Wilma Smith, violin

Wilma Smith photo 2014

Former Concertmaster of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Wilma was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. She studied at Auckland University then in Boston at the New England Conservatory with the legendary Dorothy DeLay and Louis Krasner before becoming first violinist of the Lydian String Quartet, winners of the Naumburg Award for Chamber Music and multiple prizes at the Evian, Banff and Portsmouth International String Quartet Competitions. The quartet was her professional focus in Boston but she also worked regularly with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and was Concertmaster of the Harvard Chamber Orchestra and Handel and Haydn Society.  Invited to return home to form the New Zealand String Quartet, Wilma was first violinist for five years until the NZSO appointed her Concertmaster in 1993, a position she held for nine years until taking up the same position with the MSO from 2003 to 2014. In addition to her chamber music series, Wilma & Friends, now in its seventh season, Wilma has appeared as Guest Concertmaster with SSO, WASO, TSO, ASO, OV and APO, and teaches at Melbourne and Monash Universities, Scotch College and Korowa Anglican Girls School. In 2016, she was appointed Artistic Director of the Melbourne Chamber Music Competitions by Musica Viva.

Miki Tsunoda, violin

Miki Tsunoda studied at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne with Marco van Pagee and Spiros Rantos before furthering her studies at the Liszt Academy in Budapest and the University of Toronto under the guidance of Lorand Fenyves and Ferenc Halasz on violin and Andras Mihaly, Gyorgy Kurtag and Ferenc Rados for Chamber Music. She has also worked closely with David Takeno, Zoltan Szekely, Valentin Berlinsky, Paul Katz and Rivka Golani.

A passionate chamber musician, Miki was a founding member of the Binneas String Quartet and with pianist Caroline Almonte, founded DUO SOL, First Prize winner of the prestigious Premio Trio di Trieste and finalists at the ARD Munich International Competition and Vittorio Gui International Competition in Florence. They have appeared in concert halls and festivals in Australia, Italy, South America, New Zealand and Asia. Miki has also collaborated in chamber music with the likes of Brett Dean, Piers Lane, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Liwei Qin and Claire Edwardes, and with conductors such as the late Hiroyuki Iwaki, Tadaaki Otaka, Heinz Holliger, Eivind Aadland, Marcus Stenz and Xian Zhang.

She has appeared as soloist with Ensemble Kanazawa, Nagoya Philharmonic, Kyoto Philharmonic, Sendai Philharmonic, Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and the Melbourne and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras. Recordings include “Infinite Heartbeat” and “Duo Tsunoda/Almonte”, released by ABC Classics.

Recent collaboration with the Sydney Chamber Opera at the 2017 Sydney Festival led to further engagements with the recent production of Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia and

forthcoming engagements include the Southern Highlands Festival and an appearance as guest leader with the Flinders Quartet.

Since 2008, Miki has been Principal Second Violin with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra (recently changed to Antwerp Symphony Orchestra) and is a frequent guest with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Het Collectief Ensemble (Belgium) and Orchestre du Philharmonique, Luxembourg.

Lisa Grosman, viola

Lisa Grosman recently returned to Australia after 15 years with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, during which she toured extensively throughout Europe, America and Asia, working with directors such as Anthony Marwood, Pekka Kuusisto, Richard Tognetti, Maxim Vengerov, Gabor Takacs-Nagy, Jorg Widmann and Steven Isserlis. As solo violist with the contemporary music group “Crash Ensemble”, she worked with artists such as Arvo Part, Steve Reich and Gavin Bryars. Lisa was also Director of Strings for the Irish Chamber Orchestra’s Education and Outreach Project, “Sing Out with Strings” in inner-city Limerick, teaching over 300 children in an El Sistema-inspired program of social change through music. She attended El Sistema Conferences in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, London and Stirling (Scotland).

Aged five, Lisa began Suzuki violin, later studying with Alice Waten at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the Australian Institute of Music. She was Concertmaster of the Australian Youth Orchestra before her fascination with the viola was awakened by attending a program at ANAM featuring Esther van Stralen (Principal Viola, SSO) and Irina Morozova (Goldner Quartet). Masterclasses at ANAM with Bruno Giuranna led to a scholarship to join his class at the University of Limerick, Ireland, where Lisa completed a Master of Arts in Classical String Performance, followed by a further two years study in Cremona, Italy.

