While Richard Gill’s Birthday Bashat City Recital Hall was a joyous celebration, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s memorial, Richard Gill: Celebration of a Life was a ceremonial and profoundly moving reflection on the life of the beloved conductor and music educator, the orchestra joined by the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Sydney Chamber Choir and Conservatorium High School Chamber Choir.

Opening with a beautiful and personal welcome to country by Auntie Delmae Barton and her son, didjeridu player William Barton, the concert alternated speakers and music.

Gill’s children Claire and Anthony Gill had the audience roaring with laughter – often through tears – as they touchingly described a domestic Richard Gill every bit as passionate, quirky and characterful as his public persona. “Life with Dad was never dull,” as Claire Gill put it.

Richard Gill, Sydney Symphony Orchestra Richard Gill (1941 – 2018). Photo © Brendan Read

The Sydney Chamber Choir, conducted by Sam Allchurch, gave glimmering performances of Ross Edwards’ Fluxit labor dieiand James MacMillan’s Lux aeterna, while the Conservatorium High School Chamber Choir sung Carissimi’s Plorate filii Israelfrom Jephte, conducted by Réka Csernyik. The SSO performed the Adagiettoslow movement...

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