Friday 18th March, 2022

Get to Know Our
National Music Camp
Guest Artists!

We’re excited to be welcoming guest artists Kirsten Williams, Brad Cohen and Tzelaw Chan to National Music Camp this April! They’ll be guiding and leading our three orchestras for the duration of the camp, and we wanted to get to know them a little more! Read on to learn their practice tips, and what their productive morning routine is (spoiler, it’s coffee!).

Continue reading to explore their full bio's and learn more about them!



KIRSTEN WILLIAMS



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What playlist/artist/song/piece is currently on repeat for you? 
 

I actually very rarely listen to music, I play so much of it that I think my ears need a bit of time out. When I do, it is any music we have coming up in our Australian Series or Llewelyn Series in Canberra that I’m unfamiliar with. I also lead our new Kingsland Collective for tertiary students and our chamber orchestras for advanced students so I delve into repertoire for them that I haven’t played or heard before. 

  

What’s your best morning routine to ensure a productive day?  

First coffee, absolutely nothing starts before that. I then try and get out for a walk, these days it’s around beautiful Lake Tuggeranong in the ACT. Then either it’s off to a meeting, teaching or practise. 

  

Have you picked up any new hobbies or interests away from your musical work in the last couple of years?  

Not new, but more consistent during lockdown - daily meditation, even if just for 10 minutes of grounding and intention setting. Consciousness is a very important part of the way I live and I had the time and space around me to really look at thoughts and emotions that came up. I decided on a complete career shift from my position in Sydney to a new one in Canberra as concertmaster, teacher and mentor. I felt as though I had been climbing a large mountain for a number of years and had finally reached the place my soul had been calling me to. Really a truly profound experience. 

  

What’s your favourite practice tip?  

Scales first, like coffee! Always start slowly, waking up the ears to the extraordinary vibrations of your instrument, warming up the fingers and easing into the flow.  

  

What are you most looking forward to this upcoming National Music Camp?  

The vibe of the entire organisation, right through the amazing management team, to the brilliant tutors and players. I can’t wait to start rehearsing with the chamber orchestra! And getting the chance to listen to any other rehearsals. I love nothing more than helping our next generations of musicians in any way possible and I adore directing chamber orchestras from the chair. I’m absolutely thrilled to be involved in this years  National Music Camp! 

  

 


BRAD COHEN


Image credit: James Rogers
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What playlist/artist/song/piece is currently on repeat for you?  

Amazon Music tells me it’s Rimsky Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel, Eartha Kitt, and Bill Evans! 

 

What’s your best morning routine to ensure a productive day?  

Coffee. Scores. Sitting still for five minutes. Gratitude. 

 

Have you picked up any new hobbies or interests away from your musical work in the last couple of years?  

Lockdown enabled me to master baking ciabatta - a tricky dough because it’s very wet and hard to handle. It’s now my go-to loaf. 

 

What’s your favourite practice tip?  

Don’t repeat mistakes. Easier said than done! 

 

What are you most looking forward to this upcoming National Music Camp?  

I love working with the AYO - this is my fourth project over more than twenty years. It’s all just a tremendous pleasure - from the players, the chance to catch up with colleagues from around the country, and immersing ourselves collectively in such incredible music. A joy from start to finish! 

  

 


TZELAW CHAN


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What playlist/artist/song/piece is currently on repeat for you? 
 

None but I am currently reviewing for post-production my recording of Beethoven’s Eroica symphony and Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante so there are repeat listenings of those! 

  

What’s your best morning routine to ensure a productive day?  

Hearty breakfast! 

  

Have you picked up any new hobbies or interests away from your musical work in the last couple of years?  

Drones! 

  

What’s your favourite practice tip?  

Silent practice seems to work for me. 

  

What are you most looking forward to this upcoming National Music Camp?  

New and old friends! 

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