Jonathan Allen

Australian Hometown: Canberra
Education: Canberra School of Music

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
The Australian violinist Jonathan Allen first studied at the Canberra School of Music with Vincent Edwards and Josette Esquidin before moving to Hobart to further his studies with Jan Sedivka.  His reputation quickly grew with public performances and broadcasts of concertos by Prokofieff, Tchaikovsky, Haydn, Samuel Barber and Vaughan Williams. However, it was his talent and vital interest in chamber music that led to the appointment as leader of the Petra String Quartet (Quartet in Residence at the University of Tasmania). The Quartet‘s enthusiasm for commissioning and premiering new works resulted in the CD recordings of twelve Australian quartets.

In 1987 Jonathan Allen was awarded an International Study Grant that led him through Canada to Europe attending master classes and studying with prominent musicians such as Zoltan Szekely, Lorand Fenyves, Max Rostal and Sandor Vegh.

After a short term in the London Symphony Orchestra he moved to the musically inspiring city of Vienna. Using Vienna as his base and working with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, he also toured extensively as concertmaster of the Konzert Ensemble Salzburg, Neue Wiener Solisten and Klangforum Wien.

An invitation in 1989 as guest assistant concertmaster of the Australian Chamber Orchestra led to extensive tours of Australia, South America and Europe.

Alongside commitments as a member of Philharmonia Zürich – das Orchester des Opernhauses Zürich since 1991, Jonathan Allen has appeared as Concertmaster with the Zürich Chamber Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria and the 21st Century Orchestra. During 2006 – 2007 he was acting 2nd Concertmaster at the Zurich Opera House, Philharmonia Zurich. Jonathan Allen regularly performed with Ensemble Zero and is the founding member of Ensemble/Piano Trio Il Trittico, in which the latter received outstanding critiques in the “Strad” and “Musik und Theater” for their premier recordings of the complete Joachim Raff Piano Trios, www.trittico.ch. In 2011 the prominant CD label Divox released the world premier recording of Joachim Raff’s two Piano Quartets which were nominated for the renowned Echo Prize. Jonathan Allen has for many years taken an interest in discovering undeservingly neglected chamber music works and dedicated himself to making public forgotten masterpieces. His performing schedule has included live broadcasts for Radio and TV, chamber music concerts in various Festivals  (America, Canada and Europe) and CD recordings (Divox, Arte Nova – Sony BMG, Gallo, ABC classics and ProViva). Directly inspired from the years of working with N. Harnoncourt and William Christie, (predominantly in the ensemble “la Scintilla”) Jonathan has enriched his musical spheres not only with early music performing with the historical instrumental practise but has also branched out to include jazz concerts in his musical adventures. Jonathan continues to reside in Zurich as a member of Philharmonia Zurich.

Last updated 2019

Lucas Barr

Australian Hometown: Melbourne
Education: Victorian College for the Arts

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Lucas grew up in Melbourne where he could be found busking on the streets of Box Hill at the age of just 15. While studying at the Victorian College for the Arts, Lucas was invited to study in Austria where his teacher and mentor Brian Finlayson was appointed. With the help of a music loving Melbourne arts patron Lucas moved to Klagenfurt in southern Austria at 16 years of age.

Barr moved to Cologne two years later to continue his studies where he met his future wife Suzanne, a clarinettist. During this time Lucas played, toured and recorded with the Cologne Chamber Orchestra as well as playing as a soloist with various string quartets.

Lucas played with the prestigious Bayreuth Festival Orchestra and has played in almost all Australian World Orchestra concert seasons, including tours to India and Singapore. He currently holds a position with WDR Symphony Orchestra in Germany.

Last updated 2018

Antoine (Tony) Bedewi

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Royal Academy of Music, London

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Antoine Bedewi holds the position of Principal Timpanist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, best known as the host orchestra of the world’s biggest international classical music festival, the BBC Proms.

Prior to joining the BBCSO in 2017 Antoine held the position of Co-Principal Timpanist with the London Symphony Orchestra, whilst simultaneously freelancing with all of the major orchestras in London and the UK. He has also performed around the world with a variety of orchestras and conductors including the John Wilson Orchestra, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Australian World Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle and Riccardo Muti. In 2007 he served as the Principal Timpanist at Chile’s national opera house, Teatro Municipal.

As a percussionist, Antoine is a member of the Colin Currie Group, an internationally-acclaimed ensemble founded in 2006 specialising in the music of Steve Reich. With Reich’s personal endorsement the group has performed at international venues including London’s Royal Festival Hall, Louis Vuitton Foundation (Paris), Elbphilharmonie (Hamburg), Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and Opera City Tokyo.

Antoine currently teaches orchestral timpani at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and previously taught timpani and percussion at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. As a student at the RAM he was awarded a DipRAM recital diploma in 2005. Prior to this he was awarded a first-class degree in music and the Director’s Prize from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. His teachers include Simon Carrington and Alan Cumberland, whose virtuosic Two Challenges for Timpani (2003) are dedicated to Antoine.

Last updated 2019

Jonathan Békés

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

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
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

Lukas Beno


Education: Mannheim University of Music and Performing Arts

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY 
Lukas Beno is Principal Trumpet of the Gewandhausorchester as well as a member of both the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra and the Australian World Orchestra. Together with other principal brass players he became a founding member of the Gewandhaus Brass Quintett, which successfully tours throughout Europe. He has played as Guest Principal Trumpet with the Berliner Philharmoniker, the NDR Symphony Orchester in Hamburg, the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden any many other prestigious orchestras.

