The Board of Melbourne Chamber Orchestra has announced that Adele Schonhardt will join Artistic Director Sophie Rowell at helm of the ensemble in the role of MCO’s Executive Director.

Schonhardt has been serving as interim Executive Director since February this year when Richard Jackson stepped down after 11 years in the role.

Adele Schonhardt

Adele Schonhardt. Photo supplied

Board Chair Fran Thorn said: “We are delighted with the appointment of Adele as our next Executive Director. She brings to the role drive and deep knowledge of classical music. Her absolute commitment to music in Australia has recently been shown through her co-founding of the ADCH [Australian Digital Concert Hall], which was a literal lifeline for our sector during a difficult period.”

Schonhardt and Chris Howlett ADCH launched to support professional musicians during the pandemic. Having generated over $4m for Australian artists. It was acquired by a larger streaming provider in early 2024.

Before ADCH, Adele spent two decades honing her arts leadership skills at the Melbourne Conservatorium, Musica Viva Australia, with orchestras and venues in Germany, with the League of American Orchestras in New York, and as Chair of 3MBS.

“I’ve long been a huge MCO fan,” said Schonhardt. “It’s an ensemble that’s dear to my heart and deeply familiar thanks to our close collaboration through ADCH and my years hosting Sunday-night MCO broadcasts on 3MBS radio.”

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