Richard Gill, world-renowned Australian conductor and music educator, passed away on October 28, 2018 just two weeks shy of his 77th birthday. Born and raised in Sydney, Gill attended Marist College Eastwood becoming a music teacher at Marsden High School. In 1969, he was founding conductor of the Strathfield Symphony Orchestra, a position he held until 1974. Gill went on to work at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, conduct the Sydney Youth Orchestra, and hold posts with the Western Australian Conservatorium of Music and Opera Australia. He founded the Victorian Opera in 2005, helped establish the Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra in 2013, and was appointed musical director of the Sydney Chamber Choir in 2014.
Though Gill held conductor posts for most of his professional life, he was the consummate music educator. He studied at the Orff Institute, taught professional courses in Orff Schulwerk in Salzburg and around the world, and was one of two performers who worked with Carl Orff to present Carmina Burana for two pianos and percussion. Gill presented at the AOSA Professional Development Conference on several occasions with some of his sessions available in the AOSA Video Library.
Gill received many accolades for his work including the Order of Australia Medal, Centenary Medal, Bernard Heinze Award and an honorary doctorate from Edith Cowan University. He was given the Australian Music Centre’s Award for Most Distinguished Service Contribution to the Presentation of Australian Composition by an Individual and was awarded the Don Banks Music Award by the Australian Council for the Arts. He has received the MOST Achievement Award and the Arts Leadership Award in 2018. Richard Gill holds an Honorary Membership with the American Orff-Schulwerk Association.
His timeless contributions to the world of music education and classical music will be his legacy.