Jacob Abela

Australian Hometown(s): Sydney & Melbourne
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music; Australian National Academy of Music

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Australian keyboardist and composer Jacob Abela is a soloist and chamber musician specialising in the new music field. Jacob is Australia’s leading voice for the Ondes Martenot, a French keyboard instrument which predates the synthesiser. Jacob is a founding member and co-director of new music outfit Rubiks, who have enjoyed critical acclaim for their contribution to Melbourne’s contemporary music scene.

Jacob also performs regularly with the Melbourne and Sydney Symphony Orchestras, and has appeared with renowned ensembles such as Ensemble Offspring, Argonaut Ensemble (BIFEM), Speak Percussion, and Synergy Percussion. Festival credits include the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival (USA), Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music, Metropolis New Music Festival, ISCM World New Music Days, Sydney Festival, and Mathemusical Conversations (Singapore).

Last updated 2017

Andrew Bain

Australian Hometown: Adelaide
Education: Elder Conservatorium, University of Adelaide; University of Music Karlsruhe, Germany

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
ANDREW BAIN was appointed to the Chair of Principal Horn of the Los Angeles Philharmonic by Gustavo Dudamel in May 2011.

Raised in Adelaide, Andrew was first introduced to music at the age of 8 when he took up the piano. Four years later, he was enrolled at Brighton High School in their special music program and soon after switched to the French horn because he loved the sound. Andrew ultimately received a Bachelor in Music from the Elder Conservatorium of Music at the University of Adelaide studying with Patrick Brislan. He furthered his studies with Geoff Collinson in Sydney, Hector McDonald in Vienna, and in 2003 completed a Graduate Diploma in Chamber Music under Will Sanders in Karlsruhe, Germany.

Prior to moving to LA Andrew held positions of Principal Horn of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Münchner Symphoniker and the Australian Opera & Ballet Orchestra, and Associate Principal Horn of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. From 2003-2012 he was the Principal Horn of the Colorado Music Festival.

A highly regarded solo artist, Andrew has appeared regularly as a soloist with the LA Phil since joining the orchestra. Andrew has also appeared at the front of the stage with the Melbourne and Queensland Symphony Orchestras, Colorado Music Festival, Colburn Orchestra and Music in the Round Festival. In 2015 Andrew presented the world premiere of Brad Warnaar’s Horn Concerto with the Hollywood Chamber Orchestra and looks forward to recording the work in 2016. A keen chamber musician, Andrew loves to explore the possibilities of the horn in various ensembles and most recently gave the first performance of Geoffrey Gordon’s Winterleben for Mezzo Soprano, Horn and Piano.

In addition to performing, Andrew is passionate about education and is proud to be the Horn Professor at the Colburn School Conservatory. Andrew has held teaching positions with the Australian National Academy of Music, University of Melbourne, Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music and Sydney Conservatorium. He has also given master classes and lectures throughout the United States, Europe and Australasia.

Last updated 2018

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

David Berlin

Australian Hometown(s): Sydney & Melbourne
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music; Julliard School of Music, New York

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
David Berlin studied the cello with Lois Simpson at the Sydney Conservatorium and the Juilliard School of Music in New York, with Channing Robbins. For over 25 years David has been at the forefront of music performance here in Australia, as Principal Cello of both the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra from 1985 through to 1988 and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra from 1989.

David has also made numerous appearances as soloist with these and other Australian Orchestras and was invited to play guest Principal Cello with the Sydney and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Australian World Orchestra.

In 1992, David gave the world premiere performance of the complete works of Cello and Piano by Franz Liszt with Leslie Howard, in London. He has also performed chamber music with violinists Kolja Blacher, James Ehnes, Nigel Kennedy, and Sarah Chang and pianists Garrick Ohlsson, Emanuel Ax and Yefim Bronfman, as well as tenor Ian Bostridge.

Along with solo recordings for ABC radio, David has appeared as soloist on the Tall Poppies, Chandos and Naxos labels. His recital disc Barber & Debussy with pianist Len Vorster on the Tall Poppies label was nominated by James McCarthy as one of the best classical CD’s of 2011 in Limelight magazine. In June 2017 David played in the New York Philharmonic Global Orchestra for Alan Gilbert’s final concerts as Music Director.

