Natalie Chee

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Natalie Chee began her musical career at the age of 4 on piano. By age 10 she studied violin with Alex Todicescu, a professor at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and member of the Sydney String Quartet.

After winning numerous competitions and prizes in Australia, a young teenage Natalie appeared as a soloist with all of the Australian Symphony Orchestras whist she was in still in high school. In 1994 Natalie was accepted into the Soloist Class of Prof. Igor Ozim in Berne, Switzerland where she received her Soloist Diploma in 1998 with High Distinction.

Still a student, Natalie was invited to become a member of Camerata Bern in the position of 2nd violin leader. During this time, she also co-founded the chamber music ensemble ‘Tiramisu’ and the Mozart Piano Quartet. She toured North and South America, Europe and Australia with these groups and made prominent labels in Switzerland and Germany.

In 2000, Natalie won the position of 1st Concertmaster of Camerata Salzburg – a position she held until 2009. In 2009, Natalie became 1st Concertmaster of the Radio Symphony Orchestra in Stuttgart. She is a regular guest Concertmaster of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and was given the honour of leading this orchestra in the ‘Last Night of the Proms’ in 2014.

As of 2019 Natalie became the Concertmaster of the Gürzenich Orchestra in Cologne.

Last updated 2020

Tamara-Anna Cislowska

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
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

Sally Clarke

Australian Hometown: Brisbane
Education: University of Queensland, Herbert-von-Karajan Akademie, Berlin

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Born in Brisbane, Australia, Sally Clarke began her musical career with violin at the age of 11; one year later she took up the viola as well, in order to play chamber music. She graduated from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Music, Honours, degree (and various prizes and distinctions), performing with diverse chamber ensembles and as soloist with the Queensland Youth Orchestra, on its 1986 New Zealand Tour, and with the  Camerata of St John’s, of which she was a founding member. A German Government Scholarship (DAAD) enabled her to further her studies with Professor Rainer Moog in Cologne; thereafter she attended the Herbert-von-Karajan Akademie in Berlin, performing regularly with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1988 she was Principal Viola with the Schleswig Holstein Festival Orchestra, under the baton of Sergiu Celibidache, from whose mentoring she benefitted greatly.

Chamber music and solo performances have taken Sally to many places in Europe, the Middle East, Australia and Russia. She has participated in various festivals, including those of Townsville and Bangalow, Australia; and in September 2009, the biennial “German Festival” of Krasnodar. In 2014 she made a guest appearance at the World Harp Festival in Sydney and participated in the AWO Chamber Festival in the NSW Southern Highlands in November 2017. Sally teaches and performs at “Das SommerMusikFest” each year.

Sally Clarke’s recordings for CD and radio include the rarely performed Sonatas for Viola and Piano by Luigi von Kunits and Wilhelm Killmayer. Sally’s CD “another sort of fire” featuring works by contemporary women composers, is available through Bayer Records. Her great interest is in expanding traditional “classical” approaches, through “cross-over” projects involving oriental music, live dance-theatre or improvisation to silent movies. In 2009 she founded the trio “Blue Ayre”, together with Cynthia Oppermann, harp, and Veronika Fuchs, flute. The trio has performed in Germany, France and Australia; their CD “Blue Ayre” was released in 2013, and features works by Debussy, Bax, Bartok and a specially commissioned work by Rüdiger Oppermann (Celtic and experimental harp), with whose ensemble “KlangWelten” she has toured on numerous occasions. “Blue Ayre” is available on iTunes.

Sally has taught and coached at various workshops, masterclasses and youth orchestras, including the renowned Interregional Youth Orchestra (IRO), which takes place annually in Ochsenhausen, and at the Sydney Conservatorium High School, or anywhere in the world, online, via www.playwithapro.com. Her teaching style has been described as particularly empowering; she has worked extensively with orchestral musicians, violists and violinists alike, seeking support for audition preparations or just to reboot their technique.

A full-time member of the SWR Symphony Orchestra (formally known as Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart) since 1992. She has appeared with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and also with Ensemble Modern in Frankfurt.

