The Orava Quartet, founded in 2007 by Daniel Kowalik (violin), Karol Kowalik (cello), and Thomas Chawner (viola), and joined in 2011 by David Dalseno (violin), is one of the most exciting string quartets of its generation. Known for their passionate and engaging performances, they have been hailed as, “in terms of the future of Australian Chamber Music, the real deal.”
The quartet is based in Brisbane, as the Quartet-in-Residence with Camerata, Queensland's Chamber Orchestra. Earning a reputation for consistently excellent and thrilling performances, the Quartet has been increasingly sought-after for major festivals throughout Australia, which have included recently the BBC Proms in Melbourne (for which they were named one of the ‘2016 Arts Highlights of the Year’ by arts luminary, Robyn Archer), the Musica Viva Festival, the Melbourne Festival (where they were again one of the ‘Top 10 Picks’ of the Festival), the Brisbane Baroque, Bangalow and Port Fairy Spring Music Festivals, among others.
Daniel, David and Thomas play on instruments by contemporary American luthiers David Gusset and Ryan Soltis, and Karol on a French 19th century cello.
John Bell has been an adjunct professor in the Sydney School of Education and Social Work since 2007. In this role, his activities include guest lectures to Master of Education students, work on a research project into arts education, literacy and Shakespeare pedagogy, participation in school symposia, graduation ceremony addresses, keynote speeches at conferences and participation as an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant partner in the project titled Accessing the cultural conversation: investigating participation and non-participation of young people as audiences of live theatrical performances in Australia. His ongoing association with the school is integral to the linking of drama and the English curriculum.
In 1991, John founded the Bell Shakespeare Company where his productions have included Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew, Pericles, Julius Caesar and Wars of the Roses.
John's personal repertoire of characters from Shakespeare has included Hamlet, Shylock, Henry V, Richard III, Macbeth, King Lear and Titus Andronicus. He has also directed a production of Madame Butterfly for Oz Opera, which toured nationally.
Most 17th-18th-century music for lute, guitar, theorbo and archlute was devised and written down to be played in consort with different instruments. Such authors as Kapsberger, Corbetta, Piccinini, de Visée, Granata, Weiss and many others either composed their solo pieces with an added continuo accompaniment or arranged them from the original tablatures into regular multi-part scores. Moreover, in some more explicit instances they wrote directly for a consort of lutes, or for lute and sundry instruments. Several period chronicles witness on how such multi-instrumental music used to be performed. Guitarists were typically expected to be accompanied by theorboes, colasciones, lutes – and vice versa. Relying on written testimonies as well as on musical and iconographic sources, the ensemble "I Bassifondi", founded and hand-picked by Simone Vallerotonda, aims at rediscovering and offering the audience that repertoire in chamber format.
Their debut album "Alfabeto falso” was nominated in the ICMA 2018 (International Classical Music Award) among the best baroque instrumental records.
MARY FINSTERER is recognised as one of Australia’s finest composers. Having received international recognition through awards for her music in Europe, Britain, USA and Canada, she has also represented Australia in five International Society for Contemporary Music festivals.
Mary has been the recipient of many prestigious acknowledgements including the Churchill Fellowship, Australia Council Composer Fellowship, Royal Netherlands Government Award, Sydney Symphony Orchestra composer-in-residence, Paul Lowin Orchestral Prize and numerous Apra Amcos ART Music Awards throughout her career. She has been the featured composer in the ABC Classic FM Pedestal Programme and the Sydney Opera House. The first collection of her award–winning work spanning more than 10 years can be heard on the double–disc compilation entitled CATCH, on the ABC Classics|Universal label.
Also composing music for feature film, in 2011 Mary’s score for Shirley Barrett’s feature South Solitary was a finalist in the Film Critics Circle Awards and has been released on ABC Classics|Universal.
Mary's most recent work, her new opera Biographica, was premiered by Sydney Chamber Opera and Ensemble Offspring at the Sydney Festival in January 2017 with exceptional success. Having enjoyed a sold-out season, it was enthusiastically received by critics and audiences alike and described as 'an outstanding new opera that deserves a permanent place in the repertory’.
Mary is currently the Chair of Composition at the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, Monash University.
Roger Woodward AC OBE, piano
Woodward has performed with premier orchestras throughout Europe, the Americas and Australasia, with such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, Sir Charles Mackerras, Pierre Boulez, Edo de Waart, Paavo Berglund, and many others. Memorable collaborations have been with Graeme Murphy, Janet Vernon and the Sydney Dance Company on Xenakis’ Kraanerg at the Sydney Opera House, and with the Arditti, Alexander, Edinburgh, Australian, and Tokyo string quartets. He has toured with the Vienna Trio, and with musicians ranging from Ivry Gitlis and Wanda Wiłkomirska to Synergy Percussion and Frank Zappa.
