The British conductor will be the MSO’s knight in shining armour after three years of uncertainty.
Following Sydney Symphony’s appointment this week of American conductor David Robertson as Vladimir Ashkenazy’s successor, and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra’s recent announcement that Israeli-born Asher Fisch will take up the baton in 2014, it seems the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra has acquired its own internationally renowned conductor, making a charmed trio of new recruits at podiums around the country.
English conductor Sir Andrew Davis is to step in as chief conductor of the MSO, a position that has been conspicuously vacant for three years.
Davis, 68, is renowned for his performances with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, boasting the longest tenure as its chief since Sir Adrian Boult. He also served as music director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera and now holds the title of principal conductor at Lyric Opera of Chicago.
He is a regular guest of the MSO, due to return to our shores next month to conduct American soprano Deborah Voigt in programs of Wagner Richard Strauss for her Melbourne and Sydney concerts. It is around the time of these appearances that the official announcement is likely to be made. In August and September, the conductor will lead the orchestra in the Grieg Piano Concerto with Piers Lane. Signed to Chandos Records, Davis may also resume the MSO’s activities with the English label, which previously recorded the orchestra under the late Richard Hickox.
Sir Andrew received his knighthood for services to British music in the 1990s and conducted the Prom-at-the-Palace concert in 2002 at Buckingham Palace as part of the Queen’s golden jubilee celebrations.
The appointment will fill a position that has remained unoccupied for three years, since the premature departure of former MSO chief conductor Oleg Caetani.