Instrumental Tutors

Violin | Susannah Ng Oboe | Nicola Bell
Violin | Jenny Khafagi Clarinet | TBA
Violin | Lachlan Bramble Bassoon | Matthew Kneale
Viola | Stephen King Horn | Roman Ponomariov
Viola | Molly Collier-O'Boyle Trumpet | Sarah Butler
Cello | Zoe Knighton Trombone | Mitchell Nissen
Cello | Howard Penny Tuba | David Cribb
Double Bass | Damien Eckersley Percussion | Tom O'Kelly
Double Bass | Robert Nairn Harp | Jacinta Dennett
Flute | Lisa-Maree Amos Piano | Leigh Harrold


Susannah Ng  | Violin

Melbourne violinist Susannah Ng has performed in France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, China, Korea, New Zealand and throughout Australia. She studied violin at the Victorian College of the Arts with Spiros Rantos and Miwako Abe before continuing her studies in London with Yossi Zivoni and later with Olga Martinova in Amsterdam where she was based until 2006.

Susannah received a grant from the Tait Memorial Trust in London after attending the Festival of Solo and Chamber Music in Entrecasteaux, France allowing further study in London and Manchester. She was a prizewinner at the Gisborne International Music Competition, New Zealand. Susannah later continued her studies in the Netherlands at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and had the great pleasure to attend the Summer Musiké Academy of Solo and Chamber Music in Durham, UK under the direction of renowned pianist and conductor, Jean Bernard Pommier. During her time in the Netherlands she was fortunate to attend classes with Hermann Krebbers and Jean Decroos, respectively the former Concertmaster and Principal Cellist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

In the Netherlands Susannah has appeared at the Lowlands, Uitmarkt and Prinsengracht Festivals. She has performed with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta and regularly in chamber ensembles with members of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Netherlands and Rotterdam Philharmonic.
In Australia, she held a permanent position with Orchestra Victoria for three years. Susannah has performed with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra since 1997, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra since 2002 and Melbourne Chamber Orchestra since 2014. In 2019, she toured with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Pinchas Zukerman throughout China and Korea.

Susannah has been a teacher of violin at Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music and Performance, Monash University for the past two years.

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Jenny Khafagi  | Violin

Jenny Khafagi is a freelance violinist based in Melbourne since 2010. She has appeared as Guest Concertmaster with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and is a regular guest with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra on both violin and viola in their orchestral and Chamber Players series.

Jenny is also a prolific chamber musician, as a core member of both the acclaimed contemporary group Syzygy Ensemble from 2012-2019, and the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s ‘Inspire Quartet’ which participates in educational and outreach work. She has also appeared with Inventi Ensemble, Melbourne Chamber Players and Affinity Quartet in Melbourne, Ensemble Offspring in Sydney and at two residencies at the Banff Centre in Canada.
Jenny has performed at most of Australia’s major festivals, including the Melbourne, Adelaide, Queensland, Darwin, Bangalow and Port Fairy Spring Music Festivals, Extended Play, and most recently Music by the Springs in 2021. She first joined the National Music Camp faculty in 2018.

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Lachlan Bramble | Violin 

Lachlan Bramble is a violinist, educator as well as an occasional union activist and recording producer.

Currently Lachlan is Associate Principal 2nd Violin of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and violinist with the Benaud Trio. He has also been a guest musician with the Melbourne and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, Orchestra Victoria and the Australian String Quartet.

A passionate educator, Lachlan has tutored violins of the Australian Youth Orchestra, the Adelaide Youth Orchestra and at many National Music Camps. He has also been a tutor at the Chamber Music Summer School - Mount Buller, is Program Coordinator of the Adelaide Chamber Music School and was Director of the Elder Conservatorium Chamber Orchestra from 2011 – 2015. Lachlan also enjoys teaching violin privately.

