Cyrus Meher-Homji, a former feature writer and music reviewer for Australian Hi-Fi Magazine, has been awarded Medal of the Order of Australia 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 is announced on Australia Day. The award is approved by the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, representative of the Australian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.
Meher-Homji trained as a concert pianist in Perth, Sydney and London, and holds a Master’s degree in musicology.
In 1993, Meher-Homji 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 Australian Hi-Fi Magazine, 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.
Meher-Homji 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 currently holds the position of as General Manager, Classics & Jazz at Universal Music Group.
‘I am deeply honoured to have been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia,’ Meher-Homji told Australian Hi-Fi Magazine. ‘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.’
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.’
André Rieu, whose album sales in Australia have exceeded $50 million, said: ‘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.’
Pictured Below: Cyrus Meher-Homji (OAM) with Zubin Mehta in 2008, celebrating one million album sales in Australia for Mehta.