It is with great sadness that I pass on the news that our former colleague, Professor Richard Divall, passed away on 15 January 2017 after a heroic battle with cancer. Richard will be well known to many of you for his outstanding contributions to music. He was the former music director for the Queensland Opera (1971) and the Victorian State Opera (1972-1996) and Principal Resident Conductor for Opera Australia (1996-2001). From 2011 he was Vice Chancellor’s Professorial Fellow at Monash and subsequently Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Arts. Since joining Monash he has been a tireless and effective advocate for Monash music and played a key role in securing philanthropic donations to support performing arts at Monash. He was also a dedicated and inspiring teacher of composition and musicology and continued teaching despite the enormous strains of his declining health. He has left a lasting legacy to the world of music through his research into the music of Malta and Australia.
Professor of History, and Dean of Arts
Conductor, musicologist and for thirty years Music Director of the Victorian State Opera, and Principal Resident Conductor of the Australian Opera. Richard Divall has made many recordings and conducted over one hundred and fifty operas, and is Chairman of the Marshall-Hall Trust. A Vice-Chancellor’s Professorial Fellow, he is engaged in the fundraising for the new building designed by Moshe Safdie for the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, and is a Visiting Professor of Music at King’s College, London. He works with the Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Arts on projects especially concerning music and ANZAC heritage and philanthropic support.
Professor Divall is currently editing for publication, performance and recording many works by early Australian composers, including symphonic, chamber and solo instrumental works by Charles Edward Horsley; orchestral, chamber and vocal works by Fritz Hart; and works by Carl Linger, Alberto Zelman Snr, Leon Caron, Ernest Truman, Ernest Hutchinson. Many of these are appearing on the Music Archive Monash University (MAMU). He is involved in musical and historical aspects of the ANZAC Centenary, on projects initiated by Monash University and other agencies and foundations. He is currently editing the music of the Italian and English Baroque, as well as music composed on Malta in the period 1530-1830. He has a PhD in eighteenth-century sacred music from the University of Divinity and Honorary Doctorates from Monash University (1992), and Australian Catholic University (2004). He is an Associate Professor of Music at The University of Melbourne and a Visiting Professor at The University of Malta. Professor Divall is a Knight of Malta in Solemn Religious Profession, and undertakes charitable works with medical research especially in Palliative Care, and with the sick and the homeless. He is an Honorary Patron of many organizations and music groups.