Since her return to Australia, Lisa has taught at the University of Queensland and performed as Guest Principal Viola of the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. She is now on the faculty of Monash University as part of a new initiative to nurture and encourage the study of viola while also performing with ACO, MSO and the Australian World Orchestra.

Lisa is a regular guest teacher at Suzuki workshops in NSW and Victoria, and has set up a relationship between the Pizzicato Effect (flagship education project of the MSO) and students at Monash University.
Future engagements include performing the complete Beethoven cycle with the Fidelio Quartet at the Melbourne Recital Centre over the next three years, Guest Principal Viola and education projects with the Darwin Symphony Orchestra, and returning to Ireland later this year to teach at the Ceol na Mara summer school.

Lisa won numerous awards and scholarships including the major prize from the Australian Music Foundation in London and her viola was purchased with assistance from the E.V.Llewellyn Memorial Fund.

Eliah Sakakushev von Bismarck, cello

Eliah Sakakushev von Bismarck enjoys a versatile career as cellist, chamber musician, soloist, orchestra lead-cellist, teacher and artistic producer. He has performed in Europe, Israel, Brazil, Argentina, the USA, Russia, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.

Born in Bulgaria, Eliah was admitted to the Special School for Musicians in his hometown, Plovdiv, at age 7. He later studied at Vienna University of Music, in Mannheim with Prof. Michael Flaksman, and at the Menuhin Academy in Switzerland. His awards include the Grand Premio at the Varenna Chamber Music Competition in Italy and a special prize at the Mendelssohn Competition in Berlin.

Eliah has been Principal Cellist of the Orquesta Filarmonica de Malaga, the Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Regensburg, and most recently, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. With the Festival String Orchestra I Palpiti, Eliah performed frequently in venues such as Disney Hall and Carnegie Hall. An avid chamber musician, Eliah has appeared at many international festivals such as Estate Musicale a Portogruaro, Ascoli Piceno Music Festival, Kultursommer Rheinland-Pfalz, Yokosuka Bay, West-Siberia-East Music Festival, Eilat Chamber Music Festival, Felicja Blumenthal, Adam Chamber Music Festival, Ravinia Festival and Young Artists International in Los Angeles. He has shared the stage with such musicians as violinists Dora Schwarzberg, Ida Haendel, Roman Nodel and Felix Ayo, as well as many of the leading soloists of his generation.

With his wife, Caroline von Bismarck, Eliah has directed the Musikfest Schloss Wonfurt in Bavaria since 2003. He also created and directed the Festival Sefarad in Madrid.

Eliah has recorded the entire works for cello and piano by Robert Schumann, selected suites by J.S. Bach, and a portrait CD of contemporary German composer F.-F. Kaern which was released in 2000 in cooperation with Deutschland Radio Kultur. His performances have been broadcast by Deutschland Radio Kultur, Classical Arts Showcase (USA), Radio Cultura (Brazil), Israel Kol haMusika, Bulgarian National Radio, and Radio New Zealand.

Eliah was a faculty member of the Feuermann-Conservatory, the Cello School of the prestigious Kronberg Academy in Germany. He has been invited to lecture and tutor at Auckland University, the Royal Irish Academy of Music (Dublin), the New Zealand School of Music, Monash University, Otago University, and the Auckland String Quartet Summer School. Eliah plays a cello by French luthier, Leon Bernardel, Paris 1899, and is fluent in six languages.

James Bakirtzis, horn

 

James’ love of music started with piano lessons at age four followed by the horn at nine years old. His talent was guided by Yang Xiao, Hector McDonald, and now Christian Lampert. James’ early musical achievements include Distinctions in his AMusA and LMusA, leading to an invitation to play at the Conferring of Diplomas Ceremony held at Wilson Hall, Melbourne University. In addition, he won 3rd Prize in the Open Section of the 42nd International Horn Symposium (2010) and more recently was accepted as a candidate in the 2016 ARD International Competition in Munich.

James gained much experience and musical maturity on orchestral tours to France, Belgium, UK, China and Italy. Further engagements include playing Principal Horn for the International Youth Orchestra Academy in Bavaria, performing with the Philharmonisches Orchester Heidelberg, and with members of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra. James is currently studying with Christian Lampert at the Musikhochschule in Stuttgart.

Tian Tian Lan, piano

Tian Tian Lan began learning piano at the age of four with the late Nehama Patkin. He currently studies with Glenn Riddle, with whom he completed his AMusA with Distinction in 2012 and LMusA in 2013. He has been awarded prizes in the Melbourne Recital Centre Bach Competition and the Royal South Street Chopin Piano Competition in addition to winning the Kault Prize for most outstanding Piano Diploma Candidate (AMEB) and numerous First Prizes in Eisteddfods and local piano competitions.

