Created from within the Fundación Musical Simón Bolívar, the Simón Bolívar String Quartet is made up of principal musicians of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. Each player brings a strong personality and individual musical character to the group, together combining to create a thrilling and multi-faceted ensemble with a unique flair. The Quartet arose from the need of its members to explore chamber music and the wealth of benefits it can offer, not only its musicians but also to the children and young people who make up the Fundacíon, led by José Antonio Abreu. The Simón Bolívar String Quartet has given concerts across Venezuela, throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, performing in concerts as well as taking part in education and community events.
Orit Orbach performs regularly as soloist with major orchestras throughout the world, including the Israel Philharmonic, Jerusalem Symphony, Boston Philharmonic, San Francisco Sinfonietta, Sofia Philharmonic (Bulgaria) , and Warsaw Philharmonic and the Hagen Symphony. She has premiered the Penderecki Clarinet Concerto worldwide with the Colorado Festival Orchestra.
Orit also specializes in Jewish music and leads the “Eve’s Women” ensemble with whom she performs all over the globe, including the International Brooklyn festival, Roskilde festival,Denmark, Johanesburg festival, Oris Jazz festival and the Jewish festival, London, and tours in the U.S.A., Germany, Thailand, Vietnam, Spain, Yugoslavia and others.
Ensemble Offspring are champions of adventurous new music. Presenting music from seminal chamber work to free improvisation, alongside the creation of striking interdisciplinary productions, the group embraces open-minded music making of all forms. Ensemble offspring is committed to exploring new ways of making music, engaging audiences and pushing the boundaries of what music can be.
Based in Sydney, Ensemble Offspring is led by acclaimed percussionist, Claire Edwardes, and features a core line-up of six of Sydney’s most well-regarded musicians; Lamorna Nightingale (flute), Jason Noble (clarinet), Veronique Serret (violin), Bree van Reyk (drum kit & percussion) and Zubin Kanga (piano). The group frequently expands to include other instruments, and collaborates across genres and art forms, including theatre, popular music, dance and opera.
Joining the BBC New Generation Artists roster this season, the Van Kuijk Quartet’s international accolades boast First, Best Beethoven and Best Haydn Prizes at the 2015 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet competition, First Prize and an Audience Award at the Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition, as well as becoming laureates of the Aix-en-Provence Festival Academy. Further to this, they join the ECHO Rising Stars roster for the 2017/2018 season.
Since their formation 2012, the ensemble is already an established presence in major international venues, performing at o.a. the Wigmore Hall in London, Tivoli Concert Series in Denmark, and at festivals in Cheltenham, North Norfolk, Lockenhaus, Davos, Verbier, Aix-en-Provence, Montpellier/Radio France, Evian, Auvers-sur-Oise, Stavanger (Norway), Concentus Moraviae (Czech Republic), Eilat (Israel) and the Haydn/Esterházy in Auditorium du Louvre (Paris). Upcoming appearances include Philharmonie (Berlin), Bayerish Rundfunk (Münich), Chapelle Royale (Brussels) and Musikverein (Vienna). www.quatuorvankuijk.com
The name James Morrison is known throughout the world for his sheer brilliance as a jazz musician and an all round entertainer. He is by anybody’s standard, a virtuoso in the true sense of the word. This ARIA award winning multi-instrumentalist has appeared at all the big festivals in Europe including Montreaux, Pori, North Sea, Nice and Bern – playing with many of the legends of jazz: Dizzy Gillespie, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Ray Brown and Wynton Marsalis to name a few. Now 54, James Morrison’s career thus far has been diverse and perhaps not typical of most jazz musicians, with activities ranging from appearances with the London Symphony Orchestra, recording projects with the BBC Concert Orchestra, composing and arranging projects including the creation of the Sydney Olympics opening fanfare, and founding the James Morrison Academy of Music, an innovative school dedicated to teaching jazz and offering a Bachelor Degree in Music.
Sony Classical artist and winner of a 2012 Juno Award, Alexandre Da Costa was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Showing an uncommon interest for both the violin and piano at a very young age, he performing his first concerts on both instruments at age nine which brought him recognition as a musical prodigy. Among his many accolades, Da Costa counts the prestigious Virginia-Parker Prize, one of Canada’s highest cultural distinctions, the Sylva Gelber Foundation Award from the Canada Council for the Arts, which subsequently selected him for the “1689 Baumgartner Stradivarius” on which to perform.