Distinguished awards for his recordings include the Goethe Prize, Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, Germany, the Ritmo Prize, Spain and Diapason d’or, France. His performances and recordings of Bach’s Das Wohltemperierte Clavier, of Beethoven sonatas and concertos, Brahms concertos and works of Chopin, Debussy, Bartók, Skryabin, Schoenberg, Prokofiev and Shostakovich (24 Preludes and Fugues, op. 87) earned him widespread international critical recognition. So too have his performances and prizewinning recordings of works composed for him by the contemporary giants Xenakis, Barraqué, Feldman, Takemitsu and Rădulescu, which are widely regarded as unrivalled.
The artist is a recipient of distinguished honours, prizes and awards including France’s Chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres, the Polish Order of Merit, the Polish Solidarity medal, the Polish Gloria Artis (gold class) and the Order of the British Empire. He is a Companion of the Order of Australia, recipient of the Australian Centenary Medal, and in 1997 was designated a National Living Treasure by the Australian National Trust.
Roger Woodward frequently returns to Australia and is committed to performing in regional and rural areas.
Australian mezzo-soprano Kate Howden studied at the Royal Academy of Music and the National Opera Studio, London, and has performed with Scottish Opera in their Opera Highlights tour. Her opera roles include Carlotta (La scuola de'gelosi), Isolier (Le Comte Ory), Bianca (The Rape of Lucretia), Hansel, Cherubino and Annio (La Clemenza di Tito).
Kate’s recent soloist performances include the complete Mélodies of Duparc at Julius Drake's Machynlleth Festival with pianist Sachika Taniyama, Mark Antony Turnage's Twice Through the Heart with Shadwell Opera, the title role in Handel's Solomon at the Musique Cordiale Festival in France, Il Ritorno at the Barbican Theatre London, and Satie's Mort de Socrate with Joanna Macgregor at King's Place.
Kate is grateful for previous support from Opera North, the Les Azuriales Opera Trust, the Ian Potter Cultural Trust, the Australian Music Foundation (with the Riddiford Trust), the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, the Tait Memorial Trust and the Opus 50 Charitable Trust.
Internationally acclaimed percussion soloist, chamber musician and artistic director Claire Edwardes, has been described by the press as a ‘sorceress of percussion’ performing with ‘spellbinding intensity’ and ‘graceful virtuosity’. Her award-winning performances combine a theatrical energy with charismatic and original interpretations bringing to life the varied array of music she performs. In 2014 she was the recipient of a prestigious two-year Australia Council Music Fellowship, and her commitment to Australian music has earned her the AMC/APRA Art Music Award for Excellence in 2007, 2012 and 2016.
In 2006 Claire became the artistic director of the innovative music group she had been a founding member of in 1996, Ensemble Offspring. Recent performance highlights include concertos with the Melbourne, Sydney and Queensland Symphony Orchestras, solo appearances at the Sydney Festival, MONA FOMA and Peninsula Summer Music Festival, and collaborations with an array of artists from Mike Patton (Faith No More) to Guy Ben-Ary, the Australian Art Orchestra to the Australian String Quartet.
She teaches composition and percussion at the Sydney Conservatorium as well as Australian National Academy of Music and currently balances her life as a mother of two young girls with a busy concert schedule throughout Australia and abroad.
Vocalist, harper, medievalist and scholar Benjamin Bagby has been an important figure in the field of medieval musical performance for almost 40 years. After musical studies in the USA and Switzerland, he and the late Barbara Thornton formed Sequentia in 1977 in Cologne, Germany, where the ensemble was based until Mr. Bagby moved to Paris in 2002.
Dutch–Italian Cecilia Bernardini is considered to be one of the most versatile violinists of her generation, specializing in historically informed practice on period instruments.
In 2012 Cecilia was appointed leader of the Dunedin Consort. She features regularly as a soloist and appears on their critically acclaimed recordings of Bach's St. John Passion, Brandenburg Concertos and the award-winning Mozart Requiem. Recent releases with the Dunedin Consort include Bach's Violin Concertos, Christmas Oratorio and Magnificat.
A keen chamber musician, she is a member of the Serafino String Trio and forms a duo with fortepianist Keiko Shichijo. She has performed at numerous festivals over the world, including the Edinburgh Festival, Salzburger Festspiele, Bath Festival, Utrecht Early Music Festival, Festival de Sablé, Bruges Early Music Festival, Malta Early Music Festival and Thuringer Bachwochen.
Cecilia plays a 1743 Camillus Camilli violin kindly loaned by the Jumpstart Foundation.
Pianist & fortepianist Keiko Shichijo is a special voice in both the Classical and new music worlds. Her traditional Japanese sensibilities have combined with her knowledge of European historical performance practices to shape her unique vision, and this is reflected in her feeling for the music, the instruments and the story behind them.
As a specialist in contemporary music Keiko has worked with many composers, including Frank Nuyts, Frederick Rzewski, Tom Johnson, Lucio Garau and Anne La Berge. Recently she also gave the premiere performance with the Rotterdam Sinfonia of the first ever Concerto for iPad and Orchestra by Ned McGowan.
