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Sydney Symphony Orchestra celebrates life of Richard Gill with free tribute concert

On 17 November, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, joined by the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Sydney Chamber Choir and the Conservatorium High School Chamber Choir, celebrated the life of the late music educator Richard Gill with a free concert open to the public at the Sydney Opera House.

Together with Kim Williams, Australian media executive, a former student and lifelong friend of Richard Gill, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra presented Richard Gill: Celebration of a Life, a tribute concert featuring speeches by Richard’s children, Claire and Anthony Gill; Sir Jonathan Mills, composer and former Director of the Edinburgh International Festival; Australian director and actor John Bell; recently appointed Australia Council CEO Adrian Collette; and former Sydney Symphony Managing Director, Mary Vallentine.

In a program that reflected Richard’s own passions for particular areas of repertoire, the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Sydney Chamber Choir and the Conservatorium High School Chamber Choir each performed pieces in remembrance of him. The Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s heartfelt performance of the Adagietto from Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 was led by Nicholas Carter, current Principal Conductor with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, previously Associate Conductor of the Sydney Symphony and former student of Richard Gill. The concert culminated with the entire audience uniting to sing the hymn Jerusalem.

In 2018, the Orchestra shared several livestreams direct from the Sydney Opera House, including its performances of Verdi’s Requiem and Beethoven’s Symphony No.9. In a nod to Richard’s passion for sharing music, a free livestream of Richard Gill: Celebration of a Life was made available via the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and ABC Classic FM websites, allowing those who were unable to be in the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall to join the audience in paying tribute.