Our People


Janine HanrahanJanine Hanrahan

Managing Director

As a professional flautist, Janine has performed extensively throughout Australia and New Zealand with ensembles including: the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra, Stonnington Symphony Orchestra, The Geminiani Chamber Orchestra and Ensemble Zauberflöte, as well as the Australian Discovery Orchestra (ADO).

She made her recording debut with the Melbourne Symphony in 2003 recording The Witchlight (for Flute and String Orchestra).  In 2009, she performed the Nielsen Flute Concerto in Europe with the Dinu Lipatti Philharmonic and in 2012 performed the Arnold  Concerto No. 1 for Flute and Strings with Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra in Melbourne.  In 2016, she performed with the Synchron Stage Orchestra and the Bratislava Studio Symphony Orchestra on the highly anticipated 2018 international release of the orchestral music of Grammy winner, 5-time Grammy nominee and seven-time Emmy nominee Nan Schwartz (Divine Art, dda 25165).

As Managing Director of the ADO, Janine is committed to the development of unique, ground-breaking innovations in audience development and engagement strategies for orchestras in the 21st-Century.  She was an invited speaker at Classical NEXT (C:N 2017) in Rotterdam where she demonstrated the interaction possibilities of live-streaming with online audience engagement experiences as used by the ADO for its online streaming concert events. In her management capacity overseeing the success of this new orchestral venture, Janine brings her long-held commitment to expand genuine opportunities for orchestral musicians across the country.

Janine is also one of Australia’s most experienced teachers of the Flute, working at Scotch College and Trinity Grammar School in Melbourne.

Briony_BuysBriony Buys

Artistic Administrator

Briony has been working in orchestral management for the past 15 years, previously having held positions with orchestras, ensembles and performing arts organisations in Melbourne, Tasmania and Los Angeles.

Immediately after Graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) in Composition in 2002, Briony undertook the role of General Manager’s Assistant for the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra for 2 years. During this time she also ran chamber music concerts and was orchestra contractor for the Australian feature film, The Line.

Upon graduating with a Masters in Arts Administration from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT University) in 2006, Briony relocated to Los Angeles where she worked for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Sundays Live – Chamber Music Series), the Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra and was Music Director for 18 months at the La Señora Research Institute.

More recently Briony was Assistant Festivals Manager for two international festivals: the Festival of Broadway and the Australian Shakespeare Festival. In 2012, Briony took up her current role as Faculty and Artist Coordinator at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) located in Melbourne.


Artistic Personnel

Kevin_PurcellKevin Purcell

Music Director

Kevin Purcell is one of Australia’s most distinguished and awarded orchestral and opera conductors. Currently, Kevin serves as musical director for the Australian Discovery Orchestra – one of the world’s most innovative orchestral ensembles – whilst maintaining an active freelance career in the USA.

A critically received new record of the music of Nan Schwartz, 5-time Grammy nominee and Grammy Award winner, and 7-time Emmy nominated composer was released in March 2018 on the Divine Art record label. Kevin is presently working on a new record showcasing the upcoming generation of ASCAP musical theatre songwriters for worldwide release in early 2019, as well as a new series of premiere recordings of one-Act television operas commissioned throughout the 1950s and 1960s by the BBC.

The inaugural recipient of the Australian Music Foundation ‘Sir Charles Mackerras Prize’ (1995) and the Tait Memorial Trust Award in London (1996) were preceded by a prestigious scholarship to study conducting at the Moscow Conservatory (1992), and Opera Australia’s Willem van Otterloo Scholarship and the Bellhouse Conducting Prize (1993). Graduate conducting studies at the Janácek Academy of Music with Otakar Trhlík followed, culminating with a Masters degree in orchestral conducting at Bard College under Harold Farberman.

In Europe, Kevin has conducted Ensemble Intercontemporain at the Paris Conservatory, Hradec Králove Filharmonie, Beethoven Chamber Orchestra, Königsgrätz Philharmonic, West Bohemia Symphony Orchestra, Georgian State Television and Radio Orchestra, Dinu Lipatti Philarmonic and the Silesian State Opera amongst others.

Drawn to contemporary musical theatre whilst living in London, Kevin’s introduction to West End theatre came courtesy of Cameron Mackintosh and the Really Useful Group when invited to take over musical direction of the long-running production of ‘CATS’ at the New London Theatre in the mid-90s. In July 2003 Kevin renewed his association for RUG as musical director for the South Korean premiere of this show. More recently Kevin has conducted ‘Wicked’ at London’s Apollo Victoria theatre and was the original musical director for the first national UK/Eire tour in 2013.

He is also an award-winning musical theatre composer and an arranger much sought after for his American Songbook orchestrations. His arrangements have been performed by leading orchestras including the National Symphony Orchestra (Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts), New York City Opera, New York Pops, Boston Pops and by artists including, Marvin Hamlisch, Stephen Schwartz, Kristin Chenoweth, Liz and Ann Hampton Callaway, Raúl Esparza, Victor Garber, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, and numerous other A-list Broadway artists. Kevin’s symphonic orchestrations and arrangements are performed by numerous American symphony orchestras.

His own musical, The Stranger from Seville with book and lyrics by British screenwriter Victor Kazan, received rave reviews in its first limited season Off-Broadway production in July 2014. He is currently collaborating on the first-ever musical stage adaptation of the novel Castle Gillian a love-story by revered Irish storyteller, Maurice Walsh (author of ‘The Quiet Man’).

Kevin is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, a proud member of The Dramatists Guild of AmericaMercury Musicals Development (UK), and an Associate member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT). He divides his time between living in New York and London.

Di_SimpsonDiana Simpson

Head of Chorus

After completing an undergraduate music education degree in Melbourne, Diana moved to Budapest, Hungary, in 1989-1990 to further her understanding of the teaching of Zoltán Kodály at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music observing Katalin Forrai and pedagogy expert Ildiko Herboly-Koscar. Upon her return to Melbourne, whilst teaching music and singing at schools, she studied at the Victorian College of the Arts Opera Studio. Since 1995, Diana has sung with Opera Australia and the Victorian Opera since its inception in 2006.

Diana currently works at Loreto, Mandeville Hall, Toorak and Wesley College in Melbourne. Her singing students have been accepted into the Victorian Opera Youth Chorus Ensemble (VOYCE) and child-roles with Victorian Opera.