Director of Music – Graham Lieschke
Graham Lieschke first played the organ for church as a student at Luther College, Croydon, in 1972. He has been an organist at St Johns since 1977. He studied pipe organ with John Mallinson and Douglas Lawrence. At Ormond College, University of Melbourne (1977-90), he accompanied the Choir of Ormond College under Douglas Lawrence from its inception until 1992, as organist and organ scholar. When the opportunity arose to design the 1992 Smenge gallery organ for the new St Johns, Dr Lieschke’s experience with Ormond’s Ronald Sharp organ and his enthusiasm for the organ music of J.S. Bach and his contemporaries strongly influenced the design. Returning from a 2½ year period overseas in 1997, Dr Lieschke resumed his role as principal organist at St Johns and instigated the Bach Cantata Program on Advent Sunday, 1997. In 2004, Dr Lieschke was awarded Dame Roma Mitchell Churchill Fellowship to develop the Cantata Program through international links, spending time with Craig Smith at Emmanuel Music (Boston, USA) and at Bach’s home base with Thomaskantor Georg Christoph Biller (Leipzig, Germany). Under Dr Lieschke’s leadership, the liturgical music program at St Johns has progressively grown and achieved national and international recognition. Otherwise, Dr Lieschke runs a research laboratory studying white blood cell growth and function and works as a clinical haematologist – for this work, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2023.