MSO announces new artistic appointments

The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra has today announced the appointment of American violinist, Eoin Andersen, to one of its two Concertmaster positions and a three-year extension to its contract with Australian conductor Benjamin Northey.

Andersen will take up the role from 2015 filling the position left vacant by current MSO Concertmaster Wilma Smith, who is retiring from the position at the end of 2014. Andersen will share the Concertmaster responsibilities with Brisbane-born Dale Barltrop, who takes up his position with the MSO in June 2014.

“Eoin is a wonderful violinist who established a great rapport with the Orchestra from his very first appearance with us,” said MSO Managing Director André Gremillet. “His unique musicianship will be a great asset for our Orchestra and we could not be more pleased to be welcoming him to the MSO and to Melbourne,” he continued.

“I am thrilled to be joining the MSO; it's a fantastic orchestra both musically and personally and has great artistic leadership on all levels,” Andersen said. “Sir Andrew Davis is brilliant and delightful to work with and I have loved playing with this Orchestra as a guest in Melbourne; it already feels like home.”

Formerly a member of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Andersen has been Principal Second Violin of the Orchester der Oper Zürich since 2011. He has performed as Concertmaster or Guest Principal with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic, the Rundfunk Symphonieorhchester Berlin among others, and at various chamber music festivals throughout Europe and North and South America. He will divide his time between his home in Berlin and Melbourne.

Andersen will join the MSO as Guest Concertmaster for three weeks of concerts in September and October 2014.

Benjamin Northey has been reappointed to the position of the MSO’s Patricia Riordan Associate Conductor Chair for another three years from 2014. In the coming season he will conduct the MSO in a wide variety of concerts, covering core orchestral repertoire in the MSO’s Master Series to MSO Pops and Town Hall Proms as well as leading the Orchestra through its many schools performances during Education Week. "I am delighted to have the opportunity to continue making music with the wonderful musicians of the MSO and I look forward to some great highlights in the coming years," Northey said.

Northey has recently been appointed as the Chief Conductor of the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra commencing in 2015. He is a regular guest conductor with all major Australian symphony orchestras and Opera Australia. His international appearances include concerts with the London Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic, the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, Malaysian Philharmonic, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia, and the New Zealand Symphony and Auckland Philharmonic Orchestras.

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