Australian Brandenburg Orchestra founding director gets royal nod in the Queen’s honours list.

Artistic director of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra Paul Dyer has been awarded the title of Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in this year’s Australia Day Honours List.

The accolade acknowledges Dyer’s pivotal role in developing historically informed performance practice of Baroque and early music in Australia and, officially, his “distinguished service to the performing arts, particularly orchestral music as director, conductor and musician, through the promotion of education programs and support for emerging artists”.

He co-founded the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra more than 20 years ago, nurturing Australia’s fledgling period-instrument scene. “When we started the Orchestra in 1990, there was no skill or tradition in the use of period instruments or playing on gut strings in Australia. We had to start from scratch,” he recalls.

“Many fine musicians and students took the leap of faith with me. This award acknowledges just how far we’ve come in bringing the exquisite sound of period music to life in Australia in the modern age, and with a distinctive Australian style.

“Today, 24 years later, I proudly take to the stage with talented and highly skilled early music musicians – both orchestral players and choral singers – who are amongst the finest in the world. We enjoy a place in the heart of many Australians through our concerts and recordings and that is something for which I am very grateful.”

Dyer described the award as a “wonderful honour”.

Also praised on the 2013 honour roll is pianist Kathryn Selby, who has been named a Member (AM), “for significant service to the arts as a concert pianist and performer of chamber music.”