Last updated 2020

Anne-Louise Comerford

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY

Anne-Louise Comerford began playing the violin and piano at the age of five. She attended the Sydney Conservatorium High School and completed her degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, studying with Robert Pikler.

She was a founding member of the Australian Chamber Orchestra and won a scholarship to study with Joseph De Pasquale at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. During this time she attended the New York String Seminar with Alexander Schneider, and also worked with the Stockholm Ensemble in Sweden.

In 1980, she began studies with Bruno Giuranna at the Nordwestdeutsche Musikakademie in Detmold, Germany, and took part in his masterclasses at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy.

Anne-Louise Comerford returned to Australia to join the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 1987. She has previously held the position of Principal Viola in the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and has appeared as guest principal viola with many other Australian orchestras. She is also active as a chamber musician and has performed with the Australia Ensemble and the Sydney Soloists as well as appearing for Musica Viva, and recording for ABC Classic FM. Anne-Louise Comerford has recorded the viola works of Miriam Hyde and is a regular guest at the Kowmung Music Festival in Oberon.

Anne-Louise Comerford plays a Domenico Degani viola made in Montagnana in 1860.

Last updated 2020

Virginia Comerford

Australian Hometown(s): Newcastle & Sydney
Education: Sydney Conservatorium High School

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Virginia is Principal Viola with the Opera Australia Orchestra (formally known as Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra.)

Virginia was born in Newcastle NSW and as a child learnt violin, piano, cello and flute. She later settled on the viola and studied in Sydney with Peter Pfuhl. She completed her schooling at the Conservatorium High School and led the violas at both National Music Camp and Australian Youth Orchestra. At the age of 19 she won the position of Associate Principal Viola with the Opera Australia Orchestra. She also performed with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Australian Chamber Orchestra.

Virginia left the OAO to freelance, first in Australia then overseas. She lived in The Netherlands for five years, working with numerous ensembles including Nieuw Sinfonietta Amsterdam, Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Radio Chamber Orchestra, I Fiamminghi chamber orchestra, and Salzburg Chamber Soloists. She also pursued a love of singing, winning a Queen Elizabeth Scholarship to study in London.

Virginia returned to Australia in 2001 where she returned to the OAO and was appointed Principal Viola in 2009.

Last updated 2020

Heather Cottrell

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Music Academy of Bern

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Heather began playing the violin at the age of three, joining SYO at the age of eight. In addition to being in SYO for many years Heather was also a member of AYO in 1987 and 1988. Then in 1989, at just 18 years of age, she joined the Australian Chamber Orchestra. During this time she was studying with Janet Davies.

In 1992 Heather left Sydney to further her violin studies in Europe, studying at first with Igor Ozim and Eva Zurbrügg in Bern and then continuing with a postgraduate performance degree under Ana Chumachenco in Munich. Heather then pursued further postgraduate study in chamber music with the Alban Berg Quartet in Cologne.

Heather’s first European orchestral position was with the Basle Symphony Orchestra following which she performed with the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra and the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich before joining the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in September 2008 where she is currently Leader of the 2nd Violins.

Last updated 2020

David Cribb

Australian Hometown: Queensland
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
David Cribb was born in Australia and grew up on a cattle property in Queensland. After studying in Brisbane and Sydney, where he gained his first orchestral experience with the Australian Youth Orchestra and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, he moved to Germany in 1998 and studied with David Glidden in Frankfurt.

During this time he played with various chamber music ensembles such as “HR Brass” and “bach, blech and blues”. From 2000 to 2005 David Cribb was principal tuba player with the orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin and has been employed as principal tuba player with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig since 2005. David plays in the “Gewandhaus Brass Quintett” and with his colleagues in the large brass ensemble “Leipzig Brass”.

He has been teaching the orchestra academics in tuba since 2008, has a teaching position at the “Felix Mendelssohn Barthold” University of Music and Theater in Leipzig and is active as a brass lecturer at courses and festivals.

