The Michael Fowler Centre opened on 16 September 1983. Wellington celebrated with a formal ceremony, a "glittering ball" and what presenter Philip Alpers calls "the people's opening"— this 90-minute concert with the NZ Symphony Orchestra and pianist Michael Houstoun. Alpers opens the telecast as dignatories including the Duke of Wellington and Sir Michael Fowler — the driving force behind the project — enter the new facility. Host Bob Parker introduces an impressive classical programme. Musical director Sir William Southgate delights the crowd with a medley including the themes from Stars Wars and Fame.
Now to something from a totally different century, from the Russian composer Tchaikovsky. Pyotr Tchaikovsky started out his working life as a public servant, so it's kind of appropriate that we're about to play a piece of his music here in Wellington. In fact who knows Tchaichovsky — I mean it could be that this might be the first waltz ever composed on Glide Time.– Presenter Bob Parker jokes about Wellington's workforce