In major news for the Australian music scene, Jaime Martín has been appointed Chief Conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. The London-based Spanish maestro, who takes over from Sir Andrew Davis whose tenure ended in 2019, will kick off his first season at the helm of Australia’s longest-established professional symphony orchestra with a gala performance and a week of concerts in February 2022.

Jaime Martín. Photograph © Chris Dunlop

A regular visitor to Australia, Martín first collaborated with MSO in June 2019 and returned again this February enduring the mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine. Ahead of taking up his new position, he will fly to Melbourne this August to work with MSO musicians and the MSO chorus, and – something he is particularly passionate about – lead a project with the Melbourne Youth Orchestra.

The oldest of six, Martín was born in Santander in northern Spain into a family with no professional musical connections whatsoever. “I was a freak,” he laughs, chatting over Zoom from his home in Teddington. In fact, his enthusiasm for classical music was kindled by a...