James Crabb was born in Dundee, Scotland in 1967 and started playing the accordion at the age of four. He studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen with classical accordion pioneer Mogens Ellegaard from 1985-92. He was 2nd Prize Winner of the Gaudeamus Interpreters competition, 1989 in Holland, and was awarded the Carl Nielsen Music Prize, Denmark in 1991.
The Australian Brass Quintet comprises five of Australia’s top soloists: Tristram Williams (trumpet), Owen Morris (principal trumpet, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra), Ben Jacks (principal horn, SSO), Scott Kinmont (assoc. principal trombone, SSO) and Shannon Pittaway (bass trombone, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra). Since its debut at the 2008 Melbourne International Festival of Brass, the ABQ has become a fixture in Australia’s musical life, presenting established masterpieces and new works.
The Jim Atkins (audio design) designs and mixes sound environments for a host of live and recorded situations nationally and internationally. Recent work includes Nixon in China (Auckland Festival), The Ring Cycle (Opera Australia), Sondheim Trilogy (Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd), Banquet of Secrets, The Riders, The Flying Dutchman, Maria de Buenos Aires and The Black Rider for Victorian Opera. Other highlights include: Chroma (The Australian Ballet); Songs From the Middle (Eddie Perfect/ANAM); Acoustic Life of Sheds, Namatjira (Big hART); Genevieve Lacey’s En Masse and Pleasure Garden sound installation (Sydney Festival), Armand Van Helden (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra) and Between 8&9 (Chamber Made).
The ANAM Strings – The Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) is dedicated to the artistic and professional development of the most exceptional young musicians from Australia and New Zealand. It is a place in which musicians fulfil their potential as music leaders, distinguished by their skill, imagination and courage, and by their determined contribution to a vibrant music culture. ANAM musicians share the stage with their peers and the world’s finest artists, performing in locations and venues across Australia. Alumni regularly receive major national and international awards, and occupy leading positions in ensembles and orchestras nationally and internationally.
Tamara-Anna Cislowska (piano) began studies at Sydney Conservatorium at age six and gave her first orchestral performance two years later. An ABC Young Performer of the Year, Tamara-Anna’s impressive CD catalogue boasts three ARIA no. 1 albums and an ARIA award for her landmark Peter Sculthorpe recording. She has given recitals at the Concertgebouw and London’s Purcell Room and has performed with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and with all the symphony orchestras in Australia, as well as the London Philharmonic, and New Zealand Symphony. In addition to her playing, Tamara-Anna is a presenter of ‘Duet’ on ABC Classic FM.
Rohan Dasika (double bass) – an alumnus of the ANU School of Music and the Australian National Academy of Music, Rohan has established a diverse career performing regularly with the Melbourne and Queensland Symphony Orchestras, in festivals including the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Four Winds Festival, Canberra International Music Festival and Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music. International appearances have included those with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra Academy (Germany) and the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra (Japan). Rohan recently took up a position with the Paul-Hindemith-Orchesterakademie of the Frankfurter Opern-und-Museumsorchester.
Djaadjawan Dancers – ‘Djaadjawan’ means sand in Dhurga, the language of the Yuin people from the Far South Coast of New South Wales. Founded and led by Sharon Mason in 2013, the Djaadjawan Dancers are a group of dancing women and children from ages six to 60 who are committed to traditional dancing and to preserving cultural practices. With regular performances at high profile events in Canberra, Mebourne and Sydney, the Djaadjawan Dancers’ wear traditional dance outfits that are assembled from natural resources from within the local area, Walbanja country, in Narooma NSW.
Alice Giles AM (harp) is celebrated as one of the world’s leading harpists. First Prize winner of the 8th Israel International Harp Contest, she has performed extensively as soloist world-wide. Regarded by Luciano Berio as the foremost interpreter of his Sequenza II, solo recitals include London’s Wigmore Hall, New York’s 92nd Street ‘Y’, Merkin Hall and Frankfurt Alte Oper. She is Director of the Seven Harp Ensemble, Artistic Director of the non-profit company Harp Centre Australia and was Artistic Director of the World Harp Congress Sydney 2014. Alice is currently Lecturer at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
The Goldner String Quartet– launched in 1995 and retaining all founding members – Dene Olding and Dimity Hall (violin), Irina Morozova (viola) and Julian Smiles (cello) – the Goldner String Quartet has performed throughout Australia, UK, Europe, USA, and the Asia-Pacific. Named after Richard Goldner, founder of Musica Viva, they regularly appear at major festivals and are Quartet in Residence at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. New works are regularly commissioned from many of Australia’s leading composers and major projects have included a 20th century string quartet retrospective and the complete Beethoven Quartet cycle, which was recorded live and won the 2009 Limelight ‘Best Classical Recording’ award. Numerous internationally acclaimed CDs are released on Hyperion, ABC Classics, Naxos and Tall Poppies labels.
