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 2019

Robert Ashworth

Australian Hometown: Sydney
Education: Universitaet Mozarteum, Austria; University of British Columbia, Canada

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Robert Ashworth is having a great time being Principal viola for the Auckland Philharmonia Orches­tra.  He arrived from Canada to New Zealand shores in 2003 for a one-year adventure, he found a connection with the country through its music, people and country-side, his animals and family.

He has been guest-​principal viola for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, as well as assistant-principal for the Calgary Philharmonic Orches­tra. He is violist with the Jade String Quartet in Auckland, and also plays with the Australian World Orchestra.

Robert is a twice recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts Award for Emerging Artists and has performed with various groups at international chamber music festivals in Europe, North America, and Japan. He has had the honour of studying with violists Thomas Riebl and Veronika Hagen at the Universitaet Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria and with Gerald Stanick at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

Last updated 2019

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; Juilliard 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

Margaret Blades

Australian Hometown(s): Adelaide & Perth
Education: Elder Conservatorium of Music, Adelaide; University of Tasmania

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Margaret Blades is forging a career as a teacher and chamber musician after having spent many years as a Leader and violinist of various orchestras, including the West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO), Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO), Sydney Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, and others.

As a soloist, she has appeared with the Adelaide Symphony, Tasmanian Symphony, Adelaide Chamber Orchestra and WASO, where her solo performances have included an appearance with superstar Nigel Kennedy in Vivaldi’s Double Violin Concerto, and the premiere of works by Richard Mills ,Ross Edwards and James Ledger. She has also performed as soloist in New Zealand and the USA, where she performed the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante with Emerson String Quartet violist, Lawrence Dutton.

She has performed on stage with some of Australia’s finest artists, including Michael Goldschlager, Geoffrey Tozer, Geoffrey Lancaster, Beryl Sedivka and others, both as a recitalist and chamber musician, for Musica Viva, Adelaide International Festival of Arts, Blackwood River Chamber Music Festival, Barossa Music Festival, and in numerous broadcasts for ABC Classic FM.

Last updated 2018

Michael Brooks-Reid

Australian Hometown: Melbourne
Education: University of Melbourne

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
Australian violinist Michael Brooks Reid is sought after as concertmaster and principal by leading orchestras across Europe and Australia. Currently based in Berlin, Michael makes regular guest appearances with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, German Radio Philharmonic, Aurora Orchestra, Camerata Bern, Kammerakademie Potsdam and Melbourne Chamber Orchestra.

Michael has also performed with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Mozart and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, and has worked with esteemed conductors such as the late greats Pierre Boulez and Claudio Abbado.
As a chamber musician, Michael spent several years as a member of the
Hamer Quartet. During this time the ensemble competed in the inaugural Asia-Pacific Chamber Music Competition, winning all available first prizes; the Quartet, Overall and Audience prizes. The quartet was subsequently named on ‘The Age’ newspaper’s ‘The 100 Most Influential People in Australia’ list.
Since leaving the quartet, Michael has continued to pursue his passion for chamber music, performing in several international music festivals, including most recently with Oboist Albrecht Mayer at the ‘Hitzacker Musikwoche’ in Germany, at the newly founded Avigdor Classics in Switzerland, and at the ‘Joy of Music’ festival in Hong Kong.


As soloist, Michael has toured with the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, performing and directing The Four Seasons of Vivaldi and Piazzolla to critical acclaim, and recently performed Brahms’ violin concerto as a part of the Melbourne Youth Orchestra’s 50th birthday celebrations at the Melbourne Recital Centre.
Conducting is another interest of Michael’s, and he has undertaken study with Christopher Seaman, Sebastian Lang-Lessing and the late John Hopkins OBE, and has conducted the Adelaide and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras.
From 2004-2008 Michael was Leader and Artistic director of the Australian Classical Players, combining his love for conducting and violin playing; programming and directing the concert season from the 1st violins.


More recently, he has been part of a team of professional mentors directing the ‘Aldeburgh Strings’, a chamber orchestra made up of the most outstanding students from the Britten-Pears Festival in the UK.
Michael plays a violin by Nicolo Gagliano, made in Naples in 1751.
When taking a break from music, Michael enjoys traveling, good food with good wine and a game of poker!

Last updated 2018

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

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

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