Keiko Shichijo has a violin/fortepiano duo with renowned violinist Cecilia Bernardini, and they have performed throughout Europe.
Simon Tedeschi has been described by critics and musical peers as one of the finest artists in the world.
Regularly invited to perform for foreign dignitaries, Tedeschi has entertained the likes of Their Royal Highnesses the Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark, Vladimir Putin, George W Bush and Nelson Mandela, at events such as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and the World Expo.
Charitable performances and commitment to worthwhile causes have been most prominent in Tedeschi’s career. Among these special performances includes playing for the Dalai Lama at a fundraising concert in London (2000), for the Karuna Foundation in support of Cambodian Orphans, and at the Sydney Opera House gala concert for the Wayside Chapel. Tedeschi is the Roving Ambassador for The Australian Children’s Music Foundation, Ambassador for Sydney Eisteddfod, and patron of Ryde Eisteddfod, the Bowraville Cultural Festival and the Blue Mountains Concert Society.
Avery Fisher Career Grant-winning violinist Tim Fain was heard on the soundtracks to the films Moonlight, 12 Years a Slave, and Black Swan, where he also appeared on screen. Recipient of the Young Concert Artists International award, he has appeared as soloist with the Pittsburgh and Baltimore (Marin Alsop) Symphonies, American Composers Orchestra (Carnegie Hall), Orchestra of St. Luke's, The Hague and Buffalo Philharmonics, Mostly Mozart and National Orchestra of Spain, among others. His recitals have taken him to world's major music capitals, he has toured with Musicians from Marlboro, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and around the globe in a duo-recital program with Philip Glass. He recently collaborated with Google on a Virtual Reality music video for his composition Resonance which introduced its 360 stereoscopic VR capability for YouTube, and was recently shown at The Sundance Film Festival. His discography includes "Arches," "River of Light,” “Fain plays Glass,” and “First Loves.” His solo multi-media evening "Portals" premiered to sold-out houses and features collaborations with Benjamin Millepied, Leonard Cohen, Nicholas Britell, film maker Kate Hackett, and radio personality Fred Child and a new work written for him by Philip Glass.
Susannah holds an Adv.Dip.Opera from the Sydney Conservatorium and a BA (Politics and International Relations) with Distinction from UNSW. After starting her professional career with a season at Opera Australia’s NSW Schools Company, she joined the Song Company in 2011.
Since winning second prize in the 2010 National Aria Award, Susannah has performed regularly in Canberra, both in the Song Company’s Subscription Series and for CIMF. She was the soprano soloist in the CCS and NCO's 2016 Carmina Burana and is a 2018 recitalist with Art Song Canberra. In 2017, she premiered Andrew Howes’ one-woman opera, The Mermaid in the Utzon Room at the Sydney Opera House with the Kasba Trio and in 2018 performs in Brett Dean’s highly acclaimed opera Hamlet at the Adelaide Festival. For the Bach Akademie, she has recorded and performed a number of cantatas in their concert series and fundraisers.
SHE - Seven Harp Ensemble
SHE is an exciting and enchanting ensemble which performs a diverse repertoire including many newly commissioned Australian works. SHE was founded by Artistic Director Alice Giles AM, world-renowned performer, teacher and advocate for the harp. The other members of SHE comprise some of the best young talent from around Australia, with several members currently studying and working internationally.
Having previously represented Australia at the American Harp Society’s annual conference in 2006, SHE was honoured to be invited to tour to China in January this year, performing at the National Centre for Performing Arts in Beijing. The group was also the guest of Beijing Television as part of its highly prestigious Spring Festival Global Gala, one of the most viewed television events in China.
SHE performances include: the Canberra International Music Festival (2009); ABC Classic FM Sunday Live; ANU School of Music; Wesley Music Centre; National Harp Weekend (2004); Canberra Museum for the Multicultural Festival; National Galley of Australia; 3rd Australian Harp Festival (2008); NSW tour (2010); Victorian tour (2011); Campbelltown Arts Centre (2011).
SHE has recorded a CD of their Australian commissions for the Tall Poppies label, entitled Bolmimerie. Included on the album are works by Ross Edwards, Martin Wesley-Smith, Andrew Schultz and Sharon Calcraft.
Their programs are varied, reflecting the distinctive techniques and broad palette of colours unique to the harp. An aural and visual feast, both as a ‘crowd-pleaser’ and for serious music lovers. The ensemble plays together without a conductor. Formerly known as the Kioloa Harp Ensemble, SHE was founded during the Kioloa Summer Harp Camps.
Ben Hoadley is a graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, New England Conservatory of Music (Boston) and the University of Waikato (NZ). He also studied historical bassoon in Switzerland and Italy and has received fellowships to the Australian National Academy of Music, Tanglewood Music Centre and the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall. Ben has lectured at the University of Auckland School of Music since 2007 and has an active musical life as a bassoonist on, composer and teacher throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Ben is a member of the Sydney Omega Ensemble, Bach Akademie Australia, and is a regular guest principal bassoonist with groups including the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. He has also appeared as guest principal with the Hallé Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Boston Pops Orchestra and as an extra player in the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Ben has appeared as concerto soloist in his native New Zealand with orchestras including the NZSO, Auckland Philharmonia, Christchurch Symphony, St. Matthews Chamber Orchestra and the Auckland Chamber Orchestra, most recently in the world premiere of Alex Taylor’s bassoon concerto and the NZ premiere of Sofia Gubaidulina’s Concerto for bassoon and low strings.
