The Sydney Chamber Music Festival was founded in 2008 by a small group of passionate music lovers, including Akky Van Ogtrop and Michael Hedger, and is the brainchild of Bridget Bolliger, a Northern Beaches resident and renowned Australian-Swiss solo flautist and teacher.
The SCMF is a boutique-style festival held annually at the Manly Art Gallery and Museum and offers its audiences the opportunity to hear some of the best Australian-based musicians playing fine classical music in programs drawn from diverse musical and cultural traditions. The festival is held over one weekend and advocates Australian music with typically unique programs, often theme-based on the gallery’s art exhibitions. A highlight of the festival is the Family Concert which combines puppetry and music. The intimate Sydney Chamber Music Festival seats100 people per concert and is a much-anticipated event for all ages in the beautiful surroundings of the iconic Manly Wharf.
The SCMF is proudly supported by The Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust.
I warmly welcome you back to our fine festival after two years of Covid setbacks in what promises to be an enchanting REVIVAL.
Who Are We?
The Sydney Chamber Music Festival, founded by Bridget Bolliger, is devised and orchestrated by an independent group of chamber music lovers. SCMF is a not-for-profit, incorporated association managed by a volunteer Committee of Management. Various members of the Committee take on specific responsibility to ensure high quality and smooth functioning Festival events. Many other volunteers assist the Committee on the days of the festival.
Board of Directors
Artistic Director: Bridget Bolliger
Secretary: Michael Hedger
Treasurer: Bruce Hein
Advisor Ex Officio: Akky van Ogtrop
BRIDGET BOLLIGER, Artistic Director
Australian-Swiss flutist Bridget Bolliger was born in Sydney, where she distinguished herself early, studying under Jenny Andrews, Jane Rutter, and Vernon Hill. At 15, she won the Australian National Mattara Spring Festival Concerto Competition and performed the Ibert Flute Concerto with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in the same year; and also became the youngest woodwind member of the Sydney Youth Orchestra under Mastro Stuart Challender. During these early years of study, Bridget participated in masterclasses with Jean-Pierre Rampal, Alain Marion, and William Bennet when they came to Sydney. She graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium High School with an Associate Diploma from the NSW Conservatorium of Music.
Awarded a Big Brother Scholarship and Australia Council grant, at 18, Ms. Bolliger left her birth town. She traveled to her ancestral home in Switzerland to study with Professor Peter-Lukas Graf at the Basel Music Academy from 1987 to 1991, graduating with a Master’s Degree in solo performance.
For four consecutive years, Bridget Bolliger won the coveted Swiss Study Grant of the Migros/Ernst-Göhner Stiftung. She also won the UBS Flute Competition in Zürich, the Kiefer Hablitzel Study Award in Bern, and was a prize winner at the Swiss Woodwind Competition in St Gallen.
Ms.Bolliger was appointed 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 as a Swiss guest musician in the role of principal flute on tour throughout Switzerland under James Judd. After graduating with the prestigious Soloistʼs Diploma from the Basel Music Academy, 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.
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 as well as several regional orchestras in Australia. She performed the Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto with world-renowned harpists including Elena Zaniboni, Marielle Nordmann, Sarah O’Brien, and the Cimarosa concerto for two flutes with Peter-Lukas Graf in Europe at the Stadtcasino Basel, the Teatro di Massimo in Sicily, the Konzertverein St.Gallen and numerous other venues in Switzerland.
While living in Europe, Ms. Bolliger pursued voice studies with Otto and Monica Pick-Hieronomi at the Hochschule für Musik Köln. She then attended the Academia di Bologna taking singing lessons with Sergio Bertocchi. Bridget then embarked on a short professional singing career performing the role of Clorinda in Rossini’s La Cenerentola at the Teatro São Pedro in Brazil and the 1st soprano in “Drei arme adelige Weisen” from Richard Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier at the Teatro Massimo d Palermo in Sicily. Singing was always Bridget’s passion, and she stepped aside from her flute career for two years to explore her vocal potential.
Ms. Bolliger then spent three years from 2000 between her home in Switzerland and Brazil as Principal Flute with the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo before returning to Australia in 2003 after 16 years living abroad. In Australia, she has freelanced with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, The Queensland Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, and the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra.
As a chamber musician, Ms. Bolliger has appeared at Chamber Music Festivals in Ainey, France, the Curitiba International Music Festival in Brazil, the Huntington Estate Music Festival in New South Wales, Australia, and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Queensland. She has collaborated with many distinguished Australian and British musicians and with principal members of the Chicago and Montreal Symphony Orchestras.
