Richard Gleeson

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music

A founding member of Sprung Percussion, Richard graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 1993 with High Distinction. He was a member of the Australian Youth Orchestra as principal percussionist for four years and toured with them extensively. Richard has performed with Camerata Australia under Paul Dyer and was an ABC apprentice with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

He has appeared with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Coruscations, the Australia Ensemble, the Sydney Opera House Orchestra and the Sydney and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras.

Last updated 2018

Claire Edwardes

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music; The Conservatorium van Amsterdam; Rotterdam Conservatorium

Claire’s musical studies began initially with piano and then percussion in her high school concert band. However she did not move into orchestral percussion until joining the Sydney Youth Orchestra in her first year as a tertiary music student.

Claire graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (BMUS Hon1) as Student of the Year in 1997 under the teaching guidance of Daryl Pratt and Richard Miller. She was the recipient of the NUFFIC Huygens Dutch Government Scholarship and later the Queen Elizabeth Trust Award which funded her studies abroad. During a successful period based in Europe (1999-2006), Claire undertook a Masters of Music with Richard Jansen at the Rotterdam Conservatory and then with Peter Prommel and Jan Pustjens at the Amsterdam Conservatory. She participated in numerous summer schools including Acanthe Academy (France) with Steven Schick and the Darmstadt International Summer Courses (Germany).

Claire was the winner of the 1999 Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year award, first prize in the 2000 Tromp International Percussion Competition (The Netherlands), the 2001 Vriendenkrans Instrumental Competition (Concertgebouw, Amsterdam) and the 2001 Llangollen International Instrumentalist (Wales) and in 2005 the Gaudeamus International Interpreters Competition. Additionally in 2005, Claire was awarded the prestigious MCA/Freedman Fellowship for Classical Music.

Claire returned to Sydney in 2006 and became the co-artistic director of the successful and innovative new music group she was a founding member of in 1996: Ensemble Offspring. She is also a member of Overlander – a group specialising in music reflecting the Australian landscape compromising William Barton (didgeridoo), Iain Grandage (cello) and Melanie Robinson (voice/cello). In 2007 Claire won the AMC/APRA Classical Music Award for Outstanding Contribution to Australian music, by an Individual.

Claire was an alumnus of SYO between 1995 and 1997 and SYO paid tribute to her outstanding musicianship by commissioning Elena Kats-Chernin’s first percussion concerto which was premiered by Claire and the Sydney Youth Orchestra in July 2009.

Last updated 2020

Alice Giles

Australian Hometown: Adelaide
Education: Sydney Conservatorium High School;
Australian National University School of Music

Alice Giles AM has been celebrated as one of the world’s leading harp soloists. The Australian-born musician first attracted international notice when she won First Prize in the 8th Israel International Harp Contest at the age of 21. Since then she has performed extensively internationally both in recital and with orchestra. She presented her first solo recital at the age of 13 at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, was awarded the coveted Churchill International Fellowship and an Australia Council Grant to study in the USA and made her New York debut recital at Merkin Hall in 1983.

Regarded by Luciano Berio as the foremost interpreter of his Sequenza II, she has taken part in tributes to Berio at the Queen Elizabeth Hall London, Salzburg Mozarteum, and at the 92nd Street Y in New York to honour his 70th birthday. She has given many premiere performances for her instrument, has commissioned a complete program of works for the electro-acoustic harp, and is Director of the Seven Harp Ensemble (SHE), which has commissioned many new works by Australian composers.

As a recipient of an Australian Antarctic Arts Fellowship, she performed a solo concert at Mawson Station in 2011 commemorating the Centenary of the first Australasian Antarctic Expedition.

 She was invited by Rudolf Serkin to participate for three summers in the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont, USA, and has been a guest artist at numerous festivals including the Schleswig-Holstein and Insel Hombroich Festivals in Germany, Bath Mozartfest, Scotia Festival, Salzedo Centennial in Austin Texas, World Harp Congresses in Copenhagen and Vancouver, World Harp Festival Cardiff, Edinburgh Harp Festival, Adelaide Festival, Sydney Festival, Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Barossa, Coriole, Huntington, Four Winds and UKARIA Festivals.