Ben has presented recitals of new music at the International Double Reed Society Conventions in Melbourne and California, and earlier in 2017 was an artist-in-residence at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, lecturing in the woodwind and composition departments. 2018 will see the premieres of Ben’s opera “Miss Brill” at the Art Gallery of NSW, and a clarinet concerto for Peter Scholes and the Auckland Chamber Orchestra.
Dapper’s Delight was founded as an informal duo in 2009, primarily to play music on the streets. Following highly positive reactions from listeners, they expanded this concept into a programme for the concert hall. Their repertoire focuses on the rich repertoire of 17th and 18th century English tune books and broadside ballads, which form a bridge between ‘art’ and ‘folk’ music – music that could have been performed in domestic settings, on the street, in the tavern, carnivals and pantomime etc. and that appears in both high and low cultural sources. Recently, they have widened their focus to include the logical descendants of the broadside tradition, namely songs from the British Music Hall. With their unusual and somewhat anachronistic instrumentation, the duo has found friends and admirers from both the folk and early-music worlds and Dapper’s Delight has performed in the UK, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Portugal and Canada. To date, they have recorded three CDs on the Karnatic Lab Records label which have been well received by the international music press and been played on both folk and classical radio programmes in the UK and The Netherlands.
Ned McGowan (1970) is a flutist and contemporary classical music composer, born in the United States, living in the Netherlands. Known for rhythmical vitality and technical virtuosity, his music has won awards and been performed at Carnegie Hall, the Concertgebouw and other halls and festivals around the world by many orchestras, ensembles and soloists. As a flautist he plays classical, contemporary and improvisation concerts internationally; he has a special love for the contrabass flute, in 2016 releasing the album The Art of the Contrabass Flute.
Ned is a professor of composition, ensembles and Advanced Rhythm and Pulse at the Utrecht Conservatory. He holds degrees in composition from the Royal Conservatory Den Haag and in flute from the Cleveland Institute of Music and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Ned is currently pursuing an artistic research PhD about speed, frame and time in music at the Leiden University and the DocARTES program in Ghent.
Andrew O'Connor, Bass Baritone
Andrew O’Connor was born in Perth, and graduated from the University of Western Australia (BMus) before developing a successful teaching career and performing both around Australia and internationally in opera and vocal chamber music. He relocated to Sydney in 2015 to join The Song Company, Australia's leading vocal ensemble – performing across the country in subscription, festival, recording, education, and collaborative projects. Andrew also appears regularly with Sydney’s leading early and contemporary music ensembles including Opera Australia, Pinchgut Opera, Bach Akademie Australia, Cantillation, St Mary’s Cathedral Choir, Choir of St James, Sydney Antiphony, and Hourglass Ensemble.
He is a passionate advocate for contemporary Australian music and music education. In his current role with Song Company and tours with The Australian Voices SIX (2011, 2013) he has premiered over fifty new works around the globe. Andrew previously held teaching positions at Christ Church Grammar School and John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School. He is highly involved in NSW music education via the Song Company’s education program, the Moorambilla Voices program, and the Perth Choral Institute.
Originally from Sydney, Jacqueline moved to the UK in 2004 when she was awarded a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Since graduating, Jacqueline has continued to work regularly with a variety of UK orchestras and ensembles such as the English Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Welsh National Opera, English Touring Opera, and English National Ballet to name but a few.
Jacqueline commutes regularly between the UK and Australia throughout the year, as the principal double bass player for the Australian Haydn Ensemble and occasionally performing as guest principal with Australia’s other top period orchestras, Pinchgut Opera/Orchestra of the Antipodes and the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra.
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.
Alice Giles is celebrated as one of the world’s leading harpists. Regarded by Luciano Berio as the foremost interpreter of his Sequenza II, solo recitals include London’s Wigmore Hall, New York’s 92nd Street 'Y' and Frankfurt Alte Oper. She is a frequent guest at international music festivals. As recipient of an Australian Antarctic Arts Fellowship she performed at Mawson Station in 2011 to commemorate the Centenary of the First Australasian Antarctic Expedition.
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, and as conductor of Handel's Messiah with the Canberra Choral Society.
Based in Sydney, Roslyn Jorgensen is a freelance trombonist who completed her postgraduate studies at the Canberra School of Music, and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, specialising in alto and tenor sackbut performance. A Big Brother Scholarship also enabled her to undertake independent studies in London on modern trombones. In addition to her performances with CIMF, she has been fortunate to work with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Australian Baroque Brass, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, and the Bavarian State Opera, all on period instruments. Roslyn also performs regularly with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, and she particularly enjoys touring for music festivals.