Ms. Bolliger is the founder and Artistic Director of the New Sydney Wind Quintet (NSWQ). In a decade, the NSWQ became one of Australia’s leading chamber ensembles, releasing several CDs, commissioning The Laughing Moon: five bagatelles for wind quintet from Ross Edwards, and givingnumerous world premieres of new Australian works for the woodwind quintet. The NSWQ has performed in China and throughout Australia and Tasmania through Musica Viva, giving workshops and masterclasses at regional music conservatoriums in Dubbo, Coffs Harbour, and Bathurst with outreach programs at country schools. The NSWQ made numerous ABC live performances and is an integral part of ABC broadcasts.
Ms. Bolliger recorded two internationally acclaimed albums with British pianist Andrew West; Dancing Shadows – the complete music for flute and piano by Miriam Hyde, including selections of her poetry read by voice artist Gerard Maguire is released by Cala Records. Timeless contains classic flute and piano works by Frank Martin, Bohuslav Martinu, Claude Debussy, and a world premiere recording of “Paradise of Birds” by Jim Coyle, released by Austrian Gramophone.
Bridget has been an artist in residence for Fine Music 102.5. and, during that time, collaborated with her brother Phillip Bolliger in a duo for flute and guitar, culminating in recordings and interviews entitled The Bolliger Effect with a personal account of her life as a mother and musician on “In Conversation with Michael Morton-Evans”.
Ms. Bolliger was the brain-child, founder, and Artistic Director of the annual Sydney Chamber Music Festival since 2008 and a successful recipient of an Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust grant which has been vital in supporting Bridget’s musical visions for Australian based musicians. The SCMF is a boutique-style festival at the Manly Art Gallery and Museum with an exclusive lineup of performing artists. The festival’s programs are unique, often tied in with themes from the Manly Art Gallery and Museum’s art exhibitions, emphasizing new Australian compositions each year and collaborations with the Sydney Puppet Theatre.
As a dedicated 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 in Switzerland (Rorschach) and was an assistant flute teacher to Michel Debost at the Oficina de Música de Curitiba in Brazil. She has taught at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the University of New South Wales, and the Sydney Conservatorium High School and presented masterclasses at the New England Conservatorium of Music, the Sydney Flute Society, the Australian National University, the Australian Flute Festival, and Australian National Academy of Music.
Bridget enjoys teaching from her home studio on the Northern Beaches of NSW and has students worldwide on the international teaching platform playwithapro.com based in Copenhagen.
Bridget Bolliger is a Powell Artist, playing on a handmade, 14-carat gold Verne Q. Powell flute and a silver Verne Q.Powell with 14-carat gold keys and a 19-carat gold head joint.
MICHAEL HEDGER, Secretary
Michael Hedger has been a Secretary of the Sydney Chamber Music Festival since 2008. He has worked in the arts scene of Sydney for 20 years and has long been an arts advocate and a member of several key arts committees.
He is the Director of the Manly Art Gallery and Museum and was previously the Manager of Cultural and Information Services at Manly. Before this he was the Manager of Visitor Services at the National Maritime Museum, from 1999 – 2003 the Director of the Campbelltown Arts Centre and before this the Deputy Director of the British Council, Australia. He was the art reviewer of The Newcastle Herald, an arts lecturer and teacher.
BRUCE HEIN, Treasurer
AKKY VAN OGTROP, Advisor Ex Officio
Akky van Ogtrop (MA Sydney University) works as an art historian, curator and Approved Valuer for the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program. As a director and manager of major arts events including the Biennale of Sydney, ARTiculate Campaign, Sydney Art on Paper Fair and Sydney Contemporary, Akky has proven experience as arts administrator and creative manager with extensive contacts and national and international project experience and as an organiser, speaker and facilitator of national and international symposia, workshops and discussion panels.
Apart from her expertise as a public program, event manager and art historian Akky works as curator with art museums, galleries and contemporary art spaces, presenting exhibitions by Australian and international artists. She is the Curator for PAPERContemporary 2018.
Akky is presently serving on various boards, including:
President of the Print Council of Australia, President of the Walter Burley Griffin Society, Board Member Dutch Link and Foundation Member of the Art Gallery of NSW.
Akky is the immediate past President of the Sydney Chamber Music Festival.