Lachlan began violin lessons from his mother in the mid-80s. He went on to study music at the University of Melbourne under Mark Mogilevsky and continued with Barbara-Jane Gilby at the Australian National University gaining a Masters degree in Music Performance. Lachlan has also taken lessons in Europe with Lydia Mordkovitch, Howard Davis, Dora Schwarzberg, Peter Sheppard-Skaerved and performed in masterclasses with Cho-Liang Lin and Regis Pasquier. He was a member of the Australian Youth Orchestra from 2001 to 2005, performing as concertmaster in 2005.

In his spare time, Lachlan is a delegate with the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, recording producer and plays indoor cricket with the Full Tossers.

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Stephen King  | Viola

Stephen King joined the Australian String Quartet as the viola player at the end of 2011. Stephen loves the role of the viola in the string quartet, being both the agitator and the peacemaker, the push and the drag, the consonance and the dissonance, and always the meat in the sandwich. Music has taken Stephen to diverse venues and festivals around Australia and the world. With the ASQ, Stephen has been integral in the development of projects with First Nations artists, new Australian commissions and recordings, and innovative cross-artform collaborations.

Before joing the ASQ, Stephen was a member of the Australian Chamber Orchestra for many years. As the ACO's education representative from 2004-2011, he played a major role in founding and building the Orchestra's education and emerging artists programs and ACO2.

Growing up in Canberra, Stephen learned the violin but fell for the darker tone of the viola after almost completing an architecture degree in Brisbane. Following the inspiring teaching of Elizabeth Morgan, he completed his studies in the USA with James Dunham (Cleveland Quartet), Kathy Murdock (Mendelssohn Quartet) and Michael Tree (Guarneri Quartet). From 1997 Stephen was violist of the Coolidge String Quartet based in Washington D.C. He holds a Doctorate in Chamber Music from the University of Maryland, having worked closely with the Emerson and Guarneri Quartets.

While living overseas, Stephen was also the Associate Principal Viola of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and a member of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. He was on the faculty of the New England Conservatory Prep Division in Boston and the American String Teachers Association Workshops. In Australia he has played guest principal of the Melbourne and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras and the Adelaide Festival Orchestra. Stephen teaches viola and chamber music at the Elder Conservatorium of Music at the University of Adelaide and regularly tutors at National Music Camps for AYO.

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Molly Collier-O'Boyle | Viola

Brisbane born Molly Collier-O’Boyle is a musician currently living and working in Naarm/Melbourne. She spends most of her time plucking, picking, and sawing away on the viola, cursing all the while. When not screaming profanities at wooden boxes, she attempts to balance her life as a performer, educator, and curator.

2022 sees Molly as the Acting Associate Principal Viola with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO). In the finer moments of 2021, she pivoted between the role of Acting Assistant Principal Viola with the MSO, middle fiddle player in the Rathdowne Quartet, and as a finalist in the Freedman Classical Fellowship. Previous highlights include being an emerging artist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, an academist with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Australian World Orchestra, a fellow at the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival, and Principal Viola of the Australian Youth Orchestra. Prior to the pandemic, she was in residence for four weeks with duo partner Liam Wooding at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Canada.

Molly is a graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, the University of Queensland, and more recently, of the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM), where she ditched the violin to complete her inaugural years of study as a violist with Caroline Henbest. She recently finished her Master of Music research facilitated by ANAM and Griffith University, which explored curatorial processes based on collaboration in the creation and development of new works for the viola.

Molly acknowledges the land of the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung peoples of the Kulin Nation, on which she lives and works. Sovereignty was never ceded.

For more information:

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Zoe Knighton  | Cello

Zoe is a founding member of Flinders Quartet, one of Australia’s finest chamber ensembles. Flinders Quartet has toured internationally, nationally and appears regularly at Australian festivals as well as their own celebrated subscription series. The group has commissioned many works, been nominated for an ARIA for best classical album and continues to be a champion of Australian Chamber music. “Flinders Quartet…whose players give such care and unanimity of musical thought to Australian Chamber Music” Peter McCallum, Sydney Morning Herald

After starting the cello at the age of 9 with Jill Kahans, and graduating from the University of Melbourne with the highest mark of her year, Zoe went on to establish herself as one of the country’s busiest cellists. Having studied with Christian Wojtowicz, Michel Strauss (Paris) Nelson Cooke, and Angela Sargeant, she is now in demand as chamber coach and teacher at various institutions. A regular panelist for major competitions, Zoe combines many facets of her career with performing.

