Jonathan Békés

Australian Hometown(s): Sydney & Hobart
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Australian National Academy of Music

Jonathan started playing cello at 10 years old. He has studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the Australian National Academy of Music and has learnt with from such cellists as Howard Penny, Julian Smiles and Susan Blake. He has won numerous awards for his performance including the ANAM Director’s Prize, and First Prize in the ANAM Chamber Competition. He is recipient of the 2016 Accenture Australia Scholarship, the Sydney Conservatorium’s Corinna d’Hage String Scholarship, and has attained his AMus and LMus, both with distinction.

Jonathan is in great demand as a performer, chamber musician and educator across Australia and has taken his cello across the world, having performed across four different continents. He is member of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, a founding member of the award winning Clarendon Trio and plays regularly with the Australian World Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Jonathan has performed chamber music alongside such artists as Anthony Marwood, Stephan Dohr, Ole Bøhn, and Timothy Young and has performed in masterclasses for Steven Isserlis, Pieter Wispelwey, Nicholas Aldstaedt and Alban Gerhadt.

Jonathan has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras around Australia including the Hobart Chamber Orchestra, Sydney Youth Orchestra and the Beecroft Orchestra. In 2011 he played for a full house at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall as part of the HSC ENCORE program.

In his spare time, Jonathan is a passionate Sydney Swans supporter and a committed Hobart Hurricanes enthusiast. He is a keen squash player, an avid golfer and loves to get outside to go hiking and mountain biking.

Last updated 2018

David Berlin

Australian Hometown(s): Sydney & Melbourne
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music; Juilliard School of Music, New York

David Berlin studied the cello with Lois Simpson at the Sydney Conservatorium and the Juilliard School of Music in New York, with Channing Robbins. For over 25 years David has been at the forefront of music performance here in Australia, as Principal Cello of both the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra from 1985 through to 1988 and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra from 1989.

David has also made numerous appearances as soloist with these and other Australian Orchestras and was invited to play guest Principal Cello with the Sydney and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Australian World Orchestra.

In 1992, David gave the world premiere performance of the complete works of Cello and Piano by Franz Liszt with Leslie Howard, in London. He has also performed chamber music with violinists Kolja Blacher, James Ehnes, Nigel Kennedy, and Sarah Chang and pianists Garrick Ohlsson, Emanuel Ax and Yefim Bronfman, as well as tenor Ian Bostridge.

Along with solo recordings for ABC radio, David has appeared as soloist on the Tall Poppies, Chandos and Naxos labels. His recital disc Barber & Debussy with pianist Len Vorster on the Tall Poppies label was nominated by James McCarthy as one of the best classical CD’s of 2011 in Limelight magazine. In June 2017 David played in the New York Philharmonic Global Orchestra for Alan Gilbert’s final concerts as Music Director.

Last updated 2018

Melissa Chominsky

Australian Hometown(s): Sydney & Melbourne
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Karlsruhe Hochschule für Musik

Melissa was born in Sydney in 1977 and has been playing with Orchestra Victoria for the past seven years. Her first teacher was Dorothy Sumner, whom she credits for setting her on the right path. She then studied with Susan Blake at the Sydney Conservatorium and Professor Martin Ostertag at the Karlsruhe Hochschule für Musik in Germany. She has been awarded a Big Brother Scholarship, an Ian Potter Foundation grant and the Queen’s Trust Award. She has performed with the Sydney Sinfonia, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra. She has also played with the Badische Staatkapelle, the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker and the Staatstheater Stuttgart.

Melissa has toured Europe with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Schteswig-Holstein Orchestra. A highlight of her Orchestra Victoria career was playing a wonderfully moving performance of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony at the NGV with Adam Chalabi as concertmaster.

Last updated 2018

Rohan de Korte

Australian Hometown: Melbourne
Education: Cologne Hochschule for Music

As one of the tallest cellists in the world Rohan de Korte has enjoyed an unobstructed view of nearly every conductor he has ever worked with. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for the musicians who have to sit behind him.

A graduate of the Köln Hochschule fur Musik Rohan studied cello with Claus Kanngiesser and chamber music with the Alban Berg Quartet. Other teachers include Valter Despalj, Nelson Cooke and Henry Wenig

Inspired by a concert given by the MSO in Cologne on their 2000 European tour Rohan returned to Australia. He found work for the next three years playing with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, then as the Associate Principal Cellist with Orchestra Victoria before finally joining the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in 2009.

