Simon Cobcroft

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

Simon Cobcroft is the Artistic Director of the Coriole Music Festival, and for almost 10 years has served as Principal Cello with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. He is a member of the critically acclaimed Lyrebird Trio, familiar to audiences around Australia and further afield, since winning the 2013 Asia Pacific Chamber Music Competition. Simon studied at the Queensland Conservatorium and the Australian National Academy of Music. Since graduating, he has held principal positions with the Queensland Symphony and Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestras, and has performed with London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony, Denmark’s Esbjerg Ensemble, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and as principal with the Tasmanian and Singapore Symphony Orchestras.

Recent highlights include performances as guest principal cello with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Australian String Quartet, Tinalley Quartet and with Pinchas Zukerman and friends. He has appeared as principal and soloist at the Aldeburgh, Pacific and Salzburg Music Festivals. Simon has performed the cello concertos by Haydn, Elgar, Saint-Saëns and Bruch with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, winning the 2016 Adelaide Critics’ Circle Award for his performance of the Elgar Concerto. In previous years he appeared as soloist with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Sydney’s Metropolitan Orchestra, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria. Simon studied with Matthew Farrell, Janis Laurs, Alexander Baillie, David Strange and Michael Goldschlager. He plays on a beautiful English cello made in 1840 by Thomas Kennedy. In his spare time, he loves to cook.

Last updated 2023

Peter Clark

Peter Clark

Australian Hometown(s):

Splitting his time between New York City and Australia, violinist Peter Clark is widely celebrated for the unique breadth and scope of his leadership across the arts sector.

As concertmaster, Peter has appeared with New Zealand Opera, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Chamber Opera, Victoria Opera, Darwin Symphony, and Orchestra Wellington. He has also appeared as Guest Principal Second of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Dublin.

Peter’s commitment to arts access has led him to perform in more than 130 regional towns and cities across Australia, as well as to develop a beloved music program at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital, through his extensive work with the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

In the field of public speaking and advocacy, Peter has developed a reputation as one of Australia’s most sought-after speakers, presenting for orchestras around the world. His audiences range from young school students, through to Australian Prime Ministers, as he communicates and passionately advocates for the central role of music in society. His recent work includes delivering the late Richard Gill’s 2023 Voyage of Musical Discovery series.

Peter’s doctoral research on social innovation and cohesion through music is generously supported by Judith Neilson AM, and the General Sir John Monash Foundation. He is also completing an MBA in Arts Innovation, with the generous support of the American Australian Association.

Peter first played in Carnegie Hall with the Australian Chamber Orchestra at the age of twenty. He plays a fine 1936 AE Smith violin, and is Principal Violin of Omega Ensemble.

Peter’s fiancée is the celebrated New Zealand-American violinist Jessica Oddie. She is the love of his life.

Last updated 2023

Benjamin Roskams

Australian Hometown(s):
Education: Royal Academy of Music

Benjamin enjoys a varied career as an orchestral and chamber musician on both violin and viola. Recently he performed at the first night of the proms as guest principal viola of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, a position that has also taken him to the London Philharmonic, Philharmonia and BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Also as guest concertmaster he has appeared with both the Sinfoniorchester Aachen and Sinfoniorchester Wuppertal in Germany. He is also a regular guest to several international chamber music festivals, including the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, Stift international Chamber music festival in Holland, Oxford May Music Festival and the Highgate International Chamber Music Festival in London. 

He studied at the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall in London with Lydia Mordkovitch, Emanuel Hurwitz and David Takeno before continuing with Ilya Grubert in Amsterdam and later Ivry Gitlis in Paris. 

Benjamin is an enthusiastic collector of violin bows and plays a Joseph ‘filius Andrea’ Guarneri c.1720

Last updated 2023

Emma McGrath

Emma McGrath

Australian Hometown(s):
Education: Royal College of Music, London;

British-American-Australian violinist Emma McGrath is the Concertmaster of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. She enjoys an international and varied career as a Concertmaster, soloist, chamber musician, conductor, teacher, educator, and mentor.

Emma has appeared as a Guest Concertmaster/Leader with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Opera Australia, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, West Australia Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Wellington, BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hallé, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Castilla y León Symphony Orchestra, and the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. She has performed as a soloist all over Europe, Asia, Australia, and the USA. Highlights include Max Richter’s ‘Recomposed’ to sold-out audiences as part of the Dark Mofo Festival, and concerti and solos by Britten, Mozart, Bruch, Saint-Saens, Vivaldi, Piazzolla, Vaughan Williams and Bottesini with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, Emma was a member of the award-winning Panormo Quartet in London, the Starling Quartet in Pittsburgh, and the Kettering Piano Quartet and the Tasmanian String Quartet in Hobart. She has also participated in the Bangalow Music Festival, the Tasmanian Chamber Music Festival, and the Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Springs.

