2021 CONDUCTOR OF THE OPERA AUSTRALIA ORCHESTRA - Maestro Vladimir Fanshil

Innovative Australian conductor Vladimir Fanshil has spent the past ‘COVID' year at the piano playing over forty ’salon' concerts through his Live at Yours project. Its successful expansion quickly went from the original house concerts to now presenting many talented local and international artists in intimate and unusual spaces and is now endorsed by State and City grants.

Previously to the pandemic Vladimir was based in Vienna and conducting leading orchestras in Europe including: Budapest Festival Orchestra, Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, Orchestre National d’Ile de France, Luxembourg Philharmonic orchestra, Odessa State Philharmonic and Odessa Opera House.

In 2007 he took the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the Budapest Festival Orchestra on tour and has been a guest conductor of the Mariinsky orchestra since his debut at the White Nights Festival there also in 2017.

Vladimir was the assistant conductor to Iván Fischer with both the Budapest Festival Orchestra and the Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin from 2013-2017. He has travelled the globe with the BFO and also assisted on the orchestra’s celebrated Mahler and Beethoven recordings. He graduated from the St Petersburg State Conservatoire in 2012, where he conducted numerous opera productions and was the guest conductor of the State Hermitage Orchestra. Vladimir writes poetry and loves hosting ’salon’ concerts all over the world.

Maestro Vladimir Fanshil will work closely with the singers alongside the orchestra in preparation for their all important Finals performance.






Archives
2019
Dr. Nicholas Milton AM

Nicholas Milton is renowned for his charismatic stage presence, compelling musical integrity and powerful interpretations of the symphonic and opera repertoire. The GRAMMY® nominated Australian conductor is currently in his third season as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the multi award-winning Göttingen Symphony Orchestra. Guest engagements include appearances with leading orchestras in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, England, Hungary, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Asia.
Nicholas Milton was General Music Director of the Saarländisches Staatstheater and regularly conducts productions in Berlin, Vienna (Volksoper), Linz and Innsbruck. In the current season, he returns to the Deutsche Oper Berlin to conduct Tosca and Don Giovanni, and for Opera Australia, La Bohème, Madama Butterfly and Die Zauberflöte at the Sydney Opera House.
Appointed as the youngest ever concertmaster of a major Australian orchestra, Milton was named a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for Significant Service to the Arts as Musician, Conductor and Artistic Director.
For full bio click here

2018
Dr. Nicholas Milton AM

Nicholas Milton is currently General Music Director and Chief Conductor of the StateOpera House (Saarländisches Staatstheater) in Saarbrücken, Germany, where he conducts approximately fifty performances each season.Also a regular guest at several leading opera houses, he has appeared for six consecutive seasons as conductor at the Volksoper in Vienna and at the Komische Oper in Berlin, as well as in Dortmund, Leipzig, Innsbruck, and Sydney (Opera Australia). Current productions include Tannhäuser, Der fliegende Holländer, Peter Grimes, Katya Kabanova, Tosca,Madama Butterfly, La Fanciulla del West, Falstaff, Un ballo in maschera, La Traviata, Hänsel und Gretel, Carmen, Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflöte and Die Fledermaus.

2017
Dr. Nicholas Milton AM

Nicholas Milton is currently General Music Director and Chief Conductor of the State Opera House (Saarländisches Staatstheater) in Saarbrücken, Germany, where he conducts approximately fifty performances each season. Current productions include Tannhäuser, Der fliegende Holländer, Salome, Peter Grimes, Katya Kabanova, La Bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, La Fanciulla del West, Falstaff, Un ballo in maschera, La Traviata, Hänsel und Gretel, Carmen, Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflöte and Die Fledermaus. He has also frequently conducted at the Volksoper in Vienna and at the Komische Oper in Berlin, as well as in Dortmund, Leipzig, Innsbruck, and in Sydney for Opera Australia. In 2018 he will make his debut at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

2016
Benjamin Northey

Australian conductor Benjamin Northey is the Chief Conductor of the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and the Associate Conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. He has previously held the posts of Resident Guest Conductor of the Australia Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra (2002-2006) and Principal Conductor of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra (2007-2010).
Northey also appears regularly as a guest conductor with all major Australian symphony orchestras, Opera Australia (Turandot, L’elisir d’amore, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte, Carmen), New Zealand Opera (Sweeney Todd) and State Opera South Australia (La sonnambula, L’elisir d’amore, Les contes d’Hoffmann). His international appearances include concerts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia, the Malaysian Philharmonic and the New Zealand Symphony, Auckland Philharmonia and Christchurch Symphony Orchestras.

