Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra is deeply saddened to hear the news of the passing of Richard Gill, one of Australia’s best-known and beloved music educators and conductors. Richard was APO’s conductor and presenter for its popular Unwrap the Music series of concerts from 2015.
Richard Gill (1941-2018) had a long and distinguished career in music; from his early days as a music teacher in Sydney, Dean of the West Australian Conservatorium of Music in the 1980s, Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, founding Music Director of Victorian Opera, founding Artistic Director of the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra, and more recently, the National Music Teacher Mentoring Programme in Australia, among his many career highlights. In 1994 he was named an Officer of the Order of Australia. He also hosted popular music education concerts throughout Australia and here in New Zealand, including APO’s Unwrap the Music series.
In the weeks prior to his death, a new independent primary school in New South Wales, founded in partnership with Richard Gill, was announced: the Muswellbrook Richard Gill Music Academy. Richard believed strongly in the benefits of high quality music education within the mainstream education system, and access to music education for all children.
APO Chief Executive Barbara Glaser said Richard would be remembered by his APO family for his unwavering passion for spreading the joy of music. “Richard made music and music education his life’s work. Even in the face of education bureaucrats and endless red tape, Richard’s advocacy of music for all was resolute. We remain indebted to Richard and remember the impact he has had on music, here and across the Tasman,” Ms Glaser said.
The APO extends its heartfelt condolences to Richard’s wife Maureen, his children Claire and Anthony, and his friends and family.