Zoe has played numerous concertos with Melbourne Orchestras and with pianist Amir Farid,  made an impressive debut at the Melbourne Recital Centre to great critical acclaim in 2009. Their partnership continues with recordings for ABC, concerts throughout Australia and the release of 8 CDs on the MOVE label. She has been praised for her “thrilling tenor sound” (Limelight magazine) “sublime phrasing” and  “many great technical demands carried off with ease.” 

Her three other titles on the MOVE label include the complete suites for solo cello by J.S Bach.

 “Knighton has produced a reading of great artistic integrity." 
Gordon Kerry  

“She radiates confidence in her work and participates with personality and no little finesse. “Well worth hearing for the pleasure given through this player’s familiar warmth and honesty of musical character.”
Clive O’Connell 

Recent projects have included expanding Flinders Quartet’s regional engagement by becoming Artistic Patrons of the John Noble Quartet Program and initiating a secondary school residency at Footscray City College that incorporates the study of Shostakovichand Bartok quartets with other areas of the curriculum such as dance, media, art and drama.

Zoe is artistic patron of Resonance String Ensemble in Woodend and plays on a 2020 cello made by Australian instrument maker, Rainer Beilharz. In order to maintain conversations with her children, she is a proud supporter of Hawthorn Football Club and Yarraville Seddon Eagles.

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Howard Penny  | Cello

Howard Penny was born in Canberra and after studies with Nelson Cooke moved to Vienna studying with Tobias Kühne, Andre Navarra, Boris Pergamenshikov and William Pleeth.

He won the ABC Young Performers Awards, and his concerto performances have included concerts at the Sydney Opera House, Vienna Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Berlin Schauspielhaus, Suntory Hall Tokyo and Casals Festival Prades.

A regular Principal Cello with Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, Vienna Radio Orchestra and Australian World Orchestra, he is a long-standing member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, working with the world’s leading conductors and soloists, participating in over 100 CD and DVD recordings. As a chamber musician he has appeared in Wigmore Hall, Salzburg Festival, Lucerne Festival, Beethoven Festival Bonn and KREMERata Lockenhaus.

Howard frequently directs from the cello – a Haydn opera at ANAM with tenor Steve Davislim and soprano Sara Macliver, Schumann 3rd symphony, and Dvorak 8th symphony being highlights – and is a regular guest at all major Australian chamber music festivals, including his own Sanguine Estate Music Festival and Bendigo Chamber Music Festival. He also works closely with AYO in various projects. Since 2007 Howard has been a member of the Resident Faculty of the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne, where he is now Head of Strings.

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Damien Eckersley  | Double Bass

Damien studied double bass with Max Mcbride at the Canberra School of Music, and with Prof. Johannes Auersperg and Prof. Timothy Dunin at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Oberschutzen, Austria.

Damien Joined the NZSO in 2020 previously having performed as guest principal bass with orchestras all around the world, including the Melbourne Symphony, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria, Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa in Japan, the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the Graz Philharmonic and the Niederösterreichisches Tonkünstlerorchester.

Damien was a member of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra for 15 years and has also performed with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Opera Orchestra. He is also a member of the Australian World Orchestra.

Internationally, Damien has worked with the Vienna Philharmonic and the Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera, the WDR Symphony Orchester Köln and others.

As a chamber musician and soloist, Damien has appeared in concerts throughout Australia, Germany, Austria and Japan, China, Hong Kong, collaborating with orchestras, musicians, and ensembles from all over the world.

Damien is passionate about music education and for over a decade has served as Coordinator of Double Bass at the Australian National Academy of Music, as well as giving master classes throughout Australasia. He is also involved in ensemble and chamber music coaching, working often with the Australian Youth Orchestra, the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s education program, Melbourne Youth Music, and the Kanazawa University Orchestra amongst others.

