Violin, Artistic Director
Michele Walsh graduated from the University of Adelaide and after winning the ABC Young Performer’s Competition studied in London with Szymon Goldberg. She has appeared as soloist with major orchestras in Australia and has performed in the UK, USA, Europe and South-East Asia. Formerly Associate Concertmaster of Queensland Symphony Orchestra Michele is now Senior Lecturer in Violin and Head of Strings at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University.
As a founding member of the acclaimed Griffith Trio Michele has made regular tours of South East Asia. She also frequently performs at Chamber Music Festivals throughout Australia and has a long association with the AFCM where she has been the Director of the Winterschool for several years.
Michele is also in demand as guest Concert Master of Australian symphony orchestras. She served as a Board member of the Australian Youth Orchestra and as Chair of its Artistic Committee for many years and continues with membership of the Artistic Committee and Council.
Michele is in demand as a guest teacher and for competition and juries in Australia and South-East Asia. Many of her former students are major competition and prize winners and hold positions in Australia, Europe and Asia.
Margaret Connolly studied violin with Jan Sedivka in Tasmania before continuing studies in Vienna with Günther Pichler. After several years with the Wiener Volksoper and other ensembles playing throughout Europe and Japan she returned to Australia to join the New England String Quartet, ensemble in residence at the University of New England, Armidale.
She subsequently spent 25 years as a member of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, during which time she made many guest appearances and toured with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. Margaret recently ceased full-time orchestral work in order to pursue more teaching, chamber music and early music activities. As a core member Margaret plays regularly with the Badinerie Players, and in various chamber music configurations at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, where she has also has a part-time teaching and tutoring role. She has in addition a successful private teaching studio, and since 2015 has been regularly invited to play with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.
As a member of the Merlin Ensemble Margaret has tutored and performed regularly at the Mt Buller Summer School.
Patricia Pollett is one of Australia’s leading string players. Well known as an advocate of new music for the viola, she has commissioned, performed and recorded numerous solo works by leading Australian composers. She was honoured for this work with an APRA Australian Music Centre Classical Music Award for the Most Distinguished Contribution to the Presentation of Australian Composition by an Individual.
Patricia has performed as soloist and chamber musician with major Australian ensembles and orchestras and has extensive international performance experience, particularly with the Italian string ensemble I Solisti Veneti. A founding member of the contemporary ensemble Perihelion, Patricia launched with her new ensemble White Halo in 2014, also resident at the University of Queensland.
Patricia is in demand as a teacher, giving masterclasses for leading education institutions in Australia and overseas including the Australian National Academy of Music and New York University. She has directed and tutored courses for the Australian Youth Orchestra and was a member of their board and artistic committee.
Patricia is Professor of Music at the University of Queensland where she is Director of Performance and Engagement at the School of Music.
Rosemary’s studies commenced in Queensland and continued in Europe with Marcio Carneiro, Andre Navarra and Tibor Varga. As a core member of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Rosemary toured the major concert halls of Europe and America before establishing a freelance career in Sydney. Her passion for music from the Baroque and Classical periods gave her opportunities to work with Orchestra of the Antipodes and Pinchgut Opera. Since 1997, Rosemary has had a long standing position with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra.
A founding member of the Brisbane Festival Quartet, Rosemary now performs with the Merlin Ensemble, Trio Pollastri and Ceilidh. Her love of instrumental and chamber music has flourished in her teaching position at Sydney Grammar School.
Patrick Murphy is the Cello Performance Fellow at the School of Music, University of Queensland. He is also a member of the Southern Cross Soloists, resident at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre and the White Halo Ensemble, Ensemble in Residence at the School of Music at UQ.
Patrick was a founding member of the Tankstream Quartet, first prize-winners in the Melbourne National Chamber Music Competition (2000) and the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition, Japan (2001), and audience prize-winners in the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition (2003) before studying with the Alban Berg Quartet in Cologne. The Tankstream Quartet performed throughout Europe, and were broadcast by the BBC at Wigmore Hall, as well as radio and television appearances in Japan, Austria and France. In 2004 they were invited by the Australian Government to play for the reception of the Royal Wedding of Crown Prince Frederick and Princess Mary Donaldson in Fredenborg Castle, Copenhagen.
Patrick currently performs with the Australian World Orchestra, and has played with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra. He has been invited to play as guest principal with the Camerata of St John’s and the Australian String Quartet. As well as orchestral and chamber commitments, Patrick has appeared in concerto performances with the Brisbane Symphony Orchestra, The Metropolitan Orchestra (Sydney) and the University of Queensland Symphony Orchestra, and commissioned and premiered new works for solo cello by Australian composers including Paul Dean and James Ledger.
Patrick has directed Pulse Chamber Orchestra since its inception in 2012, developing an eclectic program ranging from the early baroque to the music of today. Collaborations with voices include the sacred works of Britten, Bruckner, CPE Bach, Rutter, and JS Bach.
Born in England, Caroline Henbest studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School and the Guildhall School of Music with Robert Masters and David Takeno. Initially based in the UK she was violist of the Mistry string quartet, which had residencies at the University of York and Brunel, and performed throughout Europe. The quartet gave many world premieres, performed regularly on the BBC and made several CDs. During her years in the UK she was principal viola with the Scottish Ensemble and performed with the Guildhall String Ensemble.
Caroline moved to Australia to take up the position of principal viola with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. She performed concertos and other solo works with the ACO in Australia, USA, Malaysia, China, Singapore, Spain and the UK. Other solo work performances include Australian premieres of ‘Under the Wing of the Rock’ by Sally Beamish and ‘The Myrrh Bearer’ by John Tavener.
Based in Melbourne, she leads a busy life teaching the viola at ANAM as well as holding a part time position with the ACO. She enjoys being part of chamber music festivals and was very proud to be a part of the IMS Prussia Cove Autumn tour, recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Chamber Music Society award. Caroline has performed in Townsville at AFCM, the Four Winds Festival, the Stradbroke Island Chamber Music Festival and Huntington.
Past orchestral work include guest principal viola with the Sydney, Melbourne and Tasmanian orchestras as well as the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, Glyndebourne on Tour, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
Performances in 2017 with ACO include tours of Victoria, NSW, Queensland and WA. In October Caroline will tour New Zealand with Wilma & Friends.
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