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

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
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

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music; Australian Institute of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Kirsty Hilton was born in Sydney in 1976. She began playing violin at the age of five as a Suzuki method student before beginning lessons with Alice Waten at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, aged seven. She attended the Sydney Conservatorium High School where she was awarded numerous prizes, before completing her undergraduate studies with Alice Waten at the Australian Institute of Music.

During this time, she worked with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and was Concertmaster of the Australian Youth Orchestra. In 1998 she was a postgraduate student at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under David Takeno.

From 1999 to 2001 Kirsty Hilton was a member of the prestigious Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, where she performed under such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Sir Simon Rattle, Mariss Jansons, Seiji Ozawa, Bernard Haitink and Lorin Maazel. She was then contracted by the Berlin Philharmonic for a year, before being appointed Assistant Principal Second Violin in the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Munich, under the direction of Mariss Jansons.

Last updated 2018

Australian Hometown: Melbourne
Education: Royal Academy of Music; Guildhall School of Music

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Andrew Hines was born in England, had his early education in Australia, and then returned to England in his teens to study at the Purcell School, the Royal Academy of Music, and finally the Guildhall School of Music with Prof. Stefan Popov. He also studied with the Amadeus, Borodin, LaSalle and Alban Berg Quartets.

On completing his studies Andrew became an active member of a number of chamber ensembles, touring Europe and the Far East with the Parnassus Ensemble, which recorded and broadcast in Italy and Germany to critical acclaim. In 1992 he became a member of the Medea Quartet, who were Quartet in Residence at York University and Fellows of the Royal Academy of Music. Andrew performed as soloist in England and the Far East, and undertook freelance orchestral work in England and Scotland. In September 2000 Andrew was appointed to a position with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra (now Opera Australia Orchestra).

Andrew plays on a copy of a Ruggieri cello by John Dilworth c. 1997.

Last updated 2020

Australian Hometown(s): Brisbane & Melbourne
Education: Queensland Conservatorium of Music

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY

Shane Hooton is the Associate Principal Trumpet of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, a position he has held since 2009. Prior to this he was the Principal Trumpet of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra for four years. Shane undertook his Bachelor of Music studies at the Queensland Conservatorium with Graham Ashton, Richard Madden, John Hoffman and Paul Rawson. He has performed as Guest Principal with all of the Australian symphony and opera/ballet orchestras.

He has also been a guest of the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa in Japan, the Malaysian Philharmonic, and the Auckland Philharmonia. His international touring includes the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s USA tour in 2009, the MSO’s Europe tour in 2007 and to Europe as Principal Trumpet with both the Australian and Queensland Youth Orchestras. Shane was also a founding member of brass quintet ‘Brass On Tap’, touring extensively throughout Queensland and to Korea.

Last updated 2018

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Royal College of Music in Stockholm; Sydney Conservatorium of Music

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Originally from Sydney Australia, Som studied his Masters with Hermann Stefánsson and Andreas Sundén at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, and his Bachelor with Frank Celata at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

As an orchestral musician Som has performed with major orchestras around the world including; The Swedish Radio Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Swedish Opera, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, Australian Opera and Ballet, and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

In 2016 Som was selected for the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra Academy. Previous to this, Som has held academy positions with the Sydney Symphony, and London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Future Firsts Scheme.
As a soloist, Som has performed concertos with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Western Australia Symphony Orchestra, Willoughby Symphony Orchestra, the Southbank Sinfonia in the UK and in 2016 he recorded English composer Geoffrey Hanson’s Clarinet Concerto with the London Mozart Players.

Som was a prize winner for the Royal Overseas League (ROSL) Annual Competition, and as a result toured with his trio, the Dolmen Ensemble on behalf of ROSL to; Malta, Scotland, and New Zealand.In 2015 Som recorded his first solo album with his Father, David Howie. The album is titled ‘Premiere Rhapsody’ and was produced by UK based record label, Cala Records.

Last updated 2018

Australian Hometown(s): Sydney & Melbourne
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music; Manhattan School of Music

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY

Coming Soon

Last updated 2018

Australian Hometown: Newcastle
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY

Coming Soon

Last updated 2018

Australian Hometown(s): Brisbane & Melbourne
Education: Queensland Conservatorium of Music

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Brock Imison has held the position of Principal Contrabassoon with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra since 2004. Born in Brisbane, Brock began playing the Bassoon at age 13 and completed his studies at the QLD Conservatorium Music School. During his studies he was a member of the Queensland Youth Orchestra and has also appeared with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonic, Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra (now Opera Australia Orchestra), Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and Australian Chamber Orchestra.

Brock strives to improve the profile of the Contrabassoon, premiering new music in solo recitals, arranging chamber music and hosting workshops for composers to learn more about the instrument. In 2008 he toured as soloist with the MSO performing his own transcription of Weber’s Bassoon Concerto for the Contrabassoon.

Last updated 2020

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music; Royal College of Music, London

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Sergio Insuasti was the 2019 AWO Academy Player, and is currently completing postgraduate performance studies at the Royal College of Music London.

Since the age of 14, Sergio has studied Viola under the tutelage of Alex Todicescu, Roger Benedict and Justin Williams.

Prior to studying at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Sergio gained orchestral experience at a young age, being selected as Principal Viola of the SBS Youth Orchestra at the age of 15.

This experience continued to thrive through larger music programmes, performing as Principal Viola for Penrith Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Youth Orchestra and Australian Youth Orchestra programs.

Sergio has attended masterclass and workshops with renowned violists such as Tobias Lea, William Coleman, Mark Tukh and Caroline Henbest. Sergio was also a participant in last year’s International Viola Congress in Wellington, where he performed for Elias Goldstein and Felix Ungar.

Last updated 2020

Australian Hometown(s): Hobart & Sydney
Education: University of Western Australia

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Ben Jacks was born in Hobart in 1975 and, after studying with Heidi Kepper at the University of Western Australia, he travelled overseas, studying with Dale Clevenger and Gail Williams in Chicago, Stefan Dohr in Berlin, Erich Penzel in Cologne and Hector McDonald in Vienna.

He joined the Sydney Symphony Orchestra as Principal Third Horn in 1998 and in 2001 was appointed Principal Horn. In Australia he has also appeared as a guest principal with the Tasmanian, Adelaide, Queensland, West Australian and Melbourne Symphony orchestras and the Opera Australia Orchestra. Internationally, he has performed with the period instrument ensemble Academy of Vienna, regularly appears as guest principal with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and Ensemble Kanazawa in Japan, and in 2017 was invited by Riccardo Muti to perform as guest principal with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed as guest principal with the London Symphony Orchestra since 2014, and in 2018 joined the LSO on tour with Simon Rattle.

In 2003 he played Britten’s Serenade for tenor, horn and strings with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (also performing the same work with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra). He is a founding member of the Australian Brass Quintet, and maintains a busy schedule as a soloist and chamber musician. His debut recording, Rhapsodie: Fantasie: Poème, conducted by Barry Tuckwell, features previously unrecorded works for horn and orchestra by Jean-Michel Damase.

Last updated 2020