Kirsty McCahon – December 2015 Player of the Month

Kirsty is a passionate musician, performer, educator, advocate and mentor for all things Double Bass.

Kirsty is the former Principal Double Bass of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra (ABO), a position held 1996 – 2016.

Kirsty has played with the Australian World Orchestra since our first concerts in 2011, most recently Kirsty joined the AWO on our 5 concert India tour and also played in the 2015 AWO Southern Highlands Chamber Music Festival.

As a pioneer of Historically Informed Performance Practice in Australia, in 2000 Kirsty was the recipient of a prestigious Churchill Fellowship for research into performance practices of the Double Bass and Violone.

Regularly featured as a soloist with the ABO, notable amongst these have been a series of acclaimed performances of the Dittersdorf Concerto for bass and orchestra – the first time this work had been performed in Australia in historically informed style.

In 2013 she was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the University of Melbourne for Services to Orchestral Music and Performance.

Passionate about and fascinated with, all styles of classical music and their expression on the double bass, Kirsty has performed, recorded for CD and toured worldwide with ensembles as diverse and renowned as the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, John Elliot Gardiner’s Orchestre Revolutionaire and Romantique, Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques , ELISION Ensemble (including many world premieres of commissioned work from luminary composers: Liza Lim, Franco Donatoni and Brian Fernyhough) the Brodsky Quartet, Pierre Boulez’ Ensemble l’ltineraire, Ironwood, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra , Australian Chamber Orchestra and The Australia Ensemble.

Kirsty is Principal Bass with Pinchgut Opera (the highly innovative Sydney based opera company), Sinfonia Australis (Internationally recognised for the multi-award winning recording of the Brandenburg Concerti) and the Orchestra of the Age of Antipodes.

As a dedicated chamber musician, Kirsty is a guest soloist at music festivals across the country, including The Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Brisbane Baroque, the Mornington Peninsula and Kangaroo Valley Festivals and the wonderful new chamber music festival of the AWO.

Bringing the bass out of the shadows, Kirsty and her husband Kees Boersma have established a duet Bass Extravaganza. Commissioning new Australian works, breaking the boundaries of traditional bass performance practice with the combination of theatre and text, their joyous 2015 sold out concert at the Art Gallery of NSW was acclaimed as the “surprise hit of the year”.

Committed to youth music education, Kirsty actively mentors the next generation of performing musicians.

As a mentor for young women and girls, she was invited to participate in the “Women of the World” program, established to provide professional guidance for women striving to achieve in all walks of life. An alumni of the Australian Youth Orchestra , Kirsty regularly tutors and guides these fundamentally important ensembles.

As part of her philosophy of ‘giving back’ Kirsty, in collaboration with her husband Kees Boersma, established and funded a highly successful string program for hundreds of children at their local Public Primary School.

Kirsty performs on a beautiful Italian bass built in 1750 by the Modena luthier Guiseppe Abbati.