Amelia Farrugia | soprano
Amelia Farrugia is regarded as one of the brightest stars of opera in Australia. Amelia has had a highly successful and varied Australian & International career in Opera, Music Theatre, Symphony Concert, Recital, Corporate Events, Large-Scale Outdoor Events, Recording & Television.
Amelia Farrugia’s auspicious debut solo recording, Joie de vivre! was released by Universal Music Australia in December 2005 and released in the UK October 2006. Recorded in the UK with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Alexander Briger, Joie de vivre! was nominated for a Classical Aria Award (2006). The first Australian solo artist to record on the prestigious Decca label since Dame Joan Sutherland in 1959, Amelia was featured on national television’s ABC news, The Today Show, Good Morning Australia, Carols in the Domain and on radio as ABC Classic FM’s CD of the week and 2MBS FM’s CD of the month.
In 2017 Amelia appears in the world-premiere of DIVA! (City Recital Hall, Sydney). An uplifting celebration of great Australian Divas, June Bronhill & Dame Joan Sutherland with original music scored by Elena Kats-Chernin.
Meredith O’Reilly | actor, performer
Meredith has been an entertainer for over 30 years. Theatrical highlights include Starkers (playing feisty stripper Glenda, directed by Lex Marinos), Les Misérables (Swing, directed by Gale Edwards), Hello Dolly! (directed by Christopher Renshaw), Chess (understudy Florence, directed by Colin McColl), New Rocky Horror Show (Magenta/Usherette alternate, directed by Nigel Trifﬁtt), Gypsy (stripper Tessie Tura, directed by Nancye Hayes), How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying (secretary Smitty, directed by Kris Stewart), The Producers (elderly Hold Me-Touch Me, nominated for both Green Room and Helpmann awards, directed by Susan Stroman), Karaoke the Musical (pushy stage mother Tammy, directed by Guy Noble), Rain (P.M. Julia Gillard, directed by Jonathan Mill/Teresa Borg), Love Never Dies (understudy Madame Giry, directed by Simon Phillips) and Grandma in The Addams Family (directed by Jerry Zaks).
Recently Meredith was in 3 new Australian musical projects: Life Force (ﬁve different roles in four accents, directed by Lisa Freshwater), mystery thriller Laura (directed by Arne Neeme) and the City Recital Hall concert of King Of The Air, playing Charles Kingsford Smith’s mother (directed by Tyran Parke). She played the role of theatrical agent Sylvia St. Croix in Ruthless! in 2014 (Glugs Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical, directed by Lisa Freshwater). In 2015/16 Meredith toured Australia in The Sound Of Music (directed by Gavin Mitford) as Baroness Elberfeld, understudying Sr Berthe and Frau Schmidt, playing the latter role for six weeks in Sydney.
Her cabaret Curtains about showbiz disasters was a ﬁnalist in 2014 Short and Sweet and Cabaret and selected for Sydney’s inaugural Festival Fatale in 2016. Earlier cabarets include Only Just Begun, about singers who died suddenly and young. She has fronted big bands Tres Mambo, Horns Plus and her jazz quintet, The Mezzanines.
She writes lyrics for music theatre, jazz and popular songs and songs tailored to corporate events. Meredith has appeared in numerous TV dramas, commercials, corporate ﬁlms and is a voiceover artist. She has hosted several radio shows and narrated audio books for Vision Australia for ten years. .
Verna Lee | harp
Since 1990, Verna has won critical acclaim for her performances. Her playing was recently described as “all tears and goosebumps”.
With no less than 45 concerto performances to date, she has built a reputation as a versatile soloist with Australian premieres of concertos and many performances of the ever-popular Mozart and Handel harp concertos. One highlight was being featured as soloist with the Australian Youth Orchestra at the Adelaide Arts Festival in 1992. After making her solo debut at the age of 15, she has performed many recitals and has toured Australia as a soloist.
In 2012, Verna was awarded a grant for her sold-out multi-media performances The Harp In Nature which showcased stunning images of the Australian landscape set to harp works by Australian composers. This recital was also performed at the recent World Harp Congress in 2014.
She considers herself fortunate to have worked and recorded with various orchestras such as Singapore Symphony, the Sydney Symphony, Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony and Tasmanian Symphony and spent 10 years as principal harpist with Australian Youth Orchestra until the ripe old age of 27.
Verna has also performed with international artists such as Sumi Jo, Aled Jones, Il Divo, Tina Arena, the Kiev Ballet and the Deutche Kammerakademie Neuss.
Other harp activities include directing the Sydney Harp Eisteddfod, harp weekends and workshops, harp camps, lecturing at harp festivals and regularly accompanying soprano Amelia Farrugia.
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.
Bridget Bolliger | flute
An accomplished concert soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player and recording artist, Australian-Swiss flautist Bridget Bolliger has recently been hailed by Fanfare as “the very essence of what flute sound should be…”
Bridget first performed as a soloist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the age of 15 and studied at the Basel Music Academy completing her Masters degree in performance under Prof. Peter-Lukas Graf.
