When Violent Femmes bass player Brian Ritchie migrated to Australia in 2008 he immediately began rebooting Australian culture. Those 10 years of contributions to the Australian entertainment industry have paid off with Brian receiving two nominations in the prestigious upcoming Helpmann Awards.
The Helpmann’s recognises excellence in live performance and events in Australia across theatre, comedy and music performance.
Brian Ritchie received a nomination for Best Music Direction for ‘The Spirit of Churaki’, about Australia’s first documented Aboriginal lifesaver, Churaki. Churaki was a hero in Australia, serving on the Gold Coast in 1911. Ritchie was the musical director of the project.
Ritchie is also the curator of the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart. Mona Foma is nominated for Best Contemporary Music Festival.
Brian Ritchie was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1960. He migrated to Australia with his wife Varuni Kulasekera. They were naturalised as Australian citizens in 2012.
Brian and Varuni live in Hobart, Tasmania. Brian has curated Mona Foma (MoFo) every year since 2009. In 2010 he was the bass guitarist for surf band The Break. The Break were Midnight Oil members Rob Hirst, Jim Moginie and Martin Rotsey as well as Ritchie.
Brian’s band Violent Femmes formed in 1980. They have released nine albums from 1983 to 2016.