2021 Our Artists

Please note: the 2021 Season has been cancelled in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.


Acacia Quartet | Antony Partos | Bellingen Sinfonia | Jim Coyle | The Sydney Puppet Theatre | Jacqueline Cronin | Tim Nankervis | Bridget Bolliger

Acacia Quartet | ensemble

“Acacia Quartet performed so well that at times they seem like only one instrument, such is their clarity and unison.” (Rob Kennedy for Canberra City News)

In eleven years Acacia Quartet have won great respect for their versatile and inventive programs.

Acacia have recorded ten albums, with ‘Blue Silence’ earning a nomination for an APRA-AMCOS Art Music ‘Award for Excellence. Acacia are passionate about supporting Australian composers, working with young musicians, and sharing their love of music with audiences of all ages.

Their performances feature regularly on radio stations around the world. Acacia’s engagements in Australia include the Sydney Opera House, City Recital Hall Sydney, Melbourne Recital Hall, as well as extensive touring through regional NSW and Victoria.

Acacia had their international debut in Vancouver, Canada at the Roundhouse in June 2016. The following year, Acacia Quartet were invited by the Christine Raphael Foundation to give their European debut, where they performed concerts in Berlin and recorded a CD with three string quartets by Günter Raphael.

Two CDs were released at the end of 2018, ‘Muse’ in collaboration with recorder player Alicia Crossley and ‘Imaginations’ with guitarist Matt Withers.
Their most recent CD was released in January 2020, ‘Günter Raphael Edition Volume 7 – String Quartets’.
Acacia Quartet is proud to be the Ensemble in Residence at the Orange Regional Conservatorium.



Antony Partos | composer

Antony Partos is one of Australia’s most awarded film composers. His passion lies in creating scores that blend both acoustic and electronic elements with an eclectic mix of exotic instruments.

His feature film credits include Jasper Jones and 99 Homes (winning the AGSC Award for Best Feature Film Score respectively in both 2016 and 2017), Animal Kingdom (AFI award for Best Feature Score), The Rover, Disgrace, The Home Song Stories and Unfinished Sky (the latter two winning the AFI Award
for Best Feature Score).

Antony’s scores for TV Drama include Wake in Fright (AACTA Award for Best Music Score in Television), Rake (AGSC Award for Best Music in a TV Series), The Slap (AGSC Award for Best TV Theme and Soundtrack), Mabo (AGSC Award for Best Music for a Telemovie) and Redfern Now (AACTA Award for Best Music
Score in Television).

Other projects include the Academy Award® nominated feature Tanna (winning both the AACTA and Film Critics Circle Award for Best Feature Score) and the BAFTA nominated feature documentary Sherpa (AGSC award for Best Music for a Documentary along with Best Soundtrack Album).

Recent scores include ABC mini series Mystery Road (AACTA Award for Best Music Score in Television, AGSC Award for Best Music in a TV Series), the Lucas Films documentary The Director and the Jedi which had its world premiere at SXSW along with the HBO feature film, Fahrenheit 451 which premiered at The Cannes Film Festival.

Antony also recently scored for feature films Top End Wedding and I Am Mother, both of which premiered this year at Sundance Film Festival, and in collaboration with fellow Sonar composer Jackson Milas he scored the highly acclaimed Australian Drama series Bloom, which was released on Stan on New Years Day.

Antony is a passionate environmentalist and is drawn to projects that are concerned with social issues and human’s impact on the world.


Bellingen Sinfonia

Sinfonia is Bellingen Youth Orchestra’s most advanced ensemble. Hosting the leading string players, Sinfonia provides opportunities to take on challenging repertoire in an innovative musical experience.

Players work to develop the highest levels of musical performance skills, often exploring new arrangements and performance spaces. Selection for the Sinfonia is based on recommendations by teachers, ensemble leaders and the BYO Artistic Director, as they work to develop and rewarding pathways for individual

Bellingen Youth Orchestra Sinfonia is directed by Amber Davis, who after 23 years with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, ensures each player works seamlessly within the whole ensemble to produce engaging musical performances of the highest calibre.