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Robert Nairn  | Double Bass

Rob Nairn holds the position of ‘Master Musician in Residence” at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, having previously been Head of Early Music at the Melbourne Conservatorium, a Distinguished Professor of Music at Penn State’s School of Music and on the Faculty of The Juilliard School in New York. He has lived and worked in Germany, England, Australia and the United States performing with such groups as the London and Oslo Philharmonic Orchestras; the Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Gothenburg Symphony Orchestras; the English, Scottish and Australian Chamber Orchestras, the Bavarian Radio Symphony, the Melbourne, Sydney, Queensland and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras, the London Sinfonietta, the Halle Orchestra, and the London Mozart Players. Rob has played in all seasons of the Australian World Orchestra and featured as one of the AWO’s 8 double bass soloists in the 2016 premiere of Elena Kats-Chernin’s commissioned concerto “The Witching Hour”.

Rob is a specialist in historical performance, he has been principal bassist with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra since 1997 and a member of both Ironwood and Adelaide Baroque. He was principal bass of Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society since 2003, and also principal bass of the Boston Early Music Festival and Juilliard Baroque. He has performed with the English Baroque Soloists, Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique, Concerto Caledonia, Washington Bach Consort, Rebel, Florilegium, The Smithsonian Chamber Players, The Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra, Muffat Collective, Bach Akademie Australia, and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

He has commissioned and premiered more than forty new works for solo double bass and chamber groups including concerti by Barry Conyngham and Doug Balliett, and he has given solo recitals in Europe, Scandinavia, China, the United States, and Australia.

He can be heard on over 60 commercial CDs and has recorded for Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Sony, EMI, Virgin, ABC Classics, and Channel Classics. His fist solo CD will be released later this year on the U.S. Ablaze label.

Rob is a Past President of the International Society of Bassists from whom he received a Recognition Award for Historical Performance in 2009. He is a Howard Foundation Fellowship recipient from Brown University and DAAD German Government Scholarship recipient.

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Lisa-Maree Amos  | Flute

Lisa-Maree is Principal Flute with Orchestra Victoria, based in Melbourne, Australia.

In her 30+ year career, Lisa-Maree has been Guest Principal Flute with both the BBC Symphony and the Boston Symphony working with many legendary conductors, including Seiji Ozawa, Leonard Bernstein, and Bernard Haitink. Her performances in major international Festivals including the London Proms, LA Bach Festival, Aldeburgh, and Spitalfields have received critical acclaim.

Lisa-Maree started her professional orchestral career performing as Guest Principal Flute with the BBC Symphony in the London Prom Concerts at the age of 21, and soon developed a varied freelance career alongside several years of touring as a member of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, and with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia and many other visiting touring ballet and opera companies, chamber music, solo engagements and other concerts/opera work with Opera North, Welsh National Opera, Bournemouth Symphony and Sinfonetta and regular performances in the Royal Opera House, Barbican Centre, Southbank halls and Royal Albert Hall.

After an extensive 22-year international performing career, Ms Amos returned to Australia as Principal Flute of Orchestra Victoria, where she enjoys a variety of musical activities including recording, chamber and symphony performances, and working closely with the Australian Ballet, Opera Australia and the Victorian Opera. With OV and its partner companies, she has performed two Wagner Ring Cycles and premiered many new Ballets. She has been Guest Principal Flute with many of Australia’s leading symphony orchestras including TSO and WASO, Australian Philharmonic and the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra.

Lisa-Maree is a member of the flute staff at Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, Melbourne University, and teaches privately and online via a variety of platforms, focusing on audition material and preparing for college, youth orchestra and professional auditions. Lisa-Maree is a regular coach for the Australian Youth Orchestra, Melbourne Youth Orchestra, National Music Camp, and has given masterclasses at the Australian National Academy of Music, Australian Institute of Music in Sydney, Queensland Conservatorium of Music, University of Washington, Cal State University Santa Barbara, in New York at the Bloomindale House of Music pre-college program. Soon after arriving in Australia Lisa-Maree created an intensive 3-day masterclass (Flute Audition Masterclass),which has been held in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane for 8 seasons, and also hosted a masterclass/training in 2018 (FluteFix Australia) for emerging and established flute technicians to train with her personal technician from Los Angeles, Paul Rabinov, and eminent flute maker and now Sydney based technician Jim Phelan.

