Røde Microphones founder and president Peter Freedman pledges major donation to Sydney Festival

A substantial, six-figure donation from Røde Microphones founder and president, Peter Freedman, will form the founding capital of a Sydney Festival Anniversary Fund which the Festival will build to celebrate Sydney Festival’s 40th anniversary in January 2016. The Sydney Festival, Australia’s foremost summer festival, is proud to be a leader in its approach to corporate partnerships and philanthropy, and this pledge allows the Festival to start preparing for its 40th anniversary. Mr. Freedman’s donation was pledged at a small function hosted by Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir, Governor of NSW and patron of Sydney Festival. Mr Freedman and Sydney Festival will encourage other philanthropists to match his donation and become fellow founding donors.

The fund is set up to support performing arts projects at the annual Sydney Festival from its 2016 anniversary edition onwards, with a special focus on, but not limited to, international collaborations and the creation of opportunities for artists under the age of forty.

Swedish -born Peter Freedman emigrated to Australia as a child in 1966. His parents, Henry and Astrid Freedman, started Freedman Electronics, the first professional sound equipment company in Australia offering high-end European equipment. Peter successfully turned their business into Røde Microphones, now one of the world’s leading manufacturers of microphones, proudly manufacturing their specialist products in Silverwater.

The Company, managed by Peter and his wife Lou Freedman, has since diversified into other professional audio equipment including iPhone mics, apps, sound for video and loudspeaker manufacturing. In March 2012, Røde opened its RødeWorks Design Facility in the Sydney CBD to serve as a creative hub nurturing innovation and providing a home for the Company’s strategic, marketing and graphic design teams.

The Company won the 2012 NSW Exporter of the Year award in recognition of its outstanding reputation and innovative approach to design and manufacturing, and was recently called an eminent example of a gazelle company by US business guru and Fortune Magazine columnist, Verne Harnish.

Mr Freedman commented on his pledge: “I am really proud to be supporting Sydney Festival because it brings together two of my passions: the joy of Sydney in summer, and exciting performances from local and international artists. Sydney has been fantastic to me and my family, and at Røde we are always inspired by the performers who use our products. This is an opportunity to give back to my city, and support the Sydney Festival as it reaches new heights.”

This donation marks the start of Sydney Festival’s preparations for what promises to be exciting celebrations in 2016. Festival Director, Lieven Bertels, whose contract was recently extended to include this landmark Festival edition, is excited about this donation: “With a background in music recording and production myself, I am quite a passionate collector of new and vintage microphones, so I knew and admired Peter and his company before I moved to Sydney. Knowing what it feels like to move to Australia from abroad, Peter was one of the first NSW business leaders to personally welcome me to Sydney. Last year, Røde Microphones came on board as a sponsor for a fun concert with Indonesian grunge rock band Navicula, and I am grateful Peter has decided to make this new substantial personal contribution to Sydney Festival. We promise to develop this Fund and align it to his passion for innovation and international collaboration. It is wonderful to have business leaders such as Peter who are passionate about performing arts and entertainment.”

Head of Development Malcolm Moir commented: “We are delighted to welcome Peter to our important circle of private supporters of Sydney Festival and encourage others to support one of Sydney’s most loved celebrations – a festival that reflects the depth and breadth of the city it celebrates each year. There is nowhere better to be than Sydney in January!”