George Ellis replaces Hawkins as Australia Day Ambassador

One of Australia’s top musical directors and conductors, George Ellis, will replace Doug Hawkins as Lismore’s 2021 Australia Day Ambassador at tomorrow’s celebrations.

Lismore Mayor Isaac Smith said the last-minute change was due to an injury Mr Hawkins sustained late last week and was unable to travel.

“I wish Doug a speedy recovery and I am delighted that George has agreed to fill his shoes at such short notice,” he said.

“George has a long list of accomplishments to his name and we are honoured to welcome him as our guest on the day to give an Australia Day address and help present our 2021 Australia Day Awards.

“Despite the change, it will be a great day recognizing the achievements of those in our community who have volunteered their own time to make our city and its villages an even better place to work, live and raise family.”

The community is invited to come along to City Hall tomorrow to celebrate Australia Day 2021. Due to COVID, there will be two separate ceremonies with Australia Day Awards kicking off at 9am followed by the Citizenship ceremony at 11am.

An internationally renowned musical directors and conductors, George has presented concerts in Paris, London, Vienna, Venice, Florence, Rome, Amsterdam, Brussels, New York, Boston Philadelphia, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Athens, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta and performed in every capital city in Australia.

Stage and screen credits include conducting Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring in Bruce Beresford’s film Mao’s Last Dancer, Man of La Mancha, starring Anthony Warlow and Caroline O’Connor, and The Secret Garden for The Gordon Frost Organisation, Sugar: Some Like It Hot for The Production Company, The Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie for Belvoir Street Theatre directed by Neil Armfield.

He has also been Assistant Conductor to Simone Young for Opera Australia’s production of La Traviata. He was Musical Director of university productions of Into the Woods, West Side Story, Guys and Dolls, Grease, Little Shop of Horrors and Hot Mikado. He provides orchestral soundtracks for many television shows including most recently The Bachelor Series 2.

Classical credits include conducting the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games 2000, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Queensland, Tasmanian and West Australian Symphony Orchestras and Orchestra Victoria in concert. He was Musical Director of the Orchestral Proms concerts at the Sydney Opera House for many years and has conducted world premieres of many Australian works including Matthew Hindson’s Violin Concerto broadcast on national radio. His orchestral work includes working in combination with classical artists David Hobson, Simon Tedeschi and Diana Doherty and popular artists including Megan Washington, Sneaky Sound System, Guy Sebastian, Art vs Science, Deborah Conway, John Williamson, Augie March, Steve Kilbey and The Church.

George Ellis is also an award-winning composer. Later this year, he will conduct the opera Little Women for the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

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