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  • › Play It Forward Appoints Patrick Burns New Director of Music


    Play It Forward is thrilled to announce the appointment of award-winning conductor Patrick Burns as Director of Music, Melbourne programs, from 2022.

    “We are honoured and delighted that Patrick will be leading our music programs here now. He’s an extraordinarily gifted, passionate, approachable and charismatic conductor and musician, who already has a great connection with our singers through our inclusive arts programs across Melbourne, and they love working with him.

    Patrick is one of the finest young emerging conductors in Australia today and we know that everyone is going to benefit so much from his talent and the unique skill set he brings” said Jonathon Welch AM, Founding Artistic Director of Play It Forward.

    "Play It Forward has always been focused on creating a community for change through music and singing, whilst also tackling issues of great importance to society in general.  I'm very proud to be a member of this amazing team and look forward to making some wonderful music, whilst having a great deal of fun" said Patrick excitedly.

    Multi award winning singer, conductor and composer Jonathon Welch AM will continue in his role as Founding Artistic Director of Play It Forward, and oversee the national expansion of programs that now extend to Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Port Macquarie, NSW as well as Victoria.

    Jonathon continued “we are very excited to be working alongside Patrick now, and look forward to even greater artistic possibilities and outcomes for our inclusive arts programs, projects and events for all Australians”.


    Patrick Burns was born in Sydney, Australia and studied French Horn and Conducting at the Melbourne and Queensland Conservatoriums. In Australia, he is the chief conductor and music director of the Ipswich City Orchestra, XL Arts inc. and the Artistic Director for Lyric Opera Melbourne.

    In 2018 and 2019 he was the Robert and Elizabeth Albert Conducting Fellow for The Australian Ballet, alongside the Hephzibah Tintner Conducting Fellow. As part of his Fellowships, Patrick has conducted performances for the Australian Ballet with Orchestra Victoria, The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, and The Opera Australia Orchestra. He has conducted Orchestra Victoria in a regional performance, acted as Assistant Conductor to Simone Young with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and served as Assistant Conductor in William Kentridge’s production of Wozzeck presented by Opera Australia.

    Internationally he has made guest appearances with the National Theater of Serbia (Otello), State Opera of Bulgaria Ruse (Rigoletto, Nabucco, Turandot), and the Pazardzhik Symphony Orchestra in Bulgaria. In 2017, he was the assistant conductor with British Youth Opera and conducted the covers performance with the Southbank Sinfonia. He won the Jury’s Prize at the 2015 Blue Danube International Opera Conducting Competition in Bulgaria and the Orchestra’s Prize in 2016 Black Sea Opera Conducting Competition in Romania.