Tony Bedewi midshot

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 Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Australian World Orchestra. In 2007 he served as the Principal Timpanist at Chile’s national opera house, Teatro Municipal.

As a percussionist, Antoine appears frequently with 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 London’s Royal Academy of Music, having previously completed his postgraduate studies there in 2005. Prior to this he was awarded a first-class degree in music from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, where he was also presented with the Director’s Prize for all-round excellence and service to the Academy.

His teachers include Simon Carrington and Alan Cumberland, whose virtuosic Two Challenges for Timpani (2003) are dedicated to Antoine.

Last updated 2022

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 2022

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

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

Lukas Beno

Education: Mannheim University of Music and Performing Arts

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY 
Lukas Beno is Principal Trumpet of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and is also a member of both the Australian World Orchestra and the historic Bayreuth Festival Orchestra. In addition, he is a founding member of the Gewandhaus Brass Quintett, which successfully tours throughout Europe. 

He has played as Guest Principal Trumpet with many prestigious international orchestras such as the Berliner Philharmoniker, the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra in Hamburg and the Bavarian Radio Symphony.

Also as a celebrated soloist, Lukas Beno has performed with many European orchestras including the Gewandhausorchester, the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra and the Camerata Bern. 

Parallel to his performing career, Lukas Beno holds a professorship at the Mannheim University of Music and Performing Arts and gives regular master classes in Germany, USA, China, Australia, Venezuela, Cyprus, Brazil, Taiwan and Singapore.

Last updated 2022

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 is 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 2022

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

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 has been the winner of the string section and Nelly Apt Scholarship in the ABC Young Performers Awards, the ANAM concerto competition and the Australian Concerto and Vocal Competition and was a prizewinner 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 is a member of the Australia Piano Quartet and the Hamer Quartet (winners of the first prize, the audience prize and Musica Viva award in the 2009 Asia Pacific Chamber Music Competition).

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 regular guest director of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra. Rebecca is currently 1st Violin Associate Leader with the Philharmonia Orchestra.

Last updated 2022

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