Da Costa is Artistic Director of the Laurentians Classical Festival of Canada, Music Director of both the Acacia Ensemble (Canada) and the Indian Ocean Ensemble (Australia). He also regularly performs as guest soloist and conductor (directing from the violin) with ensembles such as the Vienna Symphony (Wiener Symphoniker), the Queen Sofia Royal Chamber Orchestra, and the Virtuosos of Venezuela Symphony Orchestra.
Currently Associate Professor and Head of Strings at Edith Cowan University (Western Australia), Da Costa regularly gives masterclasses at universities and conservatories around the world. He is also Musical Development Director for Canimex, and Artistic Director at Acacia Classics Productions.
Da Costa plays a "Guarneri del Gesù" of 1730 and a “Di Barbaro” Stradivarius of 1727, as well as a Sartory bow, loaned by the Canimex company.
‘Lisa Moore, an Australian pianist long based in and around New York, has always been a natural, compelling storyteller’ (The New York Times). Lisa Moore has released 9 solo discs (Cantaloupe, Tall Poppies, Orange Mountain) and over 30 collaborative discs (Sony, Nonesuch, DG, BMG, New World, ABC Classics, Albany, New Albion, Starkland, Harmonia Mundi). Lisa Moore has performed globally as a soloist and collaborative artist - with the London Sinfonietta, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, New York City Ballet, Steve Reich Ensemble, American Composers Orchestra, Bang On A Can All-Stars, So Percussion, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Grand Band and Ensemble Signal. Her festival performances include Lincoln Center, BAM Next Wave, Graz, Tanglewood, Chautauqua, Gilmore, Huddersfield, Paris d'Automne, Hong Kong, BBC Proms, Southbank, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne Metropolis, Israel and Warsaw in venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, La Scala, Carnegie Hall and the Musikverein.
Richard Gill, AO, founding Music Director and Conductor Emeritus of Victorian Opera, is one of Australia’s most admired conductors and is internationally respected as a music educator. He has been Artistic Director of the Education Program for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of OzOpera, Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Advisor for the Musica Viva Education program and is currently Music Director of the Sydney Chamber Choir.
Richard’s numerous accolades include an Order of Australia Medal, the Bernard Heinze Award, Honorary Doctorates from the Edith Cowan University of Western Australia, and the ACU, and the Australia Council’s Don Banks Award.
Richard is also the inaugural King & Wood Mallesons Conservatorium Chair in Music Education, at the Conservatorium High School, secondary arm of the Conservatorium of Music in Sydney.
Praised by the New York Times and The Age for her “dynamic” and “powerful” performances, Ukrainian-born pianist Sonya Lifschitz is internationally recognised as one of Australia’s most innovative and creative musical voices. In 2015, Sonya made her critically acclaimed solo debut in New York’s BargeMusic series, with other season highlights including performances at the Banff Centre (Canada), the Melbourne Recital Centre’s Local Heroes and Spotlight series, the Melbourne, Darwin and Port Fairy Festivals, 3MBS Marathon, the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, and a collaboration between visual artist Angela Cavalieri, iconic Melbourne arts venue fortyfivedownstairs, and Sonya’s contemporary ensemble Press, Play, of which she is the co-founder and artistic co-director.
William Yang was born in North Queensland, Australia. He moved to Sydney in 1969 and worked as a freelance photographer documenting Sydney’s social life which included the glamorous, celebrity set and the hedonistic, sub-cultural, gay community.
In 1989 he integrated his skills as a writer and a visual artist. He began to perform monologues with slide projection in the theatre. These told personal stories and explored issues of identity. He has done eleven full-length works and most of them have toured the world.
William’s current work is photo based, doing performances in theatres and exhibitions in galleries. He has just converted three of his live performance pieces into films at the University of NSW. He does story telling workshops.
With Annette Shun Wah he has directed or helped to create six works for CAAP: Stories East and West, Stories Then and Now, Life Giving Stories 1 and 2, In Between Two, Who Speaks For Me?
