“His encyclopaedic understanding of performing and visual arts and his theatrical instinct place him in constant demand as a musician of flair and imagination.” – Antony Jeffrey, Many Faces of Inspiration.
At the helm of the Festival since 2015 is Artistic Director Roland Peelman, an acclaimed musician of great versatility who has established a reputation as one of Australia’s most innovative musical directors.
Born in Belgium, Roland Peelman has been active in Australia over 30 years as a conductor, pianist, artistic director and mentor to composers, singers and musicians alike.
For his commitment to the creative arts in Australia, he has received numerous accolades, including the NSW Award for “the most outstanding contribution to Australian Music by an individual’ in 2005. In 2006 he was named ‘musician of the year’ by the Sydney Morning Herald and he has since featured regularly as one of the most influential people in the Australian arts scene. In 2023 he won the APRA AMCOS Art Music Award “National Luminary – Individual.”
Over a period of 25 years, he transformed The Song Company into one of Australia’s most outstanding and innovative ensembles. In addition, he instigated and directed an impressive list of new work, orchestral, vocal, and operatic.
Roland worked with Opera Australia for seven years (1984-91) before becoming The Song Company’s Artistic Director (1990-2015). During this time, he was also the Music Director of Sydney Metropolitan Opera (1989-94) and the Hunter Orchestra in Newcastle (1990-97).
Roland Peelman is generously supported by Anna and Bob Prosser