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Our Artistic Family comprises influential musicians, conductors and composers from across Australia and abroad.

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Jaime Martín – Chief Conductor

Jaime Martín, who has shot to worldwide attention as a conductor following a prominent career as an elite flautist, begins his tenure as Chief Conductor at the MSO in 2022, investing the Orchestra with prodigious musical creativity and momentum.

The Chief Conductor is supported by Dr Marc Besen AC and the late Dr Eva Besen AO.

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Xian Zhang – Principal Guest Conductor

Following her successful MSO debut in 2018 conducting Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony, Xian Zhang was appointed as the MSO Principal Guest Conductor in 2020. Sought-after across the globe, Xian Zhang was the first female conductor to hold a titled role with a BBC Orchestra, and is currently the Music Director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.

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Benjamin Northey – Principal Conductor in Residence

Renowned Australian conductor Benjamin Northey was appointed to the role of Principal Conductor in Residence following a long-standing and highly successful relationship with the MSO. Known for his ability to command an audience on stage, and off, Benjamin hosts the popular Up Late with Ben Northey streaming series, and in 2022 he leads the Orchestra through several programs at Hamer Hall, Melbourne Town Hall and across Victoria.

2021 Sir Andrew Davis

Sir Andrew Davis CBE – Conductor Laureate

One of today’s most recognised and acclaimed conductors, Sir Andrew has conducted virtually all the world’s major orchestras and opera companies. Former Chief Conductor of the MSO from 2013-2019, Sir Andrew remains connected with the Orchestra in his new role as Conductor Laureate.

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Carlo Antonioli – Cybec Assistant Conductor Fellow

A passionate educator and communicator who enjoys sharing the joy of orchestral music with new audiences, Carlo Antonioli has been appointed to the MSO's 2022 Cybec Assistant Conductor Fellowship. Carlo graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney with a Master of Music Studies (Conducting) in 2017 and has since undertaken a range of conducting engagements including Guest Assistant Conductor at Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Assistant Conductor at West Australian Symphony Orchestra.

Carlo Antonioli's position is supported by the Cybec Foundation.

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Warren Trevelyan-Jones – MSO Chorus Director

Warren Trevelyan-Jones is regarded as one of the leading choral conductors and choir trainers in Australia, and was appointed Chorus Director of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in September 2017. Warren Trevelyan-Jones is a co-founder of The Consort of Melbourne and, in 2001 with Dr Michael Noone, founded the Gramophone award-winning group Ensemble Plus Ultra. He is also an experienced singing teacher and qualified music therapist.

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Siobhan Stagg – 2023 Soloist in Residence

Soprano Siobhan Stagg is one of the most outstanding young artists to emerge from Australia in recent years. After graduating from the University of Melbourne, Siobhan began her career in the Salzburger Festspiele’s Young Singers Project and as a soloist at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. She has sung title roles for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Dutch National Opera, and Victorian Opera, (for which she received the Green Room Award for Best Female Lead in an Opera), and in concert with the London Symphony Orchestra and Berliner Philharmoniker, among many others.

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Gondwana Voices – 2023 Ensemble in Residence

Founded by Lyn Williams AM in 1997, Gondwana Voices is Australia’s national children’s choir for treble singers aged 10-17. It regularly performs with the country’s leading ensembles and has built a reputation for performances of outstanding musicianship. The choir tours nationally and internationally and has taken part in international choral festivals including the World Symposium on Choral Music, Rotterdam; America Cantat, Mexico City; Polyfollia, Normandy; and Festival 500, Newfoundland.

2021 Melbourne Ensemble

Melbourne Ensemble – 2022 Ensemble in Residence

Having based the group’s instrumentation around Beethoven’s Septet, Melbourne Ensemble is made up of seven innovative and dynamic musicians from the MSO. Reducing and expanding the group’s size as necessary, Melbourne Ensemble has developed a reputation for curating exciting programs for some of Melbourne’s favourite music venues, and have been appointed MSO’s 2022 Ensemble in Residence as a result.

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Christian Li - Young Artist in Association

Christian Li has captivated audiences around the world since he became the youngest-ever Junior 1st Prize-winner of the 2018 Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition at the age of 10. In 2020 he became the youngest artist ever to sign with Decca Classics, and the youngest violinist to professionally record Vivaldi's The Four Seasons.

2021 Paul Grabowsky

Paul Grabowsky AO – 2022 Composer in Residence

Paul Grabowsky is a pianist, composer, arranger, conductor. Born in Papua New Guinea, Paul was raised in Melbourne. During the late 70’s he became prominent in the music scene in Melbourne, working in various jazz, theatre and cabaret projects. Since then, Paul has had a distinguished career including composing for films, founding the Australian Art Orchestra, and in 2020 was announced as the MSO’s Composer in Residence.

