Since returning to Australia from Europe in 2006, Benjamin Northey has rapidly emerged as one of the nation’s leading musical figures. Since 2011, he has held the position of Associate Conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. In 2015, he became Chief Conductor of the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.
2015 engagements include returns to all the major Australian orchestras, the HKPO, the NZSO and Turandot for Opera Australia; in 2016, he will lead both the MSO and Christchurch Symphony on several occasions – as well as appear with HKPO, ASO, WASO and throughout New Zealand.
Northey studied with John Hopkins at the University of Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and then with Jorma Panula and Leif Segerstam at Finland’s prestigious Sibelius Academy where he was accepted as the highest placed applicant in 2002. He has appeared with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, Hong Kong Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia, New Zealand and Christchurch Symphony Orchestras, Auckland Philharmonia and the Southbank Sinfonia of London. He has collaborated with acclaimed artists including Julian Rachlin, Alban Gerhardt, Marc-Andre Hamelin, Arnaldo Cohen, KD Lang, Kurt Elling, Tim Minchin, Barry Humphries, Slava Grigoryan and Emma Matthews.
In Australia, Northey has made his mark through his many critically acclaimed appearances as a guest conductor with all the Australian state symphony orchestras as well as opera productions including L’elisir d’amore, The Tales of Hoffmannand La sonnambula for State Opera of South Australia and Don Giovanni and Cosi fan tutte for Opera Australia. Recordings include several orchestral releases for ABC Classics with the Melbourne, Sydney, Tasmanian, Adelaide and West Australian Symphony Orchestras.
Northey is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2010 Melbourne Prize Outstanding Musician Award, the Brian Stacey Memorial Award, the Nelly Apt Scholarship and the 2007 Limelight Magazine Best Newcomer Award. In 2009, he was selected as one of three conductors worldwide to the Allianz International Conductor’s Academy where he conducted the London Philharmonic and the Philharmonia Orchestras under the mentorship of Vladimir Jurovsky and Chritoph von Dohnanyi.
Northey is an Honorary Fellow of the University of Melbourne Conservatorium where he is also a lecturer in conducting. He currently lives in Melbourne with his wife (the accomplished French Horn player Joanne Montesano) and their children.
Photo credit: Ross Calia