Dimitri Ashkenazy | clarinet
Dimitri Ashkenazy performs widely as both a soloist and chamber musician. He has appeared with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at London’s Royal Festival Hall; Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin at the Hollywood Bowl; SBS Youth Orchestra at Sydney Opera House; Czech Philharmonic Orchestra at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico; and Japan Philharmonic, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony and Mito Chamber orchestras in Japan.
In September 2014, Ashkenazy made his BBC Proms debut, performing Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ Strathclyde Concerto No.4 with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra as part of the composer’s 80th birthday celebrations. He has previously performed this Concerto under the baton of the composer in London, Santiago de Compostela, and at several other venues across Europe.
An active chamber musician, he has performed with the Kodály and Faust Quartets and with partners such as Barbara Bonney, Antonio Meneses, Cristina Ortiz, Maria João Pires and of course his brother Vovka Ashkenazy and his father Vladimir Ashkenazy.
Dimitri Ashkenazy has made numerous CD, radio and television recordings, and been invited to give master classes throughout Europe and in Japan, Australia and the USA.
Bridget Bolliger | flute
Australian-Swiss flautist Bridget Bolliger was born in Sydney, where she distinguished herself early, studying under Jenny Andrews, Jane Rutter and Vernon Hill and performing the Ibert Flute Concerto with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the age of 15. She graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium High School and was awarded the ASCM with Merit by New South Wales Conservatorium of Music.
At 18 Ms Bolliger travelled to Switzerland to study with Peter-Lukas Graf at the Basel Music Academy. For four consecutive years she was awarded the coveted Study Grant of the Migros/Ernst-Göhner Stiftung, while also winning the UBS Flute Competition in Zürich, the Kiefer Hablitzel Award in Bern and a prize at the Swiss Woodwind Competition in St Gallen. She attended masterclasses with Alain Marion, Jean-Pierre Rampal and William Bennett, and played Principal Flute with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra under Claudio Abbado and Vaclav Neumann, the Schleswig Holstein Festival Orchestra under Christoph Eschenbach and the
European Community Youth Chamber Orchestra under James Judd.
After graduating with the prestigious Soloistʼs Diploma, Ms Bolliger was appointed Principal Flute with the St Gallen Symphony Orchestra. She also appeared as Guest Principal Flute with the Basel Symphony Orchestra, Zürich Opera Orchestra and Zürich Chamber Orchestra, under conductors such as Nello Santi, Horst Stein, Franz Welser-Möst and Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos.
Ms Bolliger spent three years in Brazil as Principal Flute of the Sinfonica de São Paulo, before returning to Australia where she has played with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, The Queensland Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, under conductors including Vladimir Ashkenazy and Patrick Summers.
Bridget Bolliger has appeared as concerto soloist with the St Gallen Symphony Orchestra, Basel Symphony Orchestra, Basel Radio Orchestra, Collegium Musicum Basel, Gruppo Concertistico della Svizzera Italiana (Lugano), Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar al Teatro Massimo (Palermo), Orquestra Sinfonica do Norte (Porto, Portugal) and the Sinfonica de São Paulo. She has performed the Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto with harpists Elena Zaniboni, Marielle Nordmann and Sarah O’Brien.
As a chamber musician, Ms Bolliger has appeared at the Ainey International Music Festival in Burgundy, the Curitiba International Music Festival in Brazil, the Huntington Estate Music Festival in New South Wales and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Queensland. She has collaborated with many distinguished Australian and British musicians, and with members of the Chicago and Montreal Symphony Orchestras.
Ms Bolliger is founder of the New Sydney Wind Quintet, which has become one of Australia’s leading chamber ensembles, releasing two CDs, commissioning a work from Ross Edwards and giving numerous world premieres. Ms Bolliger is also founder and Artistic Director of the annual Sydney Chamber Music Festival.
As a flute teacher and chamber music coach, Bridget Bolliger has tutored and given masterclasses in Switzerland, Brazil and Australia. She has taught at the Jugend Musik Schule (Rorschach) and was assistant to Michel Debost at the Oficina de Música de Curitiba. She has taught at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the University of New South Wales and the Sydney Conservatorium High School, and given masterclasses for the New England Conservatorium of Music, the Sydney Flute Society and the Australian Flute Festival.
Maria Raspopova | piano
Maria was born in Russia, where she trained as a pianist from an early age. At 17 she moved to Australia, and came to study at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music under Philip Shovk and Gerard Willems AM. Since she moved to Australia, Maria has recorded and performed recitals in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. She also received a scholarship to study with Philip Kawin of the Manhattan School of Music, New York.
Maria is the principal pianist of Omega Ensemble, currently Ensemble in Residence at City Recital Hall. During the past few years with the Ensemble, Maria has recorded and premiered new Australian and New Zealand works by Andrew Ford, Mark Isaacs and Ben Hoadley. Maria has also performed in both the Art Gallery of New South Wales and Government House Music series with acclaimed Soprano Emma Matthews.
In 2014 Maria joined the ensemble on a regional tour of New South Wales with French virtuoso clarinetist Paul Meyer. More recently Maria has performed with the Ensemble as part of the Spotlight series in The Salon, Melbourne Recital Centre, and in 2016 has several performances in the Ensemble’s Master Series at the Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House.
Anthony Heinrichs | flugelhorn
Anthony studied at the Western Australian Conservatorium of Music with Kevin Johnson, and received his Bachelor’s degree in 1991. During this time, he worked regularly with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, performing the Arutiunian Trumpet Concerto, and giving the Australian premiere of Dialogue for Trumpet and Orchestra by Wayne Senior.
