We are very saddened to hear of the passing of world-renowned composer, conductor and music educator Richard Gill AO. The inaugural Dean of the West Australian Conservatorium of Music and Founding Director of Victorian Opera died on Sunday 28 October after a year-long battle with cancer.
Born in Sydney, Richard started his career as a music teacher. These humble beginnings led him to become one of Australia’s greatest music advocates and educators. ‘Richard spent a life systematically addressing the widespread shortcomings and neglect of music in Australia’s education system’ the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra said in a statement posted on social media.
For almost 50 years Richard’s career compromised many prominent roles as Director of orchestral ensembles around Australia. Richard was Dean of the Western Australian Conservatorium of Music, Chorus Director for Opera Australia, Founding Music Director of Victorian Opera and Musical Director of the Sydney Chamber Choir. Richard also hosted music-education concerts and was a regular guest on TV quiz show Spicks and Specks.
One of Richard’s lasting legacies is the National Music Teaching Mentoring Program which commenced in 2015. With Richard as the Founder and Director, the program was established to give school teachers the skills and confidence to teach music in their classrooms.
Richard will be remembered for his enormous contribution to the arts and his passion to inspire and educate the next generation. He is survived by his wife Maureen, children Claire and Anthony, and grandchildren Camille, Elise and Antoinette.Our thoughts and sincerest condolences are with Richard’s family, friends and colleagues.
Medal of the Order of Australia (1994)
Sir Bernard Heinze Award (1999)
Australian Music Centre’s Most Distinguished Contribution by an Individual to the Presentation of Australian Music Award (2001)
Australia Council’s Don Banks Award (2006)
Officer of the Order of Australia (2016)