The Bellingen Youth Orchestra was founded by talented musicians and exceptional educators Ann Phelan and Elizabeth Scott. Bellingen, a small regional town of some 3,000 people, is nestled between the sea and the Great Dividing Range on the Mid North Coast of NSW. In 2007, a visit to the town by Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra included an extra afternoon performance for school students and an idea was born. From this inspirational moment, Ann and Elizabeth came to realise the hunger in students to be part of something bigger than themselves. The pair drew on their great wealth of experience and began forging valuable partnerships, both local and national, in order to support the young players; they began with 16 players and a vision.

The Bellingen Youth Orchestra now proudly supports over 100 registered players across three ensembles. In 2007 there were 71 violin players in the Bellingen Shire, today there are more than 500 young people learning orchestral instruments supported by over 30 inspirational music teachers. With regular concerts each year, the BYO hosts workshops and performances with musicians from ensembles such as the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Haydn Ensemble and the Acacia Quartet to ensure it
remains a platform for musical ingenuity and exploration.

The BYO proudly supports each of its students as they find their own musical pathways. Some have become involved with programs run by the Australian Youth Orchestra and the ACO Academy, others have joined the NSW Arts Unit Tour of the UK and Ireland and others have gone on to study and follow careers in music. It is, however, the opportunity to inspire a lifelong love of music that remains a foundation to all of the endeavours of the BYO and they celebrate the moments when music students become musicians. The Bellingen Youth Orchestra’s strength lies not only in the talent and energy of its young players but in the support and relationships founded in its community. The orchestra has flourished through the commitment of music teachers and community volunteers, as well as the continued patronage of David and Gillian Helfgott. David Helfgott continues to perform annually with the BYO.

From its inception, the orchestra has developed programmes to support the musical education of young players, with a driving philosophy to provide opportunity for all. Providing a range of instruments to primary schools, the Orchestra enables access to learn, explore and experience musical interests from a young age. Access to instruments and school music programs provide music pathways for young people through their schooling years and beyond. To ensure that all BYO players have access to their music programmes the BYO relies on its continued collaboration with the Bellingen Shire community. Their long term supporter ‘Camp Creative’ have shared this vision by providing many young players with scholarship opportunities to assist with the cost of lessons and maintenance of instruments over a number of years. The Rotary and the Lions Club have contributed to the purchase of instruments and uniforms for the Orchestra and the Bellingen Fine Music Festival has provided resources to support music composition and recording by local students.

Nationally, enduring partnerships with the Australian Youth Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra have elevated local players’ understanding of performance to an unprecedented level.
The benefits of these connections have been extended far beyond the student participants to the many hundreds who have attended concerts over the past 15 years. In 2016, the Bellingen Youth Orchestra became an incorporated not-for-profit association. It relies on the continued hard work of its volunteers and committee members to ensure the experiences and musical opportunities for all young aspiring players continue to grow.

Bellingen Youth Orchestra (on Facebook)


Jim Coyle | composer

Jim Coyle is a Sydney-based composer, music educator and academic.

He is on the full-time staff at Sydney Conservatorium of Music where he teaches music education and is a renowned composer of music for children as well as for professional musicians.

Jim is a popular pre-concert speaker at Sydney Opera House and conducts a number of community ensembles.



The Sydney Puppet Theatre

Steve Coupe and Sue Wallace are co-artistic directors of The Sydney Puppet Theatre founded in 1984.

We moved to the Southern Highlands, regional NSW, where we built a puppet making and rehearsal studio. We create what we call Theatre of Delight, principally for the family audience incorporating puppetry, acting, music and dance in our shows.

