Vale Richard Gill

The much-admired and respected Australian conductor and music educator died on Sunday aged 76.

Photo credit: Justin Lloyd. Image via

Conductor and music educator Richard Gill AO, the inaugural dean of the West Australian Conservatorium of Music and founding director of Victorian Opera, died on Sunday (28 October) after a year-long battle with cancer. He was 76.

Remembered for his enthusiasm, energy, encyclopaedic knowledge of music and an unwavering belief that music was for everybody, Gill was serenaded at his home in Stanmore, in Sydney’s inner west, by an impromptu orchestra the day before he died.

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts