Omega Ensemble Announces New Chair

Sydney-based Omega Ensemble has today announced the appointment of Mr Rory Jeffes as incoming Chair.

Jeffes, who has announced that he will be stepping down as CEO of Opera Australia (OA) later this year, will join the Omega Ensemble Board in July. He joined OA in 2017 after twelve years at the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the last nine as Managing Director.

Artistic Director and Founder David Rowden says the Board and management teams are thrilled to welcome Jeffes to Omega Ensemble.

“Rory’s appointment comes at a critical time of growth and success for the Ensemble, as we expand into a national touring company with big ambitions for the future,” explains Rowden. “Rory’s passion for music and his experience leading some of Australia’s largest arts organisations is exactly what the Ensemble needs to take us forward in these exciting and challenging times.”

Jeffes commented on his excitement to be joining the Board of Omega Ensemble:

“The quality of Omega Ensemble’s performances is undeniably superb, and I have enormous respect for David Rowden who has led the organisation as Artistic Director for over 15 years.”

“The Board, led most recently by interim Chair Stuart Glenn, has done an outstanding job in putting in place the necessary support and structures to allow the organisation to flourish and grow as we emerge from the ravages of the pandemic.

“With its commitment to innovation, commissioning new works and supporting young artists & composers Omega Ensemble is well positioned to grow its role as a vital part of the vibrancy of Australia’s cultural future. I am greatly looking forward to supporting that ambition.”

Born in Canada, Jeffes has enjoyed an extensive career in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors in England and Australia. He holds a Master of Arts degree from Oxford University where he read Music and was awarded an Academical Clerkship (Choral Scholarship). His early career was in public relations where he progressed to become a Director of Shandwick Communications in London, at the time part of the largest worldwide communications group in the world.

Jeffes has also held senior management roles in the Development area at leading not-for-profit organisations including Outward Bound Trust UK & Australia as well as the Prince’s Youth Business Trust, a charity presided over by HRH The Prince of Wales. He has also sat on several advisory groups to Government, including the New Labour Social Exclusion Unit in the UK. He was the Founding CEO of the world’s first “virtual” charity, YouthNet UK, an innovative web-based information resource for young people.

Jeffes is a keen pilot, holding a Commercial Helicopter Pilot’s Licence. In 1998 he undertook a six-week expedition piloting a microlight from India to the UK as a fundraising initiative for education charity CRY India. He is married to Executive Producer Jane and together they have two children.


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