Francesco (Frank) Celata

Australian Hometown(s): Melbourne & Sydney
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music; Victorian College of the Arts

Mr Frank Celata is Associate Principal Clarinet with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and an AWO Board Member. Mr Celata graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts 1987, prior to that he studied, and is now a lecturer, at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

He is a founding member of the chamber ensemble the Sydney Soloists and is a member of the New Sydney Wind Quintet. In 2013 he accepted the position of Lecturer in Orchestral and Chamber Music at the Conservatorium of Music in Hobart.

On several occasions between 2003 and 2009 he appeared with the London Symphony Orchestra as guest Principal Clarinet, performing on international tours and recordings. More recently he appeared as guest Principal Clarinet with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London touring internationally and recording with them. Frank plays Principal Clarinet with the Australian World Orchestra, comprising 110 of Australia’s leading musicians drawn from 47 orchestras around the world.

Last updated 2018

Tamara-Anna Cislowska

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Tamara-Anna Cislowska is one of Australia’s most acclaimed and recognised pianists. Soloist, recitalist and chamber music specialist, she performs in Australia and worldwide in repertoire spanning three centuries, to critical and public acclaim, and is also renowned for her writing as a presenter on ABC Classic FM radio.

Tamara has won international prizes in London, Italy and Greece, including the Rovere d’Oro, and in Australia has earned awards such as ABC Young Performer of the Year, a Freedman Fellowship from the Music Council of Australia, the 2012 Art Music Award for ‘Performance of the Year’ (ACT) and  the 2015 ARIA for ‘Best Classical Album’.

Last updated 2018

Lerida Delbridge

Australian Hometown(s): Melbourne & Sydney
Education: University of Melbourne, International Menuhin Music Academy, Switzerland

Lerida began learning the violin at the age of three and at fifteen, began her undergraduate studies with William Hennessy at the University of Melbourne, completing a Doctor of Musical Arts in 2003. Lerida has engaged in study at the International Menuhin Music Academy, Switzerland; International Holland Music Sessions, The Netherlands; Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada; International Musicians Seminar Prussia Cove, UK; Yale Summer School of Music and Stanford University in the United States.

In 2014 Lerida was appointed to the position of Assistant Concertmaster of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Lerida has also appeared as a guest principal player with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonic and Orchestra Victoria and as a ripieno player with Australian Chamber Orchestra. Lerida is a core player with the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and Artistic Director of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra Virtuosi.

In 2003 Lerida co-founded the Tinalley String Quartet, winners of the 2007 Banff International String Quartet Competition and the 2005 Asia Pacific Chamber Music Competition. The Quartet has established itself as one of Australia’s most successful ensembles, performing extensively throughout Europe, Canada, North America and Australia and appearing in such iconic venues as the Concertgebouw, Vienna Musikverein, Frankfurt AlteOper, Berlin Konzerthaus and the Sydney Opera House.

Lerida is the grateful recipient of a 1793 Joseph and Antonius Gagliano violin on loan from a private donor.

Last updated 2020

Catherine Hewgill

Australian Hometown(s): Perth & Sydney
Education: Royal College of Music, London, University of Southern California

Catherine Hewgill is the Principal Cellist of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, a position she has held since 1990.

She grew up in Perth, Western Australia and there, at age ten, commenced her cello studies. In 1978 she continued her musical studies at the Royal College of Music in London.

In 1981 Ms Hewgill completed her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Southern California where she was named Outstanding Chamber Music Graduate.

In 1984 Catherine won the Hammer-Rostropovich Scholarship and was invited by the legendary Mstislav Rostropovich to perform at the Second American Cello Congress. A period of private study with Rostropovich followed.

Ms Hewgill toured Europe in 1985 with I Solisti Veneti, shortly after which she studied in London with the late highly esteemed William Pleeth, teacher of Jacqueline du Pré. More recently Ms Hewgill studied in Europe with the renowned Dutch cellist, Pieter Wispelwey.

Returning to Australia in 1987, Catherine became a member of the Australian Chamber Orchestra and in 1989 was invited to join the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Ms Hewgill has performed with some of the world’s foremost conductors, including Edo de Waart, Sir Charles Mackerras, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Marius Jansons and Charles Dutoit.

Catherine has toured with the SSO in Japan, China, Europe and the USA and as soloist with most Australian orchestras. Her SSO solo concerto appearances have included Beethoven’s Triple Concerto (conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy), Haydn’s D major Concerto (Charles Dutoit), Elgar’s Cello Concerto, Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations, the Brahms Double Concerto, and as a soloist in concerts with Nigel Kennedy.

