Oh, how those Mills do grind

Oh, how those Mills do grind


norman lebrecht

February 25, 2011

It has not taken long for Judith Isherwood, the Australian who ran the Wales Millennium Centre with a sure touch for mediocrity, to announce her first appointment since taking charge of Melbourne’s beautiful and long-troubled Arts Centre.

Her international artistic adviser is – wait for it – the man who is successfully downgrading the Edinburgh International Festival on the world map. Yes, it’s our very good friend, Jonathan Mills.
You couldn’t make it up.
Here’s the press release to prove it.

25 February 2011

Arts Centre appoints renowned international
artistic director as adviser

The Arts Centre Chief Executive, Judith Isherwood,
today announced Jonathan Mills has been engaged as an International Artistic

As one
of Australia’s most prominent composers and an internationally acclaimed artistic
director, Jonathan’s role is to support the strategic development of the Arts
Centre’s artistic programming and provide ideas and suggestions for specific
programming events.


worked extensively in the arts in Australia as well as the United Kingdom and
Europe, Jonathan is highly regarded across the arts sector. His knowledge,
experience and contacts will be invaluable to us as we progressively enhance
our approach to programming and develop a stronger national and international
offering that will enhance our artistic reputation,” said Judith Isherwood.


is an exciting and important appointment for the Arts Centre and I am delighted
that Jonathan will assist us to grow our international reputation and advise on
inspiring and diverse arts and cultural performances and additionally
play a vital role
in providing mentoring support to the programming team through his ‘knowledge


is currently the Director of the Edinburgh International
Festival. His

has been possible through a special agreement with the Edinburgh International
Festival, to which the Arts Centre is very thankful.”


key focus for Jonathan will also be on the re-opening program for the renowned
concert hall, Hamer Hall, from July 2012.


“I am excited to be able to be involved with the Arts Centre and work in
partnership with them to further strengthen the artistic direction and
continued expansion of the Arts Centre,” said Jonathan Mills.


“The offer to be the Arts Centre’s advising international artistic director
was irresistible as it has allowed me to come full circle and contribute to an
already vibrant arts scene. My career developed out of Melbourne and this appointment
allows me the opportunity to give something back to the Melbourne and Victorian
community by helping the Arts Centre to achieve its ambitions.”


Mills’ previous posts have included Artistic Director of the Melbourne
International Arts Festival, the Melbourne Federation Festival, the Melbourne
Millennium Eve celebrations and the Brisbane Biennial International Music









As a
composer he is regularly commissioned in Australia and increasingly in Europe
and the UK. His composition Sandakan
for solo tenor, choir and orchestra won the Prix Italia in 2005. He
began his artistic
career studying composition in Australia and then piano and composition with
Lidia Arcuri-Baldecchi in Italy. He also holds a degree in architecture and is
an authority on acoustic design.


term of the appointment is initially through to the end of 2012 with the possibility
of extension by a further three years to the end of 2015.


The Arts Centre is the flagship of the performing arts in Victoria, and
the focal point of Melbourne’s cultural precinct. To find out about what’s on
offer visit www.theartscentre.com.au

or become a fan of the Arts Centre on facebook.




 For further
information, images or interviews, please contact:

Bendell, 03 9281 8442 or jessica.bendell@theartscentre.com.au

Brown, 03 9281 8295 or jacqueleen.brown@theartscentre.com.au