Last updated 2020

Rosemary Curtin

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Sydney Conservatorium High School, Musikhochschule, Munich

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY

Following postgraduate studies at the Musikhochschule in Munich with Hariolf Schlichtig, Rosemary Curtin’s professional career began with regular performances with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields in London, Asia, the US and Europe. 

After returning to Australia, she held the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s Viola Fellowship in 2003. Since then she has been working regularly with the orchestra and in 2014 joined the viola section as a permanent member. She has also pursued an active freelance career with other Australian orchestras, including the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Opera Australia Orchestra and Australian World Orchestra. And in June 2017 she represented the SSO performing with the New York Philharmonic in their Global Orchestra Project. 

Rosemary Curtin began her music studies on the violin at the age of four with the Suzuki method. She changed to the viola when she entered the Sydney Conservatorium High School, studying with Winifred Durie. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Sydney. She has been the recipient of numerous scholarships from organisations including the Queen’s Trust, the Big Brother Movement and the Australian Youth Orchestra. She also holds a Diploma in Management Studies from the University of Cambridge and pursues an active interest in orchestral management. 

Rosemary Curtin plays on an A.E. Smith viola made in Sydney in 1930.

Last updated 2020

Nick Deutsch

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Victorian College for the Arts

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
As a Principal Oboe he has worked with many leading orchestras, including the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Munich Philharmonic, Radio Orchestras of Cologne (WDR), Stuttgart (SWR), Frankfurt (HR), Berlin (RSB & DSO), and Opera Houses of Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Mannheim, Cologne and Oslo under conductors such as Zubin Mehta, James Levine, Kurt Masur, Lorin Maazel, Gustavo Dudamel, Semyon Bychkov, Ivan Fischer, Daniel Harding,  and many more. He also works regularly with various ensembles such as the Ensemble Modern, Capella Andrea Barca (Andras Schiff Ensemble) Chamber Orchestras of Munich, Stuttgart & Heilbronn, Camerata Salzburg, Klangverwaltung München, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and the Stuttgart Bach Collegium.

Nick was a member of the Budapest Festival Orchestra from 2002-2011 and performs regularly with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Nick has also played as Principal Oboist with the Bayreuth Festspiel Orchestra.

As a soloist he has worked with numerous orchestras, including the Camerata Salzburg, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Munich Bach Orchestra, Georgian Philharmonic Orchestra (Tbilisi), Frankfurt Oper and Museums Orchestra, Real Filharmonia de Galicia, Polish Chamber Orchestra, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, Mexican National Orchestra etc. An active chamber musician, he is a founding member of the Hindemith Quintet and works intensively with the Linos Ensemble.

Nick has performed in many major music festivals in over 40 countries on all five continents including the Salzburger Festspiel, Edinburgh International Festival, BBC Proms, La folle Journe (Nantes), Menuhin Festival Gstaad, Reihngau Musik Festival, Prague Spring Festival, Hambacher Musikfest, Bachwoche Ansbach,  „Festspielen Mecklenburg-Vorpommern“, „Schwetzinger Festspiel“, Schleswig Holstein Music Festival, Hitzacker Musiktage, Weilburger Schlosskonzerte, Musikfest Stuttgart, Darmstadt Ferienkurse, Münchner Biennale, Walled City Festival (Derry), Pacific Music Festival (Japan), Tongyoeng International Music Festival (Korea), Meli Mehta Music Foundation(Mumbai), Tbilisi Wind Festival, Musica Compostela (Spanien), Felicia Blumenthal International Music Festival (Tel Aviv), Sydney Festival.

As a Pedagogue, Nick has been guest Professor at numerous Music academies around the world including the Conservatoire National Superier du Musique (Paris), Royal College of Music (London), Royal Academy of Music (London), Gnessin School of Music (Moscow), Hong Kong Academy of Music, Bern Academy of Music, Buchman Mehta School of Music (Tel Aviv) etc. and regularly gives masterclasses all over the world.

 He currently holds the position of Artistic Director at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) as well as Professor of Oboe at the Hochschule für Musik – Felix Mendelsohnn Bartholdy in Leipzig.