2015
Johannes Fritzsch

Johannes Fritzsch has enjoyed a prestigious international career spanning 30 years, having accepted his first position as a conductor at the age of 22. He is currently Chief Conductor of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. From 2006 until this year he held the position of Chief Conductor of the Oper Graz, Grazer Philharmonisches Orchester (Austria). Prior
 to his appointment in Graz, Johannes held the position of Chief Conductor of the Staatsoper Nürnberg. From 1993 until 1999, he was Chief Conductor of the Städtische Bühnen and the Philharmonic Orchestra in Freiburg, enjoying widespread acclaim.
In addition to his work as Chief Conductor of the above-mentioned ensembles, Johannes has enjoyed accepting invitations to perform with many great orchestras throughout the world. These include: Hamburger Sinfoniker, Düsseldorfer Sinfoniker, Philharmonie Essen, Nationaltheater-Orchester Mannheim, Staatskapelle Schwerin, Berliner Sinfonie Orchester, Staatskapelle Dresden, Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock, Staatsorchester Halle, Swedish Radio Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique Strassbourg, Orchestre National de Montpellier, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Hongkong Philharmonic Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra. Within Australia, Johannes has conducted the SSO, MSO, TSO, QSO, WASO and OV.

2014
Johannes Fritzsch

Johannes Fritzsch has enjoyed a prestigious international career spanning 30 years, having accepted his first position as a conductor at the age of 22. He is currently Chief Conductor of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. From 2006 until this year he held the position of Chief Conductor of the Oper Graz, Grazer Philharmonisches Orchester (Austria). Prior
 to his appointment in Graz, Johannes held the position of Chief Conductor of the Staatsoper Nürnberg. From 1993 until 1999, he was Chief Conductor of the Städtische Bühnen and the Philharmonic Orchestra in Freiburg, enjoying widespread acclaim.
In addition to his work as Chief Conductor of the above-mentioned ensembles, Johannes has enjoyed accepting invitations to perform with many great orchestras throughout the world. These include: Hamburger Sinfoniker, Düsseldorfer Sinfoniker, Philharmonie Essen, Nationaltheater-Orchester Mannheim, Staatskapelle Schwerin, Berliner Sinfonie Orchester, Staatskapelle Dresden, Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock, Staatsorchester Halle, Swedish Radio Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique Strassbourg, Orchestre National de Montpellier, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Hongkong Philharmonic Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra. Within Australia, Johannes has conducted the SSO, MSO, TSO, QSO, WASO and OV.

2013
Anthony Legge

Anthony Legge studied at the Guildhall, Oxford University and the London Opera Centre, and also studied accompanying privately with Geoffrey Parsons and Paul Hamburger.
His numerous recitals include those with, amongst others, Dame Janet Baker, Sir Thomas Allen, Gwynne Howell and Håkan Hagegård. He has worked regularly with the principal British opera companies, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Opera Australia, many European opera companies and at Bayreuth, where he assisted on the Kupfer-Barenboim Ring cycle for five years and a new production of Die Meistersinger.
He was Head of Music at English National Opera for 14 years where he conducted performances of Dido and Aeneas, Orpheus and Eurydice, Lulu, and Alcina. As Music Director of Clonter Opera he conducted Butterfly, Wienerblut, and La Traviata. He was also Music Director of the Mastersingers Company which encourages young Wagnerian singers and for them has conducted Rheingold, Walküre Act III and Siegfried Act III and Götterdämmerung with the Rehearsal Orchestra. He conducted the final orchestra concert at the Spitalfields Festival in London in 2005. He has worked on much contemporary music and Wagner with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He works regularly for the Nederlandsche Oper in Amsterdam and is a regular visiting vocal coach for the Royal Opera House Young Singers Programme.
Most recently, he was Director of Opera at the Royal Academy of Music and Music Advisor to Grange Park Opera. He has recorded two CDs with Chandos accompanying Linda Finnie, has a book published by Peters Edition entitled The Art of Auditioning, and appeared as a judge on the Channel 4 Operatunity series. His new book, written with Mary King, The Singer’s Handbook ­ A guide for aspiring singers, has just come out, published by Faber Music.

