If music be the food of love, play on, give me excess of it.
Richard Gill is one of Australia’s best-known – and best-loved – musical figures. His career has taken him from a music teacher in Sydney’s western suburbs to the Music Director of the Victorian Opera, and along the way an involvement with almost every major opera company and orchestra in Australia.
What truly marks Richard out is his passion and enthusiasm for spreading not just the joy of music, but its myriad benefits. He is our greatest musical educator, and his life’s work – alongside his other roles – has been advocating the role of music in our education system, as well as the education of those who’ve gone on to choose music as vocation. He brings music to life, and his knowledge and deep enjoyment of his subject is as inspiring and enlightening to a class of primary school students as it is to the cast of a major opera.
Give Me Excess of It is Richard’s memoir, tracing his life from school days to the heights (and lows) of conducting and directing an opera company. It’s warm, extremely funny, highly opinionated, occasionally rude (where warranted) and always sublimely full of the love of music.
‘This book is about the musician’s journey as I have experienced it: the sublime and the ridiculous; the happy chances and the rude awakenings; the life-changing encounters with true genius; the strong friendships with other singers and players who, like myself, were merely mortal; the providential announcements; the miscommunications; the artistic differences; and – rarely – the invidious enmities, that all somehow combine to form a life in music.’