Playing with AWO this year was one of the most powerful and humbling experiences I’ve ever had as a musician. I remember thinking in our first rehearsal, “This is why I do music.” The knowledge and musical experience I gained from just one week of rehearsals and concerts with AWO was more than I could have ever imagined. I am so grateful to have had the privilege of playing alongside Australia’s greatest musicians; it is an experience that will always sit very close to my heart.

Marcus Michelsen


2021 AWO Academy Player; Sydney Symphony Fellow 2023; Violin – Tarsus Chamber Collective; Former Violin – Australian Youth Orchestra (AYO); Former Associate Concertmaster – AYO Weiss Chamber Orchestra; Former Concertmaster – Sydney Youth Orchestra

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music (pre-college program); Nicole Masters; Kasia Hans Rosenbaum

Marcus started playing the violin when he was 5 years old. In 2018 he won the Australian Bach Society’s Award for best Bach performance in the Melbourne Recital Hall’s Bach Competition.

In 2019 he received the Jury Prize at the Gisborne International Music Competition.
He joined the Sydney Youth Orchestras in 2011, and has since 2018, (at age 15) and until 2020 been concertmaster for the Sydney Youth Orchestra (Flagship,) making Marcus the youngest concertmaster ever for the Sydney Youth Orchestra.

At age 9 he auditioned successfully to participate in the Aspen Music Festival and School
(AMFS) in the USA and has attended this intense classical music camp/festival every year since. There he has been part of the Aspen Festival Orchestra performing alongside musicians from Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonics and other leading orchestras, under the leadership of Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s concertmaster Robert Chen, and featuring soloists such as Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, Midori, Augustin Hadelich and Gil Shaham.

Also, at the AMFS, for chamber music, Marcus has worked with members of the Takacs, Pacifica and The American string quartets and for his solo performance training, with his main teacher Prof Paul Kantor (Juilliard/Dorothy DeLay) and masterclasses with violinist Robert McDuffie.

For the past couple of years Marcus has been part of the Australian Youth Orchestra. In early 2019 Marcus was associate concertmaster for the AYO Weiss Chamber Orchestra, led by Dale Barltrop (concertmaster for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.)

During the past few years, Marcus has been fortunate to also receive lessons and/or collaborate with prominent violinists/pedagogues such as Andrew Haveron (concertmaster Sydney Symphony Orchestra,) Miriam Fried (Boston NEC,) Robin Wilson (Australian National Academy of Music,) cello soloist Erick Kim, Ohad (Udi) Bar-David (principal cellist Chicago Symphony Orchestra,) John Harding (previous concert master London Symphony Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra,) Robert Hanford and Michael Barenboim.

In early 2019 he successfully auditioned to become the associate concertmaster for the Femusc (Santa Catarina, Brazil) music festival and school’s top orchestra, under the leadership of Leon Spierer (previous concertmaster Berliner Philharmonics/Herbert von Karajan.)

From age 8 to 16 Marcus was part of the Rising Stars (Sydney Conservatorium of Music pre-college program) where his main teacher was Prof. Ole Bohn.

Current main teachers are Nicole Masters (SSO) and Kasia Hans Rosenbaum.

Last updated 2023