2012
Johannes Fritzsch

Johannes Fritzsch has enjoyed a prestigious international career spanning 30 years, having accepted his first position as a conductor at the age of 22. He is currently Chief Conductor of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. From 2006 until this year he held the position of Chief Conductor of the Oper Graz, Grazer Philharmonisches Orchester (Austria). Prior
 to his appointment in Graz, Johannes held the position of Chief Conductor of the Staatsoper Nürnberg. From 1993 until 1999, he was Chief Conductor of the Städtische Bühnen and the Philharmonic Orchestra in Freiburg, enjoying widespread acclaim.
In addition to his work as Chief Conductor of the above-mentioned ensembles, Johannes has enjoyed accepting invitations to perform with many great orchestras throughout the world. These include: Hamburger Sinfoniker, Düsseldorfer Sinfoniker, Philharmonie Essen, Nationaltheater-Orchester Mannheim, Staatskapelle Schwerin, Berliner Sinfonie Orchester, Staatskapelle Dresden, Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock, Staatsorchester Halle, Swedish Radio Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique Strassbourg, Orchestre National de Montpellier, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Hongkong Philharmonic Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra. Within Australia, Johannes has conducted the SSO, MSO, TSO, QSO, WASO and OV.

2011
Ben Northey

Benjamin is the Associate Conductor with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Benjamin’s professional experience spans opera, ballet and contemporary music. He has conducted with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and with Orchestras throughout Australia. In 2001 he was awarded a Nelly Apt Scholarship by Music & Opera Singers Trust Limited.

2010
Giovanni Reggioli

Maestro Giovanni Reggioli is a critically acclaimed opera and orchestral conductor whose influence extends over five continents.
Among his many credits are positions in his home country of Italy at Teatro alla Scala, Teatro Rendano, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Accademia Guiseppe Verdi, and Orchestra da Camara di Firenze; in the United States at the Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, New York City Opera, Manhattan School of Music, Delaware Opera, Los Angeles Opera Orchestra, and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; in Canada at Opera de Québec, Orchestra Symphonique de Québec, and the National Arts Center Orchestra of Ottawa; in South America at Ópera de Caracas and Ópera de Colombia; and in Japan at the New National Theater.
Outstanding among Reggioli’s international credits are his many appearances in Australia, the first of which was at the podium of Opera Australia for Verdi’s Falstaff in 2006. He returned to conduct their productions of La traviata, Il trovatore, Nabucco, and Turandot (2007); La Bohème and Otello (2008); Rigoletto (2010); and Madama Butterfly (2012). He conducted Queensland Opera’s productions of Nabucco (2007) and Rigoletto (2009) and has led Orchestra Victoria (2007).

2009
Aldo Salvagno

Born in Salerno Italy, Aldo Salvagno graduated from DAMS University of Bologna’s Conservatory. He studied conducting with Maestro Acel in Szeged, Hungary and Maestro Francis in Bologna, Italy. Salvagno has conducted many orchestras including the Philharmonic Orchestra of Turin, Kyoto Philharmonic Orchestra, and Orchestra Filarmonica del Piemonte. Concert highlights include a performance marking the anniversary of Verdi’s death at the Palazzo Reale, Milan; touring Switzerland and Germany with Filarmonica del Piemonte, conducting the world premiere of Calderara’s Lunge o profane amor, a sacred cantata and this year’s modern premiere performances of Ero e Leandro by Bottesini and Orfeo e Euridice by Gluck (1774 Neapolitan edition) at Martina Franca, 35th Festival della Valle d’Itria. In 2002 he made his Japanese debut conducting Il Tabarro and Cavalleria Rusticana in Nagoya,
returning in 2004 for Madama Butterfly at the Kyoto Concert Hall. In 2005 he made his American debut, conducting the Dearborn, Livonia and Plymouth Symphony Orchestras. Salvagno’s extensive opera and sacred repertoire includes the Verdi and Mozart Requiems, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Carmen, Don
Giovanni, Rigoletto, Il Trovatore, La Boheme, Falstaff, La Traviata, Tosca, Elisir d’amore, Lucia di Lammermoor, performed in theatres across Italy, France and Spain. In Australia, he has conducted Madama Butterfly for Melbourne Opera, Madama Butterfly and Turandot for State Opera South Australia and
is currently conducting La Fanciulla del West with West Australian Opera. Salvagno is currently Chief Conductor of the Orchestra Filarmonica del Piemonte, Chief Conductor of the Theatre of Irun, Spain and Musical Director for the Colzani Singing Competition.