The 2020 lockdowns had driven many performing and educational operations online. During this time Lisa-Maree worked with students from Monash University in masterclasses and recording projects, created video performances for the National Gallery of Victoria, participated in panel talks on orchestral life and auditions, gave audition feedback via Orchestra Victoria’s Mock Audition Program, created several video performances for Orchestra Victoria, and live (but distanced) performances for the charity 1:1 where donations from private concerts are shared with the freelance music community. Lisa-Maree also took this time to release many archived recorded and live performances on a newly created YouTube channel, and embarked upon typsetting several arrangements that had been created for various ensembles over the years. 

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Nicola Bell  | Oboe

Nicola Bell is an Australian oboist who has recently returned to Sydney after nine years in Europe.

After graduating from her undergraduate honours degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Nicola continued her studies abroad in Sweden and France. She went on to complete her Master of Music in Munich with Professor François Leleux.

From 2015 Nicola held the position of Principal Oboe with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Neeme Järvi, followed by a contract as Principal Oboe with the Finnish National Opera. She enjoyed a varied and busy schedule appearing as guest principal oboe with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Norrköpping and Gävle Symphony Orchestras in Sweden, Tampere Philharmonic and Finnish Radio Orchestras in Finland, and at the Telavi International Music Festival, Georgia in 2014, as well as with the Georgian Sinfonietta and Georgian National Philharmonic. In Germany, she was regularly invited to perform with orchestras such as the Munich Symphony Orchestra, Braunschweig Theatre Orchestra, WDR Funkhaus Orchestra, Georgian Chamber Orchestra Ingolstadt and the Württemberg Chamber Philharmonic Heidenheim.

Locally, Nicola performs regularly with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Opera Australia Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Western Australia Symphony Orchestra and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Nicola is also an active chamber musician, appearing with ensembles such as the Sydney-based Omega Ensemble; she collaborated with the New Theatre Ensemble in Tallinn from 2015-2016 as part of the Tallinn Chamber Music Festival and the Estonian Concert Elite Series, as well as with the Munich Winds from 2014-2015. She is currently on teaching staff at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

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Matthew Kneale  | Bassoon

Hailed by the Daily Telegraph as “a new star…who wields his instrument with virtuosic skill and with moves you usually associate with a rock guitarist”, Matthew Kneale is one of Australia’s leading lights on the bassoon.

He was the first ever bassoonist to be awarded the prestigious Freedman Classical Fellowship. Matthew used this award in late 2019 to embark on an international concert tour that aimed to shatter preconceived notions by presenting the bassoon as a brilliant solo and chamber entity in its own right, with a strong emphasis on music by Australia’s leading young composers.

Matthew is a founding member of Arcadia Winds, Australia’s leading young wind ensemble, and Musica Viva’s inaugural FutureMakers musicians as well as a founding member of awarding winning Ensemble Francaix. With Arcadia Winds Matthew appears as a soloist and chamber musician at festivals and venues around the Australia. Recent highlights have included performances at the Perth International Arts Festival with the Australian String Quartet; at the Musica Viva Festival with piano virtuoso Lambert Orkis; and at the UKARIA Cultural Centre with woodwind masters Ole Kristian Dahl and Thorsten Johanns. Matthew also has participated with Ensemble Francaix in the 9th Osaka International Chamber Music Competition and Fiesta in Japan. Matthew also performs as a casual musician with many of Australia’s leading orchestras, including the Melbourne and Darwin Symphony Orchestras, the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria. Passionate about inspiring future generations to play the bassoon, Matthew regularly performs at schools around the country through Arcadia Winds’ Musica Viva in Schools show the Air I Breathe, and teaches at music courses including the Melbourne Youth Orchestra Summer School, and the South Coast Music Camp in Bega.

