Joanne (Jo) Sadler

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: University of Sydney; Yossi Zivoni, london

Joanne was born in Sydney, Australia. She began her musical studies with the Suzuki method studying both violin and piano. After graduating from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Music Honours (high distinction in violin performance), Joanne continued her studies in London with Yossi Zivoni (Royal College of Music). While living in the UK, Joanne played with orchestras including the RTE National Orchestra of Ireland, the Ulster Orchestra, the London Concertante and the Brandenburg Sinfonia and spent a winter in Paris playing with the Orchestre de Cirque D’Hiver. During her studies, she was guest leader with the Royal Academy of Music Chamber Orchestra, and concertmaster of the Sydney University Symphony Orchestra. She played with the British Youth Opera, Australian Young Concert Artists and Australian Youth Orchestra and Camerata.

Joanne has lived in Boston, USA, since 2008. She has played with orchestras in the Boston area including Symphony New Hampshire, Plymouth Philharmonic, the Cape Ann Symphony Orchestra and the Berklee College of Music Session Orchestra. Joanne has taught full time in the Somerville Public Schools, building a thriving string orchestra program of over 600 students, creating partnerships with the Boston Symphony Orchestra Education and Outreach program and the Boston Chamber Music Society, and establishing a daily El Sistema-inspired afterschool orchestra program, where music is used to promote social change in under-served communities. In Australia, Joanne works with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, the Sydney Philharmonia Orchestra and the Australian World Orchestra Chamber Ensemble.

Last updated 2018

Gemma Tomlinson

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

Australian born cellist Gemma Tomlinson is a musician passionate about performing in various musical settings. As a chamber musician, soloist and orchestral musician, she enjoys performances in a wide variety of musical styles with a range of home-grown and international artists. 

As an alumnus of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, the Victorian College of the Arts and the Australian National Academy of Music, Gemma has received various awards for her efforts in her studies, including: the Corinna D’Hage String Scholarship, Lady Tumor Exhibition, John and Rosemary Travelling Scholarship and first place in the 4mbs (QLD), Melbourne University and ANAM Chamber Music Competitions. Maintaining regular studies with teachers including Howard Penny and Molly Kadarauch, Gemma also performed in masterclasses for visiting artists such as Pieter Wispelwey, Torleif Thedeen, Johannes Moser and the Brentano, Brodsky and Tokyo String Quartets.

Gemma has collaborated in chamber music performances with international musicians such as Anthony Marwood, Jack Liebeck, Victoria Sayles, and Brett Dean, and performed alongside the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Aurora Orchestra and Melbourne Chamber Orchestra. She has also enjoyed performances at Four Winds Bermagui, the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival, Melbourne Festival and the St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar in Stanford, California. 

As an avid supporter and performer of contemporary art music, Gemma is founding and current cellist of contemporary music ensemble Rubiks Collective, who have participated in various successful concerts since 2015, and eagerly anticipate their debut concert as Spotlight series artists at the Melbourne Recital Centre. Gemma has also shared the stage with groups Bang on a Can All Stars, and Grammy award winning ensemble Eighth Blackbird, which have supported her passion as a contemporary cellist. 

Currently, Gemma is a Fellow of the Australian National Academy of Music, presenting a series titled She Speaks. The series is aimed at highlighting and celebrating the music of female composers from the Medieval Era right through to the present day. 

Last updated 2020

Melinda Watzel

Australian Hometown: Melbourne
Education: Klagenfurt Conservatorium; Hochschule für Musik

Melinda Watzel was born in Melbourne and began to play the violin when she was 8 years old. After winning numerous prizes and awards in Australia, she began her studies at the  Klagenfurt Conservatorium and from 1991-1995 was a student of Prof. Igor Ozim at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne.

In 1995 she moved to Berlin after being accepted into the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1996 she was the winner of the Australian Music Foundation prize in London. From 1999-2002 she completed a post graduate performance degree at the UdK Berlin. From 1998-2001 she was a scholarship holder of the Villa Musica foundation. Melinda has been a member of the Komische Oper Berlin since 2002, and Principal of the 2nd Violins since 2009. She plays regularly as guest principal in many European orchestras. Melinda is a valued member of the Australian World Orchestra and has played in many seasons.

Last updated 2020