The Times Australia

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The Times

Australia

The passing of Sir Andrew Davis at the age of 80 years old

  • Written by Dr Sophie Galaise Managing Director MSO

Sir Andrew made his MSO debut in 2009 and was the MSO Chief Conductor (2013-2019) and Conductor Laureate (2020-2024). During this time, he led the Orchestra to some of its highest heights both at home and abroad.

As well as our shared moments in Hamer Hall – and at the Melbourne Town Hall, Monash and Geelong – Sir Andrew conducted the Orchestra on sold-out tours to the UK/Europe (2014), China (2016 + 2018) and the United States (2019). He also led the Orchestra on several recordings, including works by Ives and Goossens, as well as Australian composers Carl Vine and Percy Grainger. 

Sir Andrew conducted almost an entire Mahler Cycle with the MSO, and it was one of our greatest regrets that our performances of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony – which were to feature more than 1,000 performers – were not able to come to life due to the pandemic. We were thrilled to reunite with him in late-2022 when he visited to conduct his own orchestration of Handel’s Messiah.

In 2019, the MSO produced a book celebrating Sir Andrew’s tenure as Chief Conductor. In it, Sir Andrew himself had the final words on his time with the MSO. “We have had such incredible musical adventures. The thing I really love about this orchestra is the incredible commitment and sense of joy. Of all ‘my’ orchestras, it is the way the MSO players appreciate and support each other is what stands out. They’re a family.”

Sir Andrew’s wife, Gianna Rolandi, passed away in 2021. The MSO shares its deepest sympathies with his son Edward, as well as his friends and family.

Rest in Peace, Maestro

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