Matthew’s love of music began in his home town of Frankston, Victoria, where he played piano, French horn and bassoon. Finally settling on the latter, Matthew studied a Bachelor of Music at the Victorian College of the Arts from 2007-09, before relocating to Queensland in 2010 in order to complete his fourth year Bachelor of Music at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. In 2011 Matthew came back to Melbourne to commence studies at the Australian National Academy of Music, which he completed in 2013. An enthusiastic international traveller, Matthew’s music has taken him all over the world. He has toured China thrice with the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra and once with Arcadia Winds, performed all across Europe with the Australian Youth Orchestra and in Russia with the Melbourne Conservatorium Orchestra, and attended summer schools in Norway, the Netherlands and Manchester, England.

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Roman Ponomariov  | Horn

Roman Ponomariov’s work as a teacher, academic, soloist and orchestral musician is unified by his commitment and passion to achieve artistic excellence. He is currently Classical Music Convenor and Lecturer in Music Performance (French Horn) at The Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, Monash University.

His broad array of skills underpins his work onstage, in the pit, or in a lecture theatre. By the age of 21 he's worked with all major Australian symphony orchestras and subsequently held contracts with the Malaysian Philharmonic, Auckland Philharmonia, Queensland Symphony, and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras.  

A champion of chamber repertoire, Roman frequently collaborates with local and international artists. He is the recipient of several international awards for excellence in music performance and leadership and is a steadfast believer in facilitating the development of young artists.

Graduate of Rice University (USA), Roman is frequently engaged as a guest speaker and tutor by an array of arts and music education organisations.

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Sarah Butler  | Trumpet

New Zealand-born Sarah Butler gained a Bachelor of Music at Auckland University before travelling to study in the United Kingdom.

Butler spent 12 years in the UK and gained a Masters with Distinctions in performance at Trinity College of Music in London. She then freelanced with the biggest companies in the region – Royal Opera House Orchestra, English National Ballet, London Concert Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony, Scottish Opera, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the New Queens Hall Orchestra, before moving back to New Zealand in 2004 where she was appointed Associate Principal Trumpet with the Christchurch Symphony. She was then appointed Associate Principal Trumpet of the Auckland Philharmonia in mid-2009.

In late 2009, she moved to Australia, accepting the position of Principal Trumpet with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra – making history in the process as the first female Principal Trumpet of a Symphony Orchestra in Australasia. Sarah  left the company in 2019 and travelled to Bangkok, Hobart and Melbourne to perform and give masterclasses in her role as a Bach Artist.  In 2019 Sarah has also appeared as soloist with the Queensland Pops and has also performed concerti with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Southern Sinfonia. During the past ten years Sarah has also worked as guest Principal with New Zealand, Melbourne, Sydney, Western Australian, Adelaide and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras.

Sarah is a passionate educator and is fortunate to enjoy a sought after teaching position at Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University, where she is currently Trumpet Lecturer and Head of Brass.

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Mitchell Nissen  | Trombone

Mitchell Nissen is a graduate of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois (Masters of Music) and a graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (Bachelor of Music Performance, Honours). Mitchell also holds a graduate certificate in Orchestral Performance from the University of Tasmania after attending the Australian International Orchestra Institute in 2011 and 2012.

His teachers at Northwestern University included; Michael Mulcahy (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), Randall Hawes (Detroit Symphony Orchestra), Tim Higgins (San Francisco Symphony Orchestra), and Douglas Wright (Minnesota Symphony Orchestra).

Before studying in the United States he was previously a member of the Sydney Symphony Sinfonia orchestral training program (2011 & 2013) and the Australian Youth Orchestra (2011-2012).

Mitchell has been a finalist in the International trombone festival Orchestral Bass Trombone Competition and the Trombone Quartet Competition in 2014. In that same year he was a fellow at the 25th annual Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo Japan where he worked with Stefan Shulz (Berlin Philharmonic) and Paul Pollard (New York Metropolitan Opera Orchestra).

