Artistic Director – Melbourne Chamber Orchestra; Former Concertmaster – Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Australian Hometown(s): Adelaide & Melbourne
Education: Australian Institute of Music, Sydney
Previously Concertmaster of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, violinist Sophie Rowell has had an extensive performing career as a soloist, chamber musician and principal orchestral violinist both in Australia and abroad. In 2023 she was appointed Artistic Director of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra.
As the leader of the internationally acclaimed Australian String Quartet until 2011 (formerly Tankstream Quartet 2000-2006) Sophie has given concerts and been broadcast throughout Australia, Europe, North America, Asia and New Zealand. The Quartet were the winners of the 2005 Cremona String Quartet Competition and the 2002 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition.
Her violin awards include the 2000 Symphony Australia Young Performer’s Award, New Zealand’s Gisborne Music Competition and the Second Prize in the International Mozart Competition in Salzburg Austria in 1999.
Sophie is in demand nationally and internationally as a soloist, chamber musician and an orchestra principal. She has appeared as soloist with all the major Australian Symphony Orchestras and participates in many chamber music festivals. Recent orchestral engagements include Guest Concertmaster with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Australian Opera & Ballet Orchestra and Guest Principal Second Violin with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras.
Studying initially at the Australian Institute of Music in Sydney with Alice Waten, Sophie then undertook an Artist’s Diploma at the Cologne Hochschule for Musik with the Alban Berg Quartet. She has also participated in masterclasses with renowned violinists and chamber musicians, including Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Walter Levin (La Salle Quartet) and Norbert Brainin (Amadeus Quartet.)
She now teaches at the Australian National Academy of Music and Monash University in Melbourne having previously taught at the Elder Conservatorium in Adelaide and the Australian Institute of Music in Sydney. She has also given master classes in the UK, France, Singapore and Australia.
Although Sophie loves music she can always be tempted to exchange her violin for a pack of cards in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.
Last updated 2023