Tuesday, August 29, 2017 5:06pm
ASO Managing Director Vincent Ciccarello announced three new appointments to the ASO Leadership Team: the internationally-renowned, Olivier-award winning conductor Mark Wigglesworth becomes Principal Guest Conductor in 2018 and 2019; Cathy Milliken joins the ASO as Composer in Association; and Grace Clifford as Emerging Artist in Association.
Mark Wigglesworth said that he was “delighted to have the privilege of becoming the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor”.
“The orchestra is a jewel in the cultural life of Australia,” he said. “Its musicians are a perfect blend of individuality and teamwork. I am constantly inspired by their ability and attitude to their work.
“It will be a great honour to make music with them on a more regular basis and I am looking forward to getting to know the Adelaide audiences much better as a result. The community is so lucky to have this orchestra on their doorstep and I am equally lucky to be able to be part of that relationship.”
Of Wigglesworth’s appointment, Ciccarello said, “Mark is one of the outstanding conductors of his generation, as much at home in the opera house as the concert hall. He regularly conducts the great orchestras of the world.
“It’s a measure of the wonderful rapport between Mark and the ASO that we are able to make this announcement. We welcome him to the ASO family in this official capacity, here to conduct three Master Series programs next year.”
Both Milliken and Clifford are Australians at the top of their game. Milliken now resides in Berlin as a freelance composer and performer, creative director and educational program consultant and is part of the creative team for the Munich Biennale for Music Theatre.
In 2016 she won the prestigious APRA Art Music Award for Orchestral Work of the Year for her epic and imaginative composition Earth Plays. Over three years Milliken will deliver three new compositions, the first of which will have its World Premiere at Adelaide Guitar Festival conducted by Benjamin Northey in August next year. On creating this new work, Milliken said that it was “important to keep finding new musical ways to express the thoughts and concerns of our times: to be in love and in life through music”.
Teenaged Australian violinist Grace Clifford is no stranger to accolades. In 2014, at the age of 16 she won the prestigious ABC Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year Award for her performance of the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the ASO.
Since then, Clifford has been studying at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and has performed with a number of orchestras around the world. She will demonstrate her talents as Mark Wigglesworth conducts Grace & Grandeur where she performs Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, an ideal match for the young violinist whose deeply-felt performance of the Sibelius concerto entranced Adelaide audiences in 2016.
“I am so honoured and excited to be the ASO’s first Emerging Artist in Association,” Grace Clifford said.
“The ASO are such an invested and supportive group of musicians. Their spirit of warmth and generosity makes playing with them feel like large scale chamber music where each musician is receptive to everyone else on stage. It is such a privilege to be playing with them again.”
Vincent Ciccarello said, “The appointment of Cathy and Grace demonstrates the strength of the ASO’s commitment to nurturing new work and talented artists. We believe that, as a critical part of the music sector, not only do we have a professional and moral obligation to support them but that doing so ultimately assists the ASO to secure the next generation of audiences”.
Principal Conductor Nicholas Carter, who remains at the helm of the leadership team for a third year, said, “I am looking forward to another year strengthening my personal relationship with the ASO players and of course you, the patrons”.
“ASO's mission is to nourish the cultural landscape here in South Australia and by extension the lives of all its citizens. We hope that the 2018 program inspires you to get out and be a part of this incredible community, one we hope is more enriched by our commitment to the highest level of music-making.”
Whilst internationally acclaimed musical legend – conductor, violinist, violist and teacher – Pinchas Zukerman continues in his third year as Artist-in-Association. Vincent Ciccarello said, “He continues to be one of the greatest musicians of our era, Pinchas Zukerman, weaves time and sound, passion and vision together to create an experience of undiluted glory.”
The appointments of Milliken and Clifford are made possible respectively by the generous support of two benefactors Mary Louise Simpson, and Angelique and Michael Boileau.
Mary Louise Simpson said of Milliken’s appointment, "My support through this opportunity recognizes how very important the ASO is and in particular, how important it is to encourage and value new compositions. This donation is also given in honour of my mother, Grace Margaret McArthur who instilled in me from an early age a great love of music."
Angelique and Michael Boileau are equally excited to be supporting Grace Clifford and said, “We saw Grace with the ASO in 2016 and were moved by her performance, her talent and dedication at such a young age is inspirational. We hope that our donation to support her work here in Adelaide will inspire new audiences to connect with this wonderful artform