Jacob Abela

Australian Hometown(s): Sydney & Melbourne
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music; Australian National Academy of Music

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Australian keyboardist and composer Jacob Abela is a soloist and chamber musician specialising in the new music field. Jacob is Australia’s leading voice for the Ondes Martenot, a French keyboard instrument which predates the synthesiser. Jacob is a founding member and co-director of new music outfit Rubiks, who have enjoyed critical acclaim for their contribution to Melbourne’s contemporary music scene.

Jacob also performs regularly with the Melbourne and Sydney Symphony Orchestras, and has appeared with renowned ensembles such as Ensemble Offspring, Argonaut Ensemble (BIFEM), Speak Percussion, and Synergy Percussion. Festival credits include the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival (USA), Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music, Metropolis New Music Festival, ISCM World New Music Days, Sydney Festival, and Mathemusical Conversations (Singapore).

Last updated 2017

Josephine Allan

Australian Hometown(s): Canberra & Sydney
Education: Australian National University; Sydney Conservatorium of Music

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Originally from Canberra, Josephine studied there with Ann Thompson, John Winther and Larry Sitsky before moving to Sydney for postgraduate work with David Miller and Nikolai Evrov. She combines a busy performing and teaching career with her work in the Ensemble Studies, Vocal, and Conducting Units at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

As the Sydney Symphony’s Principal Keyboard from 1996 to 2012, she has worked with many of the world’s leading conductors, including Lorin Maazel, Charles Dutoit, and Edo de Waart. She has also performed with a diversity of other companies, such as the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Australia Ensemble, the Song Company, Cantillation, the Seymour Group, Alpha Ensemble, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, and Opera Australia.

As Sydney Philharmonia Choir’s Principal Accompanist for many years, Josephine has experienced all the major choral works both in rehearsal and performance. She also works with many other choirs, including Gondwana Choirs, Willoughby and Warringah Choruses, Cantillation and many others.

Last updated 2018

Sophia Ang

Australian Hometown(s): Melbourne & Sydney
Education: University of Melbourne

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Sophia completed a Bachelor of Music at Melbourne University and has performed with the Australian Youth Orchestra and the Sydney Symphony Sinfonia. She currently teaches in the Taikoz Taiko School, with a particular focus on the taiko/musical development of young children.

Last updated 2019

John Arcaro

Australian Hometown: Melbourne
Education: Victoria College of the Arts

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
John Arcaro has been a member of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra since 1990. He has also been a guest timpanist/percussionist with Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa Japan, Malaysian Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and almost all Australian Symphony/Opera and Ballet Orchestras. He has worked as a chamber musician and soloist with ensembles such as the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, Synergy Percussion, Speak Percussion, Astra, Aphids and the Pokrovsky Ensemble Russia.

Performance highlights have included a critically acclaimed performance of Stockhausen’s Kontakte with pianist Michael Kieran Harvey. John has recorded numerous film scores and performed with a wide range of popular artists, including Frank Sinatra, Olivia Newton-John, KISS and Sting. John studied in New York and Philadelphia with leading orchestral percussionists after graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) with high distinction.

Last updated 2019

Antoine (Tony) Bedewi

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Royal Academy of Music, London

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Antoine Bedewi holds the position of Principal Timpanist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, best known as the host orchestra of the world’s biggest international classical music festival, the BBC Proms.

Prior to joining the BBCSO in 2017 Antoine held the position of Co-Principal Timpanist with the London Symphony Orchestra, whilst simultaneously freelancing with all of the major orchestras in London and the UK. He has also performed around the world with a variety of orchestras and conductors including the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Australian World Orchestra. In 2007 he served as the Principal Timpanist at Chile’s national opera house, Teatro Municipal.

As a percussionist, Antoine appears frequently with the Colin Currie Group, an internationally-acclaimed ensemble founded in 2006 specialising in the music of Steve Reich. With Reich’s personal endorsement the group has performed at international venues including London’s Royal Festival Hall, Louis Vuitton Foundation (Paris), Elbphilharmonie (Hamburg), Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and Opera City Tokyo.

Antoine currently teaches orchestral timpani at London’s Royal Academy of Music, having previously completed his postgraduate studies there in 2005. Prior to this he was awarded a first-class degree in music from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, where he was also presented with the Director’s Prize for all-round excellence and service to the Academy.

His teachers include Simon Carrington and Alan Cumberland, whose virtuosic Two Challenges for Timpani (2003) are dedicated to Antoine.

Last updated 2021

Stefan Cassomenos

Australian Hometown: Melbourne
Education: University of Melbourne; Australian National Academy of Music

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Melbourne pianist and composer Stefan Cassomenos is one of Australia’s most vibrant and versatile musicians. He has been performing internationally since the age of 10, and is now established as one of Australia’s leading pianists. As the recipient of multiple prizes including the Second Grand Prize in the prestigious International Telekom Beethoven Competition Bonn 2013, Cassomenos has performed throughout Europe and Asia, and now performs regularly in Australia, Germany and the UK. He has performed concertos with several major Australian symphony orchestras, as well as orchestras overseas.

Cassomenos is a founding member of chamber ensemble PLEXUS, which since launching in 2014 has commissioned and premiered over 100 new works. Cassomenos’ own compositions are regularly commissioned and performed throughout Australia. Cassomenos and violinist Monica Curro were the Artistic Directors of the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival in 2019.

Last updated 2020

Tamara-Anna Cislowska

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Tamara-Anna Cislowska is one of Australia’s most acclaimed and recognised pianists. Soloist, recitalist and chamber music specialist, she performs in Australia and worldwide in repertoire spanning three centuries, to critical and public acclaim, and is also renowned for her writing as a presenter on ABC Classic FM radio.

Tamara has won international prizes in London, Italy and Greece, including the Rovere d’Oro, and in Australia has earned awards such as ABC Young Performer of the Year, a Freedman Fellowship from the Music Council of Australia, the 2012 Art Music Award for ‘Performance of the Year’ (ACT) and  the 2015 ARIA for ‘Best Classical Album’.

Last updated 2018

David Clarence

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Sydney Conservatorium High School

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
David was a member of the percussion section of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and percussion ensemble Synergy from 1980 to 1982.

From 1983 to 1985 David lived and worked in Scotland, the highlight being a week spent assisting James Blades in a regional education tour.

He has been the Principal Timpani of the Opera Australia Orchestra (formally known as Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra) since 1986.

Last updated 2018

Tim Corkeron

Australian Hometown: Brisbane
Education: Queensland Conservatorium of Music

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Tim studied Timpani/Percussion at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music under Alan Cumberland, from the Royal College, London and Timpanist – London Philharmonic Orchestra and perhaps his greatest influence. On graduating, he was appointed Tutti Percussion with Queensland Symphony Orchestra and in 1998 was appointed Principal Timpani.

Career highlights include guest appearances with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1992 and The Australian World Orchestra in 2013. Tim has also worked with the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, Japan and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.

Last updated 2020