Lukas Beno has played as a celebrated soloist with such orchestras as the Gewandhausorchester, the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, the Jena Philharmonic Orchestra and the Camerata Bern. Parallel to his artistic career, he holds regular master classes in Germany as well as in the USA, China, Australia, Venezuela, Cyprus, Brazil, Taiwan and Singapore. Lukas Beno studied with Prof. Günther Beetz in Mannheim.

Last updated 2018

Kees Boersma

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Victorian College of the Arts, Sweelinck Conservatorium, Amsterdam

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Kees Boersma has held the position of Principal Double Bass with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra since 1990.  He has performed with Australian World Orchestra since its formation in 2011.

In recognition of his solo talents, the SSO has commissioned new works from leading Australian composers featuring Kees as soloist. His 2013 performance of Mary Finsterer’s “Lake Ice Concerto for Double Bass and Orchestra was a finalist in the prestigious APRA Awards for ‘Best Performance of a New Australian Work’. He has been similarly recognized with the commission and performances of the Concerto for Double bass and Orchestra ‘Young Tree Green’ by Colin Bright.

In 2012, Kees was invited to be the founding Artistic Director of the SSO ‘Vanguard’ – curating a concert series in innovative and contemporary venues, seeking to encourage young philanthropists to engage and invest in their orchestra. He is currently the President of the SSO Musician’s Association.

The Australian World Orchestra commissioned Elena Kats Chernin to compose The Witching Hour, the first concerto for eight double basses in orchestral history on the occasion of the AWO’s Fifth Anniversary. Kats-Chernin composed The Witching Hour especially to showcase the extraordinary AWO double bass section comprising Max McBride (formerly ACO, Vienna State Opera, Senior Lecturer ANU School of Music), Kirsty McCahon (formerly Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Orchestra of The Age of Enlightenment), Matthew McDonald (Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra), Ciro Vigilante (Vienna Chamber Orchestra), Robert Nairn (Professor of Double Bass Juilliard School and Penn State University), Kees Boersma (Principal, Sydney Symphony Orchestra), Tim Dunin (Professor of Double Bass, University of Music, Graz; formerly Vienna Philharmonic) and Alex Henery (Principal, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, formerly Philharmonia London).

A great lover of chamber music, Kees Boersma s a regular artist at Musica Viva’s Chamber Music Festivals and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music.

Kees was a founding member of the Australia’s pre-eminent contemporary music group ELISION, premiering, touring and recording the works of Franco Donatoni, Richard Barrett, Liza Lim and Brian Ferneyhough. . 

After studies at the Victorian College of the Arts, Kees travelled to his birthplace in the Netherlands to undertake post-graduate studies at the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam. He consequently performed for several seasons with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam under conductors such as Haitink, Dorati, Harnoncourt, Chailly and Giulini.

On his return to Australia, Kees performed as Principal Bass with the State Orchestra of Victoria and the Australian Chamber Orchestra before joining the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

Kees is a Lecturer of Double Bass at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and enjoys being a regular tutor with the Australian Youth Orchestra and Sydney Youth Orchestra.

He is a regular Guest Principal Bass of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

As a result of his enthusiasm to explore historically informed performance practice, Kees has enjoyed recent opportunities to play with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (London), the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and Pinchgut Opera.

In collaboration with his vivacious life partner Kirsty McCahon, his ‘Bass Extravaganza’ concerts as part of the ‘Resonate’ series at the National Art Gallery of NSW explore new ways of presenting music for their beloved basses!

Last updated 2018

Lauren Brigden

Australian Hometown(s): Sydney & Melbourne
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Australian Institute of Music

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Lauren Brigden has been a member of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Viola section since 2006 & is a founding member of the Fidelio Quartet. She grew up on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, studying violin from an early age with John Speer. She was awarded numerous prizes and scholarships including the John Curro Viola Prize while studying with Patricia Pollett at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. Lauren returned to Sydney receiving a scholarship to complete her Bachelor Of Music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with Winifred Durie.

Lauren has studied & performed extensively throughout Europe & North America including the Aspen Music Festival. She has received an Ian Potter Cultural Trust Scholarship and an Emerging Artist Grant from the Australia Council for study in Vienna with Gertrude Rossbacher. Lauren is the proud mother of two beautiful boys, is passionate about the Tour de France, drinks copious amounts of tea and once moonlighted with the YouTube Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall

Last updated 2020

Francesco (Frank) Celata

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

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
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

Rebecca Chan

Australian Hometown: Melbourne
Education: Australian National Academy of Music; Sydney Conservatorium of Music

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Rebecca Chan was born in Melbourne, Australia and studied violin with Alice Waten at the Australian National Academy of Music and Sydney Conservatorium and with William Hennessy at Melbourne University, where she also completed degrees in Medicine and Arts.

Rebecca has played as soloist with many of Australia’s major orchestras, including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide, Tasmanian and Canberra Symphony Orchestras, Orchestra Victoria, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and the Australian Chamber Orchestra.  She was the winner and two time finalist in the string section of the ABC Young Performers awards, winner of the Australian Concerto and Vocal Competition and the ANAM concerto competition and was a prize winner at the International Citta di Brescia Violin Competition.

As a chamber musician, Rebecca has toured around Australia, Europe and Asia and played in numerous festivals around the world.  She was a member of the Hamer Quartet (winners of the first prize, the audience prize and Musica Viva award in the 2009 Asia Pacific Chamber Music Competition) and the Australia Piano Quartet.

Rebecca has been guest concertmaster with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and Western Australian Symphony Orchestra and guest principal second violin with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Camerata Bern and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.  Rebecca was a member of the Australian Chamber Orchestra from 2010-2015.  She has also been a member of the Australian World Orchestra and is a core member and guest director of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra.  Rebecca is currently Associate Leader with the Philharmonia Orchestra.

Last updated 2018