Kelly Lovelady is the principal conductor of the UK-based Australian orchestra Ruthless Jabiru. Kelly and I went to university together. She’s all grown up now – I guess it happens to all of us! – and looking glamorous. Heck, she’s even met the Queen!
It’s so inspiring to see what my colleagues have achieved since those early morning scales classes and cheap refectory coffee. Kelly is based in the UK along with loads of other Aussie musicians. In 2011 Kelly mustered a group of expats to form Ruthless Jabiru, named after the Australian stork. They are already making a name for themselves, and this year (according to the critic from Musical Pointers) the orchestra was the highlight of the City of London Festival.
On May 9th the orchestra will be performing at Australia House in a concert celebrating Australian wine and music – what a winning idea!
Kelly say the goal of Ruthless Jabiru is connect the large numbers of professional Australian musicians living in the UK.
“There’s an extraordinary amount of artistry and expertise amassed, and with so much common ground between us, it’s a great foundation for an ensemble.”
Starting a new orchestra is a big call. Many European orchestras these days are closing down and Australia is seeing an influx of performers returning home because job prospects in Europe are so grim.
But Kelly has bucket-loads of energy and the orchestra is off to a good start; they are sponsored by Westpac and Peter Sculthorpe is their official patron. Their May concert features a commission from Australian composer Leah Kardos. Ruthless Jabiru is on twitter and Facebook and this is their website: http://ruthlessjabiru.com/
Now we just need to hear what they sound like.
How about an Australian tour Kelly??