Rick Prakhoff

Rick Prakhoff – conductor

Rick Prakhoff

Conducting was the obvious choice for Rick to allow him to perform the music which first engaged him as a child.

It was during his second extended stay in London, seeking a career as a classical guitarist, that he realised he had heard far more orchestral, choral and operatic performances than guitar concerts. Conducting was the career path which would allow him to finally perform the repertoire he truly loved.

Following his BMus in Perth at WAAPA (majoring in conducting), Rick’s training continued in Melbourne when he was selected for Symphony Australia’s Young Conductor programme, working for five years in intensive workshops with renowned conducting teachers Jorma Panula, Gustav Meier, Noam Sherif, Vernon Handley and Johannes Fritzsch, and working with WASO, OV, QSO, ASO and the AOBO.

As a freelance conductor, Rick has performed with orchestras, choirs and opera companies in Sydney, Canberra, Perth and Melbourne. Rick was appointed as Artistic Director & Principal Conductor of the Zelman Memorial Symphony Orchestra in 2018 and has been the Artistic Director & Principal Conductor of the Melbourne Bach Choir (MBC) since its inception in 2005.

Following their first collaboration with a 2019 performance of the Verdi Requiem in the Melbourne Town Hall, Zelman Symphony, the MBC and bass-baritone Adrian Tamburini joined forces for a memorable performance in the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in March 2021 of the Zelman Symphony's commission by composer Luke Styles of No Friend But the Mountains: A Symphonic Song Cycle. The work was based on the remarkable book by Kurdish refugee Behrouz Boochani that described his incarceration at the Manus Island detention centre by the Australian Government.

Rick was honoured to lead Zelman Symphony and the MBC in their performance of Mahler’s epic Symphony no. 2 Resurrection in September 2023 to highlight the orchestra's 90th anniversary.