Established in 1997, Brisbane-based Topology are established leaders in musical creativity in Australia, prolific creators of new original work, expert collaborators across genres and art forms and award-winning music educators. The ARIA Award-nominated quintet experiments with surprising combinations of music genres, theatrical staging and cross art form collaborations to create exciting, thought-provoking music experiences for audiences of all ages, backgrounds and tastes. Resident Artist at Brisbane Powerhouse, Topology has released 13 albums, produced countless evening-length works, presented an award-winning concert series, and toured extensively nationally and internationally. Topology are John Babbage (composer, saxophone), Robert Davidson (composer, bass), Bernard Hoey (composer, viola), Christa Powell (violin) and Therese Milanovic (piano). This unique combination of classically trained virtuoso musicians with a plethora of diverse musical backgrounds bring a distinctive flavour and soundscape to each new work.
William Barton has been playing didgeridoo for over 20 years where he first started to learn the instrument in Mount Isa, far north western Queensland. Working with traditional dance groups and fusion/rock jazz bands, orchestras, string quartets and mixed ensembles, William has been touring internationally since age of 15 years old. He has been involved with community engagement with audiences from an early age. William is a 2012 ARIA award winner for best classical album Kalkadungu.
Tamara Anna Cislowska is one of Australia’s most acclaimed and recognised pianists, and winner of the 2015 ARIA award for ‘Best Classical Album’ for her landmark recording, Peter Sculthorpe: Complete Works for Solo Piano (ABC Classics), featured as ‘Recording of the Month’ in BBC Music Magazine and Limelight Magazine. She has performed across five continents in repertoire from Scarlatti to Sculthorpe, winning international prizes in London, Italy and Greece, including the Rovere d’Oro. In Australia she was the youngest pianist to win ABC Young Performer of the Year at age 14, recipient of the Freedman Fellowship (2003) from the Music Council of Australia andan APRA-AMCOS Art Music Award for ‘Performance of the Year’ (ACT, 2012).
Elena Kats-Chernin is one of Australia’s foremost contemporary composers. She has created works in nearly every genre, from orchestral compositions to chamber and choral and for robotic instruments - among them pieces for Ensemble Modern, the Vienna Boys Choir, Sydney Theatre Company, Australian World Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, and many of our symphony orchestras, as well as five chamber operas – including Opera Australia’s very first opera for television, ACCTA Award nominated (in category best music for television) The Divorce (2015) - featuring Kate Miller-Heidke, Lisa McCune, Marina Prior, and Meow Meow - and soundtracks to three silent films.
Her most recent premiere was a highly acclaimed "The Witching Hour" concerto for eight Double Basses for the Australian World Orchestra performed at the Sydney Opera House and at the Esplanade Concert Hall in Singapore. Her latest CD "Butterflying" (4 hands piano works with Tamara-Anna Cislowska, ABC Classics) reached number 1 on ARIA Classical Core Chart in September 2016.
From 1990 to 2008 David Pereira was Senior Lecturer in Cello at the ANU School of Music. Now he is a Distinguished Artist in Residence there.
In 2010 David received the CityNews Artist of the Year Award, having been selected by The Canberra Critics’ Circle – ‘for making his mark on music in Canberra and the immediate region with his cello-focused David Pereira Cello Series, which demonstrated his ability to interpret different compositional styles; and for his encouragement of young associate artists which stamps him as an outstanding figure in the Canberra arts scene.’ A versatile cellist
During the last forty years David has established himself as an outstandingly versatile and leading cellist with appointments to top professional positions.He was for eleven years cellist of the Australia Ensemble (resident at the UNSW), for seven years Principal Cellist of the Australian Chamber Orchestra and for three years Principal Cello with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
Bass baritone Jeremy Kleeman is a graduate of Victorian Opera's Developing Artist Program, and has a Master of Music (Opera Performance) and Bachelor of Music from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. In 2014 and 2015, Jeremy was a scholar with Melba Opera Trust on the Joseph Sambrook Opera Scholarship, and was the 2016 recipient of the Dame Heather Begg Memorial Award.
Important career highlights include Magus in Voyage to the Moon national tour (Musica Viva/Victorian Opera) — Helpmann and Green Room Award nominations for Best Supporting Male, Toby Raven in the world premiére of Cloudstreet (State Opera of South Australia), Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro (Opera Australia Tour), St. Matthew Passion (Newcastle University Choir and Melbourne Bach Choir), and Teobaldo in Faramondo (Brisbane Baroque).
