Tony Bedewi midshot

Antoine (Tony) Bedewi

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

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 2022

David Clarence

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Sydney Conservatorium High School

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 2023

Tim Corkeron

Australian Hometown: Brisbane
Education: Queensland Conservatorium of Music

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 2023

Guy du Blêt

Australian Hometown: Melbourne
Education: Australian National Academy of Music

Guy du Blêt was born in Melbourne. He has worked and studied extensively all over the continent and has been playing with Orchestra Victoria since 1998. He has worked with all the major symphony orchestras across Australia, as well as the Malaysian Philharmonic, the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa (OEK), Synergy, Libra Ensemble, Speak Percussion, Ludovico’s Band and Latitude 37.

He has toured internationally with the Australian Youth Orchestra, Elision, the Malaysian Philharmonic and OEK. He is inspired by the Berliner Philharmoniker (he trained under Rainer Seegers there) and his favourite pieces of music are Mozart’s operas and Tchaikovsky’s ballets. He counts performing Wagner’s Ring Cycle under Pietari Inkinen for Opera Australia and Bella Figura for The Australian Ballet under Nicolette Fraillon as two of the highlights of his career. His advice to aspiring musicians? “Work harder than everyone else.”

Last updated 2022

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

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

Mark Robinson holding timpani sticks

Mark Robinson

Australian Hometown(s): Sydney
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music; Royal Academy of Music, London

Mark is currently acting Principal Timpanist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. After completing a Bachelor of Music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Mark relocated to London in 2003 to undertake a Post-Graduate Diploma at the Royal Academy of Music. In 2006 he was appointed to the position of Principal Percussionist with the Ulster Orchestra which he held until his return to Sydney in 2010 as Assistant Principal Timpani/Percussion with the SSO. In the UK he made guest appearances with a number of British orchestra’s including the LSO, LPO, CBSO and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestras. He was also a regular participant in the St Endellion and Britten Pears (Aldeburgh) music festivals. 

As a chamber musician, Mark has made regular appearances with his SSO colleagues, Synergy, Taikoz, the Australia Ensemble, Omega Ensemble and Ensemble Offspring and through these collaborations he has premiered and recorded new music from both local and international composers. He spent a number of years on staff at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and given masterclasses around Australia and the UK. In recent years Mark has made regular trips back to the UK to appear as Guest Co-Principal Timpanist with the London Symphony Orchestra with whom he has toured throughout Europe and Asia under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle. 

Last updated 2023