Jonathan bekes

Jonathan Békés

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

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

Last updated 2022

David Berlin midshot

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 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

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 Grygorian holding cello

Sharon Grigoryan

Australian Hometown: Melbourne
Education: University of Melbourne; Australian National Academy of Music

Based in Adelaide, Sharon Grigoryan was the cellist with the Australian String Quartet from 2013-2020. As part of that group she has collaborated with artists such as the Goldner and Tinalley Quartets, Pieter Wispelwei, Sara Macliver, Slava Grigoryan, Pepe Romero, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Katie Noonan, Konstantin Shamray, Caroline Almonte, and the Melbourne, Sydney, Tasmanian and West Australian Symphony Orchestras. 

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, and in  2011 Sharon was a recipient of the MSO Friends’ Travel Scholarship which took her to Berlin to study with Professor Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt and Nicolas Alsteadt. Whilst there she performed with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Spira Mirabilis Chamber Orchestra. 

An avid chamber musician, Sharon performed in the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s  Chamber Players series many times, and in 2009 she formed the Hopkins String Quartet. In the same year, she was accepted into the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s Emerging Artists program and has toured extensively with the ACO both nationally and abroad since then. Sharon was also made a Core Player of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra in 2012. 

Sharon has performed as a guest with the Australia Ensemble and Australian World Orchestra, and has been invited to be guest principal cellist with the Melbourne, Adelaide, and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras. Sharon was the Artistic Director of the “Barossa, Baroque and Beyond” music festival from 2013-2021. In 2019 Sharon curated a chamber music series, “Live at the Quartet Bar” as part of the Adelaide Festival Centre, and made her debut as a radio presenter on ABC Classic. 

Apart from teaching the cello privately, Sharon has tutored ensembles such as the Melbourne Youth Orchestra, the Australian Youth Orchestra, is on staff at the University of Adelaide, and been a guest chamber music tutor at ANAM and the University of Melbourne.

Sharon formed the cello/guitar duo with husband Slava Grigoryan in 2014, and this has been a particularly joyful musical and personal collaboration for her. She is currently on contract as acting Associate Principal Cello of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

Last updated 2022

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