The Song Company
Since the dawn of history, the human voice and the act of singing have been intrinsically linked with storytelling and the acquisition of culture. The Song Company belongs to a land whose first peoples used songlines and vocal music to pass knowledge and culture from generation to generation, and is proud to continue that tradition, in a unique way, sharing music from across western and non-western art traditions. The ensemble’s schedule includes a mix of national and international touring, a subscription series in cities across Australia, recording and broadcast projects, education activities, and special collaborative projects. From 2016, the ensemble has been led by Antony Pitts, succeeding Roland Peelman as the first new Artistic Director for a quarter of a century.
The China Orient Orchestra is a state-level professional performance group from Beijing. There are over 100 professional performers in the orchestra, at least ten of whom have senior professional titles and 8 are part-time professors or instructors of professional art colleges. The orchestra's participants have won numerous prizes for group champions from Guzheng and Xinzheng competitions at national and international level.
The orchestra has given more than 100 special performance concerts abroad and more than 300 inside China. In August 2013 it organized a concert featuring 2348 performers - a Guinness World Record for “the world’s largest and best Xinzheng concert”.
The Australian Voices
It is with high artistic energy that The Australian Voices commission and perform the works of Australian composers.
Recently The Australian Voices have recorded new works intended for “performance” on YouTube. Hamilton’s composition The 9 Cutest Things That Ever Happened (2013) has been viewed over one million times. In 2014 they made international headlines with a video of Rob Davidson’s Not Now, Not Ever! (2014), a musicalisation of Julia Gillard’s ‘misogyny’ speech.
Their album for Warner Classics (2012) was observed by Gramophone Magazine to "boast a crisp, resonant delivery of the sonic goods under Hamilton's confident direction." In 2013 they released an songbook with Edition Peters.
Recently the group has brought their distinct sound to China, the UK, Germany, USA and Palestine.
The Australian Voices are ensemble-in-residence at the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. In 2016 and 2017 TAV and QSO present a collaborative concert series.
Established in 2007, Ding Yi Music Company is recognised as one of Singapore’s most prodigious Chinese chamber music ensembles. Ding Yi Music Company places great emphasis on promoting new compositions for the Chinese chamber ensemble and has established the Composium, a triennial composition festival which includes a competition, symposiums, and performances, all of which are meant to encourage new compositions from local and international composers.
Under the direction of Music Director Dr Tay Teow Kiat and Conductor Mr Quek Ling Kiong, the chamber ensemble has garnered distinctions and prizes both locally and abroad. Comprising 20 of Singapore’s most dynamic, talented, and multiple award-winning musicians—most of whom have undergone professional training at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts—the group first drew national attention in 2008 by winning First Prize at the Singapore National Arts Council Chinese Music Competition. In the subsequent year, they emerged Champion at the prestigious Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod held in Wales, United Kingdom, and more recently, clinched the Silver Award at the 28th Shanghai Spring International Music Festival.
Through the support of the National Arts Council, private patrons, companies and luminaries from the regional Chinese orchestra music scene, Ding Yi Music Company hopes to explore, discover, and create a unique sound for Singapore.
Shu-Cheen is one of Australia’s most delightful and sought-after sopranos. A multi-award winning international star, she brings to every performance a captivating presence that can move an audience to tears and then, within seconds, have them laughing like a child. Her vast repertoire starts with opera, oratorio, lieder, Chinese Folk and Art Songs, oriental folk songs and extends right through to popular musical theatre such as Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Gershwin.
Prize-winning Loo Sze-wang is the foremost sheng (Chinese mouth-organ) player of his generation in Hong Kong. He has been active both as a soloist and as a chamber musician, having been featured several times at the Hong Kong Arts Festival, the contemporary music festival Musicarama and Radio Television Hong Kong.
As a founding member of Chinese Music Virtuosi, a 6-member Chinese instrumental ensemble that performs both new and traditional works, Loo has performed at the Garden Festival in Warsaw, Poland, Melbourne Festival in Australia, Singapore Arts Festival, Buenos Aires International Music Festival in Argentina, New Vision Festival of Hong Kong, and the Chinese Composers’ Festival, among others. The group has also commissioned over a dozen new works, which include works that are scored for both Chinese and Western instruments.
A graduate of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Loo’s sheng teachers included Chen De-ren and Cheng Tak-wai and he has also taken flute lessons from Timothy Wilson and Chan Kwok-chiu.