Already a prolific performer, Tian Tian has given recitals at the Saxton Speakers Bureau World Conference and the World Suzuki Convention. In 2009, he made his concerto debut playing Ian Munro’s Children’s Concerto with the Monash Academy Orchestra, and since then has performed Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.3 with the Scotch College Symphony Orchestra. Tian Tian was invited to play for Paavali Jumppanen in the Melbourne Recital Centre’s Masterclass Program in 2015. An avid chamber musician, he has performed piano trios by Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, Smetana, Haydn, Beethoven and Mozart.

Tian Tian is also an accomplished violinist. While a student of Leonid Zeyde, he completed his AMusA with Distinction in 2013 and LMusA in 2014. He enjoys playing in chamber ensembles and orchestras including Pro Musica and Old Scotch Symphony Orchestra. Tian Tian has toured Europe and America with the Scotch College Symphony Orchestra and was their Concertmaster in 2017.

William Barton, composer/didgeridoo

William Barton is one of Australia’s most notable didgeridoo players, as well as a pioneer in the wider perception of his cultural traditions. Born in Mount Isa in 1981, he was taught the didgeridoo by his uncle, an elder from the Waanyi tribe of NW Queensland. At the age of eleven he became the leading didgeridoo player at traditional funerals and other ceremonies, and as a direct descendant from the Kalkadunga tribe, he became involved in dance and began to instruct others in aspects of his traditional culture. In July 2001 he appeared at the Townsville International Festival of Chamber Music, performing in Peter Sculthorpe’s From Ubirr: String Quartet No. 12 with the Goldner String Quartet. That appearance launched an extraordinary association between the young man and Australia’s most revered senior composer. Sculthorpe included didgeridoo parts in several of his notable orchestral pieces. These were first presented by the Queensland Orchestra and their chief conductor Michael Christie in Brisbane in August 2002 and a month later in Tokyo, and in 2003, William Barton was designated as the orchestra’s artist-in-residence. He has appeared at most festivals in Australia, and has amassed an impressive roster of international appearances, from Edmonton to Honolulu, from Los Angeles to Vienna, from Spain to Japan, presenting the works of Australian composers as well as his own original work for the didgeridoo.

Ian Munro, composer/pianist

Ian Munro has emerged over recent years as one of Australia’s most distinguished and awarded musicians, with a career that has taken him to thirty countries in Europe, Asia, North America and Australasia. His Premier Grand Prix at the Queen Elisabeth International Competition for composers (2003) is a unique achievement for an Australian and follows on from multiple prizes in international piano competitions in Spain (Maria Canals), Italy (Busoni), Portugal (Vianna da Motta) and the UK, where his Second Prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition in 1987 established his international profile.

After completing his early training in Melbourne under the guidance of Roy Shepherd, a pupil of Alfred Cortot, Ian furthered his studies in Vienna, London and Italy with Noretta Conci, Guido Agosti and Michele Campanella. His international career began in the UK, where he performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia, English Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players, BBC Concert Orchestra, and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, broadcasting widely for the BBC. Elsewhere, he performed with orchestras in Poland, Italy, Portugal, Russia, the USA, China, New Zealand and with all the major orchestras in Australia in over sixty piano concerti. Also a widely experienced chamber musician, Ian joined the acclaimed Australia Ensemble in Sydney in 2000.

With an extensive piano discography on ABC Classics, Hyperion, Cala, Naxos, Marco Polo, Tall Poppies and Warehouse labels, Ian is now equally in demand as a composer. He was Featured Composer for Musica Viva in 2011 and his Flute Concerto and Song Cycle Three Birds received their premieres in 2016 with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Australia Ensemble respectively, among many other of his chamber works for various ensembles.

Aunty Delmae Barton, song writer, poet, performing artist and painter

Born in Emerald, Central Queensland, Aunty Delmae Barton is a descendant of the Bidjara tribe on her mother’s side. Her life-long journey of performance has included a vast array of collaborative projects in regional Australia, its capital cities, and on the international stage, representing Australia in New Zealand, Canada, UK, Italy, France and China.