Holly Harrison is a young Australian composer from Western Sydney. Her music is driven by the nonsense literature of Lewis Carroll, embracing stylistic juxtapositions, the visceral energy of rock, and whimsical humour. Holly’s work has been performed by ensembles across Australia, Asia, Europe, and the USA, including four-time Grammy award-winner, Eighth Blackbird.
David Leha (vocalist and composer) is from the Kamilaroi nation of Australia and the South Pacific nation of Tonga. Best known as Radical Son, David has a multi-faceted career as a performer on stage and screen, as a recording artist and as a workshop leader and MC where his credits include events for Beyond Empathy, Community Prophets and the Jimmy Little Foundation. David studied music at The Eora Centre for Visual and Performing arts in Redfern, NSW and has a Bachelor of Music from the University of Newcastle at Newcastle Conservatorium.
Jack Liebeck (violin) has performed with all the major British orchestras under conductors such as Andrew Litton, Leonard Slatkin and Sir Mark Elder, and with major European orchestras under Daniel Harding, Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Douglas Boyd. Chamber collaborators include Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Angela Hewitt, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Piers Lane and Michael Collins. Jack’s solo playing can be heard in the film soundtracks for The Theory of Everything, Jane Eyre and Anna Karenina, and his recordings for the Hyperion label include an acclaimed cycle of Bruch concertos. Jack plays the ‘Ex-Wilhelmj’ J.B. Guadagnini dated 1785 and a Joseph Henry bow generously loaned by Kathron Sturrock in memory of her late husband Professor David Bennett.
Mission Songs Project – Jessie Lloyd’s Mission Songs Project is inspired by Indigenous singing and song traditions. The vocal ensemble is made up of some of Australia’s finest Indigenous vocalists including Emma Donovan, Deline Briscoe, Jessica Hitchcock, Candice Lorrae and Kristel Kickett, presenting rarely-public performance styles and narratives found in Indigenous communities, such as family gatherings, social events and yarns over a cuppa. Story-telling is a major component of the performance as it gives historical context and shares moving personal experiences into the tunes sung from the mission days, making the show warm, humorous and heartfelt.
Ian Munro career as a pianist has taken him to 30 countries and includes soloist appearances with the Royal Philharmonic, English Chamber and BBC Concert Orchestras, and recordings for ABC Classics, Hyperion and Naxos. His reputation as a composer was launched in 2003 when he won the Premier Grand Prix at the Queen Elisabeth International Competition in Belgium. Since then his music has been commissioned and/or premiered by the Tasmanian and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Goldner Quartet and Melbourne Chorale, and is broadcast frequently by the ABC and BBC.
Guy Noble is one of Australia’s most popular conductors and music presenters. He regularly conducts all the major Australian symphony orchestras, as well as the Auckland, Malaysian and Hong Kong Philharmonics. He is host and conductor for the Adelaide Symphony’s “Classics Unwrapped” series, host for the Queensland Symphony’s “Music on Sundays” and host and accompanist for Opera Australia’s “Great Opera Hits” at the Sydney Opera House. Recent concerts include The Music of John Williams (WASO), Movie Masterpieces (ASO and Margaret Pomeranz), a national tour with The Whitlams, and The Last Night at the Proms (Sydney Symphony Orchestra).
Emma Pearson (soprano) – Former principal artist at the Hessisches Staatstheater, Wiesbaden, Emma Pearson’s repertoire includes the title roles in Lucia di Lammermoor, Lulu and La Calisto; Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos), Jenny (The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny), Woglinde, Gerhilde and Waldvogel (Wagner’s Ring Cycle), Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier), and Norina (Don Pasquale). Recent engagements include Lucia di Lammermoor and Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro) for West Australian Opera; UKARIA 24; Beethoven Missa Solemnis (Budapest); Micaela (Carmen) and Gilda (Rigoletto) for New Zealand Opera (also for Theater St Gallen and Staatstheater Saarbrücken); Violetta (La Traviata) Opera Queensland; Clorinda (La Cenerentola) Semperoper Dresden; and Sophie in Minneapolis and Valencia.
