Nicole King

Australian Hometown: Melbourne
Education: University of Melbourne

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY

Nicole was born in 1978 in Melbourne and began learning bassoon at the age of 14 with Pauline Coates. She went on to study with Elise Millman at the University of Melbourne. In 1998 Nicole moved to Germany to continue her studies in Frankfurt with Matthew Wilkie and later in Cologne with Georg Klütsch. She became a member of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen when she was 24 years old, where she played for 14 years. She has also worked as a guest with the Melbourne and Queensland Symphony Orchestras. She is currently second bassoonist with the Niedersächsisches Staatsorchester Hannover.

Last updated 2024

Christopher Haycroft with bassoon

Christopher Haycroft

Australian Hometown: Sunshine Coast
Education: Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University; Australian National Academy of Music; University of Melbourne

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY

Chris Haycroft is a bassoonist from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. He undertook a Bachelor of Music at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University in Brisbane, before relocating to Melbourne to attend the Australian National Academy of Music. In 2017 he was a part of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra Fellowship program, before returning to Melbourne to obtain a Masters of Music from the University of Melbourne. Throughout the course of his studies and his continuing professional career, Chris has had the opportunity to perform with several Australian and international orchestras, including the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, Sichuan Symphony Orchestra and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. In 2023, Chris continues to live and work in Melbourne, performing regularly with Orchestra Victoria and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Last updated 2023

Brock Imison

Australian Hometown(s): Brisbane & Melbourne
Education: Queensland Conservatorium of Music

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Brock Imison has held the position of Principal Contrabassoon with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra since 2004. Born in Brisbane, Brock began playing the Bassoon at age 13 and completed his studies at the QLD Conservatorium Music School. During his studies he was a member of the Queensland Youth Orchestra and has also appeared with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonic, Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra (now Opera Australia Orchestra), Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and Australian Chamber Orchestra.

Brock strives to improve the profile of the Contrabassoon, premiering new music in solo recitals, arranging chamber music and hosting workshops for composers to learn more about the instrument. In 2008 he toured as soloist with the MSO performing his own transcription of Weber’s Bassoon Concerto for the Contrabassoon.

Last updated 2023

Adam Mikulicz

Australian Hometown(s): Melbourne & Perth
Education: Victorian College of the Arts; Australian National Academy of Music

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Adam began his study of the bassoon at age 12 and is a graduate of both the Victorian College of Arts and Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM). While studying Adam was Principal Bassoon for the Melbourne Youth Orchestra (MYO). He travelled to Switzerland to continue his studies with Lyndon Watts who was Principle Bassoon of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra during that time.

Since returning home Adam has played with many Australian orchestras including Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria and Australian World Orchestra amongst others.

Last updated 2018

David Mitchell

Australian Hometown(s): Cairns & Brisbane
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
David Mitchell is currently the Associate Principal Bassoon in the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Before joining QSO in 2009, he was Solo Bassoon in the Hofer Symphoniker, Germany, for five years. Additionally, David has been guest bassoonist with Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Symphony Orchestra, Leipziger Kammerorchester, Georgian Chamber Orchestra Ingolstadt, Staatstheater am Gaertnerplatz Munich, Neue Philharmonie Westfalen and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.

David is one of the founding members of Ensemble Q, ensemble in residence at the Queensland Conservatorium led by artistic directors Paul Dean and Trish O’Brien. Previous chamber music ensembles include the Southern Cross Soloists, Lunair Collective and the Atrium Quintet, with numerous performances and tours throughout Australia and Germany. David also performs regularly in various ensembles within the QSO and Queensland Conservatorium. Solo performances include Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto with QSO and Strauss’ Duo Concertante with Hofer Symphoniker.

Born in Cairns, David studied Bassoon at the Sydney Conservatorium with John Cran, and participated in multiple masterclasses and performances at ANAM and AYO tours. He continued further studies in Germany at the Musik-Hochschulen in Weimar, Frankfurt and Cologne with David Petersen and Prof Georg Klütsch and participated in masterclass with Dag Jensen and Klaus Thunemann.

Sharing his passion for training and education, David is currently Lecturer in Bassoon at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University and a regular tutor for the Australian Youth Orchestra and Queensland Youth Orchestras. He also runs a program of master classes and community programs for bassoon students of all ages and levels, as well as professional development for music teachers across Queensland.

Last updated 2018

Matthew Ockendon holding Bassoon

Matthew Ockenden

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music and Essen Hochschule

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Matthew Ockenden holds the position of Associate Principal Bassoon in the Opera Australia Orchestra having first joined the Orchestra in 1993. Matt Started his musical studies at the age of twelve, and under the tutelage of Gordon Skinner and Gustavo Núñez, went on to complete a Bachelor of Music at Sydney Conservatorium of Music and Essen Hochschule.

In addition to the Bassoon, Matt also plays the piano and is the pianist in the Orchestra’s big band.