Brenda is a Yuin woman, originally from Wreck Bay, south coast NSW. She has twenty years extensive experience as a musician and is a composer and classically trained saxophonist, pianist and teacher. Brenda was a member of the Band Mixed Relations with Bart Willoughby from No Fixed Address. She has toured extensively around Australia and Internationally to Native American communities and the Pacific Islands. She worked with Kev Carmody, on his album Eulogy (for a black person) playing saxophone on the track Blood Red Rose, album/CD/-Festival/D-30692. She wrote the album sleeve notes for the reissued The Loner Album by Uncle Vic Simms. One outcome from the program was Brenda was commissioned to write a composition called Gambambarawaraga, meaning 'seasons' in Dhurgha language for the Canberra International music Festival. She has done over one hundred interviews and oral histories with Aboriginal musicians and has curated notes and blogs. Brenda is currently studying composition at ANU.
Composer, conductor and performer Dan Walker is one of Australia’s most in-demand choral specialists. He has had works commissioned by the Sydney Symphony, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Gondwana Choirs and Halcyon. As a performer, Dan is a member of the professional vocal ensemble ‘The Consort of Melbourne’, Sydney-based Cantillation, and Pinchgut Opera. He has been a guest performer with The Song Company and was a founding member of early music ensemble ‘The Parson’s Affayre’. He is a keenly sought-after conductor, appearing as chorus-master for the Sydney and Melbourne Symphony Choruses, and is Artistic Director of Choristry and Habeas Chorus, the choir for the Melbourne legal community.
Nigel Crocker, trombone
The early part of Nigel’s career was spent knocking around in rock and funk bands in his home town of Perth. In ’81 he moved to Melbourne, where he played with iconic rock band HUNTERS AND COLLECTORS before joining the Channel 9 Band working on The Tonight Show with Don Lane.
In ’83 Nigel was appointed Principal Trombone to the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. He occupied that position for 6 years before moving to Sydney to freelance. He appears regularly with Opera Australia Orchestra, SSO, ACO and Canberra Symphony Orchestra. Nigel has a keen interest in the sackbut and often works with Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Pinchgut Opera, Australian Baroque Brass, and Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra. Nigel was a foundation member of the Sydney Alpha Ensemble and has appeared as guest with other contemporary music groups, notably Elision, Seymour Group and Ensemble Offspring. This year marks Nigel’s seventh appearance at CIMF.
Chloe Lankshear, voice
Chloe Lankshear is a vocal student of Sydney Conservatorium of Music under the direction of Rowena Cowley. She has been a member of Luminescence Chamber Singers since 2013 and has directed various choirs and music workshops around Canberra. In the past twelve months, she has performed with The Song Company in various projects, sung with St James’ Church choir, and participated in Yvonne Kenny's 2017 Masterclass in Canberra. Chloe is currently working towards completing her Bachelor of Performance specialising in Early and Baroque music.
Canberra Wind Symphony
This stunning wind orchestra – the freshest contributor to the international wind music conversation – brings together up to 40 of the Capital Region’s finest wind ensemble players to bring the best 20th and 21st Century Australian and international wind literature to the stage.
The Canberra Wind Symphony delights in presenting concerts of contemporary wind ensemble works from fascinating composers telling their stories with intriguing rhythms, textures and colours.
Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Geoff Grey elaborates … “The introduction of the Canberra Wind Symphony in 2015 is the most significant impact on the large ensemble landscape in this region since Ernest Llewellyn took over the reins of the CSO 50 years ago”.
This level of clarity and musicianship is rare. Quite simply - they’re captivating, engaging and brilliant!
‘Fresh, entertaining and accessible … It is always a pleasure to uncover or rediscover such incredible, locally based talent’. City News
Coro is a semi-professional Canberra-basedchamber music ensemble founded by conductor and composer David Mackay and singer Paul Eldon which follows the European festival chorus tradition of rehearsals and performance.
The group is committed to presenting interesting and diverse performances around Canberra, accessible to all ages, backgrounds and incomes.
Coro is a platform for collaboration with other musicians whether as soloists, conductors or part of the broader ensemble. Since their first sold-out concert in March 2012 at the Wesley Music Centre, notable collaborations have been with artists including countertenor Tobias Cole; composer and keyboardist Calvin Bowman; singer and conductor Peter Tregear; Joseph Nolan, Organist and Master of the Choristers at St George's Cathedral, Perth; and Beijing-based British conductor Nicholas Smith OBE.
Photo by Peter Hislop (2015)
Stephanie Arnold, cello
The work of Melbourne based cellist Stephanie Arnold combines music performance with oral histories and storytelling. Since completing a Master of Music from Musikhochschule Lübeck Germany in 2014, Stephanie has spent the last few years developing works using her edited interview material in live musical performance. Her work ‘Across the Water’, a collaboration with composer Robert Davidson, was awarded the Oral History Victoria 2017 innovation award. The work for cello and digital track was made using oral history interviews with Melbourne based asylum seekers. Her current project 'These Tender Threads' is Stephanie’s re-working of Christina Vantzou's ambient improvisatory tracks, combined with family oral histories exploring the subject of remembering and forgetting.
