Honour for Melbourne Musician

Article details

Published: 11th June, 2018

Classic Melbourne has important breaking news to share, thanks to the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra. The MCO’s  Artistic Director William Hennessy has been honoured in today’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, with appointment as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).  The MCO media release summarises Mr Hennessy’s many achievements as follows:

“William Hennessy has long been acknowledged as one of Australia’s foremost violinists and music educators.

“In a career spanning five decades, including over a decade as MCO’s Artistic Director, William has made a rich and singular contribution to Australia’s musical life. From his leadership in ensembles including the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Australian String Quartet, to his exceptional work in music education and unwavering commitment to the careers of emerging artists, it’s hard to imagine string playing in Australia without our beloved “Bill.”

“Having performed in 38 countries in over 300 concerto appearances, Mr Hennessy remains one of Australia’s most in-demand soloists, pedagogues and chamber musicians.

“Mr Hennessy was Head of Strings at University of Melbourne from 1997–2006, and later was Faculty at the preeminent national training institution for classical musicians, the Australian National Academy of Music (2007–14). Through these roles, William has shaped the careers of hundreds of Australia’s finest musicians. He remains active in private teaching practice and is regularly sought out by Australia’s most promising violin students for teaching and mentoring.

“His students have repeatedly won important music awards in Australia, including the Young Performer of the Year Award, the Dorcas Maclean Award, the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, and others. Further, his students can be found in major orchestras in Australia and internationally.

“His commitment to education has extended downstream to work with primary and secondary-aged students with the same zeal that he approaches working with Australia’s most talented tertiary-level students. He has developed and run programs through MCO over several years, primarily in regional areas. These programs have reached hundreds of children, to encourage their musical ability, technical skill and enjoyment of music-making.”

One of just a handful of respected veteran music directors still actively contributing to Melbourne’s musical life, Hennessy’s Curriculum vitae includes appointments to the Australian Chamber Orchestra,  Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Australian String Quartet and teaching at The University of Melbourne and the Australian National Academy of Music.

Hennessy’s close connection with the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra dates back 12 years. and continues to be pivotal to that ensemble and others. For more details, including of their upcoming coming Mozart concerts, go to the MCO website.

And, on behalf of all at Classic Melbourne, congratulations William!