James Crabb (Artistic Director)
James Crabb is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading classical accordionists. He studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Music with classical accordion pioneer Mogens Ellegaard and was awarded the Carl Nielsen Music Prize, Denmark in 1991. He was subsequently professor of classical accordion at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Copenhagen from 1995 – 2010 and also held a long-standing guest professorship at the University of Music and Dramatic Arts in Graz, Austria.
Critics internationally have praised him for his breathtaking virtuosity and versatile musicianship. He has performed worldwide with the BBC Symphony, BBC Scottish Orchestra, Sydney and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras, Philharmonia, Gulbenkian Orchestra, London Philharmonic, London Symphony, Hallé Orch, Rotterdam Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta, Nash Ensemble, Hong Kong Philharmonic and the Australian and Swedish Chamber Orchestras.
The Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) is dedicated to the artistic and professional development of the most exceptional young classical 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.
Geoffrey Badger has been involved in choral music all his life through singing, conducting and composing for a variety of adult and children’s choirs. Geoffrey studied cello and piano and became interested in music pedagogy while working in the Kodaly-based Music Education Program at the Canberra School of Music. An experienced teacher of music in both primary and secondary schools, privately and in other community-based music programs, he is the Director and Founder of the Heartsong sacred music choir, and Director of the Bega Valley Youth Choir. Geoffrey is also the Artistic Director of the annual South Coast Music Camp for local orchestral musicians, many of whom are participating at this weekend’s Youth Festival.
During school terms 2 and 3 (2018) Geoffrey and Greg have been the Four Winds Artists-in-Schools, preparing the young people for their performances at the Four Winds Youth Festival and inspiring them to take part in more music making at school and beyond!
In Greg’s 47 – year career as a percussionist, musician and teacher, he has worked with children in schools, pre-schools, communities and festivals both in Australia and Overseas. The children find Greg very engaging, inspirational and humorous!
Over the last 15 years Greg has been working in remote communities with the Music Outback Foundation, in Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales. Greg has also appeared on the popular television show Playschool in what has become one of the most requested episodes ever!
Short Black Opera
Deborah Cheetham AO, Yorta Yorta woman, soprano, composer and educator has been a leader in the Australian arts landscape for more than 25 years.
In the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, Deborah was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), for distinguished service to the performing arts as an opera singer, composer and artistic director, to the development of Indigenous artists, and to innovation in performance.
In 2009, Deborah established Short Black Opera as a national not-for-profit opera company devoted to the development of Indigenous opera singers. The following year she produced the premier of her first opera Pecan Summer. This landmark work is Australia’s first Indigenous opera and has been a vehicle for the development on a new generation of Indigenous opera singers.
The Australian Voices
It is with high artistic energy that The Australian Voices (TAV) commission and perform the work of Australian composers. 2018 commissions include Lachlan Skipworth, Lisa Young, Alice Chance, Joe Twist, Sean O’Boyle and Gordon Hamilton.
Recently TAV has recorded new works intended for “performance” on YouTube. Hamilton’s composition The 9 Cutest Things That Ever Happened (2013) has been viewed over one million times. In 2014 they made international headlines with a video of Rob Davidson’s Not Now, Not Ever! (2014), a musicalisation of Julia Gillard’s ‘misogyny’ speech.
Their album for Warner Classics (2012) was observed by Gramophone Magazine to “boast a crisp, resonant delivery of the sonic goods under Hamilton’s confident direction.” In 2013 they released an songbook with Edition Peters and in 2016 an album for ABC Classics.
Recently the group has brought their distinctly Australian sound to audiences in Guatemala, Mexico, China, the UK, Germany, New Caledonia, USA, Palestine, Woodford Folk Festival and Hobart Festival of Voices.
Western Sydney Youth Orchestras
The Western Sydney Youth Orchestra is a thriving youth orchestra based in Parramatta, NSW. In addition to having weekly rehearsals and instrumental tutorials each term, WSYO frequently collaborates with dance companies and cultural groups, makes festival appearances, tours and takes the stage at special events around Western Sydney. Under the leadership of respected music educator and conductor, James Pensini, Western Sydney musicians focus on the essentials of orchestral playing and performance, tackling repertoire ranging from the Baroque to Romantic periods.