He is also an active chamber musician and has recently performed the Brahms sonatas and the cycle of Beethoven works for cello and piano with Darrly Coote for the team of Pianists. He plays with the Australia Octet, Wilma and Friends, and the Roger Young Collective. Rohan is also on the staff at the VCA and Melbourne University and has arranged Bohemian Rhapsody for cello quartet as well as writing his own music- ‘The Haunted House’ is always a hit with his children.

Last updated 2020

Trish Dean

Australian Hometown: Hobart
Education: Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music

Trish is currently co-Artistic Director and cellist of Ensemble Q. Previously the Associate Principal with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Trish has performed as Guest Principal with the Adelaide and Sydney Symphony Orchestras, and is currently Guest Principal with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. A recipient of numerous awards, Trish has performed as concerto soloist with several Australian orchestras, and as soloist and chamber musician at many national and international festivals in the UK, Switzerland, Portugal, Germany, Malaysia and across Australia.

As an Artistic Director she has held positions at the Coffs Harbour Regional Conservatorium and the APRA award winning Camden Haven Music Festival. In the last few years she has taught cello and chamber music at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.

Her most recent solo cello recording, Ciaccona was released in 2020 by Ensemble Q Artists. She has recorded for ABC Classics, Solitary Island Records, 2MBS Fine Music Records and appears regularly on ABC Classic and 4MBS FM.

Last updated 2021

Alison Frilingos

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Australian Institute of Music; Sydney Conservatorium of Music; Performing Arts, Vienna

Alison Frilingos was born 1980 in Sydney, Australia and had her first cello lesson at the age of 10 with Gregory Elmaloglou. She auditioned successfully 3 years later for the Young Artists Program at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where she became a student of Anthea Scott-Mitchell. In 1997 Alison performed as soloist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra as part of the James Fairfax Young Artists Program. In 1998 she received a tuition scholarship to commence a Bachelor of Music Degree at the Australian Institute of Music as a student of Lois Simpson OA. She completed her performance degree there in 2002 with First Class Honours. The following year, Alison moved to Vienna to continue her studies, first as a private student of Howard Penny and then at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna with Professors Herwig Tachezi and Reinhard Latzko.

Alison has received awards from the Australia Council for the Arts, the Ian Potter Cultural Foundation, the Big Brother Movement and the Tait Memorial Trust. From 2009 until 2013 Alison was employed as a section cellist with the Tonkünstler Orchester Niederösterreich. She works regularly with the Radio Symphonie Orchester Wien, the Volksoper Wien and has performed with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. She joined the Wiener KammerOrchester as a regular guest from 2008 and became a member of the orchestra in 2016. Alison teaches cello at the Anton Stadler Musikschule in Bruck an der Leitha.

Last updated 2018

Paul Ghica

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Merit School of Music (Chicago) and Logos School of Music

Romanian-born cellist Paul Ghica began studying cello with his father at the age of eight.  He spent his formative years studying with Corneliu Rădulescu, before being awarded scholarships to study at Indiana and Roosevelt Universities.  Other teachers and mentors include János Starker, Richard Hirschl, Katinka Kleijn, Barbara Haffner, and Gary Stucka.

With over two decades of his own teaching experience, Ghica was invited to join the faculty at Chicago’s Merit School of Music in 2008 and Logos School of Music in 2011.  Since 2016, he has maintained a private studio in Sydney, with multiple students going on to be accepted into the Sydney Conservatorium’s Rising Stars program and becoming competition prizewinners.  In 2019, Ghica was invited to join the teaching staff at Rising Stars.

An active performer in Sydney and abroad, Ghica has served as principal cello of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and has collaborated on Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project as part of the Civic Orchestra’s MusiCorps fellowship.  He has served as Guest Principal Cello of the Opera Australia Orchestra and Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, Guest Associate Principal of Orchestra Victoria, and also performsregularly with the Sydney and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras. As a chamber musician, Ghica has appeared in concert with Emanuel Ax, and his chamber music performances have been broadcast regularly throughout Chicago on WFMT and across Australia on ABC Classic FM and 3MBS.

Ghica is also part of a small but growing number of classically-trained multi-genre musicians.  Equally at home in Sydney’s Opera House, Chicago’s House of Blues, or Off-Broadway in New York, Ghica enjoys stretching the cello’s boundaries.  

“Paul Ghica gets sounds you’ve never heard before out of his cello,” writes Berkshire Fine Arts.  Chicago Stage Review adds that he does so “with evocative intuition.” 