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Mary Finsterer – 2023 Composer in Residence

The music of the innovative Australian composer Mary Finsterer is performed throughout the world. Finsterer’s award–winning work can be heard not only on concert stages, she has also composed for the screen, including music for the Hollywood blockbuster Die Hard 4. Her style takes its musical cues from contemporary practice and the Renaissance with equal ease.

Mary Finsterer's position is supported by Kim Williams AM.

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Alex Turley – 2022 Cybec Young Composer in Residence

Alex Turley is an Australian composer whose work explores the subtleties of musical texture through a fine atmospheric lens. Having participated in the MSO’s Cybec Young Composer program, Alex Turley was named the 2022 Cybec Young Composer in Residence.

Alex Turley's position is supported by the Cybec Foundation.

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Melissa Douglas – 2023 Cybec Young Composer in Residence

Melissa has written for a range of musicians and ensembles, including the BBC Singers, pianists Clare Hammond and Grace Francis, PLEXUS, the Magnard Ensemble, and the Polaris Duo. She studied Piano and Composition at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and studied in the UK at the Royal Northern College of Music (2014-16) graduating with an MMus in Composition with Distinction in 2016.

Melissa Douglas' position is supported by the Cybec Foundation.

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Tan Dun – Artistic Ambassador

The world-renowned artist and UNESCO Global Goodwill Ambassador Tan Dun, has made an indelible mark on the world’s music scene with a creative repertoire that spans the boundaries of classical music, multimedia performance, and Eastern and Western traditions.

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Lu Siqing - Artistic Ambassador

Born in Qingdao, China, Lu Siqing was invited by Yehudi Menuhin to study at his school in London aged 11. In 1984 he returned to China and five years later went to Juilliard to study with Dorothy DeLay. In 1987 he was the first Asian to win First Prize at Italy’s Paganini International Violin Competition.

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Christopher Moore – Creative Producer, MSO Chamber

Christopher Moore spent nine years as Principal Viola with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, returning to Melbourne to be appointed as MSO Principal Viola. Christopher produces the MSO's Chamber Series, featuring MSO musicians (and friends) in intimate performances throughout the year.

2021 Deborah Cheetham

Deborah Cheetham AO – MSO First Nations Creative Chair

Yorta Yorta woman, soprano, composer and educator, Deborah Cheetham, has been a leader and pioneer in the Australian arts landscape for more than 25 years. In the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, Deborah was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), for “distinguished service to the performing arts as an opera singer, composer and artistic director, to the development of Indigenous artists, and to innovation in performance”, and in 2021 was announced as MSO’s First Nations Creative Chair.

2021 Anita Collins

Dr Anita Collins – Creative Chair for Learning and Engagement

Dr Anita Collins is an award-winning educator, researcher and writer in the field of brain development and music learning. Anita is the author of The Music Advantage, a book for parents and teachers about the extraordinary and often surprising benefits of learning music for children from newborns to teenagers. In 2020 Dr Collins presented a Keynote speech at MSO’s inaugural Melbourne Music Summit, and in 2021 was appointed Creative Chair for Learning and Engagement.

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Hiroyuki Iwaki AO – Conductor Laureate

In memoriam: 1974-2006

As the MSO’s longest serving conductor, Hiroyuki Iwaki began as Chief Conductor in 1974, and in 1990 was appointed as the MSO’s first Conductor Laureate, honouring his contribution to the Orchestra’s development. His dedication earned him many accolades including the renaming of the ABC Southbank studio to the Iwaki Auditorium in 1995. In 1996, to commend his contribution to Australia-Japan relations, he was promoted to an Honorary Officer of the Order of Australia.

Former Chief Conductors

Each Chief Conductor has contributed to the prestigious legacy of the MSO.

  • Alberto Zelman (1906–1927)
  • Fritz Hart (1927–1932)
  • Fritz Hart, Bernard Heinze (1932–1937, joint Chief Conductors)
  • Sir Bernard Heinze (1937–1950)
  • Alceo Galliera (1950–1951)
  • Juan José Castro (1952–1953)
  • Walter Susskind (1953–1955)
  • Kurt Wöss (1956–1959)
  • Georges Tzipine (1960–1965)
  • Willem van Otterloo (1967–1970)
  • Fritz Rieger (1971–1972)
  • Hiroyuki Iwaki AO (1974–1997) Conductor Laureate
  • Markus Stenz (1998–2004)
  • Oleg Caetani (2005–2009)

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