Janis Laurs was Principal Cellist of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra from 1985 to 2015 and since 1997 has been on the permanent staff of the Elder Conservatorium of Music. He has also been the Associate Principal cellist of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Janis studied cello performance with James Whitehead at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, and continued his studies with the legendary Pierre Fournier in Switzerland.
As a soloist, Janis has played with many of the Australian Symphony Orchestras. He has also given recitals with various international and Australian pianists and other artists throughout Australia and overseas. He has travelled extensively overseas for concert tours, and he has appeared as soloist with the major Australian orchestras. In 2000, Janis performed Brahms’ Double Concerto with William Hennessy and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.
As a chamber musician, Janis performed with the Australian String Quartet from 1985 to 1997, the widely acclaimed New England Ensemble, and currently performs with the Melba Quartet and with the Elder Piano Trio in Adelaide.
In addition to his teaching at the Elder Conservatorium of Music he also has a long association with the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) in Melbourne, and has regularly tutored cellists and chamber music groups at and for ANAM. He has had a key role as director of the National Music Camps. Since the commencement of his career Janis has also shared his skills as a conductor, leader, tutor and artistic director with many community groups, such as orchestras, choirs, summer schools and music camps.
He has previously been on the Board of the Australian Youth Orchestra, President of the SA Branch of the Australian String Teachers’ Association (AUSTA) and was Founding Artistic Director of the Adelaide Youth Orchestra. In a wider sphere, Janis initiated and has been Artistic Director of the Adelaide International Cello Festival since its inception in 2008.
He is one of the most sought after cello teachers in Australia and has nurtured the talents of many Australian cellists of the younger generation. His former students can be found in most of the Australian symphony orchestras, and in many orchestras and chamber music groups internationally. Janis was founding Artistic Director of the Mt. Buller Chamber Music Summer School and has been Artistic Director of fourteen previous summer schools.
William Hennessy AM was the Founder of the Australian String Quartet (1985-96) and has made over 300 concerto solo appearances with Australian orchestras. Since 2006 he has been Artistic Director of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra. He has long been acknowledged as one of Australia’s leading violinists and music educators. William Hennessy was founding deputy leader of ACO, a member of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields in London for three years then Concertmaster of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. He was Head of Strings at the University of Melbourne for a decade during which time he played a major role in assisting the development of many musicians and chamber ensembles who now enjoy high professional profiles. He remains deeply committed to musicians of the future.
In June 2018 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his services to music.
An internationally acclaimed artist, Ms Lea has played in the world’s great music centres, performing in the Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Royal Concertgebouw, the Berlin Schauspielhaus and the Franz Liszt Hall. Growing up in Adelaide, Ms Lea’s remarkable musical talents were rewarded when she was 19 by an offer from the Australian String Quartet to join them as a permanent member.
With the ASQ, apart from the extensive touring, Ms Lea recorded frequently for such labels as Naxos and ABC Classics. The repertoire represented in these recordings is not only the standard classics of chamber music but also an incredible volume of works by Australian composers. For her contributions to Australian culture, Ms Lea has been awarded the Australian Centenary Medal for Advancement of Music as well the Advance Australia Award for Outstanding Contribution in the Arts. In 2013 Ms Lea founded the Huon String Quartet with other members of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and has continued to enrich the Tasmanian community with concerts, broadcasts and recordings.
Ms Lea’s sound, both pure and unaffected, has been described by Limelight Magazine as “…thrillingly suspenseful…painful in its beauty and with fantastic textural contrasts”. Possessing an innate musical versatility Ms Lea comfortably shifts from her role as Associate Concertmaster in the TSO to soloist and to chamber musician.
As the first violist to win the ABC Young Performers Award in 1972, Keith Crellin soon established himself as one of Australia’s leading soloists and chamber music players. He studied violin initially with Gretchen Schieblich and then Ladislav Jasek at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and completed his tertiary studies at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music under noted pedagogue Professor Jan Sedivka.
