Choral conductor Jonathan Grieves-Smith has been sentenced to 24 years in jail for child sex crimes. The conductor, who was a prominent figure in Australia’s choral and classical music community, was convicted of 16 counts of sex offences in a Brighton court earlier this year after being extradited to the UK from Australia.
Grieves-Smith’s crimes, which the victim described as “torture”, took place during the late 1980s and early 1990s, while he was musical director of Brighton Festival Chorus, a post he held from 1983 to 1998.
The news has rocked Australia’s choral and classical music scene. Grieves-Smith moved to Melbourne in 1999 where he led the Melbourne Chorale (which became the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Chorus in 2008). He was Director of Music at Melbourne’s Trinity College from 2014 to 2016, when, it was revealed in March this year, his employment was terminated after the college learned of the allegations against him. Grieves-Smith also led ensembles including the Hamer Singers and Hallelujah Junction, and conducted choirs including the Sydney Chamber Choir.
Grieves-Smith was tried under the name of Jonathan Smith. “Smith came to know his victim, then aged just five, in...