Richard Bonynge CBE (born September 29, 1930) is an Australian conductor. He was born in Sydney and educated at Sydney Boys High School before studying piano at the Royal College of Music in London. He gave up his music scholarship, continuing his private piano studies, and became a coach for singers. One of these was Joan Sutherland, whom he had accompanied in Australia. They soon married and became a duo, first doing recitals, until 1962, when the conductor for a recital of operatic arias became ill, and Bonynge stepped in.