Widely recognised as Australia’s Dreamtime Opera Diva, Delmae’s career highlights include the 2011 Youtube Symphony Orchestra “Jam Session concert” at the Basement in Sydney and being a special guest at Una Notte Australiana at the Vatican Museum in Rome when the Canonisation of Mary McKillop was celebrated with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art works. She performed at the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the following month, at the inauguration of Lady Quentin Bryce as Governor General of Australia. In 2009, she was invited to recite a poem and give a cultural/spiritual blessing for Queen Sofia of Spain at a private concert at the Sydney Conservatorium. Delmae has been a guest artist at the Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Fabrica Musica in Treviso, Italy, where she collaborated with her son, William, and other musicians to present the Songlines project at the Naples Music Festival. She has performed at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music and the Culture Centre in Townsville, and was a special guest of William Barton on ABC TV’s Australian Story in 2007.

As part of Delmae’s educational work, she attended the World Indigenous Higher Education Conference in Hawaii as a delegate from Griffith University where she was appointed Elder-in-Residence and Cultural Advisor. She has presented youth workshops in London as part of the London Philharmonic’s education program and has collaborated with musicians from various genres for the Queensland Orchestra’s education concerts. She is part of the Murri Court Justice system in Queensland and attends court hearings regularly in her capacity as Elder-in-Residence at Griffith University.

Judith Eissenberg, violin

Judith Eissenberg is a founding member and second violinist of the Naumburg Award-winning Lydian String Quartet.  In its formative years, the Lydian also won top prizes in the Banff, Evian and Portsmouth International String Quartet Competitions, earning a reputation for their interpretation of both traditional and contemporary music. They perform throughout the US and abroad including a recent two-week residency at Taipei National University, Taiwan, and have recorded widely on the New World Records, Centaur, Music Omnia, Nonesuch, CRI, and Neuma labels. The Lydians and Judith herself champion contemporary music, receiving grants and awards for the commissioning, performance, and recording of works by young and established composers. The quartet recently announced the winner of the third $15,000 LSQ Commission Prize, composer Saad Haddad, whose new work they will premiere in 2018.

Judith also performs in other Boston ensembles such as the Boston Chamber Music Society, the Boston Conservatory at Berklee Players, the Boston Pops Orchestra, and period instrument groups, the Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra and Boston Baroque. She is co-founder of Music from Salem in New York, and directs a chamber music workshop for young professionals and advanced amateurs in her home community of Harvard, MA.  During the summer months, she performs and tutors at festivals throughout the US, including the Bennington Chamber Music Festival, composer John Harbison’s Token Creek Chamber Music Festival, the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival.

As Professor at Brandeis University with her quartet colleagues, Judith performs and teaches chamber music and directs MusicUnitesUS, a program she founded in 2003 that brings musicians from indigenous traditions around the world to campus for residencies and concerts. She is on the faculty for the newly created minor at Brandeis: Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation.  In addition, she is Chamber Music Coordinator at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee, working with emerging artists to re-imagine the concert experience in the 21st century – collaborations across discipline and tradition with the aim of deepening, broadening, and diversifying the classical music audience.

Judith received her BM at SUNY, Purchase and her MM at the Yale School of Music.

Gillian Ansell, viola

Gillian Ansell was born in Auckland, New Zealand and began violin and piano lessons at an early age. At 16 years she made her concerto debut with the Auckland Symphonia (now the Auckland Philharmonia).

An Associated Board Scholarship to study violin, viola and piano took Gillian Ansell to the Royal College of Music in London where she won several prizes. She then took up a German Academic Exchange (DAAD) scholarship for further study in Germany at the Musikhochschule Cologne with Igor Ozim and the Amadeus Quartet.

After working professionally in London for three years she returned to New Zealand to become a founding member of the New Zealand String Quartet. She was second violinist for nearly two years before taking up the position of violist of the group. With the NZSQ, she travels regularly to perform in festivals and concert series in the US, Canada, Europe and recently China and Singapore, as well as many concerts annually in New Zealand. The quartet also runs an annual summer chamber music course in Nelson, New Zealand.

In 2001 she became Artistic Director, with fellow quartet member Helene Pohl, of the Adam New Zealand Festival of Chamber Music. In 2008 Gillian was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to music.

Gillian is an Associate Professor at Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Music, (now the New Zealand School of Music), a role which includes performing and teaching viola and chamber music.

In her spare time she enjoys cooking, gardening, hiking and dinner parties.

