Dr Nicholas Milton has worked to break down some of the traditional barriers for young people getting into classical music. His energy, charisma and style has seen the formation of an inclusive community orchestra. “It’s all about making people part of what we’re doing, and for me music is a journey which we don’t do alone on stage. The people who are in our audience feel like they are part of a family, we make an emotional connection,” he says.
Renowned for his dynamic conducting style, Dr Nicholas Milton continues to attract international attention as one of the most sought-after and outstanding Australian conductors working today. But despite his busy international schedule, he still sees his work with the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra as one of his most important roles, saying “the musicians in the orchestra are like family, that’s why I intend to continue with this orchestra as long as I can keep my arms up.”
Luke Cornish (aka ELK)
Luke is a Sydney-based artist who creates unique, powerful images from handmade stencils. His rise within the contemporary art world has been meteoric, becoming the first artist to be nominated for the Archibald Prize with a portrait created entirely out of stencils.
Some of Luke's stencils contain over 80 layers. The subject of his Archibald entry, the infamous ex-priest Father Bob Maguire, contains more than 30 and was influenced by Cornish's association of him with his own grandfather. Atheist, religious iconography can be seen frequently in his work.
He’s enjoyed being part of this ANZ initiative. “I want to be an advocate for people who are genuinely doing good in society and the community. People not just talking about making a difference but making a difference.”
Luke has relished the idea of portraying Nicholas Milton. “This guy could conduct any orchestra in the world. He’s been nominated for a Grammy. Yet he spends his time developing the local community orchestra in Chatswood - the area he grew up in. And that’s really commendable.”