Concert highlights include solo recitals in London’s Wigmore Hall, New York’s 92nd Street Y, Merkin Hall NY, Frankfurt Alte Oper, Gulbenkian Foundation Lisbon, and concertos with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Collegium Musicum Zürich, Badische Staatskapelle Karlsruhe, English Symphony Orchestra, Mainzer Kammerorchester, Danish Radio Concert Orchestra, Hamburg Mozart Orchestra, Ohio Chamber Orchestra, Lincoln Symphony Orchestra, Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, Israel Chamber Orchestra and regularly with all the major Australian Symphony and Chamber orchestras.

Alice Giles has an impressive international reputation as a teacher, having given master classes in the Salzburg Mozarteum, The Hague Conservatorium, Royal Academy London, Cleveland Institute, Juilliard School, Curtis Institute, San Francisco Conservatory, Conservatorio G. Verdi Milano, Parma Conservatorio, Glenn Gould School Toronto, Detmold Hochschule, R. Schumann Hochschule, Norwegian Academy of Music, the International Youth Festival in Bayreuth, an annual Summer Course in Alf/Mosel, Germany 1989-1998, and currently teaches at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Her annual Summer Course is held in Kioloa on the NSW South Coast.

She was the Chair and the Artistic Director of the 2014 World Harp Congress in Sydney in July 2014 and is founder and director of the Harp Centre Australia, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the harp in Australia. She was on the jury for both the 1998 and 2009 International Harp Contests in Israel, the 2004 USA International Harp Competition, 2007 V. Salvi European Harp Competition Cardiff and the IX Concourso Nationale d’Arpa ‘Victor Salvi’. Her two principal teachers were June Loney (Sydney Symphony Orchestra) and Alice Chalifoux (Cleveland Orchestra), also studying with Lydia Shaxson and Judith Liber (Israel Philharmonic).

Her discography includes several solo harp discs, a concerto disc with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, conductor David Porcelijn, and many chamber music discs including with Duo Corda (Arnan Wiesel, piano), the Budapest Brass Quintet, Seven Harp Ensemble, and Geoffrey Collins (flute), for the Tall Poppies, Musikado (Germany), ABC Classics, CDI (Israel), and Marlboro Recording Society labels.

She was awarded an AM (Member of the Order of Australia) in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours for “significant service to the performing arts as a harpist, mentor and educator, and through contributions to Australia’s musical landscape.”

Last updated 2022

Brian Nixon

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: ?


After studying classical guitar for six years, Brian Nixon became more interested in hitting things than plucking them.

While still in high school, studying under Richard Miller and playing with the Willoughby Brass Band (where he is now a life member) and the Sydney Youth Orchestra, Brian was chosen to represent Australia as a percussionist in the first Asian Regional Youth Music Camp held in Manila, the Philippines.

Since then, as a much sought after freelance drummer, timpanist and percussionist, Brian has worked through a very wide spectrum of the music industry. As a drummer, he has backed many local and international rock and club acts. He has been Principal Timpanist with the Australian World Orchestra working with Simone Young and Zuben Mehta and has played with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra as a percussionist and/or Timpanist, in a casual or contract role every year of his professional life. He has been the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s Principal Timpanist since the 1980’s and Brandenburg’s Principal Timpanist/Percussionist since 2000.

Brian has performed with the Orchestra of the Antipodes and Pinchgut Opera since their inception. He has also played extensively with the Opera Australia Orchestra and performed with some of the world’s greatest singers including Sutherland, Domingo, Pavarotti, Kaufmann and more recently Netrebko.

He has toured the United States of America, Europe, Japan, Taiwan, China and Italy with the SSO; Japan, USA and Europe with the ACO and Europe with the ABO.