Andrew Ford is a composer, writer and broadcaster, and has won awards in all three capacities, including the 2004 Paul Lowin Prize for his song cycle Learning to Howl, a 2010 Green Room Award for his opera Rembrandt's Wife and the 2012 Albert H Maggs Prize for his large ensemble piece, Rauha. His music has been played throughout Australia and in more than 40 countries around the world. He was composer-in-residence with the Australian Chamber Orchestra (1992–94), Peggy Glanville-Hicks Fellow (1998–2000), Australia Council Music Board Fellow (2005–06) and resident composer at ANAM in 2009. In April 2014 he was Poynter Fellow and Visiting Composer at Yale University. A former academic, Ford has written widely on all manner of music and published eight books, most recently Earth Dances: music in search of the primitive (2015). He has written, presented and co-produced five radio series, including Illegal Harmonies and Earth Dances, and since 1995 he has presented The Music Show each weekend on ABC Radio National.
Florian has played the violin since the age of five, and after absorbing the sound of gamelan in Indonesia, started formal training in Helsinki. He continued his studies at Chethams School of Music in Manchester, and returning to his Belgian roots at the age of 18, he enrolled at the Antwerp Conservatorium on viola. He completed his training under Walter Küssner at the 'Hans Eisler' Hochschule für Musik Berlin obtaining a Masters Degree with the highest distinction. As a soloist he has performed the Kancheli concerto, the Mozart and Bruch double concertos and most recently, Pierre Charvet’s ‘And death’ with the Cologne Philharmonie. A dedicated chamber musician, he has been a member of the Arsis4 Quartet, the Boccherini String Trio, and the European Chamber Academy. He is currently Principal Viola of the Brussels Chamber Orchestra, Principal Viola of the Gürzenich Orchester Köln and a regular guest with the Berliner Philharmoniker.
Coro is a semi-professional Canberra-based not-for-profit chamber music ensemble founded by conductor and composer David Mackay and singer Paul Eldon.
Coro follows the European festival chorus tradition of rehearsals and performance with a smaller ensemble and a commitment to note learning without the need for weekly rehearsals.
The group is committed to presenting interesting and diverse performances around Canberra, accessible to all ages, backgrounds and incomes: from the music of JS Bach to the 20th century dissonance of Arvo Pärt and sing-along carols at our annual 'Christmas in July' event on the first Sunday in July.
Photo by Peter Hislop (2015)
Russian Orthodox Choir of Sydney
Russian Orthodox Choir of Sydney (Andrei Laptev, chorusmaster)
The Russian Orthodox Choir of Sydney is a combination of choristers from various Russian Orthodox parishes around the Sydney region and singers who share a love of Orthodox liturgical music. The aim of the choral society is perform masterpieces and rare musical treasures of the Russian Orthodox tradition, with a special focus on Russian émigré composers as well as sacred compositions of the 17th and 18th centuries. Today you will hear singers from parishes in Canberra and Sydney.
The choir is a laureate of the 33rd and 35th International Festivals of Orthodox Church Music “Hajnowka”, having gained first place in their category in both 2014 and 2016, with special mention at each festival for their varied repertoire and polished performance.
Minh Le Hoang
A member of Australia’s unique guitar quartet, Guitar Trek, Minh Le Hoang has toured extensively throughout Europe, Asia, toured for Musica Viva and appeared at major international festivals.
Minh won first prize in the 50th Tokyo International Guitar Competition having won the Adelaide Spring Guitar Competition in 2001. As a soloist and recitalist, he has given master classes and concerts throughout Australia, the United States and Southeast Asia and as well as making many appearances on radio and television.
As a devoted and respected teacher developing the talents of a future generations of musicians in Canberra. Minh is a private tutor at Canberra Grammar School, Canberra Girls Grammar School, Orana Steiner School. He is also teaching in the Australia’s leading guitar department at the Australian National University, School of Music where Minh has also served as acting Head of the Guitar department. minhlehoang.com
Luminescence Chamber Singers
Luminescence Chamber Singers is a virtuosic chamber music ensemble comprised of eight young vocalists. Since the ensemble’s earliest iteration in 2013, Luminescence has quickly gained a reputation for presenting exciting and excellent singing. The ensemble is under the collaborative artistic direction of its singers and performs a wide range of repertoire from the Renaissance to the 21st century.