Performances of these projects include Oral History Victoria’s 2016 inaugural showcase, History Council of Victoria’s ‘Making Public Histories’ seminar series, the Australian Oral History Conference, Port Fairy Spring Music Festival and Melbourne Recital Centre's ‘A Thousand Sounds series’.
The Pietra Quartet was formed in mid-2016 by four Sydney Conservatorium students. The quartet has worked under the tutelage of Associate Professor Alice Waten and the Goldner Quartet’s Julian Smiles while studying at the Conservatorium and performing frequently. In 2017, the group participated in the annual Estivo Summer Chamber Music Festival, where they received tuition and masterclasses from Eberhard Feltz, Johannes Meissl, Niklas Schmidt and Goetz Richter in Verona, Italy. The Pietra Quartet has also appeared in masterclasses for Edward Dusinberre, Sebastian Casleanu and Janis Laurs. In 2017, they won first prize in the inaugural Sydney Conservatorium Association Chamber Music Competition. The quartet is also the grateful recipient of the 2017 Westheimer String Quartet Fellowship and a 2018 Ernest V. Llewellyn Memorial Fund scholarship.
Kim Cunio, composer
Dr Kim Cunio has studied with a number of Australia's finest musicians including Australian composer Nigel Butterly, conductor and producer Eric Clapham, and Jazz guitar legend Ike Isaacs. Kim is an accomplished researching composer and performer and was awarded an ABC Golden Manuscript Award in recognition of his work with traditional music. Kim can write in many mediums from full scoring for opera or music theatre, orchestra, traditional ensembles, or in modern contexts using sound design and samples. Kim has also provided music for many installations and outdoor events including working to picture and live visuals with large ensembles and choirs. Many of Kim’s commissions have a serious research component, where he combines anthropological work with transcription. Kim takes the position of being a participant observer in such work; and is part of an international push to preserve the dying art of Eastern Jewish (mizrachi) music.
Kim’s music has been played around the world including performances at the Whitehouse, United Nations NGO’s, and festivals in a number of countries, and his list of commissioning organisations is significant, including the Olympics, The Art Gallery of NSW, The National Gallery of Victoria, The Melbourne International Arts Festival, The Foundation for Universal Sacred Music (USA), and many others. A number of Kim’s projects have been funded by the Australia Council for the Arts, and his touring has been funded by the Commonwealth Government. Kim is published by the ABC, records with New World Music and lectures in composition at The Australian National University.
Kompactus, formed in 2008, is a youth chamber choir aimed at developing the skills of talented young singers. In pursuit of this goal, the choir enlisted the help of countertenor David Yardley as director. The result has been a motivated and talented group of young people who are involved directly in the music.
Kompactus presented its first concert at St. Paul’s, Manuka, in 2009. Since then, the choir has performed regularly in Canberra, frequently collaborating with other choirs such as the Canberra Choral Society and The Oriana Chorale. In recent years, in addition to the choir’s regular performances, Kompactus has appeared performing with The Song Company, Roland Peelman, Gavin Bryars, Brett Weymark and Sally Whitwell. The group has also worked with many local conductors including Judy Clingan, Daniel Brinsmead, Tobias Cole, Mary Tatchell, and Kimberley Steele. The groups current artistic director is Olivia Swift.
Adrian Brown – Anglo Concertinas and Voice
A musical instrument maker by calling, Adrian Brown has conducted extensive research into the history of the recorder, measuring many original instruments, making reconstructions and has written several organological studies. In parallel, he has played the anglo concertina since his teenage years and teaches the instrument both privately and at the annual German Concertina Meeting. He has developed a very personal style on the instrument and his playing has been widely admired both for its originality and technical competence.
Zephyr Quartet are Australia’s leading genre-defying explorers of dynamic cross-artform music focussed collaborations, an award winning string quartet whose musicians also compose, arrange and improvise. This unique skill set together with Zephyr's open-minded approach allows them to skilfully traverse musical worlds and gives the quartet its own distinct voice.
As well being passionate champions of Australian artists since their inception in 1999, Zephyr works with renowned artists from across the world, sharing the stage with musicians such as luminary Jóhann Jóhannson, minimalist cult act Stars of the Lid and collaborating with indie art/music polymaths such as JG Thirwell and Jherek Bischoff.
Armed with the spirit of collaboration, Zephyr Quartet has become a leading exponent of collaborative arts practice, drawing inspiration from working with artists from diverse backgrounds, including theatre, dance, literature, visual art, environmental art, design, film and media art, to produce work that is vital, current and courageous.Recent collaborations include composing the score for and performing in Brink Productions’ hit theatre show The Aspirations of Daise Morrow (Oct 2015) and performing with the Australian Dance Theatre in its acclaimed Beginning of Nature at WOMADelaide in March 2016.