2008
Brian Castles-Onion AM

Born in Cessnock, Brian Castles-Onion is one of Australia’s most exciting and well-known opera conductors. Completing his tertiary studies at the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music, his outstanding achievements speak for themselves.
His career expands internationally having worked at New York’s Metropolitan Opera and the Julliard School of Music. He has worked at the Rossini Festival in Italy, held the position of Artistic Director of Canterbury Opera in New Zealand and currently continues his long run association with Opera Australia.
His conducting experience – well over five hundred opera performances alone – throughout Australia, Asia and New Zealand includes: La bohème (Puccini) Faust (Gounod), La Traviata, (Verdi), Les pêcheurs de perles (Bizet), Il barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini), Don Giovanni (Mozart), Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti), Così fan tutte (Mozart), Lucio Silla (Mozart), Rinaldo (Handel), Les contes d’Hoffmann (Offenbach), The Telephone (Menotti), Turandot (Puccini), Norma (Bellini), The Merry Widow (Lehar), Lakmé (Delibes), A Little Night Music (Sondheim), La forza del destino (Verdi), Manon (Massenet), The Mikado (Sullivan), Tosca (Puccini), Carmen (Bizet), Samson et Dalila (Saint-Saens), La sonnambula (Bellini), Rigoletto (Verdi), Die Fledermaus (J. Strauss), To Hell & Back (Heggie), Prima la musica (Salieri), Iolanthe (Sullivan), The Pirates of Penzance (Sullivan), The Gondoliers (Sullivan), H.M.S. Pinafore (Sullivan), Trial by Jury (Sullivan) and My Fair Lady (Loewe).

2007
Richard Bonynge AC, CBE

Born in Sydney, Australia, Richard Bonynge studied at the NSW Conservatory of Music and the Royal College of Music. He served as Music Director of the Sutherland-Williamson Grand Opera Company in 1965 (Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane), as Artistic Director of the Vancouver Opera from 1974-77 and Music Director of The Australian Opera from 1976-86. Maestro Bonynge’s accomplishments as conductor and musical scholar were recognized when Queen Elizabeth II, during her Silver Jubilee Celebration in 1977, made him a Commander of the British Empire. In the summer of 1989, the French government honored him with the rank of “Commandeur de l’Ordre National des Arts et des Lettres”. Throughout his illustrious career, Richard Bonynge has conducted in the world’s leading opera houses in Europe, North and South America, Australia and New Zealand and Asia. He has received world-wide acclaim as a scholar of bel canto opera and is celebrated for leading the renaissance of eighteenth and early-nineteenth century musical theater.
His discography reflects the eclecticism of his music interests. He has recorded over 50 complete operas as well as the three Tchaikovsky ballets, three Delibes ballets and numerous lesser known ballets by Adam, Minkus, Burgmuller, Auber, Drigo, Offenbach. He recorded several recital discs with Sumi Jo, Jerry Hadley, Deborah Riedel, Rosamund Illing, Cheryl Barker and Elizabeth Whitehouse. His recent recordings are Le Domino Noir (Auber), Le Toréador (Adam), Der Czarevich, Das Land des Lächelns (Paganini), Giuditta (Lehar), Cendrillon (Nicolo), Orfeo (Haydn), Die Herzogin von Chicago and Die Czardasfürstin (Kálmán), British Opera Arias (Balfe, Wallace, Sullivan), Sacred and Profane Arias (Massenet), Puccini Arias (Puccini), La Somnambula (Hérold), Verismo Arias and Tchaikovsky & Grieg piano concertos with Simon Tedeschi and the Queensland Orchestra. Video recordings include Les Huguenots, La Fille du Régiment, Adriana Lecouvreur, Die Lustige Witwe, Les Dialogues des Carmélites, Norma, Die Fledermaus, Lucrezia Borgia, Lucia di Lammermoor, Lakmé, Il Trovatore, Die Zauberflöte and Die Czardasfürstin.