Luminescence performs extensively in Canberra and the surrounding regions, including Goulbourn, Yass, Sydney, Port Macquarie and Newcastle. In 2014, Luminescence recorded a number of tracks for Sally Greenaway’s album Auburn and Nocturne, and in 2015, they performed with ARIA Award-Winning pianist and composer Sally Whitwell. In 2016, Luminescence toured New South Wales with acclaimed guest conductor and composer Gordon Hamilton, performed with sopranos Louise Page and Louise Keast, and worked extensively with Swedish-Australian musicologist and conductor Bengt-Olov Palmqvist.
In addition to their own concert seasons, Luminescence performs regularly in local concert series in venues such as the High Court, Parliament House and Wesley Music Centre, and delivers a variety of workshops to school and community choirs and is frequently engaged for collaborative projects and recordings.
Canberra soprano Louise Page is one of Australia’s most highly regarded and versatile singers, performing throughout Australia and Europe with groups such as the Vienna State Opera, Musica Viva, the ABC, the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, the Canberra International Music Festival, and most recently touring France and England with the Flowers of War project. She has appeared as a soloist with the Sydney, Queensland, Canberra and Central Coast Symphony Orchestras, the National Capital Orchestra and the Canberra Youth Orchestra.
In 2007 she received a Canberra Critics Circle award for music and was named the Canberra Times Artist of the Year. She has recorded ten CDs of music varying from Lieder to operetta, premieres of Australian music and Christmas songs. In the 2013 Australia Day Honours List she was awarded an OAM for services to the performing arts. louisepagesoprano.com.au
Darryl Poulsen graduated with distinction from the Conservatoria of Luxembourg, and Liège, Belgium, and holds the degrees of Doctor of Music and Master of Music from The University of Western Australia. He has worked extensively in: performance (from historical to contemporary), holding principal positions in Australian and European orchestras; and in academia, holding professorships in three Australian universities.
Numerous new works for horn have been commissioned, written for, and premièred by Darryl Poulsen. As a player of historical horns, he has performed and recorded as principal horn and soloist with leading ensembles in Australia, Europe and North America. His publications have included first English translations of seminal historical horn treatises.
Clive has been a singer all his life but started singing in earnest whilst studying for a music degree at Huddersfield Polytechnic after which he concentrated on pure singing at the Guildhall School of Music in London where he won the Gold Medal in 1977.
He has worked in the fields of opera and oratorio and since moving to Australia in 1987 he was a member of the Song Company until his retirement in 2014. Since then he has worked as writer and speaker for the Moorambilla Festival and with the renowned sculptor and artist Ken Unsworth.
Dr. Nicholas Ng is a composer, performer and researcher who appears nationally and abroad in diverse contexts from contemporary theatre and dance to art installations. Nicholas co-established the Australian National University Chinese Music Ensemble (2003) and edited ENCOUNTERS: Musical meetings between Australia and China, a book based on the festival that he curated while working at Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University (2010). He now teaches erhu at Sydney Conservatorium of Music in the newly established Chinese Music Ensemble course. Heard on ABC radio and published by Orpheus Music, Nicholas has written for The Song Company, The Australian Voices, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Chronology Arts, Art Gallery of NSW, Queensland Art Gallery, QL2 Dance, Griffin Theatre and Performance 4a. Current theatrical productions in progress include ‘Descendants of the Dragon’, ‘Slow Boat’ and ‘The Bone Feeder.’
Zubin Kanga is a London-based Australian pianist and researcher. He has performed at many international festivals including the BBC Proms, Cheltenham Festival (UK) Melbourne Festival, Metropolis Festival (Australia), IRCAM’s Manifeste Festival (France) and Borealis Festival (Norway) as well as appearing as soloist with the London Sinfonietta, and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. He is a member of Ensemble Offspring and has collaborated with many of the world’s leading composers, including Michael Finnissy, George Benjamin, Steve Reich, Thomas Adès, Damien Ricketson, Liza Lim, Michel van der Aa and Stefan Prins and premiered over 70 new works. He is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Nice and IRCAM, Paris and a Research Fellow at the Royal Academy of Music, London.
