Conductor’s life-long contribution recognised with Distinguished Services Award.

Richard Gill OAM is to be honoured as the recipient of the prestigous Distinguished Services to Australian Music Award in the 2014 Art Music Awards. One of Australia’s pre-eminent conductors, Gill will receive the honour later this month in a ceremony presented by APRA AMCOS and the Australian Music Centre.

“Richard Gill has had an influence on generations of students and professional musicians across the country, who have had the privilege of working with him. And through his passionate advocacy for music education, he will have an influence on generations to come. This Award goes some way to acknowledge his tireless work,” says John David, CEO of the Australian Music Centre.

Gill has gained international respect and recognition for his extensive work in musical education, and has worked with every major Australian orchestra in a career that has so far spanned more than five decades. The conductor found particular success in opera and musical theatre, and throughout his professional career has continually demonstrated his commitment and aptitude for honing the talents of young musicians and singers.

The man himself extended thanks to all that made the award possible. “The award has come as a shock to me, as it feels as if it is announcing the end of my work, which in fact is still going on and will go on for some time,” says Gill, adding jovially that “hell is not ready for me yet!”

Starting out as a high school music teacher, Gill has held many key arts positions including Dean of the Western Australian Conservatorium of Music, Music Director of Victorian Opera, and his current role as Artistic Director of Sydney Symphony’s Education Program in a career studded with world premieres and new Australian works.

This award is the latest in Gill’s impressive collection of industry accolades. In 1994 he was presented an Order of Australia medal for his services to music, and in the same year, the University of Western Australia recognised him with an Honorary Doctorate. He received the Bernard Heinze Award for Services to Music in Australia in 1999, followed by a Classical Music Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Advancement of Australian Music in Education in 2004, as well as the Don Banks Music Award in 2006.

The Arts Music Awards are unique in their specific acknowledgement of the achievements of talented Australians in the fields of contemporary art music, jazz and experimental music. The Distinguished Services Award, to be presented to Gill on August 26, was established in 1990 to annually recognise an outstanding individual for their exceptional contribution to new Australian music.

Limelight are sponsors of this year’s Art Music Awards. “We are delighted that Richard is the recipient for the prestigious APRA/AMCOS, Australian Music Centre Distinguished Services to Australian Music Award 2014,” said Publisher Andrew Batt-Rawden. “He has inspired generations of young musicians and has continuously been a visionary director, conductor and educator throughout an astounding career.”

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