He was a founding member of the Rialannah String Quartet, performed with the Petra String Quartet and was a regular member of the Australian Contemporary Music Ensemble. Subsequently he was appointed Lecturer in viola and chamber music at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music, Director and Principal Conductor of the Conservatorium Orchestra and Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Tasmanian Youth Orchestra.
In 1985, he became a founding member of the Australian String Quartet based in Adelaide, a position he held for sixteen years and with which he performed in many countries, travelled widely throughout Australia and made numerous recordings.
As well he has conducted concerts and recordings with the Tasmanian and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras and has been conductor of Australian Youth Orchestra’s Young Symphonists and tutor to the AYO Young Australian Concert Artists program on a number of occasions. He has attended many National Music Camps as tutor and conductor. In 2003, he took up the position of artistic director and conductor of the Adelaide Youth Orchestra. In 2004 he was awarded the University of Adelaide’s Stephen Cole prize for excellence in teaching and in 2006 was appointed Adjunct Professor in Strings and Chamber Music at the Tasmanian University.
In 2008 Keith was awarded the Order of Australia medal for his contribution to music and education. He retired in 2016 as Associate Professor, Head of the String Department and Conductor-in-Residence at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, The University of Adelaide. He now divides his time between teaching, performing, conducting and as Managing Artistic Director of the Adelaide Youth Orchestra.
Tobias Breider has established himself as one of Australia’s most sought after viola players in chamber music.
In his native Germany he held Principal Viola positions
at the Rhine Opera Düsseldorf, the Hamburg State Opera
(under Simone Young) and the Konzerthausorchester Berlin.
As a guest leader he performed with prestigious European orchestras like the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Radio orchestras of Vienna, Berlin and Cologne, the Qatar and Las Palmas Philharmonic, the Melbourne Symphony a.o.
Since his appointment as Principal Violist of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 2011 Tobias has collaborated with many of the country’s finest artists and ensembles like Selby&Friends, the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and the Australia Octet, Wilma&Friends, ACO a.o.
In 2018 he is re-invited to perform with the Australia Ensemble and
will make his first appearance at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville.
Internationally he has performed at Festivals in the US, Germany, Austria,
the UK and South Africa.
Tobias is founding member of the String Trio EX PATRIA (together with his SSO colleagues, Concertmaster Andrew Haveron and Principal cellist Umberto Clerici) and last year joined the Brisbane based newly formed EnsembleQ.
As a soloist Tobias has performed at the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Domain, City Recital Hall and the Recital Centre in Melbourne, he regularly tours Queensland in recitals and appears at the Sanguine Estate Festivals, the musical Marathons in Melbourne and at the Sydney Chamber Music Festival a.o.
Being a dedicated viola teacher Tobias runs a private studio, he also taught at the Britten/Pears School in Aldeburgh, the Shanghai Academy, Stellenbosch University (South Africa), the Sydney Conservatorium and ANAM.
Ewen grew up in Melbourne, beginning cello studies at age six. He completed a Bachelor of Music Performance (Honours) and Master of Music (Performance) at the University of Melbourne under Nelson Cooke, Christian Wojtowicz and Janis Laurs. He has made recital appearances at the Port Fairy Chamber Music Festival, Adelaide International Cello Festival, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra Schumann Festival and the University of Melbourne and in 2011 made his concerto debut with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. He is well known to music-lovers nationwide as cellist of the Benaud Trio, winners of the Piano Trio Prize at the 2005 Asia-Pacific Chamber Music Competition. With the trio he has appeared at festivals including the Banff International Arts Festival, Adelaide and Perth International Arts Festivals and in Melbourne, Brisbane and Hobart for Musica Viva. As an orchestral musician Ewen has toured internationally. He joined the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in 2009 as Associate Principal Cello and has also appeared as guest Principal of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Melbourne Chamber Orchestra. A keen teacher, he has lectured in Cello and Chamber Music at the University of Adelaide. Ewen’s instrument is the 2011 Adelaide International Cello Festival Cello.
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