In 2018 Mitchell joined the TSO as principal Bass Trombone. Prior to this Mitchell actively freelanced with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Opera Australia Orchestra.

Since joining the TSO Mitchell has been lucky to be able to extend himself by becoming a soloist for the 2019 composers school. Mitchell worked closely with composer Mark Holdsworth to bring to fruition a brand new Bass Trombone Concertino, Cerberus. 2020 brought a new outlet for Mitchell’s presenting talents beginning as emcee for the opening Live Sessions programs and then transitioning into the host of the #TSODailyDose online feature - sparked as a result of the 2020 Covid-19 crisis. Mitchell has also been able to take up a position on the brass faculty at the UTAS Conservatorium of Music where he has been able to evangelise his love of brass playing and music.

Mitchell is passionate about telling stories and singing songs. Mitchell is constantly stressing the need to connect with people through music. It is Mitchell’s hope that the bass trombone can be elevated as a true solo instrument by harnessing its full gamut of expressive abilities, from the most vicious and powerful fury, to the most tender humble warmth. Mitchell believes that there isn’t an instrument that can truly traverse the spectrum of emotion quite like the bass trombone and hopes that these strengths inherent in this beautiful instrument will be utilised by both composers and up and coming performers into the future.

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David Cribb  | Tuba

David Cribb began his studies at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, where he studied with Craig Cunningham and Andrew Jarvis.  After two years in Brisbane he transferred to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music to study with Steve Rosse.  David was a member of the Australian Youth Orchestra, playing on the 1996 Europe/America tour.  While completing his diploma of music he worked extensively with the Sydney Symphony and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras and had an active career as a freelance musician and teacher. 

In 1998 David moved to Frankfurt/Main to continue his studies with David Glidden (Solo-Tuba Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra / Bayreuth Festival Orchestra).  In his two years in Frankfurt he worked with the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, HR Brass and many other orchestras and ensembles.

In 2000 David was awarded the position of Solo-Tuba with the orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin where he remained for five years, in this time he played with all of the Berlin orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle and the Staatsoper unter den Linden under Daniel Barenboim and Pierre Boulez. 

2005 saw David move to the renowned Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra where he is involved in regular international touring and recording.  He has performed the Vaughan-Williams tuba concerto with the Gewandhaus Orchestra, is an active chamber musician and a founding member of the Gewandhaus Brass Quintett .  From 2007-2013 David taught at the Berlin Universtiy of the Arts (UdK) and in October 2013 he took over  the  tuba class at the Hochschule for Music and Theater in Leipzig. David has given masterclasses throughout Germany, Asia, Australia and the United States and is a regular performer with the Australian World Orchestra.

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Tom O'Kelly  | Percussion & Timpani

Tom O’Kelly currently teaches at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and is the director of Just Percussion. After studying with Barry Quinn at the VCA he was appointed Principal Percussionist with the Tasmania Symphony Orchestra. He left this position to continue his studies in France where he was invited by Sylvio Gualda ( solo timpanist Paris Opera ) and was later awarded the Premier Prix de Percussion . Tom has travelled throughout Australia, Asia and Europe as an orchestral musician, chamber musician and soloist. He toured France, Austria and Greece with Xenakis performing the music of Xenakis before returning to Australia in 1985. After touring Japan with the MSO he was invited by Maestro Iwaki to join Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa  (Japans first professional chamber orchestra ) as Principal Timpanist. In Japan Tom performed as a soloist with many of Japans leading orchestras and premiered Maki Ishi’s percussion concerto South -Fire-Summer at Suntory Hall Tokyo. His live recording of the Milhaud and Jolivet concertos were another highlight of his time in Japan.

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Jacinta Dennett  | Harp

Jacinta Dennett is a freelance harpist and dedicated educator. 

Jacinta performs locally and internationally as a harp soloist and an orchestral harpist. She has performed throughout Australia, in the UK, USA, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, and cruising on the Pacific Ocean between Cairns and Guam. 