We design workshops for all ages and abilities. We have also created puppetry performances and workshops for various clients the Museum of Contemporary Art, the ABC, the Powerhouse Museum and Discovery Centre, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, the Roads and Transport Authority, Sydney Water, the NSW Fire Department, the Australian Museum, National Parks and Wildlife and Australia’s Wonderland. We have taught puppetry at the University of NSW and have an ongoing association with the Enmore Design College of TAFE.

Most recently (August 2017) we were commissioned by Nautanki Theatre to create and perform shadow theatre in Jungle Book at Riverside Theatre.

We are currently company in residence at Imagin Arta, the Australian Puppet Centre in Sutton Forest NSW, performing every Sunday and organising puppetry workshops and events.



Jacqueline Cronin | viola


Tim Nankervis | cello

Timothy Nankervis is a member of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra having taken up the position in 2004.

He has won numerous awards for cello performance and chamber music and as a member of the acclaimed Seraphim Trio. Tim is an active chamber musician being a member of the Sonus Quartet, as well as performing with the Linden Trio, Sydney Soloists and Sydney Symphony Chamber Music.

He has performed widely throughout Australia as a soloist and has broadcast regularly for the ABC and 2MBS-FM. He has performed the Beethoven Triple Concerto and Brahms Double Concerto with orchestras in Sydney and Queensland, and he has performed as soloist with Orchestra Victoria, playing Tchaikovsky’s ‘Rococo’ Variations.

In 2011 and 2015, Tim performed in the Australian World Orchestra, which brought together some of Australia’s finest musicians from home and abroad. Committed to education, Tim teaches at the Conservatorium of Music in Sydney and tutors regularly for Sydney Sinfonia, Sydney Youth Orchestra and Australian Youth Orchestra.

Tim completed his Bachelor of Music degree in Sydney with Lois Simpson and graduated from Melbourne University with a Master of Music degree studying with Nelson Cooke. He has studied in London with William Pleeth and Raphael Wallfisch, and with Vadim Chervov at the Tchaikovsky National Academy of Music in Kiev.


Bridget Bolliger | flute

“The crystalline clarity of Bolliger’s tonal production is the very essence of what flute sound should be…”.  David DeBoor Canfield Fanfare Nov/Dec 2015

Australian-Swiss flautist Bridget Bolliger made her solo début with the Sydney Symphony performing Ibert’s Flute Concerto at the age of 15. She relocated to Switzerland for her tertiary studies graduating with a Masters Degree in
Performance from the Basel Music Academy under Professor Peter-Lukas Graf. Bridget then embarked upon a busy and varied career in Europe and South America appearing as soloist and chamber musician with many leading international orchestras and ensembles.

Her countless performances of Mozart’s Flute and Harp Concerto have involved
collaborations with some of the world’s most renowned harpists – including Marielle Norman and Elena Zaniboni. She has held Principal Flute positions with the St Gallen Symphony Orchestra and the Sao Paulo Symphony and has appeared as guest Principal Flute and soloist with the Basel Symphony, Philharmonia Zürich, Australian
Opera and Ballet Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra and many others.

Upon her return to Sydney in 2004, Bridget became a passionate advocate of Australian music and performed frequently at the Huntington Estate Music Festival and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. She was founding Director of the New Sydney Wind Quintet spanning over a decade performing countless concerts supported by Musica Viva around the country, and is Founding Artistic Director of the Sydney Chamber Music
Festival – this Festival celebrates 15 years under her successful stewardship in 2021.

In 2014 , Bridget formed a key musical partnership with pianist Andrew West; in 2016, they gave their début recital in the Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House and collaborated on Bridget’s latest album – entitled Timeless. Her earlier recordings of premiere Australian works have received unanimous acclaim from celebrated music journals such as Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine and Limelight Magazine; these include Quintopia, The Laughing Moon (by Ross Edwards) and Dancing Shadows (the complete music for flute and piano by Miriam Hyde).

Bridget is currently based in Bellingen from where she works as a dedicated flute teacher in schools and maintains an international profile through her teaching work around the world on playwithapro.com.

Bridget Bolliger is a Powell Artist.


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