Click on the names below to read our full tribute:


A well known amateur oboist locally, much admired for his passion for music, as well as his professional legal expertise, Geoffrey became a friend of mine as my Chair Sponsor at ASO and was vocal in his enthusiasm for this particular project. I enjoyed receiving his perceptive comments after concerts and although I didn’t know him for very long, was proud to call him a friend, and later, regretfully, to attend his funeral. Here is a quotation following our debut Artaria concert:

“Thank you so much for your wonderful playing … repertoire for this combination seems to have been unjustly neglected and it would be good to move it a little more towards centre stage … I was brought up at a time when it was rather fashionable to look down one’s nose at the work of English composers – except perhaps Benjamin Britten. But in your hands these works stand out as real masterworks. I was particularly moved by the understated mystical beauty of the Finzi.” – GEOFFREY HACKETT-JONES QC

Celia Craig

TONY DUNCAN – 14/9/49–30/10/17

The great Englishman and nationalist Vaughan Williams described that his arrangements of these folk songs were ‘treated with love’ – just as Tony Duncan treated all the children in his care – including me (Purcell School, 1984-86). I’m honoured that these short gems were played at his memorial service at Ely Cathedral on 27/11/17.

Among this collection of folk songs beautifully and sparsely scored by Vaughan Williams originally for cello and piano, ‘Van Diemen’s Land’, is a song concerning poaching and transportation to Australia collected both by Vaughan Williams in England and by Percy Grainger in Australia. The detailed lyrics deal with the hardships of the voyage and the homesickness of being taken from family. It is also known as ‘Henry the Poacher’ and has been linked back to actual events in Warwickshire in 1829.  The link between the UK and Australia, reflected in the song being collected in both countries, served as a real sonic reminder of the history of emigration, experience of which Tony and I shared. I was proud to provide the music for Tony’s funeral in Adelaide with Josh van Konkelenburg, organ and to provide the Vaughan Williams Artaria recording for performance at his memorial service at Ely Cathedral.

Recording these gorgeous nostalgic arrangements and other tender English chamber music in Adelaide with a superb group of strings, including three ex-Pat English Australian residents, has been a wonderful, nostalgic and uplifting project – supported from concept to final production by Tony Duncan. We are so grateful for his quiet confidence and optimism and we know he would be very proud of the final result.

Celia Craig

DIANA RAMSAY – 1926-2017†

Written by her sister, Anthea Reeves:
Diana Ramsay loved the arts and music was an essential in her life, so it was with great pleasure that she gave her support to ARTARIA. In combining music by British composers with beautifully captured scenes of Australia, it fits perfectly with her perception of the Australia she grew up in and loved, and the perfection of the performances we hear from members of ARTARIA make this a stand-out success which she felt honoured to have supported.

VERA TANCIBUDEK – 7/2/23-12/6/18

We have sadly lost one of our most generous, passionate and likeable musicians in South Australia, a longstanding teacher here who communicated her love of music to many. Vera Tancibudek – born Haskova- lived in Adelaide with her husband Jiri, formerly Principal Oboe of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra before dramatically escaping and eventually settling in Australia – Sydney then Melbourne and eventually Adelaide – where Jiri was a member of the prestigious University of Adelaide Wind Quintet faculty. In Sydney Vera and Jiri had together performed the first ever solo oboe recital in Australia. Most significantly for oboists, they commissioned Bohuslav Martinu (former member of Czech Philharmonic second violin section himself) to write an Oboe Concerto, which was premiered in Sydney Town Hall to commemorate the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne. Vera remembered the letter that arrived saying the Concerto ‘was nearly finished’ as a bit of a surprise, as she had yet to post off the handwritten music notes Jiri asked her to send to Martinu: 

‘He didn’t even say he was writing it! … Jiri missed the Czech Phil so much- he so regretted he never played it with them. (The Concerto) has a beautiful slow movement …’ (my conversational notes)

Vera taught music at Norwood High School, where with characteristic vigour she founded a choir and orchestra, later becoming a lecturer at the Flinders School of Music. Today her legacy remains: former students still reminisce over Vera’s enthusiasm for Bartok Concerto for Orchestra, for example – a very contemporary piece at that time. She remained at home in Adelaide’s leafy Erindale until her passing in her 90’s, some years after tragically losing her husband.  Always enthusiastic, generous and friendly, she was as sharp as a needle her whole life, with a sharp interest in the music world: conductors, player appointments and venues all over Europe.

Patron of our ADRSSA branch, Vera was a popular figure with the entire community and had with her husband, become an iconic pairing who did so much to build a legacy here in South Australia’s music scene as well as for the world. Vera was a good friend of mine and we would often chat about Prague in the Springtime. She was excited about the new Oboe Concerto by Judith Weir CBE, and had recently agreed to become a Patron of Artaria when she tragically passed away. 

Jiri and Vera leave two daughters, Sandra and Eve. Sandra is a professional violinist with Berlin Opera and Eve, a former member of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, lives in Adelaide. Grandchildren are Sarah, appointed harpist to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and now freelancing with Munich Opera, Raphael, permanent Concert Master of the Bochumer Symphoniker as well as Concert Master of the Luzern Festival Orchestra, and Hannah, formerly an oboist after her grandfather, now an academic.  In accordance with Vera’s wishes, there was no funeral.

Vale dear Vera Tancibudek.

Celia Craig