CYRUS MEHER-HOMJI, GENERAL MANAGER OF CLASSICS & JAZZ, UNIVERSAL MUSIC AUSTRALIA, AWARDED MEDAL OF THE ORDER OF AUSTRALIA (OAM) FOR SERVICE TO THE PERFORMING ARTS, PARTICULARLY THROUGH MUSIC
Sydney, Australia – January 26, 2019: Cyrus Meher-Homji, General Manager, Classics and Jazz, Universal Music Australia is awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the performing arts, particularly through music. The Order of Australia is the pre-eminent means by which Australia recognises the outstanding and meritorious service of its citizens and announced today as part of the Australia Day 2019 Honours List. The award is approved by the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, representative of the Australian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.
Meher-Homji joined Universal Music Group in 1998, as Marketing Manager, PolyGram Classics & Jazz and has held key positions within Universal Music Australia (UMA), since his appointment as General Manager, Classics & Jazz in 2011. Under his leadership, the Classics & Jazz department of Universal Music Australia has flourished, recently expanding its activities into presenting live concerts, with UMA’s first festival to be held in September 2019.
From 1993–1998 he created and published Soundscapes, a music magazine with international circulation. He is the author of several entries on pianists in the second edition of the 29-volume musical encyclopaedia The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians as well as The Oxford Companion to Australian Music. He has also written in books and music journals about Percy Grainger, Eileen Joyce, Julius Katchen and Noël Mewton-Wood, and contributed to a series of magazines and newspapers, including Gramophone, Classical Record Collector, International Record Review, International Piano Quarterly, Limelight and The Australian. In 2016, Lyrebird Press published Destiny: The Extraordinary Career of Pianist Eileen Joyce, a book he co-authored with David Tunley and Victoria Rogers.
He has worked closely with a range of artists including Cecilia Bartoli, André Rieu, Dame Joan Sutherland, Richard Bonynge, Patrizio Buanne, Zubin Mehta, Judith Durham, Renée Fleming, Aled Jones and Jean-Yves Thibaudet.
He has also acted as executive producer for recordings by Greta Bradman, Rosario La Spina, Emma Matthews, Sol3 Mio and the Orava Quartet, and is one of the founding board members of the Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge Foundation.
In 1999 he founded the Eloquence (Australia) label devoted to reissuing key recordings from the rich heritage of Decca and Deutsche Grammophon and in 2008 Meher-Homji launched his own television program, Good Listening, which continues to broadcast on SBS and Foxtel networks (in Australia), and delivers a platform for classical music recordings to receive regular television coverage.
Meher-Homji trained as a concert pianist in Perth, Sydney and London, and holds a Master’s degree in musicology.
“I am deeply honoured to have been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia. Professionally, there has never been a more exciting time to be working with classical music and jazz, and with the opportunities for the parallel universes of curation and rediscovery; what was once termed as ‘niche’ finally gets the chance to escape those self-imposed chains and be recognized for what it really is: music for all to enjoy”, says Meher-Homji.
Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, said, “There are few people in Australia, or the world for that matter, who have done as much as Cyrus to advance jazz and classical music and bring these essential and important art forms to even greater audiences. On behalf of all your colleagues at Universal Music, our heartfelt congratulations.”
George Ash, President of Universal Music Asia-Pacific, says: "I have known Cyrus for most of my career and if anyone is deserving of this incredible accolade it is Cyrus; he is a tireless champion for the arts, for artists and for the development of culture via the creative process that is music. On behalf of all of us at Universal Music Australia and our wider family I want to express our heartfelt congratulations to Cyrus on this very special recognition of his immense contribution to the people of Australia. It is an absolute honour for us all to be part of your life, Cyrus."
André Rieu added: “After having searched for twenty years for someone in the vast world of record companies who would understand what I was doing, I can say that finally, in Australia, I found a real treasure named Cyrus Meher-Homji. Not only did he understand and love our music, but his unflagging dedication meant that our recordings dominated the top of the charts (and stayed there) and that we quickly developed an enormous audience for our music. So, dear Cyrus, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do for us, wish you the very best and congratulate you on your well-deserved honour of the Medal of the Order of Australia.”
The awards are announced in the media and published on the website, www.gg.gov.au in the Australia Day 2019 Honours List on 26 January 2019.