Celebrated Australian conductor and composer Richard Mills has received a postnominal upgrade as part of the 2024 Australia Day Honours after being appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), recognised for distinguished service to the performing arts as a composer, conductor and artistic director. Mills was initially appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 1999.
On receiving his AO, Mills Noted:
I have had the great privilege of serving my art in the company of so many wonderful talented and generous colleagues. My life has been blessed by the beauty of the human voice every day and by inspiration and affection and support of so many people. I am honoured and grateful.
The distinguished composer and conductor recently completed his tenure as Artistic Director of Victorian Opera (2013 – 2023), following his previous position as Artistic Director of West Australian Opera from 1997 – 2012.
Renowned for his body of orchestral works, Helpmann Award-winning operas Batavia and Love of the Nightingale, and re-orchestrating the ABC’s iconic news theme, Mills has remained one of Australia’s greatest champions of new music and nurturing Australian talent.
At Victorian Opera alone, Mills commissioned over 30 new operas including Lorelei, The Riders, and The Grumpiest Boy in the World. Mills premiered his fourth large-scale opera, Galileo, in an acclaimed Melbourne debut in December 2023.
In April 2024, Mills conducts several performances at Opera Queensland’s Brisbane Bel Canto Festival: reuniting him with frequent collaborator, superstar soprano Jessica Pratt.