Ruthless Jabiru, London’s all-Australian chamber orchestra, was established in 2011 by Australian conductor Kelly Lovelady, and is held under the official patronage of Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe AO OBE.
Comprised entirely of professional Australian musicians based in the UK, the orchestra is committed to showcasing the best of Australia’s Expatriate musical talent. Tipped to become a forerunner in the city’s chamber orchestral scene, Ruthless Jabiru has received recognition from international programmers, producers, arts industry executives, Australian diplomats, and the cultural sector of Buckingham Palace.
Australian musicians hold positions in the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Symphony, Concert, Philharmonic and Scottish Orchestras, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Academy of Ancient Music, Royal Opera House Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of Opera North, The Hallé, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Ensemble, and the City of London Sinfonia, in addition to many more chamber musicians, freelancers and emerging professionals.
Last season Ruthless Jabiru was invited to perform at Australia House, London, at an event hosted by the Government of Western Australia and the Australian High Commission. The orchestra presented a programme of music by Australian and American living composers, which included the orchestra’s first commission, by Australian composer and producer Leah Kardos. With numerous VIPs in attendance including His Excellency The Honourable Mike Rann CNZM, Australian High Commissioner, the Australia House performance was met with both audience and critical acclaim, described by press as “a clear statement of intent” for the orchestra’s “very bright future” (Seen and Heard International).
In October 2013 the orchestra performed Maralinga Lament at the Union Chapel with violinist Lara St. John, a London tribute to the damaged landscape of Maralinga alongside the Australia exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts.
Ruthless Jabiru was officially launched by way of a high-profile debut at the 2011 City of London Festival. The programme honoured the orchestra’s Patron, Peter Sculthorpe, and featured award-winning soprano Emma Pearson, currently a Principal Artist of Opera Australia and Wiesbaden Staatsoper. Heralded by one critic as “the most enjoyable concert of the City of London Festival”, the orchestra was described by national press as “ebullient and well-balanced” (The Times), “adept at moments of calm stillness” (Classical Source) and as having “much promise” (The Sunday Times).
The all-Australian mandate of Ruthless Jabiru and its quick escalation to success subsequently came to Royal attention. The orchestra’s founding Artistic Director and conductor, Kelly Lovelady, was presented to HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh at an exclusive Reception at Buckingham Palace, where Ms Lovelady represented Ruthless Jabiru as an Australian cultural ambassador with an elite selection of her co-patriots.
Ruthless Jabiru is in Partnership with Sound and Music, the national agency for new music and sound art in the UK, and supported in part by The Australia Council for the Arts, the arts funding and advisory body of the Australian Government. The orchestra is currently extending its partnership network in advance of its 2014 concerts, for which sponsorship opportunities are still available.
The Australian jabiru is a long-necked wading bird from the stork family which exhibits a dance-like display. Jabiru Dreaming is the name given to a natural rock formation in Kakadu National Park in Australia’s north west. This landmark was the inspiration for a seminal string work of the same name by the orchestra’s patron, Peter Sculthorpe.
Ruthless Jabiru’s founding Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, Kelly Lovelady, is an Australian conductor based in the UK and in increasing demand abroad. Recent appearances have included performances in Winnipeg, Hobart, London and Leeds, and prior to this, work with ensembles at numerous points across the UK, US, Canada, Europe and Australia.
For the conductor website of Kelly Lovelady, click here.