After six extremely successful years, Mary Vallentine AO is to retire as Chief Executive Officer of Melbourne Recital Centre at the end of June, the MRC has announced.
Mary Vallentine became CEO of the Centre early in its operational life and championed diverse programming, deep collaboration with Melbourne’s music community, and a sustained focus on building both audiences and philanthropic support.
“Melbourne Recital Centre is one of the world’s best spaces for music,” Vallentine said. “It exists thanks to the vision of the Victorian Government and the generosity of its benefactors. I’m proud to have helped build its vital role in the musical life of Victoria and Australia.
“We present great music and superb performances in the perfect acoustics of the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall and the Salon. Our audiences are diverse, indeed more diverse than ever. People come to the Centre to hear everything from baroque to contemporary, early music to opera, and pop to jazz.
“The Centre is now the Melbourne home of Australia’s leading chamber groups, orchestras and ensembles including Musica Viva, the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and the Australian String Quartet.
“We’re particularly proud of the Centre’s collaboration with Australia’s most outstanding chamber musicians in the Local Heroes series which is now in its sixth year,” Vallentine said.
“International ensembles also love the Centre and in recent years astonishing performances by Concerto Italiano, Les Arts Florissants, Jordi Savall, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Murray Perahia and The Sixteen have delighted audiences and won a number of Helpmann Awards.
“The passion and brilliance of the musicians who perform in the Centre inspire me, my colleagues and our growing audiences.”
Melbourne Recital Centre’s Chair, Kathryn Fagg said, “Mary has been an outstanding leader for the Melbourne Recital Centre in its formative years. Her knowledge, wisdom, warmth and generosity of spirit have inspired an extraordinary period of growth and acclaim for the Centre.
“Since Mary joined in September 2010, the number of performances has increased from less than 200 to over 500, audiences have grown from less than 100,000 to 165,000, and the endowment fund has grown from $2.5 million to $6 million. Mary has built a strong executive and a highly capable and dedicated team. She will be leaving the organisation in a very robust position as it heads towards its tenth birthday in 2019. It is an outstanding legacy from one of Australia’s great arts leaders.”
Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley said, “Over the past six years, Melbourne Recital Centre has carved a special place in Melbourne’s cultural landscape and in our world-recognised music scene. Mary’s leadership, collaborative approach and passion for music have helped the Melbourne Recital Centre attract a growing audience. I look forward to her continued contribution to Victoria’s cultural life.”
Mary Vallentine’s departure will not end her role in Melbourne’s arts community; she will take a position on the Board of Directors of Malthouse Theatre and continue in her roles as director of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation and Chair of the Australian Youth Orchestra, headquartered in Melbourne.
“I look forward to my continued relationship with Melbourne and the Recital Centre as an audience member and as a supporter. Hearing music in this superb hall has become incredibly important to me. It presents the total package – acoustically, visually and in the quality of the music made there. It is hard to leave this wonderful place and its people, so I’m delighted to have the opportunity to spend more time here in other capacities, balanced with a bit of travel and some other projects.”
The Centre’s Board has begun the process of recruiting the Centre’s next CEO. For more information please visit melbournerecital.com.au/news
Information supplied by the Melbourne Recital Centre management.