Nick is a Marigaux artist and plays a Marigaux M2 oboe.

Last updated 2018

Daniel Dodds

Australian Hometown: Adelaide
Education: Conservatorium of Music, Lucerne, Conservatorium of Utrecht

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Born in Australia, Daniel Dodds performed his first concerts at the age of five. At 14 years of age he lived with his family for a year in Linz, Austria, where he visited the music gymnasium. The positive musical experiences and atmosphere experienced during this year confirmed music making as his vocation. At the age of 17 he left Australia, furnished with scholarships for Switzerland to commence his violin studies with Gunars Larsens at the Conservatorium of Music in Lucerne and with Keiko Wataya at the Conservatorium of Utrecht. Attaining all diplomas “with distinction” he received further inspiration in masterclasses with Rudolf Baumgartner, Franco Gulli and one of the grand masters of the golden age of violinists, Nathan Milstein.

“What Daniel Dodds achieved from the first desk in the Dvorák was simply splendid and lent the piece exemplary melodic intensity, sensuous timbre and vigour.” Neue Luzerner Zeitung

A winner and prize winner of several national and international competitions in his years as a student, Daniel was invited by Rudolf Baumgartner to become a member of the Festival Strings Lucerne, later becoming its first concertmaster in 2001 and in 2012 he was appointed the artistic director of the renowned chamber orchestra, leading it in concerts around the globe.

Like Gunars Larsens, his former teacher and predecessor as leader of the Lucerne Festival Strings, Daniel also teaches a violin class at the Lucerne College of Music.

“Violinist Daniel Dodds enthralled both audience and colleagues.  He accomplished this with the solo part of Edouard Lalo’s “Symphonie Espagnole”, a truly brilliant feat…when a virtuoso soloist brings this inspired acoustical picture with so much hearty and fiery passion, seductively romantic, and with a self-evident enthusiasm for technically demanding artistry and indulgent sound tapestry, the heart of the audience melts.” Giessener Anzeiger

In addition to his regular engagements as guest leader of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Salzburg Camerata, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Australian World Orchestra, he is a member of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and forms part of the ensemble of soloists in the star-studded orchestra.

“The performance of the ‘Festival Strings Lucerne’ under Daniel Dodds evinced high string culture, sensitive and subtle interpretation and homogeneous sound. Musical aesthetics at their best.” Schwarzwälder Bote

Daniel’s appearances as a soloist include: Brisbane Symphony Orchestra, Folkwang Chamber Orchestra Essen, Philharmonic Orchestra Giessen, Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, Festival Strings Lucerne, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Thüringer Symphony Zagreb Philharmonic, Orchestra della Svizzera italiana with Vladimir Ashkenazy and the Australian World Orchestra with Zubin Mehta and Sir Simon Rattle. He has performed as a soloist in South America, North America, Europe, Switzerland, Australia and Asia.

Daniel has performed an extensive range of chamber music works, from duo to nonett, from works of the early baroque period to world premieres of works by contemporary composers as well as crossover projects with jazz, tango, and far eastern music. His chamber music partners include Dimitri and Vovka Ashkenazy, Ramin Bahrami, Kolya Blacher, Wolfram Christ, Vivane Hagner, Daniel Hope, James Galway, Ivan Klansky, Tobias Lea, Jens Peter Mainz, Alois Posch, Rafael Rosenfeld, Kathy Selby, Julian Smiles, Herbert Schuch, Martin Stadtfeld, Danuscha Waskiewicz and See Siang Wong.

“The five movements appeared to light up from within of their own accord. Baroque rationality and Romantic emotionalism happily complemented each other: the ‘Strings’ proved to be nimble and adaptable.” Frankfurter Neue Presse

His solo album “Time Transcending” released by Oehms Classics has received high praise from fonoforum magazines in the United States, Europe, Switzerland and Japan.

Daniel Dodds plays the Stradivari “ex Baumgartner” from 1717 provided by the foundation of the Festival Strings Lucerne.

Last updated 2020