Brenda Gifford is a Yuin Woman, originally from Wreck Bay, South Coast NSW. She composes music about her lived experiences as an Aboriginal woman. She is a classically trained Saxophonist who studied with Don Burrows at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. She has twenty years extensive experience as a musician and music teacher. She is a member of the current Indigenous Composers Initiative working on her original composition a South Coast Songline. Brenda was a member of the Band Mixed Relations with Bart Willoughby. Mixed Relations honoured its Indigenous roots, performing in Indigenous communities, and playing in prisons as part of NAIDOC Week. They also achieved mainstream success, reaching #89 on Triple J’s Hottest 100 in 1993 with their single “Aboriginal Woman”. She has played music in urban, regional, remote, traditional Aboriginal communities. She has toured to London, Hong Kong, Pacific Islands and America. She worked with Kev Carmody, on his original Album Eulogy for a Black Person playing saxophone on a couple of tracks. Her writing has been used as the Album notes for Vic Simms ‘The Loner’ Album. She toured extensively nationally to Aboriginal communities and Internationally to Native American communities and the Pacific Islands. She has also produced hundreds of oral histories of Aboriginal musicians for NFSA. Examples of her music can be heard on her Facebook page: Brenda G.
Mr. Tim (Tim Bevitt) is a performing arts’ specialist in music, dance and drama. He is an entertainer, workshop leader and educator. His reputation has spread as an inspirational teacher and mentor with his special ability to connect with children and adults alike and is highly sort after as a children and family entertainer.
Australian violinist and artistic director of Bach Akademie Australia Madeleine Easton is an established star on the international stage known for her versatility and expertise in the world of violin playing. This recently formed ensemble is a natural extension of her work over the last 15 years in Europe with some of the world’s greatest Bach exponents, including Akademie patron Sir John Eliot Gardiner, John Butt, Peter Shrier, and Richard Egarr. The very name itself, ‘Bach Akademie’, is intended to resemble as European an ensemble as possible, bringing the great musical tradition of Europe to Australia. Music is at the heart of the undertaking, with inventive and interesting concerts that explore the entirety of Johann Sebastian Bach’s oeuvre. Working closely with academic institutions around Australia, international soloists will offer masterclasses, individual lessons and lectures in the performance and practice of early music. From their home at St. James Church in Sydney, Bach Akademie Australia is an ensemble of the absolute highest standards who will put Australia on the map as a place of international regard and repute for the performance of J.S. Bach.
Tobias Cole is an award winning singer, choral conductor and artistic director who is driven by a passion to create engaging experiences for performers and audiences. In 2016, with support from ArtsACT, the Australia Council and Creative Partnerships Australia, he established his own opera company, HANDEL IN THE THEATRE which in October presented The Vow, an adaptation by Tobias of Handel’s Jephtha at the Canberra Playhouse.
In 2017 Tobias’ engagements include Alana Valentine’s Cold Light with The Street Theatre Company, and returns to the Song Company and the Canberra International Music Festival, a new production for HANDEL IN THE THEATRE.
Photo by Michele Mossop
Leonard Weiss is an award-winning composer, conductor and performer. He is the 2016 Young Canberra Citizen of the Year for Youth Arts and Multimedia, an ACT Finalist for 2016 Young Australian of the Year and recently received a Canberra Critics' Circle Award for Music. Leonard holds a Bachelor of Music from the Australian National University (2013) and a Master of Teaching (Secondary) from the University of New England (2015). Leonard has conducted and performed solo concerts in the USA and throughout Europe, including recent carillon performances along the East Coast of the USA in July 2015. In addition, Leonard is the Musical Director/Conductor of a number of ensembles in Canberra including the National Capital Orchestra and the Canberra Youth Orchestra, and featured in the 2015 Canberra International Music Festival as a Carillonist. Leonard's local musical history includes performances with the Canberra Youth Orchestra on both harp and French horn.
Claire Edwardes is a highly regarded interpreter, performer and passionate advocate of contemporary classical music as well as the Artistic Director of Ensemble Offspring. Career highlights include solo appearances at the Sydney Festival, Vivid Sydney (New Wave Sound), Huddersfield Festival of Contemporary Music (UK) and Gaudeamus Muziekweek (NL). She is the recipient of an Australia Council Music Fellowship (2014/2015) and in 2012 & 2007 she was awarded the AMC/APRA Art Music Award for Excellence in Australian Music. In 2005 she was the MCA/Freedman Fellow and in 1999 was named Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year. Highlights in 2015 include concerti with the Melbourne Symphony, WAYO, Canberra Symphony and Sydney Conservatorium Wind Symphony.