2006
Richard Bonynge AC, CBE

Born in Sydney, Australia, Richard Bonynge studied at the NSW Conservatory of Music and the Royal College of Music. He served as Music Director of the Sutherland-Williamson Grand Opera Company in 1965 (Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane), as Artistic Director of the Vancouver Opera from 1974-77 and Music Director of The Australian Opera from 1976-86. Maestro Bonynge’s accomplishments as conductor and musical scholar were recognized when Queen Elizabeth II, during her Silver Jubilee Celebration in 1977, made him a Commander of the British Empire. In the summer of 1989, the French government honored him with the rank of “Commandeur de l’Ordre National des Arts et des Lettres”. Throughout his illustrious career, Richard Bonynge has conducted in the world’s leading opera houses in Europe, North and South America, Australia and New Zealand and Asia. He has received world-wide acclaim as a scholar of bel canto opera and is celebrated for leading the renaissance of eighteenth and early-nineteenth century musical theater.
His discography reflects the eclecticism of his music interests. He has recorded over 50 complete operas as well as the three Tchaikovsky ballets, three Delibes ballets and numerous lesser known ballets by Adam, Minkus, Burgmuller, Auber, Drigo, Offenbach. He recorded several recital discs with Sumi Jo, Jerry Hadley, Deborah Riedel, Rosamund Illing, Cheryl Barker and Elizabeth Whitehouse. His recent recordings are Le Domino Noir (Auber), Le Toréador (Adam), Der Czarevich, Das Land des Lächelns (Paganini), Giuditta (Lehar), Cendrillon (Nicolo), Orfeo (Haydn), Die Herzogin von Chicago and Die Czardasfürstin (Kálmán), British Opera Arias (Balfe, Wallace, Sullivan), Sacred and Profane Arias (Massenet), Puccini Arias (Puccini), La Somnambula (Hérold), Verismo Arias and Tchaikovsky & Grieg piano concertos with Simon Tedeschi and the Queensland Orchestra. Video recordings include Les Huguenots, La Fille du Régiment, Adriana Lecouvreur, Die Lustige Witwe, Les Dialogues des Carmélites, Norma, Die Fledermaus, Lucrezia Borgia, Lucia di Lammermoor, Lakmé, Il Trovatore, Die Zauberflöte and Die Czardasfürstin.

2005
Richard Bonynge AC, CBE

Born in Sydney, Australia, Richard Bonynge studied at the NSW Conservatory of Music and the Royal College of Music. He served as Music Director of the Sutherland-Williamson Grand Opera Company in 1965 (Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane), as Artistic Director of the Vancouver Opera from 1974-77 and Music Director of The Australian Opera from 1976-86. Maestro Bonynge’s accomplishments as conductor and musical scholar were recognized when Queen Elizabeth II, during her Silver Jubilee Celebration in 1977, made him a Commander of the British Empire. In the summer of 1989, the French government honored him with the rank of “Commandeur de l’Ordre National des Arts et des Lettres”. Throughout his illustrious career, Richard Bonynge has conducted in the world’s leading opera houses in Europe, North and South America, Australia and New Zealand and Asia. He has received world-wide acclaim as a scholar of bel canto opera and is celebrated for leading the renaissance of eighteenth and early-nineteenth century musical theater.
In recent seasons he led performances of La Traviata in Athens, I Capuleti ed I Montecchi in London, Norma, Lucia di Lammermoor, La Scala di Seta, Signor Bruschino, Roméo & Juliette in Sydney, Lucia, Norma and Faust in the United States, La Favorite in Barcelona, I Lombardi in Buenos Aires and Semiramide (Meyerbeer) at the Wildbad Festival, Germany.
Mr. Bonynge’s extensive career includes innumerable performances with his wife, Dame Joan Sutherland, culminating in her farewell engagements in opera and recital throughout the world. The two artists also toured the United States with the Sydney Symphony in celebration of Australia’s Bicentennial, with concerts at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall and the United Nations.

