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Richard Mills : Represented Artist

Random Audio Sample: The Love of the nightingale : opera by Richard Mills, from the CD Emma Matthews in Monte Carlo


Photo of Richard Mills

Richard Mills is deservedly one of Australia's most sought after composers and music directors. In recent years he has pursued a diverse career as a composer and a conductor, which has seen him working with a large number of the nation's music organisations.

Mills's works are regularly performed throughout the world. Compositions range from major orchestral and choral works to ballet music. Commissions for the Sydney Symphony include Tenebrae, Emblems, and Totemic Journeys. Requiem Diptych was commissioned and premiered by the Chicago Chamber Musicians Brass in 2001. His symphonic/choral work for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, The Little Mermaid, was premiered in August 2005.

Victorian State Opera commissioned Mills to write an opera of Ray Lawler's Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, which premiered in Melbourne in 1996, and received a Sydney season in 1999. His second opera, Batavia, was commissioned by Opera Australia and was premiered at the Melbourne Festival in 2001 to great acclaim, consequently receiving a number of Green Room and Helpmann Awards. He has been commissioned to write a new opera for the 2007 Perth International Festival with subsequent performances in Melbourne and Brisbane.

The performance of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde in Brisbane in 2005 with the Australian Youth Orchestra under his baton won a Helpmann Award in 2006, and he will conduct it again in staged performances in Perth later in 2006.

His CD recording Richard Mills Orchestral Works with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra has become a best seller on the ABC Classics label. His three volume CD of the film music of Franz Waxman with the same orchestra was awarded a Deutsche Schallplattern Kritiks Preis in 1992, and he has conducted recordings with the West Australian and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras.

Mills continues a high level of involvement in the community through such commissions for the 1982 Commonwealth Games, the 2000 Olympic Games, the 2006 Commonwealth Games, and the Australian Bicentenary re-orchestration of Charles Williams’ Majestic Fanfare (the ABC news theme).

Currently, he is Artistic Director of the West Australian Opera, Artistic Consultant with Orchestra Victoria, Director of the Australian Music Project for the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and Senior Fellow, University of Melbourne. Last year he was honoured with the 2005 Ian Potter Foundation Award for Established Composers.


Biography provided by the composer — current to August 2006

Teacher/Influence on

Peter McNamara (2004 - 2005)

Katherine Rawlings

Mark Viggiani

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for
2005 Ian Potter Music Commission Established Composer
2002 Classical Music Awards - Vocal or Choral Work of the Year Winner Batavia
2002 Helpmann Awards Winner, Best New Australian Work Batavia
1999 Order of Australia Member of the Order Service to music, particularly as a composer
1996 Don Banks Music Award Recipient
1982 Albert H Maggs Composition Award First Prize

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
De caelo sonus (organ with full orchestra) Commissioned by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Scared of the dark : soprano with ensemble Commissioned by the Southern Cross Soloists for performance in their 'Words and Music' series
Symphony of nocturnes : full orchestra (2008) Commissioned for the Australian Ballet's 'Interplay'.
Four miniatures : clarinet, viola and piano (1992) Commissioned by Verdehr Trio.
Sequenzas concertantes : full orchestra (1986) Composed as a commission to celebrate the Queensland Theatre Orchestra's 10th anniversary
Soundscapes : for percussion and orchestra. (1983) Commissioned for the Brisbane Promenade Concerts 1983.

Analysis & Media

- Program note: Richard Mills' "Symphonic Pictures from Summer of the Seventeenth Doll"

- Article: Scored in black and white

- Article: Classic birthday boys

- Article: 'Fiery' Impresario Makes Himself Heard

- Article: Mills and Boom