As well as the major orchestras, Brian has performed with and/or recorded for such diverse groups and performers as the Australia Ensemble, Sydney Dance Company, Synergy Percussion, INXS, Neil Finn, John Williams, Marvin Hamlisch, Natalie Cole, John Farnham, Harry Connick Jr. and Silverchair – just to name a few. As a session musician, he has performed on over one hundred and fifty albums and has worked on countless radio/TV and cinema jingles, documentaries and film scores, from Hanna-Barbera cartoons to feature films such as Happy Feet 1 & 2, Australia and the Lego franchise.

Brian has also composed percussion solos and adjudicated for many NSW and national competitions. He has examined for the AMEB, NSW Brass Band Association, NSW Conservatorium and Canberra School of Music and has been involved in the Australian Youth Orchestra’s program of workshops and national auditioning. Brian started and directed the percussion program at Barker College, Hornsby until 2009.

Last updated 2018

Troy Greatz

Australian Hometown: Brisbane
Education: Queensland Conservatorium of Music

Troy held the position of Associate Principal Percussionist/Timpanist from the young age of 23 when he moved to Perth after completing of a Bachelor of Music at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. He has been a member of the percussion section of the Australian World Orchestra since its inception, playing under the great Maestro Zubin Mehta in 2015.

Troy has performed with the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, recorded with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and in 2009 he won the Associate Principal Percussion position with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra (Now Opera Australia Orchestra). He held his post for 18 months before returning to Perth and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO) in 2011. That same year, Troy was invited to audition for the Principal Percussion position with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Troy’s passion for education shows through his private lessons as well as lecturing in percussion and timpani at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts and at the University of Western Australia. He also joined AMEB as an examiner during his time in Perth.

Currently Troy is based in Mackay, North Queensland and plays percussion with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

Last updated 2023

Mathew Levy square

Mathew Levy

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music; Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM); Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Sydney-born Mathew Levy began his musical journey playing both percussion and violin. He holds a First Class Honours degree from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and has completed post-graduate study at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) and the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

Before joining Orchestra Victoria as Section Principal Percussion in 2019, Mathew worked as a freelancer throughout Australia and overseas, performing with the Melbourne, Sydney and West Australian Symphony Orchestras, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and Royal Ballet Sinfonia. Mathew is a past winner of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Snare Drum Award, the Reuben Scarf Award for Percussion, and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Concerto Competition. 

Last updated 2022

Adam Greig

Education: Lancaster University, England

Originally from St Andrew’s in Scotland, Dr Adam Greig completed his undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Lancaster University in England and went on to complete a practice as research doctoral thesis on the piano music of French 20th Century composer, Germaine Tailleferre.

As an active performer and musicologist Greig’s research involves combining different modes of analytical enquiry with experience from practice, to better understand interpretation and artistic transmission. He specialises in performing early 20th Century French repertoire, particularly that which surrounds the ‘Les Six’ composers and has performed as a soloist and accompanist at a number of international conferences, including the Royal Music Association Symposium Nostalgia and Innovation in Twentieth-Century French Music (2008). He has also had the privilege of performing two piano concertos with the Lancaster University Symphony Orchestra – Francis Poulenc’s Piano Concerto No.1, and Germaine Tailleferre’s Concerto pour piano et 12 instruments. Greig’s secondary area of performance is contemporary electro-acoustic music and he has performed both existing repertoire and premieres in this genre at the International Computer Music Conference in Belfast and the LICA-Mantis Festival in Lancaster.

Since 2011, Greig has been the Academic Coordinator of KM Music Conservatory, A. R. Rahman’s premiere music conservatory in Chennai India. In this role he leads a team of inspirational performers and musicologists in shaping a unique curriculum that is providing young Indian musicians the education and training they need to reach an international platform.

Last updated 2022

Bernadette Harvey

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: ?

Currently Lecturer in Piano and Piano Pedagogy at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Bernadette enjoys a happily balanced career as performer and teacher.

Her numerous appearances at the Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival have included collaborations with Marc-Andre Hamelin, the Tokyo and Shanghai Quartets amongst many others. A recent US tour included solo recitals and master classes at the University of Arizona, the Eastman School of Music and Indiana University in which her performance of Carl Vine’s Sonata #1 and Ross Edwards Sonata Indiana was reviewed as “nothing less than spectacular” (Peter Jacobi, The Herald Times, March 27 2015).