Maria Raspopova (piano) is resident pianist for, and co-artistic director of Omega Ensemble, one of Australia’s foremost chamber groups. Russian-born Maria moved to Australia with her family at 17 and studied at Sydney Conservatorium with Gerard Willems and Philip Shovk. A scholarship provided further studies with Philip Kawin, Professor of Piano at the Manhattan School of Music. Since returning to Australia, Maria has recorded and performed recitals in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney and premiered many new Australian works. Recent performance highlights include the Government House Music series with soprano Emma Matthews.
David Rowden (clarinet) began his professional career freelancing with Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Opera & Ballet Orchestra. In 2005 he founded the Omega Ensemble, one of Australia’s leading chamber groups, and in 2013 and 2014 curated the House Music series at Government House, Sydney, one of the city’s best-loved concert events. In March 2017 David joined the staff of the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music. His recent CD debut for ABC Classics includes works by Mozart, George Palmer and Ian Munro, with Omega Ensemble and Dimitri Ashkenazy. David is a Buffet-Crampon artist and currently performs on the new Divine clarinets.
Julian Smiles (violincello) is one of Australia’s most active and respected cellists. He was principal cellist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and in 1991 was invited to join the Australia Ensemble at the University of NSW. In 1995 he became a founding member of the Goldner String Quartet with colleagues Dene Olding, Irina Morozova and Dimity Hall. Julian is also frequently heard as a soloist and has performed concertos with the Melbourne and Canberra Symphony Orchestras and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. A much sought after teacher, Julian is Lecturer in Cello at the Sydney Conservatorium.
Speak Percussion has been described as “virtuosic and adventurous” by the New York Times and is led by artistic director Eugene Ughetti, joined at Four Winds by rising star Matthias Schack-Arnott. Speak Percussion has defined the sound of 21st century Australian percussion music through the creation and presentation of ambitious arts projects. Internationally recognised as a leader in the fields of experimental and contemporary classical music, Speak are constantly seeking to redefine the potential of percussion.
Stonewave Taiko is a drumming group based in Bega, practicing the dynamic art form of wadaiko, also commonly known as taiko (Japanese for drum). Their artistic director is David Hewitt, a founding member of TaikOz and The Spaghetti Western Orchestra and later a member of Synergy Percussion. Formed in 2013, Stonewave Taiko now boasts over 40 members of all ages and walks of life. Intensive collaborative work with professional taikoists from TaikOz and YuNiOn has resulted in the full-length production ‘Thunder & Waves’, appearances at Four Winds, and becoming the hit of the 2017 National Folk Festival.
The Song Company’s repertoire covers vocal music from the 10th century to the present. Founded in 1984, the Company remains at the forefront of contemporary vocal music through an extensive commissioning program and collaborations with artists and composers of the highest calibre from around the world. Currently led by British composer and conductor Antony Pitts, The Song Company maintains a national touring schedule alongside its longstanding commitment to education, with workshops and performances in schools around the country.
Aleksandr Tsiboulski’s guitar playing has been praised for its ‘responsive virtuosity’ (The Age) and ‘sensuous intensity’ (Classical Guitar, UK). A former Fulbright Scholar, Tsiboulski has won many prizes including the 2000 Australian Guitar Competition and the 2006 Tokyo International Guitar Competition and his Naxos release, Australian Guitar Music, was nominated for a ‘Best Classical Album’ ARIA. Based in Australia, he regularly gives concerts and lectures internationally, is exploring the 19th century guitar, and continuing his lifelong passion for the works of J.S. Bach through a series of filmed performances of the Cello Suite arrangements.
Lloyd Van’t Hoff (clarinet) won the 2015 ABC Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year and is a founding member of the Arcadia Winds, inaugural participants in FutureMakers – Musica Viva’s artistic leadership initiative. As well as performing in festivals all around Australia, Lloyd’s international appearances have included the Beijing International Festival of Modern Music, Menuhin Festival (Gstaad), Young Euro Classic (Berlin), Grafenegg Summer Music Festival and the Banff Centre. He studied under Paul Dean, Floyd Williams and David Thomas, and is an alumnus of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music (Griffith) and the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM alumnus, 2014).
Ariel Zuckermann (flute/ conductor) studied flute in Munich with Paul Meisen and András Adorján and conducting with Jorma Panula in Stockholm and Bruno Weil in Munich. He was assistant conductor to Iván Fischer for the Budapest Festival Orchestra and in 2007 became Music Director for the renowned Georgian Chamber Orchestra and in 2015 became the Music Director of the Israel Chamber Orchestra. Recent highlights include concerts and recordings with: the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Budapest Festival Orchestra, ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Zurich, Basel and Stuttgart Chamber orchestras and Camerata Salzburg.