Jason Noble Clarinet Jason Noble is an in-demand Bondi clarinettist specialising in all members of the clarinet family including the bass clarinet, saxillo, clarinis and glove bagpipe. He has been an integral member of Ensemble Offspring since 2002 featuring in such projects as Bargain Garden, Fractured Again and The Secret Noise. Jason has twice travelled to the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul as an educator and clarinet teacher. He has collaborated variously with popular musicians Sally Seltmann and Holly Throsby, the indigenous women’s choir of the Tiwi Islands and most recently performed with Nick Wales and the Shaun Parker Dance Company in the production 'Am I'. Jason performs regularly with Halcyon, soprano Jane Sheldon and The Song Company.
The Canberra Youth Orchestra (CYO) is the premier youth symphony orchestra in the ACT, bringing together the region’s finest young musicians. Conducted by award-winning Canberran, Leonard Weiss, the CYO performs a diverse range of repertoire and features world-renowned soloists.
2017 marks the CYO’s 50th Year and its Llewellyn Hall concert series will feature an illustrious line-up of musicians including The Idea of North, Claire Edwardes, Gabi Sultana and James Morrison AM.
Canberra Youth Orchestra prides itself on regularly performing Australian and world premieres, and partnering with contemporary composers and are thrilled to be performing in Game On! at the Canberra International Music Festival.
Rohan Dasika is an Australian double bassist currently based in Melbourne. A graduate of the Australian National University and the Australian National Academy of Music, he has since appeared in festivals including the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Canberra International Music Festival, Four Winds Festival, Coramba Chamber Music Festival and Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music.
Rohan also performs regularly with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and the Camerata of St John’s. As a recipient of an Australia Council ArtStart grant, in 2015 Rohan undertook study residencies in Philadelphia and Vienna, and has performed internationally with the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra Academy.
Alexander Yau is an active solo pianist and chamber musician, and has given solo concerts and chamber music performances around Australia, as well as Italy, Germany, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Born in Sydney in 1995, Alexander began piano lessons at the age of 6, and studied with Elizabeth Powell at the age of 11. He is commencing the 4th year of his Bachelor of Music Performance degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music studying with Daniel Herscovitch, holding both the William Kapell Memorial Scholarship and Seetha Aryanganie Nugawela Scholarship Prize for ‘Outstanding Piano Student’.
Rainer Saville was born and raised in Sydney, Australia. He is a graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and the Australian National Academy of Music, where he studied with Leanne Sullivan and Dave Elton/Tristram Williams respectively. Mr. Saville performs regularly as a musician with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Melbourne Symphony, and is a member of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra. In 2014, he participated and was a semi-finalist in the International Trumpet Competition "Cittá Di Porcia" in Pordenone, Italy.
Rainer has toured internationally with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. In 2016, he was a participant of the Pacific Music Festival, working alongside members of the Berlin Philharmonic and San-Francisco Symphony. This past January, he performed with New York Philharmonic.
Meriel Owen enjoys a versatile musical life and is in demand as a pianist and harpist. A student of the renowned composer and pianist, Larry Sitsky, Meriel graduated from the Canberra School of Music in 1990. She resided in the United States from 1995-2006 and during this time was occupied with a variety of activities including attendance at the Aspen Music Festival and School as a student in the collaborative program in 1998, completing a Master of Arts in Theology in 1999, and playing countless weddings and liturgical events. Meriel graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2002 with a Master of Music in collaborative piano studying with Rita Sloan. Subsequent recital opportunities have taken her to Washington D.C., Houston, Chicago, Italy and Australia.
Meriel was the 2013 recipient of the Stuart and Norma Leslie Churchill Fellowship for travel to Austria and Germany to undertake further study of harp techniques and repertoire in ensemble. Now based in Canberra, she is often seen playing with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra and National Pops Orchestra. Further afield Meriel regularly engages in casual work as a harpist with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, and Melbourne and Sydney Symphony Orchestras. As a chamber musician she has performed for the Canberra International Music Festival, Sapphire Coast Music Society and Montague Singers Visiting Artist Series. In her spare time she stumbles through domestic chores with her two children and high-maintenance cats, and is a dedicated student of dressage at Gooromon Park Horse Riding Centre.