Jacinta is the harp tutor at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, Monash University, the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School and has served as a faculty member at the Australian National Academy of Music. In 2020 Jacinta consulted on the newly launched AMEB harp syllabus.

Jacinta has presented workshops at the World Harp Congress in Sydney and Hong Kong and at Australian harp festivals on her approach to harp performance, including how to maximise the dynamism in your seat and explorations of her fusion of Rudolf Steiner's eurythmy with Carlos Salzedo's fundamental harpistic gesture spawned in collaboration with dancer-choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky. She also tutors orchestral harp at the Australian National and State Music camps and for the Melbourne Youth Orchestra.

This year Jacinta has authored a chapter describing the evolution of Helen Gifford’s Fable for solo harp (1967) in an upcoming publication titled A Century of Women in Composition: Music Against the Odds. 

In between practising harp and performing Jacinta teaches yoga online and in studio at Ballarat Iyengar Yoga.

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Leigh Harrold  | Piano

Leigh Harrold enjoys a reputation as a “musician of rare talent and intelligence”, and is one of Australia’s busiest and most sought-after pianists.

Born in Whyalla, South Australia, Leigh completed undergraduate and post-graduate studies at The University of Adelaide with concert pianist Gil Sullivan. During this time he had many successes, including being a National Finalist in the Young Performer Awards and a recipient of the prestigious Beta Sigma Phi Classical Music Award – the conservatorium’s highest honour. He moved to Melbourne in 2003 to take up a full scholarship at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) under the mentorship of Geoffrey Tozer and in 2004 was made the Academy Fellow - the first person in the institution's history to be chosen as such after just one year of study.

Leigh has performed extensively throughout Europe, North America, Africa and Australia as both soloist and chamber musician, including concerts at Australia House in London, the Royal Academy of Music, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, the Harare International Festival of Arts, and concerto engagements with many Australian orchestras. In 2007 he undertook an extensive tour of the United States and Canada where he gave lectures on and performed the solo piano music of the American composer Robert Muczynski. In 2015 he gave a lecture-tour of England, promoting and performing Australian piano music at Trinity College and the University of London.

His international reputation as an associate artist has led to collaborations with such luminaries as Thomas Reibl, lecturer in viola at the Salzburg Mozarteum; Michael Cox, principal flautist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra; Daniel Gaede, ex-concertmaster of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra; London flautist Wissam Boustany; New York violinist Charles Castleman; Swedish soprano Camilla Tilling; and British pianist Mark Gasser, to name just a few. Other significant international collaborations have included performance and studies with Andrew Ball at the London Royal College of Music; Sophie Cherrier at the Paris Conservatoire; New York-based pianist Lisa Moore and English composer Peter Maxwell Davies. He has twice been awarded the Geoffrey Parsons Award for Associate Artists, and in 2014 was the recipient of the pianist’s prize in the Mietta Song Competition.

Leigh is a founding member of the Helpmann Award-nominated Syzygy Ensemble. The ensemble released its debut CD, ‘Making Signs’ in 2015 and has gone on to become one of Australia’s most critically lauded and active contemporary music ensembles. Additionally, Leigh has recorded and released CDs for Sony, ABC Classic, and Move Records.

An enthusiastic and committed teacher, speaker, and writer, Leigh is regularly invited to tutor and lecture at many institutions, adjudicate competitions, and has given several masterclasses around Australia, Africa, the USA and the UK, as well as regular pre- and post-concert talks for the Melbourne Recital Centre. In April 2012 Leigh was awarded a PhD for his research into the music of Robert Muczynski for which he received a Dean’s Commendation for Thesis Excellence, and in 2015 he was published internationally in the Liszt Society of London Journal. He holds two University medals - one for Music and one for Applied Science.

Currently Leigh holds positions on the Faculties of ANAM and the University of Melbourne, and is pianist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. When not seated in front of a piano, he finds time to go on long walks, read extensively, and drink lots of tea. He lives in Brunswick with Craig, Jory and Finnegan.

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