Last updated 2023

Jack Schiller

Australian Hometown(s): Adelaide & Melbourne
Education: Elder Conservatorium of Music, Adelaide; Australian National Academy of Music, Melbourne

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY

Jack Schiller has held the position of Principal Bassoon with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra since 2013. Born in Adelaide, Jack began playing the bassoon at the age of 12. From 2008 Jack spent four years under the tutelage of Mark Gaydon (Adelaide Symphony Orchestra), including two years of study at the Elder Conservatorium of Music. In 2012 he took up a scholarship at the Australian National Academy of Music, studying under the guidance of Elise Millman (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra). During Jack’s time at the academy he won the ANAM Concerto and Chamber music competitions, and was awarded the Director’s Prize for outstanding achievement by an outgoing student.

Following this period of study Jack took up a position in the Sydney Symphony’s Fellowship program and was also contracted as Associate Principal Bassoon with the orchestra. He has also played as guest principal with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra; and in 2013 was a member of the Australian World Orchestra. As soloist Jack has appeared with Orchestra Victoria, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra performing works by Mozart and Strauss.

Last updated 2023

Nicole Tait

Australian Hometown(s): Perth & Brisbane
Education: University of Western Australia; Hochschule für Musik

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY:
Nicole grew up in Perth, Western Australia.  It was there that she was first introduced to musical instruments, beginning with the piano at 8, before continuing with the bassoon at 13.  She completed her Bachelor of Music degree with First Class Honours from the University of Western Australia, where she had the fortune of studying under the tutelage of professional bassoonist and conductor, Peter Moore.

Later, in 1999, Nicole studied with the highly respected Matthew Wilkie at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt am Main, made possible by a German Government Scholarship.  Whilst overseas, Nicole regularly performed and toured with the Ensemble Modern, Deutscher Kammer Philharmonie and Chamber Orchestra of Europe. 

Since flying back to Australia, Nicole has held the position of Section Principal Bassoon with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) since 2002.  Throughout her wonderful career, Nicole has freelanced with many of Australia’s major orchestras, including Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Australia and the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

Nicole is extremely passionate about teaching and chamber music.  She currently teaches bassoon at two private, secondary schools in Brisbane, and The University of Queensland; sharing her love of her instrument is something that she delights in.  Additionally, Nicole is the co-founder of the chamber ensemble, Elements, whose focus in on commissioning Australian works.  They are currently an ensemble-in-residence at The University of Queensland.

Besides teaching and chamber music, Nicole is passionate about baking, indoor plants and her chickens.

Last updated 2022

Simone Walters

Australian Hometown(s): Perth & Hobart
Education: Victorian College of the Arts, Sydney Conservatorium of Music

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY

Simone Walters relocated to Hobart in 2012 from Perth where she was Principal Contrabassoon with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.
Simone is a regular member of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and her freelance work includes engagements with all of Australia’s professional Symphony Orchestras, Opera Australia, the Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra and the Hong Kong Philharmonic.

In 2013 Simone was invited to perform with the Australian World Orchestra in their season under conductor Zubin Mehta.
Simone was awarded the ‘Mr and Mrs Gerald Frank New’ Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship in 2015 for study of Baroque Bassoon Performance Practices which has taken her career in an exciting new direction. A founding member of Tasmania’s Baroque ensemble,
Van Diemen’s Band, Simone is currently completing a PhD on unpublished and unrecorded eighteenth-century works for obbligato bassoon from the recently recovered manuscript collection of the Berlin Sing-Akademie through the University of Tasmaina.
Simone is especially passionate about historically informed performance practice relating to works of the eighteenth and nineteenth-centuries and was granted a residency in 2019 at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz.

Last updated 2023

Lyndon Watts

Australian Hometown(s): Sydney & Melbourne
Education: University of Music and Performing Arts, Munich

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Lyndon Watts became principal bassoonist of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 22. After 18 years in this position Lyndon chose to move back to his home country Australia to accept the position of lecturer in music (bassoon) at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (MCM). Since 2019 he has been Convenor of the annual MCM Concerto-Aria Competition, and since 2020 Convenor of the MCM Early Music Studio. He is a founding member of the Australian World Orchestra and has performed as a soloist or guest principal with numerous European and Australian ensembles on both modern and period instruments. In 2002 he became the first Australian woodwind player to win a prize in the prestigious ARD International Music Competition, in combination with a special prize for the best interpretation of a newly commissioned solo work by Heinz Holliger, who has described Lyndon’s playing as possessing “an ideal balance between utmost precision and wild spontaneity.” From 2005 to 2015 he was professor of bassoon in Switzerland at the Berne University of the Arts, where he also taught chamber music and contemporary music. Lyndon has premiered many compositions for bassoon by composers from his hometowns Munich and Melbourne. Most recently these included Elliott Gyger’s Elude for solo bassoon, two new works for bassoon and percussion by Miriama Young and Linda Verrier, Elizabeth Younan’s wind quintet Kismet, and the first performance of the bassoon and piano version of a new bassoon concerto by Matt Laing. Lyndon loves living close to the Australian bush and surf, and enjoys keeping fit with his partner and their son.

lyndonwatts.com

Last updated 2023