Prior to moving to Tasmania, Emma was the Assistant Concertmaster of the Colorado Symphony, and the Associate Concertmaster of the Seattle Symphony.

She is also a professional singer, baroque violinist, and conductor – and enjoys bushwalking in Tasmania’s wild places in her spare time!

Last updated 2023

Miles Mullin-Chivers holding cello

Miles Mullin-Chivers

Australian Hometown(s): Sydney
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Miles’ musical education began at age 4, with cello lessons from Takao Mizushima. He then was accepted into the Rising Stars program, and began his studies Under Susan Blake, and then Julian Smiles. Continuing under the guidance of Julian Smiles, Miles received his Bachelor of Music Performance with First Class Honours from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music at the age of 19.

Throughout his musical education, Miles has had the opportunity to learn from many accomplished musicians, including Fred Sherry, Tamas Varga, Timothy Walden, Hannu Kiiski, Howard Penny, Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, Umberto Clerici, and Kasia Hans.

Miles has performed as a soloist and chamber musician at the Canberra International Music Festival, the Four Winds Festival, for Musica Viva, and Live At Yours, collaborating with many of Australia’s leading musicians. He has also appeared as soloist with the Western Sydney Philharmonic.

In 2019, Miles was awarded the 1st prize at the Gisborne International Music Competition.

Miles has also had the opportunity to work with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra as a Guest Principal and Contract Cellist, and with the Opera Australia Orchestra as a Causal Cellist. In 2020 and 2021, Miles was a Sydney Symphony Orchestra Fellow. He has been a member of the Australian World Orchestra since their 2022 BBC Proms Tour.

Last updated 2023

Christopher Bainbridge

Christopher Bainbridge

Australian Hometown: Canberra
Education: Australian National University School of Music; Australian National Academy of Music; Institut Oberschützen, Austria

Since moving to Vienna in 2016, Chris has established himself as a regular with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra both as a tutti and in leading positions including on international tours. Since 2018 he is a member of the newly founded orchestra Klangkollektiv Wien whose members consist of musicians from some of the finest orchestras in Vienna.

During Chris’s time in Austria, he has also been invited to play with several other ensembles include Synchron Stage Vienna, Graz Philharmonic and Vorarlberg Symphony.

When he has time to return home, Chris also enjoys playing in productions with the Australian Ballet and Opera Australia productions with Orchestra Victoria.

As well as performing, Chris is currently completing further bass studies under the tutelage of Prof. Tim Dunin at Institut Oberschützen – (Kunst Universität Graz (KUG)), in Austria.

Originally from Canberra, Chris started his University education under Max McBride at the ANU School of Music, before continuing at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) under Damien Eckersley. At this time, Chris enjoyed playing with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Youth Orchestra, Canberra Youth Orchestra and was selected as a member of the Australian Youth Orchestra, participating in the International Tour in 2016.

Last updated 2022

Sam Lucas closeup

Sam Lucas

Australian Hometown: Sunshine Coast
Education: Robert Schumann University, Dusseldorf

Australian born cellist Sam Lucas has distinguished himself internationally as an outstanding and talented cellist since moving to Europe in 2017.

From his base in Dusseldorf he continues studies and has begun to establish himself as a chamber and concert musician, equally at home with concerto repertory as well as the great works for smaller ensembles.

Since 2017 he has been a student of Professor Pieter Wispelwey at the Robert Schumann University, Dusseldorf. During his formative years Sam studied with the principal cellist of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and was invited to attend master classes with David Geringas, Pieter Wispelwey and Li Wei Qin as a ‘guest young soloist’ (aged 15) at the Adelaide International Cello Festival.

During these early years Sam toured widely across Australia and Bulgaria with pianist Evgeny Genchev, culminating in recitals at the Palace of Culture and National Music School in Sofia. He later appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and at St Martin in the Fields, London. In 2015 was invited to perform for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

He made his Wigmore Hall debut in 2016. In recent seasons he has performed with the University of Bonn Symphony Orchestra, Robert Schumann University Symphony Orchestra and the Oberbergischen Kreises Symphony Orchestra.

