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

Miles Mullin-Chivers holding cello

Miles Mullin-Chivers

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

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
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

Sam Lucas closeup

Sam Lucas

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

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
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

Eliza Sdraulig

Eliza Sdraulig

Australian Hometown(s): Melbourne
Education: University of Melbourne; New England Conservatory (Boston, USA); Australian National Academy of Music

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Eliza Sdraulig is a Sydney-based cellist originally from Melbourne, Australia. Eliza regularly performs as a guest musician with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Opera Australia Orchestra and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. She has studied at The University of Melbourne, New England Conservatory (Boston, USA) and the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM). Eliza was an Emerging Artist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra in 2018 and a Fellow with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 2019.

An avid solo, chamber and orchestral musician, Eliza has appeared as a concerto soloist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and The University of Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. She is a founding member of the Chroma Quartet and has performed at various festivals such as the Mimir Chamber Music Festival (USA), Australian Festival of Chamber Music and Huntington Festival.

Last updated 2023

Jonathan bekes

Jonathan Békés

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

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Jonathan Békés is one of Australia’s leading cellists and is a renowned solo artist, chamber musician, orchestral musician and educator.

Békés grew up in Campbelltown, Sydney and began playing the cello at the age of 10. He studied a Bachelor of Music (Performance) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and completed the Professional Performance Program at the Australian National Academy of Music. He studied with some of Australia’s leading cellists including Howard Penny, Julian Smiles and Susan Blake. He has worked with and played for some of the world’s leading cellists including Steven Isserlis, Pieter Wispelway, Nicholas Altstaedt, Alban Gerhart and Peter Bruns.

Békés is based in Hobart, Tasmania where he is the Principal cellist with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. He also plays regularly with the Australian World Orchestra, with whom he toured to Singapore in 2016 and India in 2018. He has also played with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Békés has been principle cellist of the Australian Youth Orchestra, the Momentum Ensemble, the Musician’s Project, the Australian International Symphony Orchestra Institute and the Sydney Youth Orchestra.

Békés is high demand as a chamber musician and frequently performs alongside world-renowned artists including Anthony Marwood, Stephan Dohr, Ole Bøhn, Howard Penny and Timothy Young. He is a founding member of the world renowned Tasmanian String Quartet, the award-winning Clarendon Trio; semi-finalists in the 2018 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, First Place in the 2017 ANAM Chamber Music Competition; as well as the Estivo Trio, who have performed across the world including acclaimed concert tours of China, America, Italy and Norway. Békés tours for Musica Viva and regularly presents chamber concerts across Tasmania as an artist for Virtuosi Tasmania.

As a solo artist Békés performs often across Australia and throughout the world. He has played as soloist with many orchestras across Australia including the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, the Hobart Chamber Orchestra, the Sydney Youth Orchestra, the Beecroft Orchestra and the South Coast Orchestra. He presents a series of his own solo recitals and regional tours and frequently tours across Tasmania and mainland Australia.

As an educator Békés is a passionate advocate for music for all people at all forms of life. He has taught extensively across Australia and runs a number of different projects and workshops throughout the country. He regularly takes masterclasses at conservatoriums and schools across the world. As an orchestral tutor and chamber coach Békés teaches around Australia at various institutions and orchestras including the Residential Summer String Camp, the Australian Doctors Orchestra, the Tasmanian Youth Orchestra and the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music.

Békés, in his spare time, is a keen sportsman and an outdoors enthusiast. He is an overly passionate golfer, crazed squash player and a true AFL fanatic. He follows the Sydney Swans and the Hobart Hurricanes, and goes on hiking and mountain biking adventures across Tasmania on a regular basis. For more information see www.jonathanbekes.com

Last updated 2022

Pei-Sian holding cello

Pei-Sian Ng

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Elder Conservatorium of Music; Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Ng Pei-Sian was Commonwealth Musician of the Year in 2007, winner of the Gold Medal and First Prize at the 55th Royal Over-Seas League Music Competition held in London. He has performed concertos with the major Australian symphony orchestras, Singapore Symphony (SSO), Malaysian Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Estonian National Symphony, Oulu Symphony, Sinfonia ViVA, City of Southampton Orchestra, Philippine Philharmonic and the Orchestra of the Music Makers and performed around the world in venues including Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room, Konzerthaus (Berlin), Lincoln Centre and Carnegie Hall.

Born in Sydney in 1984, he began studies in Adelaide with Barbara Yelland and later with Janis Laurs at the Elder Conservatorium of Music before winning the prestigious Elder Overseas Scholarship to study at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Ng Pei-Sian completed his studies under Ralph Kirshbaum during which he was awarded the RNCM Gold Medal, the highest prize given by the college.

Ng has had appearances in important music festivals including the Brighton, Edinburgh, Manchester International Cello Festival, Kronberg Academy, Mecklenburg-Vorpormmern Festival and Adelaide International Cello Festival. Ng performed Tan Dun’s Crouching Tiger Cello Concerto with The Festival Orchestra under the baton of the Academy Award-winning composer and also performed with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, Cho-Liang Lin and Renaud Capuçon.

Recent highlights include a performance of Kalevi Aho’s Double Cello Concerto with his twin brother Ng Pei-Jee and the SSO and also the Asian premiere of John Tavener’s Flood of Beauty with the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory Orchestra under Jason Lai as part of Tapestry, A Sacred Music Festival. Recently, Pei Sian played alongside Yo-Yo Ma and the SSO performing the fresh and exciting double cello concerto Violoncelles Vibrez! by Giovanni Sollima.

Pei Sian is currently Principal Cellist of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and a faculty member at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, Singapore. He performs on a 1764 Giovanni Antonio Marchi cello, Bologna.

Last updated 2022

David Berlin midshot

David Berlin

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

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
David Berlin studied the cello with Lois Simpson at the Sydney Conservatorium and with Channing Robbins at the Juilliard School of Music in New York.

For over 25 years David has been at the forefront of music performance in Australia, as Principal Cello of both the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (1985-1988) and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (since 1989).

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

In London in 1992, David gave the world premiere performance of the complete works for cello and piano by Franz Liszt, with Leslie Howard.

David has 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.

He has appeared in numerous festivals, and in chamber music projects has toured to Japan, Taiwan and New Zealand.

Along with solo recordings for ABC radio he 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 CDs of 2011 in Limelight magazine.

In 2020 together with Benjamin Martin he released French Cello Sonatas on the ABC Classic label, it has enjoyed highly positive reviews and streaming activity  through Spotify.

David plays on a cello made by Ivan Zgradic in Sherman Oaks, California in 1982.

Last updated 2022

Melissa Chominsky

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

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
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 2023

Rohan de Korte

Australian Hometown: Melbourne
Education: Cologne Hochschule for Music

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
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, then as the Associate Principal Cellist with Orchestra Victoria before finally joining the MSO 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 Uni and has arranged many pieces for cello quartet, including a very popular Bohemian Rhapsody as well as writing his own music- ‘The Haunted House’ is always a hit with his three sons.

Last updated 2023

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