Her latest CD recording includes the world premiere recordings of Ross Edwards Piano Sonata and Night Songs and Mantras, with other works by Carl Vine, available on the Tall Poppies label. She has recently finished recording another world premiere by Ross Edwards, Sea Star Fantasy for solo piano, which will be included in a retrospective recorded collection of the composers works. In 2016, Bernadette continued her focus on new commissioned solo piano works by Australian composers, as well as maintaining her collaborative performances in various festivals around Australia (Arts in the Valley – Kangaroo Valley NSW, Southern Highlands Festival NSW and the Stradbroke Island Chamber Music festival QLD).

In 2016, Bernadette was one of two nominated by the Sydney Conservatorium of Music to take part in the University of Sydney’s Women’s Leadership program, fostering female academic talent and leadership. Through this program, Bernadette hopes to foster closer ties to the Refugee community in Sydney (a process she launched this year in a benefit concert for Refugee Week), and strengthen the connection between her research into injury preventive piano technique and her teaching practice.

Last updated 2018

Marcello Maio

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Marcello Maio is a musician, composer and musical director. Accomplished in piano, piano-accordion, keyboards and flute, his trademark musicianship and versatility across a range of musical genres has established Marcello in some of Sydney’s most highly acclaimed Latin, Jazz and World music ensembles.

2013 saw Marcello on tour with Atlanta soul and r’n’b singer Cody ChesnuTT and band across Australia and New Zealand. It also led him around Australia with Baby et Lulu who feature Lara Goodridge (Fourplay) and Abby Dobson (Leonardo’s Bride). With concert pianist Ambre Hammond, Marcello performed the music of Astor Piazzolla in duet format at various theatres and halls in Noosa, Byron Bay, Blue Mountains. In 2014 saw the duo perform on ‘ABC Live’ at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre in Penrith. 2014 marked the first appearance at Womadelaide festival in Adelaide with Baby et Lulu.

Recognised as one of the Top 20 Music Performers in NSW during HSC in 2004, Marcello went on to graduate from the Sydney Conservatorium in 2008, completing a Bachelor of Music (Jazz performance) under Mike Nock, Judy Bailey and Matt McMahon.

Raised in a musical family, Marcello regularly performs with his father Ross Maio (accordion virtuoso) in From Caruso to Bocelli and Viva La Fisarmonica Show. Since joining the Triple Aria award-winning band Monsieur Camembert in 2004, Marcello has performed in Bangkok, Canada, West Timor, New York, Sri Lanka, Shanghai and the

Gypsy Jazz festival in New Caledonia as well as a myriad of notable Australian music festivals including Woodford Folk Festival, Bellingen Global Carnival, Byron Bay Blues and Roots festival, Melbourne Comedy Festival, Noosa Jazz festival, Dreaming festival, Australian World Music Expo, Adelaide Cabaret festival and Brisbane festival.

Equally at home with Brazilian and Jazz styles as he is with European and African- American styles, Marcello’s interpretation and personal engagement with a diverse range of repertoire has seen him as a resident solo artist on SBS TV’s popular comedy series In Siberia Tonight.

Marcello composes and produces for a range of projects, most notably the Brazilian jazz flavoured pieces with Samba Mundi and for his jazz trio. Maio was commissioned in 2008 by Music Australas to write a 20 minute Tango work for the Compass saxophone quartet and in 2009 wrote the soundtrack to the Australian film documentary ‘Tea with Madame Close’. In 2010, Marcello collaborated with Roland Peelman on a series of arrangements and written a composition for the vocal ensemble, Song Company. This year sees Marcello exploring the world of EDM and sampled base music under the alias ‘Baggins’.

Constantly in demand in the Sydney music scene as a side-man and as a band leader, 2014 has already seen Maio perform a concert at Angel Place (City Recital Hall) alongside Australia’s premier flautist Jane Rutter, and soprano Yvonne Kenny.

Last updated 2018