Molly Kadarauch, cello

Molly Kadarauch is well known as one of Australia’s pre-eminent and versatile cellists. She has performed at leading venues all over the world as well as within Australia as soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player. She is a founding member with Caroline Almonte (piano) and Elizabeth Sellars (violin) of the Sutherland Trio who perform regularly at the Melbourne Recital Centre and for ABC Classic FM and 3MBS radio. Between 1996 and 2003 she was a core member and Associate Principal Cellist of the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) and Molly has also appeared as Guest Principal with the Melbourne, Sydney and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, Orchestra Victoria, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. In 2016 she toured Australia with the new Musica Viva/ Victorian Opera production of the pastiche opera “Voyage to the Moon”, and has participated in numerous chamber music festivals, including Huntington, Port Fairy, and Peninsula with artists such as Steven Isserlis, Pieter Wispelway, Melvin Tan, and Richard Tognetti. This will be her second appearance with Wilma & Friends.

After moving to Melbourne in 2004, Molly made her Melbourne recital debut with Ben Martin at Deakin Edge, Federation Square and has since performed on several occasions as soloist in the Bach cello suites series at St Mark’s church and at the Twilight Chamber Music series at Rippon Lea Estate. Recently she appeared as a soloist with the Melbourne Musicians, Orchestra 21, the Melbourne Bach Choir and in the 2017 Melbourne Cello Festival. Other international recital appearances have included Chateau d’Orion (France), Gualala Arts (California), and Burg Guttenburg (Germany).

As a teacher, mentor and director, Molly enjoys working with students from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, Australian National Academy of Music, Monash University, the Australian Youth Orchestra, Orchestra 21, Mt Buller and Clunes chamber music festivals.

She received her Bachelor of Music with Honours at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston under Prof. Laurence Lesser (former student of Piatigorsky) after which she was awarded a two-year Fulbright Scholarship to study with Prof. Wolfgang Boettcher (former Principal of Berlin Philharmonic) at the Universitat der Kunste, Berlin where she received a Diploma of Performance. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, her earliest studies were with Irene Sharp, and at the Purcell School of Music (London) with Joan Dickson.

Ji Won Kim, violin

Ji Won Kim has established an extensive performing career in Australia as both a soloist and chamber musician. In recent years she has been regularly engaged as a concerto soloist with the major Australian orchestras including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the Canberra Symphony and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

In Korea, Ji Won participated in the Kumho Prodigy Program for talented violinists and won the Music Journal Competition. She graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Vienna and has two Master of Music degrees from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Among her numerous prizes and awards in Australia, Ji Won won the ABC Young Performer of the Year Award, the Matthew Krel Prize, and the Australian Concerto and Vocal Competition. In Europe, she was First Prize winner of the International Johannes Brahms Competition in Austria and Second Prize winner at both the Bled and Lisbon International Violin Competitions.

Solo engagements have included the Dvorak Violin Concerto with the Swietokrzyska Philharmonic, the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Bruckner University Orchestra in Linz and the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra in the Czech Republic, and the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Seoul Prime Orchestra. In 2010 she performed at the Sydney Opera House both as soloist and recitalist. Since then, she has performed The Lark Ascending and Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Lalo Symphonie Espagnole and Mozart’s Violin Concerto no.5 with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis, Gershwin’s Fantasy on Porgy & Bess with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, and other concertos with Corpus Medicorum, the Zelman Symphony, and the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra.

Ji Won has also appeared as Guest Concertmaster with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in Sweden and Principal Second Violin with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in Kuala Lumpur.

Stefanie Farrands, viola

Violist Stefanie Farrands has been Principal Violist with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra since 2015, after living and studying in Berlin from 2010 with renowned Violist Tabea Zimmermann at the Hochschule für Musik, Hanns Eisler Berlin. Prior to Berlin she was the recipient of the Georgina Grosvenor Scholarship at ANAM studying with Roger Bennedict and Alice Waten in Melbourne. She is currently a member of the Viola Faculty at the Conservatorium of music in Hobart and has tutored Australian Youth Orchestra Programs, and the Melbourne and Tasmanian Youth Orchestras.

Stefanie has performed extensively throughout Europe, America, Asia and Australia both as a chamber musician and orchestral player, including playing with some of the world’s most renowned orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Camerata Salzburg. In Australia she has been guest principal Viola with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, guest Principal Viola of the Australian World Orchestra, and is a regular guest with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Melbourne Chamber Orchestra.

