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Sing out the changes

by Suzanne Yanko

The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra has just announced that Jonathan Grieves-Smith, Chorus Master of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Chorus, is to retire,  concluding a remarkable 16-year tenure with the Chorus.

The choir was first  known as the Melbourne Chorale, and for the past 7 years as the MSO Chorus. In recent months Classic Melbourne’s Peter Williams enjoyed reviewing Messiah performed by this choir, while Suzanne Yanko recalls other highlights including the massive Belshazzar’s Feast in 2012.

MSO Managing Director, André Gremillet said the entire MSO family was most grateful for Grieves-Smith’s artistic vision, dedication, and hard work. “Under Jonathan’s leadership, the MSO Chorus has garnered national and international recognition, and its artistic growth has simply been outstanding.

“Jonathan’s last performance with the MSO will be during the Anzac Tribute concert in April, leading the Chorus through Beethoven’s 9th Symphony,” said Gremillet.

Jonathan Grieves-Smith came to the MSO in 1999 as the former Music Director of the Brighton Festival Chorus, and Chorus Master of the Huddersfield Choral Society. He said it had been an extraordinary privilege to serve this Chorus and work with such incredible musicians over the past 16-years.

“Their commitment to excellence and to each other has inspired composers, conductors and audiences and I know they will go on to even greater achievements in the years to come. I can only be grateful and proud for the experiences I have shared with them, it has been wonderful,” he said.

As Chorus Master, he has trained choirs for many outstanding musicians, including Sir Simon Rattle, Valery Gergiev, Seiji Ozawa, Stephen Layton, Mark Wigglesworth, Klaus Tennstedt, Pierre Boulez, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, and Sir Roger Norrington, for concerts and broadcasts from London, Rio de Janeiro, Granada, Brussels, Nairobi and Melbourne, as well as for recordings for Chandos, Decca, Conifer, Phillips, and ABC Classics.

A search for a replacement is currently underway.


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