First of all, congratulations on winning Limelight’s Australian Artist of the Year: People’s Choice!

Thank you, I’m delighted – it’s a big surprise! I’m really grateful to all of those people who voted. It’s a real honour. I’m tremendously thrilled about winning the award, it’s something that will mean a lot to me.

Benjamin NortheyBenjamin Northey. Photo © Matt Irwin

What have been the biggest highlights for you in 2018?

The Melbourne Symphony play a really central part in my work year in Australia. I’ve concentrated my career in the Southern hemisphere – I do concerts every now and again further afield, but that relationship with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra has been the one real constant. They gave me my first professional engagement back in 2003, so it’s been a great chance to work with them in the Town Hall series. Each of the four concerts were sold out, so that’s been a real highlight, and a really rewarding experience, seeing the success of that series, and how much people have enjoyed those concerts.

My orchestra in Christchurch is a very interesting journey, given the circumstances of that city post the earthquake that they had...