Cyrus Meher-Homji, General Manager, Classics and Jazz, Universal Music Australia is among those awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) today as part of the Australia Day 2019 Honours List.
Awarded for his service to the performing arts, particularly through music, Meher-Homji’s honour is approved by the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, representative of the Australian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.
Article by Poppy Reid
Since joining Universal Music Group in 1998 as Marketing Manager for PolyGram Classics & Jazz, Meher-Homji has been integral in the growth of UMA’s Classics & Jazz department, recently expanding its activities into presenting live concerts, with UMA’s first festival to be held in September 2019.
The creator of Soundscapes, a music magazine with international circulation from 1993–1998 Meher-Homji is also 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.
His written works include books and music journals about Percy Grainger, Eileen Joyce, Julius Katchen and Noël Mewton-Wood, and contributions to a series of magazines and newspapers, including Gramophone, Classical Record Collector, International Record Review, International Piano Quarterly, Limelight and The Australian.
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.
Cyrus Meher-Homji with Maestro Zubin Mehta in 2008, celebrating one million album sales in Australia for Mehta
His efforts have placed classical music front and centre to keep the works’ rich history alive. 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), giving classical music 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.”
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, said:
“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.”