2018, 2016 Singapore, 2016, 2015, 2014 Chamber – Southern Highlands, NSW, 2013, 2011
“Bring our musicians home and put them on a grand stage together and we will prove what conductors have been telling us for years … that Australian musicians and orchestras are up there with the very finest. I can hardly wait for the first rehearsal.”

Catherine Hewgill


Principal Cello – Sydney Symphony Orchestra

Australian Hometown(s): Perth & Sydney
Education: Royal College of Music, London, University of Southern California

Catherine Hewgill is the Principal Cellist of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, a position she has held since 1990.

She grew up in Perth, Western Australia and there, at age ten, commenced her cello studies. In 1978 she continued her musical studies at the Royal College of Music in London.

In 1981 Ms Hewgill completed her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Southern California where she was named Outstanding Chamber Music Graduate.

In 1984 Catherine won the Hammer-Rostropovich Scholarship and was invited by the legendary Mstislav Rostropovich to perform at the Second American Cello Congress. A period of private study with Rostropovich followed.

Ms Hewgill toured Europe in 1985 with I Solisti Veneti, shortly after which she studied in London with the late highly esteemed William Pleeth, teacher of Jacqueline du Pré. More recently Ms Hewgill studied in Europe with the renowned Dutch cellist, Pieter Wispelwey.

Returning to Australia in 1987, Catherine became a member of the Australian Chamber Orchestra and in 1989 was invited to join the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Ms Hewgill has performed with some of the world’s foremost conductors, including Edo de Waart, Sir Charles Mackerras, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Marius Jansons and Charles Dutoit.

Catherine has toured with the SSO in Japan, China, Europe and the USA and as soloist with most Australian orchestras. Her SSO solo concerto appearances have included Beethoven’s Triple Concerto (conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy), Haydn’s D major Concerto (Charles Dutoit), Elgar’s Cello Concerto, Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations, the Brahms Double Concerto, and as a soloist in concerts with Nigel Kennedy.

For a number of years Ms Hewgill was also a member of The Australian Trio. In 2003 she toured Japan with the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa and more recently has performed chamber music with Pinchas Zukerman.

Her professional association with Vladimir Ashkenazy during his tenure of Chief Conductor of the SSO, has led to their collaboration in this recording From Darkness to Light, Sonatas for Cello and Piano by Prokofiev and Shostakovich.

Ms Hewgill plays a 1729 Carlo Tononi cello.

Last updated 2020