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

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.

Born and raised in Australia, Andrew was first introduced to music at age 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, Queensland Symphony, 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 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.

Throughout 2015 Andrew appeared as guest principal horn of the Chicago Symphony and Berlin Philharmonic and the Australian World Orchestra’s concerts with Simon Rattle in Sydney and Melbourne and the AWO’s groundbreaking tour throughout India with Zubin Mehta. As Co-host of the 2015 International Horn Symposium here in LA, Andrew was thrilled to welcome over 1000 horn players and musicians to the Colburn School for a week long celebration of everything horn!

Andrew can be heard on numerous Hollywood films and was overjoyed to fulfill the dream of a lifetime working with John William’s as principal horn for the score of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens.’

As well as appearing at the Hollywood Bowl with the LA Phil, over the Summer Andrew is the Principal Horn of the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego and faculty member of the Aspen Music Festival and School.

In addition to music, Andrew loves traveling, cooking and exploring L.A. with his beautiful wife, Rupal. If he’s not working, you will most likely find him on the golf course trying to improve his handicap.

Last updated 2022

Timothy (Tim) Dunin

Australian Hometown: Canberra
Education: Canberra School of Music

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Tim Dunin was born in Canberra, Australia in 1969.

After 5 years of classical guitar tuition he received his first double bass lesson at the age of 14, from Robert Nairn. Two years later Tim went to the Canberra School of Music to continue his studies with Paul Morton. From 1987 he studied with Max McBride until the completion of his Bachelor of Music degree in 1991. In this time Dunin was already a very busy orchestral musician, performing regularly with the Canberra Youth Orchestra, Australian Youth Orchestra, Canberra Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. In the same year he travelled to Austria to take on further studies with Professor Johannes Auersperg at the “Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Graz, Expositur Oberschützen”.

In 1994 Tim Dunin was Principal Double Bass with the Graz Symphony. In 1995 he won the position for Principal Double Bass with the Vienna Philharmonic / Vienna State Opera Orchestra and remained in the orchestra as a fulltime member until September 2003.

Apart from solo performances in Australia and Europe Tim has appeared as a chamber musician with ensembles such as the “Wiener Streichersolisten” , “Küchl Quartett” , “die Wiener Virtuosen” , “Wiener Kammerensemble” , “Salzburg Orchestra Soloists”, “Camerata Salzburg” and “Klang Forum Wien” and was a member of the double bass sextet “Bass Instinct” alongside Ernst Weissensteiner, Herbert Mayer, Gerhard Muthspiel, Gina Schwarz and Peter Herbert from 2005 until it disbanded at the end of 2012.

Tim Dunin has remained a passionate orchestral musician and performs regularly with ensembles such as Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Australian World Orchestra, “Recreation” Graz, Vorarlberg Symphony Orchestra, “Niederösterreichische Tonkünstler Orchester”, Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic / Vienna State Opera Orchestra.

Since October 2002, Tim has held the position of Professor for Double Bass at the Graz University for Music and Performing Arts, Institute Oberschützen.

Last updated 2023

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

David Berlin midshot

David Berlin

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

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
David Berlin studied the cello with Lois Simpson at the Sydney Conservatorium and with Channing Robbins at the Juilliard School of Music in New York.

For over 25 years David has been at the forefront of music performance in Australia, as Principal Cello of both the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (1985-1988) and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (since 1989).

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

In London in 1992, David gave the world premiere performance of the complete works for cello and piano by Franz Liszt, with Leslie Howard.

David has 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.

He has appeared in numerous festivals, and in chamber music projects has toured to Japan, Taiwan and New Zealand.

Along with solo recordings for ABC radio he 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 CDs of 2011 in Limelight magazine.

In 2020 together with Benjamin Martin he released French Cello Sonatas on the ABC Classic label, it has enjoyed highly positive reviews and streaming activity  through Spotify.

David plays on a cello made by Ivan Zgradic in Sherman Oaks, California in 1982.

Last updated 2022

Zoe Black midshot

Zoe Black

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

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Zoe 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 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 concert master with MSO & 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 programme. More recently, Zoë was a guest leader of the Australian String Quartet in 2016, performing at Festivals in Victoria, WA and in Italy (Rome, Venice and Cremona). I

n 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 3 ARIA nominated CDs, (RE-IMAGININGS , DIDO’S LAMENT and their re-versioning of the 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.

A passionate teacher and tutor, Zoë is on faculty at the Australian National Academy of Music, where, along with her duo partner Joe Chindamo, she will be also conducting a residency in late 2022.

“Everything Zoe Black touches turns to gold.” Francis Merson, musician and editor of limelight Magazine. 

Last updated 2022

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 2023

Damien Eckersley holding double bass

Damien Eckersley

Australian Hometown(s): Canberra & Melbourne
Education: Canberra School of Music; University for Music and Fine Arts in Graz

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Damien Eckersley was appointed Associate Principal double bass of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in 2020 after 13 years in Melbourne as a member of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. He serves on the faculty at the Australian National Academy of Music. He has performed as principal bass with orchestras in Australia and all over the world including the Tasmanian, Melbourne, Queensland Symphony Orchestras, the Australian World Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the Graz Philharmonic, the Tönkunstler Orchester and Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa.

He has also performed with the Sydney Symphony, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Opera Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera, the Vienna Philharmonic and the WDR Symphony Orchestra Köln.

Damien studied with Max Mcbride at the Canberra School of Music and with Professor Tim Dunin at the University for Music and Fine Arts in Graz, Austria.

As a soloist, Damien has performed with orchestras and in recital in Australia, Austria, Germany, China , Hong Kong and Japan.

Damien has appeared in chamber music festivals throughout the world as a player and director.
Damien is passionate about education and combines his studio teaching with coaching young musicians in chamber music and orchestral technique as well as giving master classes throughout Australia and Asia.

He has worked with young musicians of the Kanazawa University Orchestra, the Australian Youth Orchestra, the Australian Chamber Orchestra Academy, and most extensively with members of the Australian National Academy of Music. His students perform professionally throughout Australia and the world.

Last updated 2023

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 2023