In 2018 Sam was awarded first prize at the Sieghardt-Rometsch Competition, first prize in the 2019 Pro Artists International Music Competition, second prize at the Gisborne International Music Competition and the gold medal at the Vienna International Music Competition. He won first prize at the 2020 Anton Rubinstein International Cello Competition and first prize at the Gustav Mahler International Cello Competition 2021.

For upcoming concerts for the 2021 and 2022 seasons Lucas has concerto engagements with Uniorchester Bonn Camerata, Hagen Philharmonic Orchestra, Ruhrstadt Symphony Orchestra and Cologne Sinfonietta and chamber ensemble concerts at the Concert Society Gevelsberg, Beethoven House in Bonn and for the NRW concert series.

Sam plays on a Rainer Beilharz cello 2008 and a Nicolo Gagliano cello 17XX.

Last updated 2022

Lisa Bucknell

Lisa Bucknell

Australian Hometown:
Education: Royal College of Music, London

Lisa is a versatile violist, and enjoys a varied career as a guest artist with chamber ensembles and orchestras throughout the UK and abroad. She has enjoyed trials with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and performs regularly with the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Birmingham Royal Ballet. As a chamber musician, Lisa has collaborated with the Sacconi Quartet and Manchester Collective, is the principal solo violist for The Opera Story, and performed in the Alan Bennett play Untold Stories at the National Theatre and on the West End.  

Lisa also regularly plays for TV and film sessions, and has recorded for shows and films including Doctor Who, The Crown, Call the Midwife, Enola Holmes, and Emma.

Lisa holds both an Artist Diploma and a Master of Performance with Distinction from the Royal College of Music under the tutelage of Simon Rowland-Jones. During this time, she was supported by the Richard Carne Trust, the Ian Potter Cultural Trust, the Tait Memorial Trust, and the Clemence Charitable Trust, for which she is endlessly grateful.

Last updated 2023

Jason Henery

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music; Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia

Born in Sydney, Australia in 2000, Jason Henery commenced his musical education on the violin at age five, moving to a study of the double bass with his father in late 2010. Jason was principal double bass of the Australian Youth Orchestras (AYO) for several years. Additionally, he has played alongside other principal members in the AYO, performing such chamber works as Mendelssohn Octet op. 20 and Beethoven Septet op. 20. As a soloist, Jason has recently been featured with Ensemble Nouveau, performing Bottesini’s Concerto in B minor. He has also been a finalist in the Alf and Pearl Pollard Award Competition.

Jason received the Merenda Scholarship in 2022 to pursue musical studies in Italy, and a professional performance engagement for a solo recital with the City Recital Hall Prize for his performance of Andrés Martin’s Concerto for Double Bass No.1, accompanied by Paul Cheung.

Last updated 2022

Rachel Smith playing violin on beach black and white

Rachel Smith

Australian Hometown: Brisbane
Education: Queensland Conservatorium of Music; Northwestern University, Chicago

Brisbane-born violinist Rachel Smith has been a member of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra since 2014, and prior to that was Principal 1st violin in the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. She is also a regular guest player with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Royal Northern Sinfonia.

A keen chamber musician, Rachel is founding Artistic Director of the Stradbroke Chamber Music Festival (now in its 15th year), which takes place on a beautiful sub-tropical island off the coast of Brisbane. Apart from presenting concerts, the festival incorporates an education program for younger school students as well as an intensive chamber music program for tertiary students. 

As a teacher, Rachel has taught and coached extensively from beginner to tertiary level. In 2018 she was appointed on the faculty of St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh. She has also been on staff at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Macgregor Summer School, Southern Cross Soloists Winter School and Broughton High School (Edinburgh Music School).  

Rachel completed her undergraduate music studies at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music with Michele Walsh, and her Master’s Degree at Northwestern University, Chicago, where she was awarded a fellowship with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. In 2003 she was recipient of the Lord Mayor’s Performing Arts Fellowship, which enabled her to undertake further violin studies with Ilan Gronich in Berlin.

In 2013 Rachel received an Australia Council grant for a period of study with Sophie Till in the USA in order to deepen her understanding of the elements that make up a healthy technique, thereby aiming at playing with ease and brilliance as well as preventing playing limitations and injury.

Rachel Smith enjoys living in Edinburgh with her husband, cellist Eric de Wit, and two young daughters. Her hobbies include baking, knitting and reading on the couch.

Last updated 2022