For a number of years Ms Hewgill was also a member of The Australian Trio. In 2003 she toured Japan with the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa and more recently has performed chamber music with Pinchas Zukerman.

Her professional association with Vladimir Ashkenazy during his tenure of Chief Conductor of the SSO, has led to their collaboration in this recording From Darkness to Light, Sonatas for Cello and Piano by Prokofiev and Shostakovich.

Ms Hewgill plays a 1729 Carlo Tononi cello.

Last updated 2020

Christina Leonard

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music; Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London

Christina Leonard is one of Australia’s leading saxophonists and was the Artistic Director of the 2018 CLASSIC STOMP and AWO’s Chamber Music Festival in the NSW Southern Highlands. Christina plays regularly with both the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Opera Orchestra and has performed orchestrally in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Malaysia and in Hobart as a soloist with the Tasmania Symphony Orchestra. Christina has also performed with the ACO, the Song Company, Match Percussion, Synergy, and the Sonic Art Ensemble.

Christina regularly features in the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra’s Noel Noel concert series, and was a soloist in the Elena Kats-Chernin commission to celebrate the ABO’s 25th Anniversary.  Christina premiered her own transcription of CPE Bach’s Concerto in A minor Wq 170 with the ABO in their Vivaldi Unwired season this year. She has made many recordings and live broadcasts for ABC Classic FM and Fine Music FM.  Christina has premiered newly commissioned music with Marshall McGuire at the Utzon Room Chamber music series at the Opera House and will record a CD of this and other new music later in the year. Christina has recently recorded a CD of Saxophone and Piano repertoire with Tamara-Anna Cislowska

Christina was awarded a Queens Trust Scholarship to complete a postgraduate degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. Christina completed her Masters of Music (Performance) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and has been lecturing Saxophone, examining and facilitating workshops and classes there since 1996. Christina’s transcriptions of Baroque music for Saxophone and keyboard, are included on the current AMEB and ABRSM, (London) Syllabi.

Christina continues to champion opportunities for classical Saxophone commissions and performances and is the first Australian to be endorsed as an International Artist with Japanese instrument maker Yanagisawa.

Last updated 2018

Asmira Woodward-Page

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music; Indiana University School of Music; The Juilliard School, New York

Australian violinist Asmira Woodward-Page performs internationally as soloist and chamber musician, receiving recognition for her original artistry. Praised for her “transforming intensity and beauty of tone” (New York Times), and described as “an auspicious talent” who “speaks directly to her listeners” (Sydney Morning Herald), Asmira won the 2003 Concert Artists Guild Competition, and continues to enjoy an eclectic career focused on performing traditional and new classical works. Her forays into other musical styles through working with artists like Pandit Prabhakar Dhakde, Herbie Hancock, Riyuichi Sakamoto, John Zorn, Jay-Z, Beyoncé and Kanye West, attest to her multi-faceted approach to music making.

As a recitalist who has toured extensively in the Americas and her native Australia, Asmira’s engagements have included Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Ravinia Festival’s Rising Stars concerts, the Dame Myra Hess series in Chicago, the Washington Performing Arts Society, and Mexico’s Festival Internacional Cervantino. Asmira also enjoys performing in more intimate settings like at WMP’s Strad for Lunch series in Manhattan, at Barbes in Brooklyn, and in numerous classrooms, soup kitchens and community centers. She collaborates with a variety of talented pianists including Inon Barnatan, Ieva Jockubaviciute, Einav Yarden, Steven Beck, Blair McMillen, Scott Davie and Tanya Bannister. Having performed in all manner of venues, Asmira is easily comfortable performing anywhere for anyone.

A “solo artist…in peak form” (Symphony Magazine), Asmira has performed concertos with the major orchestras in Australia and several in North America, including SONYC (the String Orchestra of New York City), The Little Orchestra Society, Wartburg Symphony and the Charlotte Philharmonic, collaborating with conductors like Jahya Ling, Michael Christie, Muhai Tang and fellow Australian, Matthew Coorey. She is heard in many recordings, on live TV and radio broadcasts, and was featured in the ABC documentary “The Little Box that Sings”.

Asmira believes deeply in presenting music to young people through whatever means necessary to inspire in them a love for music. She has led many outreach programs, drawing upon her extensive teaching and performing experience… plus a few crazy ideas. Asmira began her violin studies with Jan Cooper and then Harry Curby at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, later becoming a student of Miriam Fried and Paul Biss at the Indiana University School of Music, where she received her Bachelor of Music and Artist Diploma, and was awarded the Performer’s Certificate for outstanding musical performance. She went on to earn a Master of Music degree at Juilliard where she studied with Robert Mann. 

Last updated 2018