27 September 2023

Bethe brothers ace annual Griffith music quest with wildly contrasting styles

| Oliver Jacques
Join the conversation
Mum and two sons in front of piano

Heath Bethe (seated) with mum Emily and brother Anthony. Photo: Oliver Jacques.

Two brothers with wildly different musical tastes and styles have picked up the first and third prize at a major young talent quest in Griffith.

Heath Bethe, 18, won the Nancy Blumer OS Butler Memorial Quest, for his performance of I Giorni, a 21st century piece from composer Ludovico Einaudi.

“I just did a nice solid piano piece that flows on,” he said. “It was my HSC piece; I’d been practising in front of crowds before so it felt like another practice in front of an audience. Each time I like to put in as much emotion as possible.”

READ ALSO Lawyer seeks to drop Salvestrin in bizarre Supreme Court hearing into Griffith winery liquidation

Anthony Bethe, 16, came third for a flute performance and had a modest explanation for why he was pipped by his older brother for the top honour.

“The comment I received was that I was too impressive,” he said. “Too show-offy. I’ve also got teachers and multiple people with feedback saying I was too good. Too clinical, too professional. Heath had that ability to just be different and hold the stage.”

The siblings’ musical preferences also differ.

“I’m a snobby purist, I only love the classic music period,” Anthony said. “I have got a father and a brother who are perverted with the evil disease that is rock music. Who came up with backbeat?”

“A genius,” Heath answered.

Heath Bethe on piano

Heath Bethe plays rock too, much to his brother’s disgust. Photo: Oliver Jacques.

Anthony’s devotion towards the classical genre seems to be working for him. Earlier this year, he was named the Griffith Musician’s Club young musician of the year.

“In the holidays, he is going to the Central Coast to the Australian Haydn Academy Spring,” mum Emily said. “We follow that with the Australian Flute Festival, he’s playing with a flute choir representing the Riverina. Anyone who’s anybody is going to be there, in the flute world.”

The flautist said his goal was to join a period orchestra.

Heath said he’d love to start his own orchestra. He finishes Year 12 this year and plans to do a gap year in 2024, focusing on music.

“After that, I’d like to go to university to study film, that’s another one of my passions. I did a short science-fiction film for my HSC.”

READ ALSO The mysterious rise and fall of Griffith winery Sans Pareil Estate

Mum Emily is incredibly proud of them both.

“It’s lovely the boys had the opportunity to compete against each other, they don’t usually get that opportunity. Anthony moves in the conservatorium world in Wagga, he’s doing lots of different things in different places, to do something in their hometown is really special.”

The Nancy Blumer OS Butler Memorial Quest is a musical talent contest for those aged between 12 and 18 and residing within a 168 km radius of Griffith. Participants performed in front of a live audience and a judge.

The quest is named after Griffith music icons Nancy Blumer and OS Butler. Nancy Butler moved to Griffith in 1922, where she formed the Girl Guides Association in Griffith and helped establish the Griffith branch of the Federated Music Club of Australia and the Arts Council of Australia. Her great-granddaughter Ruby Blumer is a marketing and promotions coordinator who helps organise the quest. OS Butler funded an award for young vocalists in Griffith in 1978.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

Daily Digest

Want the best Riverina news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riverina stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.