British maestro Sir Andrew Davis will continue to lead the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra as its Chief Conductor until the end of 2019. Sir Andrew, whose previous directorships include the musical director position of Glyndebourne Opera, and chief conductor position of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, was appointed to the MSO’s top conducting job in January 2013. Since then he has led some of the orchestra’s most successful programmes, including the start of a cycle of Mahler’s symphonies (which will continue in future seasons), and performances of Berlioz’s Damnation of Faust and Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, featuring acclaimed British tenor Ian Bostridge. He also toured the MSO to Europe in 2014, which included the orchestra’s BBC Proms debut at the Royal Albert Hall in London, and performances at the revered Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

MSO Chairman Harold Mitchell, who announced the extended contract yesterday, said, “It’s a major coup for Melbourne to have one of the most important classical music figures of today gracing our Hamer Hall stage,” adding, “Sir Andrew and the orchestra have a very special connection. You can see this through the extraordinary performances.”

Sir Andrew added his enthusiasm for the continuing partnership, saying, “I am delighted to be able to continue my partnership with these brilliant and dedicated musicians.  I am also thrilled to know that I will be spending more time in one of my favourite cities in the world.”

Like many of the international conductors leading Australia’s major orchestras, Sir Andrew spreads his time across several directorships. He is also currently the music director and principal conductor of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, a position he will hold until 2021. Sir Andrew will next be at the helm of the MSO in August conducting Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with soloist Kirill Gerstein.