We mourn the loss of our beloved world-renowned Australian conductor, Richard Gill, a tireless advocate for music education.
A believer in music education
Richard Gill inspired millions worldwide! In an interview with Clive Paget, Limelight Magazine, Gill explained that 'music education was probably the cause most deeply ingrained in his being'. One of Gill's key philosophies was teaching music to children at an early age. 'At college, we were told there was no point in teaching singing and that everything about it was dumb. In my view, it begins absolutely with singing, as early as possible. If you can nail that, you’ve opened up the world to kids in a really special way.'
This Classical Master specialised in opera, musical theatre and choral training. Some of his numerous music education innovations included SSO Sinfonia, a national mentoring programme whose first tour he led to schools in Dubbo, Orange and Bathurst. Also, at the orchestra’s popular Discovery series that ran for 16 years, his greeting trademark was well-known: 'Ladies and gentlemen! Boys and girls!'
Richard Gill founded the Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra, which specialises in the romantic and classical repertoire on period instruments. He taught at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, was the founding conductor of the Strathfield Symphony Orchestra, the founding artistic director of the Victorian Opera, was director of the chorus at Opera Australia, conducted the Sydney Youth Orchestra, he was the musical director of the Sydney Chamber Choir, and the former artistic director and chief conductor of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra.
We mourn the loss of this great man who was taken by cancer in his Sydney home at age 76 on October 27, 2018 just a week before his 77th birthday. Outside his home, Paul Goodchild, a long-time friend and colleague, organised a tribute to Richard Gill and played his favourite song, 'The Dam Busters March'. Goodchild said, 'The whole thing was one of the most profound things I think I have ever done ... all his family was there, all his friends, all his neighbours. People came from all over Sydney.'
Richard Gill's legacy and musical creations will continue to go forward and bring joy for all of us!