As a soloist, Bridget appeared with the St Gallen and Basel Symphony Orchestras, Orquestra del Teatro Massimo Palermo and the Sinfonica de São Paulo among others and she performs regularly for the ABC, Musica Viva, and is a regular guest at the Huntington Music Festival and Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Townsville.
Bridget spent several years as Principal Flute with the St Gallen Symphony Orchestra, Switzerland, and then the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Brazil. She was Guest Principal Flute with the Zurich Opera Orchestra , Zurich Chamber Orchestra and Basel Symphony Orchestra. Since returning to Australia, Bridget has played principal flute with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and has regularly played with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Bridget studied voice at the Koln Music Hochschule and at the Bologna Music Academy . She performed the roles of Clorinda in Rossini’s “La Cenerentola” at the Teatro di Sao Pedro in Sao Paulo and was the first soprano in “Drei arme adelige Waisen” from Richard Strauss’ opera Rosenkavalier , at the Teatro Massimo de Palermo in Sicily. Bridget studied art song and opera as part of her music education in Europe.
Bridget’s debut solo CD release in 2014, “Dancing Shadows”, has earned great international acclaim from Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine and Limelight and she made her Sydney Opera House debut as solo artist in 2016.
Bridget is the founder and Artistic Director of the New Sydney Wind Quintet and the Sydney Chamber Music Festival. She is an Artistic Advisor for the Sydney Conservatorium High School Senior Chamber Music Program, was the 2016 Artist in Residence at Fine Music 102.5 FM, and is a flute teacher on the international faculty of playwithapro.com
Andrew Haveron | violin
Andrew has performed concertos with conductors such as Sir Colin Davis (LSO), Sir Roger Norrington, Jiří Bělohlávek (BBCSO), Stanislaw Skrowachewski (Halle) and John Wilson (CBSO), performing a broad range of well known and less familiar repertoire.
In 1999 Andrew was appointed first violinist of the internationally acclaimed Brodsky Quartet. A busy schedule saw the quartet perform and broadcast in their unique style all over the world collaborating with a varied selection of outstanding artists such as Anne-Sophie Von Otter, Julian Lloyd-Webber, Dmitri Ashkenasy and Alexander Baillie through to their iconic ‘cross-genre’ work with Elvis Costello, Björk, Paul McCartney and Sting. Andrew recorded more than fifteen albums with the quartet, many of which received industry awards such as “Diapason d’or” and “Choc du Monde”.
Andrew is also in great demand as on orchestral leader and enjoys frequent invitations to work with all the major symphony orchestras in the UK and many further afield. In July 2007 he became leader of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, broadcasting frequently on BBC Radio 3 and enjoying many appearances at the Proms including the famous “Last Night”. At the request of conductor Valery Gergiev he also led the ‘World Orchestra for Peace’. Andrew has also been the leader of ‘The John Wilson Orchestra’ since its inception. Most recently, Andrew has been appointed leader of the Philharmonia Orchestra.
In 2004 Andrew received an honorary Doctorate from the University of Kent for his services to music. He plays on a violin made in 1709, by Carlo Tononi. He became Joint Concert Master of the Philharmonia Orchestra in 2012.
Tobias Breider | viola
German born Tobias Breider is Principal Violist of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Previous positions as Principal include the Rhine Opera Duesseldorf,the Konzerthaus Berlin and in the Philharmonic State Orchestra Hamburg under Simone Young. He has also appeared as guest leader with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, both Radio Symphony Orchestras of Berlin, the Radio Symphonies of Vienna and Cologne, the Qatar Philharmonic and the Melbourne Symphony a.o.
Having a busy International career as a chamber musician he has been invited to numerous Festivals in the US, Germany, the UK and South Africa.
As a Soloist he performed a.o. at City Recital Hall in Sydney and the Recital Center in Melbourne. He recently toured Queensland and has collaborated with numerous chamber ensembles in Australia, like Wilma Smith & Friends, Kathryn Selby&Friends and the OMEGA ensemble Sydney. He was invited to the The Sanguine Estate and Pearl Beach Festivals, The Australian International Viola Conference, to Viola Week at ANAM and to the Schubert and Brahms-Marathons in Melbourne.
Tobias has taught at the Sydney Conservatorium and is guest teacher at ANAM (Melbourne). He coached at the Britten/Pears School in Aldebourgh (UK) and was invited for Masterclasses at Stellenbosch University (S.A.) and at the Shanghai Academy.
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).
Jim Coyle | composer
Jim Coyle is a Sydney-based music educator and composer. As a composer, he has worked with some of Australia’s finest musicians including the Sydney Sinfonia and Sydney Brass, and has been commissioned to write works for musicians from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. He has also written music for some of Australia’s least experienced musicians, notably his opera for primary school children, The Selfish Giant.
Jim Coyle is in demand as a leader of professional development for music teachers and of masterclasses for student composers, including conducting seminars for the SSO. He sometimes lectures in music education at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where he is also engaged in doctoral research.