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Richard Divall (Conductor)

Born: September 9, 1945 - Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Died: January 15, 2017 - Melbourne, Victoris, Australia

The Australian conductor, musicologist and composer, Richard Sydney Divall, was producer in the music department at the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) from 1962 to 1970, especially in Asian and contemporary music and historical programming.

Richard Divall made his conducting debut in Sydney, Australia. From 1971 he was Music Director of the Queensland Opera Company, and from 1972 to 1997 he was Music Director of the Victoria State Opera. For the following five years served as Principal Resident Conductor of Opera Australia. During this period he conducted 140 different operas both in Melbourne, throughout Australasia, and overseas, and also made numerous recordings for ABC. However, his singular contribution was building a vibrant Opera Industry based in Victoria.

Richard Divall is a Principal Fellow in the Faculty of Music and of the Centre for Studies in Australian Music at the University of Melbourne, a Fellow of Queen’s College (where he was also artist-in-residence), a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and a Fellow of the Royal Numismatic Society (Crusader Coinage). From 1991 he is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Music, University of Melbourne. 1991. In 1997 he was Tracy Maund Fellow at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Medical History.

From 1968 Richard Divall pioneered the editing and performance of Colonial Australian Music at the ABC and elsewhere. He edited well over 200 works in this genre from Symphonies to Piano Works. He also was active as an editor in Opera, from the Baroque to the Romantic era and is currently involved in a15 volume edition of Baroque Maltese Music for the Wignacourt Museum in Malta. He co edited a prize winning book on Afghanistan and is currently editing major works of Fritz Hart, Marshall-Hall and Frederick Kelly as well as Symphonies by SS Wesley and others for performance in Europe including specialist works written for the Baroque castrati. He delivered papers on Mediaeval Crusader and Hospital History, especially on the Military Orders of the Church, and facilitates the publication of the Catalogues of the Order of Malta which date from 1100 to 1798.

Richard Divall was heavily involved in many humanitarian projects of The Order both in Australia and overseas. He is the Patron of 3MBS FM.


Complete works of Linger, 1971
Symphonies, Cipriani Potter, Samuel Wesley, 1980
Edited works by Gluck, Rameau, George Frideric Handel, Wesley, Bellini, Verdi
Contributor to: Various professional journals.


Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1981, for his service to music
Commander of Merit, Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem. France in 1985
Fellow, Royal Numismatic Society in 1985
Fellow, Royal Asiatic Society, UK in 1985
Chevalier, Order of St Lazarus, France in 1986
Fellow, Queen's College, University of Melbourne in 1987
DMus (Hon Causa), Sao Paolo, Brazil in 1987
Dame Joan Hammond Award in 1988
Bayreuth Prize in 1990
Commendatore al Merito in 1989, for historical research
Knight of Magistral Grace, Order of Malta in 1991
Associate Professor, Faculty of Music, University of Melbourne in 1991
Centenary Medal for service to music and to the Australian community in 2003
Australian Catholic University's (ACU National) highest honour, Doctor of the University (honoris causa) in 2004
University of Melbourne’s Bernard Heinze Award for 2005 in recognition of his contribution to Australian music
Memberships: Australian Club, Melbourne University House; The History Institute, Australia; Royal Australian Historical Society; Peter Society, United Kingdom.

Source: University of Melbourne Website (August 2005); International Who's Who in Music & Musicians' Directory (13th Edition, 1992/93)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (December 2008, January 2017)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Richard Divall


G.F. Handel: Opera Alcina, HWV 34

Links to other Sites

Richard Divall to receive prestigious award at free Town Hall concert (University of Melbourne)
Associate Professor Richard Dival OBE (ACU National)
Richard Divall (Wikipedia)

Richard Divall OBE (Sttate Library of Victoria)
Assoc Prof Richard Divall (University of Melborune)
Obituary in Limelight
Obituary in Sydney Morning Herals

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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Last update: Monday, May 29, 2017 02:16