Rachael Shipard is twenty one, currently studying her Masters of Music Research with Natasha Vlassenko at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University. She is planning a career as a concert pianist performing solo, in chamber music and accompaniment, teaching and artistic research. She plans on applying the award to further her studies in Australia and Europe, and to assist in covering travel costs, competitions, and audition expenses for Australian, New Zealand and international competition entry fees.
Susanna Borsch – Recorders, English Concertina and Voice
Susanna is one of the few instrumentalists able to interpret both contemporary and early music with complete ease. She studied at the Amsterdam Conservatorium with Walter van Hauwe. Her solo CDs off-limits (2006) and Susie, tell me a Story! (2014) feature many new works for recorder and live-electronics written especially for her. Her other ensembles include Mezzaluna (Renaissance polyphony); the band Hexnut; ELECTRA (all-female modern music ensemble); BRISK Recorder Quartet. Dapper’s Delight provides Susanna with the space to explore improvisation, and a freer approach to performing, in a repertoire full of beautiful melodies and invigorating dances. Since April 2014 she teaches at the Trossingen University of Music in Germany.
A passionate and dynamic performer, clarinetist Magdalenna Krstevska is already paving her way as one of Australia's leading young musicians.
A graduate of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music with First Class Honours, Magdalenna recently completed her studies at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM), under David Thomas. Her accolades include the Australian National Young Virtuoso of the Year and the 3MBS Young Performer of the Year Awards. In 2017, she was selected as a finalist in the ANAM Concerto Competition, performing the Nielsen Clarinet Concerto with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.
A great lover of chamber music, Magdalenna has collaborated with many outstanding local and international musicians, including numerous interstate tours. She has previously appeared as a Featured Young Artist at the Canberra International Music Festival, and performed in the Musica Viva International Chamber Music Festival as part of the Australian Youth Orchestra (AYO) Chamber Players program.
A highly experienced orchestral musician, Magdalenna has performed with professional and top youth orchestras all over the country. Most notable experiences include performances with the Melbourne, Sydney and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, the Australian World Orchestra and multiple international tours with the AYO, with whom she has held the position of Principal Clarinet.
Chris Pidcock - cello
Canberra cellist Christopher Pidcock has performed and studied across Australia and internationally, including in Tasmania, Melbourne, Moscow, Leipzig, Chicago, and in Israel. His awards include 2007 Gisborne International Music Competition (New Zealand) 1st prize, a Churchill Fellowship in 2008, the 2009 Nelson Meers Foundation Scholarship at the Sydney Eisteddfod, and Semi-finalist in the 2010 ABC YPA. In 2012, Pidcock returned from Chicago where he completed a Performance Certificate with Hans Jensen at Northwestern University, where he was also a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, giving performances with Yo-Yo Ma and Riccardo Muti. On his return Christopher became a perminant member of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 2013, and has toured with them to China and soon South Korea and Eastern Europe. He has performed concertos with the Adelaide Symphony (Dvorak), Christchurch Symphony (Lalo), the New Berlin Symphony (Elgar), and the Concertante Ensemble (Haydn, Vivaldi and Bach). Christopher is a founding member of the newly established Sydney Piano Trio and regularly gives recitals across Australia and America. Christopher is currently studying a Doctor of Musical Arts focussing on 19th century performance techniques in the chamber works of Brahms and his contemporaries. Christopher is passionate about bringing together musicians and composers in Australia and overseas, to further strengthen (and reflect upon) our collective musical language.
12 year old Wynton Johnstone is a member of the Luminescence Children’s Choir, Ainslie All Saints Choristers and has participated twice in Gondwana Summer Choral School.
Wynton studies violin with Barbara Jane Gilby and is preparing for his grade 6 AMEB violin exam.
In his spare time Wynton enjoys reading, cooking, playing mandolin, piano and video games.
He is thrilled to be singing the role of ‘Amore’.
Helena Popovic - violin
Violinist, Helena Popovic (AMusA, LMusA) has completed a Bachelor of Music (Performance) from the Australian National University. She has been the Concertmaster of the Canberra Youth Orchestra for the last 2 years and previously concertmaster of the National Capital Orchestra. Helena holds the Basil Bressler Prize for Violin, the Friends of the School of Music Scholarship and for the last two years has won the Llewellyn Choir’s Most Outstanding Performer award. Last year she was awarded a Canberra Critics Circle award for music. Her previous appointments include Concertmaster of the SBS Radio and Television Orchestra (2013) and Associate Concertmaster of the Sydney Youth Orchestra (Flagship) (2014). Helena has also had numerous engagements with the National Pops Orchestra.
Fletcher Cox - trumpet
Melbourne-based trumpeter Fletcher Cox originally hails from Perth, Western Australia. Here he completed his Bachelor’s degree at the University of the Western Australia, studying under Brent Grapes and Evan Cromie. Since moving to Melbourne in 2016, he has been studying under Dave Elton and Tristram Williams at the Australian National Academy of Music, where he is currently in his final year.