Last updated 2018

Zoe Black

Australian Hometown: Melbourne
Education: Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School; Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London; Vienna Hochschule

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Zoë Black is a violinist’s violinist, known for her beauty of sound and natural virtuosity. In 1989 she won the National Youth Concerto Competition and in 1991, the string section of the ABC Young Performers Awards.

After graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts in 1992, Zoë was awarded grants from the Australia Council and Queen Elizabeth Silver Jubilee Trust as well as the major performance award of the Australian Music Foundation in London, which facilitated her studies at the Guildhall School of Music under David Takeno and subsequently at the Vienna Hochschule with Michael Schnitzler.

Zoë was appointed assistant leader of the Australian Chamber Orchestra in 1993, touring the world extensively. A committed chamber musician, in 2005 Zoë co-founded the Freshwater Trio with whom she toured nationally and internationally. She has also performed as soloist with various chamber and symphony orchestras and is a regular guest concertmaster with MSO and QSO.

Zoë returned to the ACO in 2012 in a part time capacity, where she regularly led the ACO Collective, performed as soloist and was an integral component of their educational program. More recently, Zoë was a guest leader of the Australian String Quartet in 2016, performing at Festivals in Victoria, Western Australia and in Italy (Rome, Venice and Cremona).

In 2011 Zoë co-founded the innovative duo with pianist/composer Joe Chindamo. The duo has performed at all the major festivals in Australia and recorded three ARIA nominated CDs, (ReimaginingsDido’s Lament and their re-versioning of The Goldberg Variations, premiering the latter at Carnegie Hall in 2015). The duo made their debut Italian performance at the Spinacorona Festival in Naples, at the invitation of renowned pianist Michele Campanella in 2018, and are invited to perform the aforementioned Goldberg Variations at the Bach Festival in Leipzig in 2020. A passionate teacher and tutor, Zoë has taught and tutored at Melbourne University, VCA, VCASS and Monash University.

Last updated 2020

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

Christopher Cartlidge

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

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY

Sydney-born violist Chris Cartlidge studied on a full scholarship at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music and the Australian National Academy of Music, and was the recipient of several awards including the UTas Director’s Prize, and the UTas Dean’s Roll of Excellence. His main teachers were Josephine St Leon and Roger Benedict. Chris began playing the violin at the age of seven, and the viola at the age of fourteen whilst a student at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music High School.

In 2010, he was appointed Principal Viola of the Australian Youth Orchestra for their European Tour. Also in that year, he was one of five musicians selected for the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s Emerging Artists’ Program.

Chris has been a full time member of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra since 2011, where he has also appeared on numerous occasions as Principal Viola. He has appeared as Guest Principal with Orchestra Victoria and Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, and Guest Associate Principal with both Victorian Opera and the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra. He has also worked with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and is regularly invited to perform with the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

Chris is in great demand as a chamber musician, having given concerts alongside Garrick Ohlsson, Kolja Blacher and Sarah Chang, and performs chamber music regularly in major Melbourne concert venues, and throughout Australia.

Last updated 2020

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

Melissa Chominsky

Australian Hometown(s): Sydney & Melbourne
Education: Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Karlsruhe Hochschule für Musik

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Melissa was born in Sydney in 1977 and has been playing with Orchestra Victoria for the past seven years. Her first teacher was Dorothy Sumner, whom she credits for setting her on the right path. She then studied with Susan Blake at the Sydney Conservatorium and Professor Martin Ostertag at the Karlsruhe Hochschule für Musik in Germany. She has been awarded a Big Brother Scholarship, an Ian Potter Foundation grant and the Queen’s Trust Award. She has performed with the Sydney Sinfonia, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra. She has also played with the Badische Staatkapelle, the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker and the Staatstheater Stuttgart.

Melissa has toured Europe with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Schteswig-Holstein Orchestra. A highlight of her Orchestra Victoria career was playing a wonderfully moving performance of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony at the NGV with Adam Chalabi as concertmaster.

Last updated 2018