2004
Richard Divall AO, OBE

Richard Divall AO OBE (1945–2017), conductor, composer and scholar, grew up in Manly and was educated at Manly Boys’ High School. After leaving school at age fifteen, he joined the ABC, starting out in the mail room but ending up as the radio producer who instituted the ‘Musica Australis’ series of programs delving into Australian music history. During the 1960s he also attended night classes in singing at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and appeared in a number of amateur opera productions. After cutting his teeth as a conductor with the Young Opera in Sydney, he took up a role with the Queensland Opera Company in 1971. He left for Melbourne the following year on being encouraged by soprano Dame Joan Hammond to accept the position of inaugural Music Director of the Victorian State Opera. As director, Divall instituted an eclectic repertoire, including many operas either rarely or never performed in Australia until that time, and worked closely with then-Premier Rupert Hamer – later the VSO’s chairman – to ensure a financial footing for the fledgling company. He was closely involved in planning for the Victorian Arts Centre and conducted the first operas in the Concert Hall and State Theatre in 1983 and 1984 respectively. Divall received an OBE in 1981 and was named Victoria’s Conductor Laureate in 1995, shortly before he commenced a five-year appointment with Opera Australia as Principal Resident Conductor.

2003
Tom Woods

Born in Tanzania to Australian parents, Tom Woods grew up in Perth, Western Australia, where he learnt cello and piano and studied conducting with Richard Gill at the West Australian Conservatorium. In 1989, he received a Department of Foreign Affairs scholarship to enable studies in Moscow under Maestro Vladimir Ponkin.
Returning to Australia, Tom joined Opera Australia in 1993, becoming one of the youngest conductors in the company’s history with his debut A Midsummer Night’s Dream at age 23 to critical acclaim. Between 1993 and 1997, Tom was Assistant Conductor for over sixty operas; assisting such maestri as Richard Hickox, Simone Young, Christopher Hogwood, Sir Charles Mackerras, Richard Bonynge and Carlo Felice Cillario.
His ongoing relationship with Opera Australia has seen him conduct the world premiere of John Haddock’s Madeline Lee, the Australian premiere of André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire, and works including La bohème, Madama Butterfly, Turandot, La traviata, Un ballo in maschera, Carmen, Il barbiere di Siviglia, La Fille du Regiment, The Gondoliers and Patience. Tom has conducted for the State Opera of South Australia (Rigoletto, Il barbiere di Siviglia), West Australian Opera (La traviata) and Opera Queensland (The Mikado).
Tom has conducted all the major Australian symphony orchestras and was the Artistic Director of the Sydney Youth Orchestra since 1999. In recent years, he has conducted the Sudwestdeutscheskammerorchester Pforzheim, the Krasnoyarsk Symphony, Sendai Philharmonic and Osaka Symphoniker. He has conducted in Hong Kong and Bangkok and took the London Festival Orchestra on tour to Brunei, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta – as well as touring the Sydney Youth Orchestra to Denmark, Sweden and Italy.

2002
Vladimir Verbitsky

Verbitsky was born in Leningrad (St.Petersburg) and graduated from that city's famous Conservatoire. Following hiss graduation, he studied with Yevgeny Mravinsky, the renowned Chief Conductor of the Leningrad Philharmonic (who took the closest interest in his musical development). Vladimir Verbitsky regularly conducts the major Moscow and St.Petersburg orchestras, as well as continuing his long association with the Voronezh Philharmonic, of which he has been Chief Conductor and Music Director since 1972. Under his baton the Voronezh Philharmonic has improved enormously and was given a title of Academic Orchestra for truly great music making. Vladimir Verbitsky received the honorable title People' s Artist of Russia. During the period 1982-1984 he also worked as Chief Conductor of the Slovak Philharmonic in Bratislava. As Guest Conductor on many international tours of Yevgeny Svetlanov' s USSR State Symphony Orchestra, Vladimir Verbitsky conducted this mighty orchestra in France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Canada, USA, South America, Japan and Hong Kong. He was introduced to Australian and New Zealand audiences in 1986, when he achieved a remarkable personal success as Guest Conductor -on the USSR State Symphony Orchestra' s historic first Australasian tour. At the end of this tour he was invited to be Music Director of the State Orchestra of Victoria in Melbourne. Since 1987 Vladimir Verbitsky regularly conducts all major Australian and New Zealand orchestras. After twelve years his unique collaboration with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, from 1987-1991 as a Guest Conductor and from 1992-1997 as the orchestra's Principal Guest Conductor, in 1997 he was appointed Conductor Laureate.