She has appeared as Soloist with the ACO Collective, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, AYO Young Symphonists and in 2011 she was Soloist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra performing the Australian Premiere of Olga Neuwirths viola concerto. In 2017 she was soloist in Vaughen Williams’ Flos Campi with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

Stefs biggest passion is chamber music and is the founding member of the Hamer Quartet which was successful in winning the Asia Pacific Chamber Music competition, taking the overall First Prize Tony Berg Award, 1st prize for String Quartet and the Audience Prize in 2009. They gave their debut to critical acclaim in 2007 and since then have toured both nationally and internationally and recorded their Debut album for Melba records.

Commissioning new works for the Viola is of keen interest to Stefanie. In 2016 she was the winner of the Freedman Classic Fellowship which will see new works commissioned for the viola, a recording of the commissions and other chamber music works and performances in both Australia and abroad. She has premiered Douglas Weilands third string quartet with the Hamer Quartet as well as given premiers to numerous solo, chamber and orchestral works as well as workshops and masterclasses on writing for the viola.
She has recorded both solo and chamber works for the ABC and is regularly featured of ABC Classic Fm and 3mbs.

Caleb Wright, viola

Caleb Wright graduated from the Elder Conservatorium of Music in Adelaide with Honors under the guidance of Keith Crellin and Jeremy Williams. The following year, in 2006, he was accepted at the Australian Academy of Music where he studied with Alice Waten and Roger Benedict. Later that same year he won a tutti position with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

At the start of 2009, Caleb left the MSO and travelled to Berlin for further study, mainly with Wilfried Strehle, Principal of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Subsequently, he was runner-up for a position with Berlin Philharmonic. Caleb also worked on a regular basis with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin.

In 2011, he returned to Australia and won back his tutti job with the MSO, also playing as Guest Principal in the MSO, Orchestra Victoria and the Australian Octet. In 2014, he won the Principal Viola position with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and performed with them in that role for a year before deciding to return to Melbourne. While in Perth, Caleb performed as Solo Violist with cellist, Mischa Maisky, in Strauss’ ‘ Don Quixote’, receiving glowing reviews in the West Australian and Limelight Magazine.

“Violist Caleb Wright’s solo was a model of its kind”

“Viola principal Caleb Wright’s deliciously plangent utterances were a bonus”

Recent engagements include a tour to Finland and Sweden and a concerto performance with violinist Ji Won Kim and Willoughby Symphony Orchestra.

Michael Dahlenburg, cello

Michael Dahlenburg is a sought-after conductor and cellist based in Melbourne. He studied cello with Howard Penny at the Australian National Academy of Music and Molly Kadarauch at the University of Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. In demand as soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician, recording artist and teacher, Michael has worked with international musicians such as Pekka Kuusisto, Steve Davislim, Li Wei Qin and William Hennessy; and orchestras such as the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, ACO2, and Orchestra Victoria. He was ACO’s Emerging Artist in 2008.

Michael was a founding member of the acclaimed Hamer Quartet, winners of the Quartet First Prize, Audience Prize and Grand Prize at the 2009 Asia Pacific Chamber Music Competition. That year, they were named in The Age magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential, and also Best Newcomer in Limelight magazine’s awards. Michael’s extensive international performance history includes concerts in the UK, Italy, France, China, Spain, and New Zealand. He studied chamber music with Gerhard Schulz, Paul Katz, András Kellar, Heime Müller, Barbara Westphal, Hatto Beyerle, William Hennessy, and the Artemis, Tokyo, and Jerusalem Quartets. Michael also performs regularly with Trio Bresciani and ARTARIA, an ensemble with Celia Craig, Elizabeth Layton, Anne Horton and Caroline Henbest, whose debut CD will be launching in 2018.

Also a busy conductor, Michael opened MCO’s 2017 season with soloist Li Wei Qin to critical acclaim, recently conducted a series for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and will open MCO’s 2018 season with Mendelssohn Symphony No. 4 and soloist Konstantin Shamray. He studied conducting with John Hopkins and Christopher Seaman and, as a member of Symphony Services International Conductor Program from 2010, conducted the Tasmanian Symphony, Adelaide Symphony and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestras. In addition, Michael has conducted the Australian National Academy of Music Orchestra, Melbourne Youth Music, State Music Camp, Youth Philharmonic Melbourne, Corpus Medicorum, Stonnington Symphony, and Australian Medical Students Orchestra.

Michael plays a 1780 J Charles cello donated by Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, the Tallis Foundation, Hamer Family Fund, and other private donors. He would also like to thank Merv Dickey for commissioning his 2015 Ersen Aycan cello.