Non-classical credits include Alinta Chidzey & the Jazz Emperors, X Factor (Australia), Australia’s Got Talent, Dancing with the Stars (Australia), and Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight.

Ghica proudly plays a cello commissioned in 2012 from the workshop of the late Wayne Burak.  He lives with his partner, violinist Katherine Lukey, in Sydney.  When he is not performing or teaching, Ghica can be found training for or participating in cycling gran fondos.

Last updated 2021

Michael Goldschlager

Australian Hometown: Perth
Education: State University of New York; Royal College of Music, London

Born in New York City, concert cellist Michael Goldschlager is perhaps best known to Australian audiences as the cellist of the Macquarie Trio through their many recordings and concert performances. He has recorded a critically acclaimed CD set of the complete suites for unaccompanied cello by Bach for ABC Classics/Universal. Mr Goldschlager was principal cellist of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra for six years and is a frequent guest principal cellist with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra. He has toured Europe as principal cellist of the Australian Chamber Orchestra and has recorded with all of these ensembles. Mr Goldschlager has twice been a guest on ABC radio’s nationally broadcast “Margaret Throsby Show” and was a Coordinator of Strings at the Australian National Academy of Music.

His career in N.Y. included appearances with the city’s finest musical organisations, including the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, NYC Opera, NYC Ballet, and as a principal with the Orchestra of St Luke’s. For 2 years, he played Bach suites on stage as a musician and actor in over 1000 performances of the Broadway play, The Elephant Man with such notables as David Bowie.

His interests are not limited to “classical” music. He has performed with George Benson, Meatloaf, Henry Mancini, Paul Anka and Dionne Warwick to name but a few. He has been published as a writer in the New York Times, Fine Music magazine, The Australian. He has built his home, an ocean-going wooden boat, climbed 41 mountains, and is a dedicated motorcyclist. Mr Goldschlager sits on the International Advisory Board of alongside such notables as Brigitte Bardot, Sean Connery and Martin Sheen.

Last updated 2018

Sharon Grigoryan

Australian Hometown: Melbourne
Education: Australian National Academy of Music

For ASQ cellist Sharon Grigoryan (nee Draper), working with the Quartet breaks down the barrier of the concert hall and brings communities into intimate contact with great music.

Born in Melbourne, Sharon studied at the University of Melbourne and the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) under David Berlin, Philip Green, and Howard Penny. From 2008-2012 Sharon held a position with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) and was a regular participant in their Chamber Players series. In 2009 she formed the Hopkins String Quartet and was, in the same year, accepted into the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s Emerging Artists program. She has since toured extensively with the ACO.

In 2011 Sharon was a recipient of the MSO Friends’ Travel Scholarship and spent a year in Berlin studying with Professor Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt and Nicolas Alsteadt. Since then she has performed with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Spira Mirabilis Chamber Orchestra, as well as being a core member of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra.

Sharon has performed as a guest with the Australia Ensemble, and the Australian World Orchestra under conductors Sir Simon Rattle and Ricardo Muti. In 2015 she formed a duo with guitarist and husband Slava Grigoryan, and is the current Artistic Director of the Barossa, Baroque and Beyond music festival, now in its 5th year.

Sharon also has a passion for teaching. Apart from teaching the cello privately, she has tutored ensembles such as the Melbourne Youth Orchestra, AYO’s National Music Camp orchestras, and been a guest chamber music tutor at ANAM.

After seven wonderful years, Sharon Grigoryan will step down as ASQ Cellist at the end of 2020 and Michael Dahlenburg will join the quartet.

Last updated 2020

Rowena Hamimill

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Northern Illinois University

Rowena Hammill graduated with a master’s degree from Indiana University where she was teaching assistant to Janos Starker. She has held professorships at the University of Northern Iowa and California State University Northridge and was Associate Principal Cello of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Presently, she divides her time between her positions as Associate Principal Cello of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra and Artistic Director of Vashon Chamber Music in Washington state.

In Los Angeles, she has performed with the Gold Coast Concert Artists, Pittance Chamber Music, and for the Guild Series. In the Seattle area, she curates and performs concerts for Club Shostakovich, and with the Girsky Quartet presents the Vashon Beethoven Quartet Project, performing all the quartets of Beethoven over three years, 2015-2018.

Rowena Hammill is Associate Principal Cello of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra. She divides her time between Los Angeles and Vashon Island, Washington, where she is the director of Vashon Chamber Music and the Vashon Island Cello Camp.

Last updated 2020