As a performer, Fletcher has appeared onstage in numerous settings across the country. He has worked professionally with many orchestras and ensembles, including the Sydney, Melbourne, Tasmanian and West Australian Symphony Orchestras, the latter two of which he has appeared as Guest Principal Trumpet. Fletcher is also enthusiastic about solo and chamber music, teaching and music advocacy.
Outside of performing, Fletcher enjoys traveling around the country, in search of the perfect cup of coffee.
Nicola Bell - oboe
NICOLA BELL is an Australian oboist who has been living and working in Europe since 2010. After studies in Sydney, Gothenburg and Lyon, she completed her Masters with Francois Leleux in Munich and went on to hold the position of Principal Oboe with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. She has appeared as guest principal with many orchestras including Finnish National Opera, Finnish Radio Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Swedish Chamber Orchestra and the Munich Symphony Orchestra. In Australia she has performed as guest Principal Oboe with the Opera Australia Orchestra and Western Australia Symphony Orchestra. Nicola performed with the New Theatre Ensemble in Tallinn from 2015-2016 as part of the Tallinn Chamber Music Festival and the Estonian Concert Elite Series, as well as with the Munich Winds from 2014-2015. She performed as a soloist in Bach’s Double Concerto for Violin and Oboe with Orchestra 143 Sydney in 2010.
Oliver Shermacher - bass clarinet
Oliver Shermacher completed his Bachelor of Music Performance at the Sydney Conservatorium in 2017 studying under Francesco Celata. Oliver plays with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, as well as principal roles in every Sydney Conservatorium ensemble. As Principal Clarinet of the Australian Youth Orchestra since 2015, Oliver has performed in prestigious concert halls around Australia, China and Europe. He placed 2nd in the Gisborne International Music Competition, won the Sydney Conservatorium Clarinet Concerto Competition and was recipient of the Sydney Conservatorium Association Clarinet Award.
Oliver is a presenter and producer at Sydney University Radio, an avid composer/arranger, period clarinetist and President of the Sydney Conservatorium Students Association. He also runs the social media page “The Clari Boys” which produces light hearted and entertaining videos and media about classical music.
Veronica Bailey - percussion
Veronica has a Bachelor of Music from the Australian National University, which she completed in 2007 and a Masters degree focusing on Percussion Pedagogy completed in 2013. In 2006 Veronica played the Carl Vine Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra with the Canberra Youth Orchestra. In 2007 she studied at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University where her teachers were John Tafoya (former timpanist with the National Symphony) and Kevin Bobo. While there she was awarded the place of timpanist in the school's Symphony Orchestra and was invited to play with the Columbus, Indiana Philharmonic. Veronica regularly performs as Principal and Tutti percussionist with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra. Performance highlights include being Principal Timpanist with AYO in 2011 and travelling to South Korea with Synergy Percussion to play at the Seoul Drum Festival in 2011. In April of 2014, Veronica performed Ewazen Marimba concerto with the National Capital Orchestra. Veronica has been the classical percussion teacher for the ANU Open School of Music since 2010. Four of her students have been participants in the AYO Young Symphonists and the AYO National Music Camp and many of her students have won or placed in the Australian National Percussion Eisteddfod. Four of her students are now full scholarship holders at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
Paul English - narrator
Paul has just finished a Melbourne season of HenryV and As You Like It with NZ’s Pop-Up Globe. His work with the major Australian companies includes Arcadia (Sydney Theatre Company and national tour), Cabaret and Closer (STC of S.A.), King Lear (Bell Shakespeare), Ninety (Black Swan in W.A.), Good Works, Rapture, A Return To The Brink, (Playbox), and over 25 shows for Melbourne Theatre Company, among them Measure for Measure, All My Sons, Shark Fin Soup, Much Ado About Nothing, No Going Back, Europe and Music. He was a founding member of the acclaimed Keene/Taylor Theatre Project. At Fortyfivedownstairs in Melbourne he’s been in Do Not Go Gentle, Dreamers, The Lower Depths (as Satin) and Chekhov’s Ivanov (as Ivanov). Among his TV credits are SeaChange, Phoenix, Curtin, City Homicide, Howzat! and Gallipoli. Paul performed with Plexus in the Trio version of The Soldier’s Tale at the Port Fairy Music Festival.
Benjamin Drury - composer
Benjamin Drury is a Canberra based composer, improviser and sound artist. He has had works played by Eighth Blackbird, Ensemble Offspring and Lisa Moore among other ensembles. He has presented works at the festivals: You Are Here, Art Not Apart, SoundOut, Tilde~ and the Canberra International Music festival. Through his compositions he explores acoustics, noise and time. He is interested in non-standard performance venues and site-specific installations including his pieces: “For Car Tunnel and Hexagonal Vents”, “Modified Furniture” and “Lontananza”. His debut album “Sentence Fragment: Consider Revising” was released in February 2017. Benjamin would like to thank Arn Sprogis and Margot Woods for commissioning his work Stained Glass for the 2018 Canberra International Music Festival.