“His encyclopaedic understanding of performing and visual arts and his theatrical instinct place him in constant demand as a musician of flair and imagination.” Anthony Jeffrey, Many Faces of Inspiration.
At the helm of the Festival is our 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 and raised in Belgium, Roland has lived in Australia since 1984. A brilliant pianist, he has worked in Australia, Europe and Asia as conductor or music director for many organisations including Opera Australia, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and several music theatre and new music organisations.
Roland has received numerous accolades for his commitment to the creative arts in Australia, and specifically for his 25-year directorship of The Song Company, during which the ensemble developed into one of Australia’s most outstanding and innovative ensembles. In late 2015, Roland handed over the reins of The Song Company to focus on new artistic adventures.
Roland is widely recognised as one of Australia’s most renowned musicians receiving the NSW Award for “the most outstanding contribution to Australian Music by an individual” and named “musician of the year” by the Sydney Morning Herald’s music critic in 2006. The following year, he was again featured as one of Sydney’s top twenty musicians and most recently, he was listed in “The 100 Most Influential People in Sydney” - published by The Sydney Magazine at the end of 2009.
Roland has worked with most orchestras in Australia and has conducted an abundance of new work with specialist ensembles such as Sydney Alpha, Libra and Ictus (Belgium-Germany) and most regularly with Australia’s leading new music group, Ensemble Offspring. A regular guest at festivals in Australia and abroad, Roland continues to develop new projects that seek to change and re-invigorate the nature of concert performance, both in form and content.