Between 1990 and 1993, he played principal trumpet with the Australian Youth Orchestra and Camerata Australia and toured nationally and internationally with these orchestras. He studied with Daniel Mendelow in Canberra, and was Principal Trumpet of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra from 1993 to 1994. He acted as Principal Trumpet at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, where he studied with members of the Vienna Philharmonic and London Symphony orchestras, and travelled to Karlsruhe, Germany, in 1999 to study with Reinhold Friedrich.
A member of Sydney Brass, he gave the premiere of Joe Wolfe’s Trumpet Concerto in 2003, and has performed at the Arcadia Music Festival, with the Frankfurt and Saarbrucken radio symphony orchestras, and as Principal Cornet with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra.
He has taught at St Andrews Cathedral School and the Sydney and Newcastle conservatoriums, and was featured in the Visiting Artist Programme at Hale School in 2008.
Anthony Heinrichs joined the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 1995.
John Martin | piano
John Martin is one of Australia’s most diverse, sensitive, award-winning pianists. From his early days in Mudgee, John has been
playing professionally for more than twenty-five years; from recitals, ensembles, classical concerts through to jazz, popular music and cabaret. His warm, vibrant personality and eclectic performance skills are legendary; comfortably embracing live radio broadcasts, he has become a regularly featured artist on Classic FM’s Breakfast, Drive and Thursday Live programs.
An intricate part of John’s professional career has also seen him accompanying and mentoring graduating vocalists, wind, brass and string instrumentalists through their public examination recitals and assessments. As the recipient of two prestigious, overseas study grants awarded by The Music Board of Australia and Australia’s Opera Foundation, John studied and worked in London under the tutelage of two world-renowned pianists, Clifford Benson and Paul Hamburger, strengthening his accompanist skills with both vocal and instrumental ensembles.
Airena Nakamura | violin
Airena was born in Japan and moved to Sydney where she began her violin studies with her father Yasuki Nakamura.
After completing her Bachelor of Music Performance degree with Christopher Kimber from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with First Class Honours, Airena continued her studies in Germany and USA and has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants.
Airena has toured extensively with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and played with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. She has also been as a Guest Concertmaster to Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.
Airena performs regularly with various chamber groups, including the Omega Ensemble. She is a permanent member of the Caro String Quartet, and the Quartet recently performed Matthew Hindson’s ‘Rave and the Nightingale’ written for String Quartet and Orchestra under the baton of Alex Briger.
Since 2005, Airena has been a member of the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra where she has lead the orchestra as Acting Principal First Violin. Airena currently holds the position of Principal Second Violin.
Teije Hylkema | cello
Teije Hylkema is the Principal Cellist of the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra.
He moved from The Netherlands to Australia in 2012 and has worked as a guest principal with various orchestras including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Tasmanian Symphony
Orchestra before attaining the Principal position at AOBO. He has also performed in close collaborations with violinist Andrew Haveron, accordionist James Crabb, didgeridoo player William Barton and with major art companies such as Opera Queensland, Opera Victoria, Australian Chamber Orchestra and Dance North.
In the Netherlands, Teije was the co-principal cellist at the Radio Kamer Filharmonie, an orchestra that specialized in baroque and modern repertoire with chief conductors Jaap van Zweden and
Frans Brüggen. He was also a regular guest in the Mahler Chamber Orchestra conducted by Daniel Harding and Claudio Abbado.
Teije graduated from Amsterdam Conservatorium under the guidance of Dmitri Ferschtman and Maarten Mostert in 2000. He was the cellist of the Dutch Romeo Quartet for several years. They won numerous prizes and were primarily tutored by Valentin Berlinsky, Isaac Stern, the Amadeus Quartet, and the Tacacs Quartet.
Teije is a dedicated chamber music player, both on modern and baroque cello. He has performed in many chamber music festivals in Europe and in Australia, he was a guest artist at the Tyalgum Music festival, The Sydney Chamber Music Festival and the ‘Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields’ festival. He performs throughout the year with his pianist wife Grace Kim, the Omega Ensemble and the Sydney Cello Collective.
Teije plays a cello by Camillo Mandelli da Calco (1916).
Grace Kim | piano
Australian pianist Grace Kim is a Winston Churchill Fellow who is currently active as a soloist, chamber musician, artistic director, and educator.
As a concerto soloist, Grace has performed with the major symphony orchestras of Australasia, Belgium, Turkey, Russia, and Ukraine, and won prizes in numerous national and international competitions. Grace was the National Keyboard Winner of the 2000 Symphony Australia Young Performers Award, also receiving the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubillee Trust. A graduate of Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Grace obtained her Master of Music at Melbourne University and Rotterdam Conservatorium (Cum Laude) and is the Inaugural Fellow of Australian National Academy of Music.
Grace has performed in important concert venues such as Het Concertgebouw, De Doelen, La Salle Philharmonique de Liège, as well as the Sydney Opera House. Many of her performances have been broadcast on radio and television in Europe and Australasia. In 2006, she performed before Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands and the Australian Governor General, in celebration of the 400 year anniversary of Dutch-Australian contact.
Passionate about chamber music, Grace regularly works with distinguished artists from all over the world. Grace was the 2007/08 Artistic Director of the Summer Concert Series in the celebrated Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Returning after living and working in the Netherlands for 8 years, Grace is now based in Sydney, and the Blue Mountains, Australia. Since returning, her engagements include performing as a soloist with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (New Zealand), recitals on ABC Classics Sunday Live (Sydney), ScotchArts series (Melbourne), as well as adjudicating in national eisteddfods in NSW and VIC. In 2013/14, Grace was the Artistic Director of the Rivendell Recital Series, and Opera Night at Rivendell.
Grace currently teaches in the Rising Stars Program at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and is the founding Artistic Director of Mountain Concerts and Blue Mountains Opera Festival.