Patricia Riordan Associate Conductor Chair
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 Guest 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 the 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, Auckland and Christchurch Symphony Orchestras.
Northey studied conducting with John Hopkins at the University of Melbourne Conservatorium of Music from 2000-2002. In 2001 he was awarded first prize in the Symphony Australia Young Conductor of the Year Competition under the direction of Jorma Panula. In 2002 he was he was accepted as the highest placed applicant to Finland’s prestigious Sibelius Academy where he studied with Leif Segerstam and Atso Almila until 2005. He completed his studies at the Stockholm Royal College of Music with Jorma Panula in 2006. In 2009/10 he was chosen as one of three conductors worldwide to participate in the Allianz International Conductor’s Academy with the LPO and the Philharmonia Orchestra.
With a progressive and diverse approach to repertoire he has collaborated with a broad range of artists including Maxim Vengerov, Julian Rachlin, Karen Gomyo, Piers Lane, Alban Gerhardt, Johannes Moser, Amy Dickson, Slava Grigoryan & Marc-André Hamelin as well as popular artists Tim Minchin, KD Lang, Kate Miller-Heidke, Barry Humphries, Kurt Elling, James Morrison & Tori Amos.
Northey is highly active in the performance of Australian orchestral music having premiered numerous major new works of composers such as Brett Dean, Peter Sculthorpe, Elena Kats-Chernin and Matthew Hindson. An Honorary Fellow at the University of Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, his awards include the prestigious 2010 Melbourne Prize Outstanding Musician’s Award and the 2002 Brian Stacey Memorial Scholarship as well as multiple awards and nominations for his numerous recordings for ABC Classics.