give back.”
In this video (above), Janis Laurs discusses the unique connection that Adelaide residents have with South Australia’s most loved concert venue.
To find out how you can support the Elder Hall fundraising project go to www.alumni.adelaide.edu.au/elderhall or call +61 8 8313 5800.