Luke Severn (cello)

On 30 November 2018 Luke performed Antonin Dvorak’s Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in B minor, Op. 104.

Luke Severn

Luke Severn is noted for his performances and compositions alike. In recent seasons, Luke was awarded Monash University’s Concerto Award, the Peers Coetmore Memorial Scholarship, and the Vice Chancellor’s Ensemble Leadership Prize. As a composer, he is the two-time winner of the Australian Children’s Music Foundation National Songwriting competition.

In 2017 Luke made his North American debut, touring Canada with an all Brahms program.

Luke’s 2018 season includes many special projects and performances including the inaugural launch of “Humanation”, a recording and performance project featuring the works of LGBT+ composers throughout history and from around the world. 

Luke holds a Bachelor of Music degree with First Class Honours from Monash University in Melbourne. As a composer he draws most of his inspiration from fellow performers, working with soloists and ensembles alike to create his work. He has written for a variety of musicians and musical groups, including The Australian Children’s Choir and Melbourne based pianist Elyane Laussade.

Read more about Luke on his website.


David Laity (clarinet)

On 7 September 2018 David performed Carl Maria von Weber’s Concertino for Clarinet and Orchestra.


David Laity studied at the Victorian College of the Arts with Isobel Carter-Stockigt and Phillip Miechel completing a Diploma of Music in 1981.

In 1998 he attended the Mozarteum International Summer Academy in Salzburg and studied clarinet with Alois Brandhoffer. He has performed in Croatia and Austria at the Dubrovnik and Split Festivals and the Neuberger Kulturtage with the Geminiani Orchestra.

He has been principal clarinet with Stonnington Symphony since 2001. He also performs regularly with The Melbourne Sinfonia, Victorian Concert Orchestra and various pit orchestras. David teaches clarinet and saxophone at Trinity Grammar, Strathcona and Mont Albert Primary School.


Salvador Blasco (oboe)

On 7 September 2018 Salvador performed Julius Rietz’s Oboe Concerto.


Salvador was born in Spain and obtained his Teaching Diploma at the Conservatorio Superior de Musica de Valencia, Spain, and Bachelor of Performance at the Rotterdam Conservatorium, Holland, under the guidance of Emmanuel Abbhul.

For three years he was a member of the JONDE (National Youth Orchestra of Spain) under the guidance of Thomas Indermuhller and Eduardo Martinez.

Before his arrival to Australia, he held a teaching position at the Conservatorio Superior de Musica de Pamplona, as well as Orquesta Ciudad de Granada and Orquesta del Principado de Asturias in Oviedo.

Since his arrival to Australia in 1996 Salvador has been teaching woodwind instruments in several Colleges around Melbourne’s metropolitan area, as well as freelancing in different situations, from Symphonic to Chamber Music, Film and Musicals. For over ten years now, Salvador has cooperated with The Melbourne Sinfonia on a regular basis.

In 2003 Salvador joined the RAAF Band and since then he has dedicated himself to develop his knowledge of the Symphonic Band repertoire as well as the Wind Quintet and Trio d’Anches repertoire.


Lee Abrahmsen (soprano)

On 15 June 2018 we welcomed back Lee Abrahmsen to perform two works by Wagner – Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde.

Lee AbrahmsenHailed as a ‘rising star’ by Limelight Magazine, Australian soprano Lee Abrahmsen is a multi-award winning soprano both on the operatic stage and concert platform. Lee has performed in Australia with Opera Australia, Sydney Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, Queensland Symphony, Omega Ensemble, Victorian Opera and Melbourne Opera. Internationally she sang recitals at St Martin in the Fields and at the Edinburgh International Festival.

Source and further information:



Donna Coleman (piano)

On 23 March 2018, Donna Coleman performed Clara Wieck’s Piano Concerto.

Donna Coleman

Donna Coleman’s worldwide recognition encompasses award-winning recordings, major prizes in international competitions, global concert tours and invitations from music schools on four continents for teaching and performing residencies.

Born in Philadelphia and now a dual US and AU citizen, Donna has held Associate Professorship positions in three US universities, and for 20 years she nurtured the performance research of the keyboard students in the Victorian College of the Arts and in the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne. Dr Donna Coleman is now an Honorary Fellow of the University of Melbourne.

Donna regularly travels the world giving concerts, lecture-recitals, masterclasses, workshops, and developing new recording projects for her OutBach® label. The OutBach® project is an initiative dedicated to exploring relationships between the ancient musical traditions of Australia, Western European art music, and the African-inspired styles in the Americas.

Her new venture is The Emerson Trio, dedicated to the music of American composers. You can hear and see the Trio’s September 2017 performance of Charles Ives’s Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano at these links: Part 1 and Part 2.

All of Donna Coleman’s compact discs are available on iTunes and at


Elyane Laussade (piano)

On 8 September 2017, Elyane performed Frédéric Chopin’s Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor, Op.11.

To quote the New York Times: Elyane is “a pianist with a polished technique… dazzling power… and an impeccable sense of style.” Originally from the USA, Elyane is a graduate of The Juilliard School in NYC, and has delighted audiences on five continents. She has performed with the MSO and has been featured many times by ABC Classic FM and 3MBS radio.

“Piano-playing is not only a solo affair – I adore playing chamber music with colleagues, both international visitors and Australian artists, and accompanying singers is one of my great loves. Perhaps my favorite genre is the piano concerto, which is musical collaboration on the grandest scale for pianists and offers a rich and irresistible repertoire. My ongoing mission is to find personal meaning in the music that I share, whether it be performing, composing, listening or teaching.”


Lee Abrahmsen (soprano)

On 24 March 2017, we welcomed back Lee Abrahmsen to perform arias by Weber: Agathe’s Aria “Leise, leise…” from the opera Der Freischütz; Massenet: Thais’ Aria (Mirror scene) “Dis-moi que je suis belle” from the opera Thais; and Tchaikovsky: Tatiana’s Aria (Letter scene) from the opera Eugene Onegin.

Lee AbrahmsenPossessing a voice “with a deliciously full-bodied tone, rich in expression and control” and a “radiant, soaring sound”, Lee Abrahmsen is a multi-award winning soprano both on the operatic stage and concert platform. Lee has performed in Australia with Sydney Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, Queensland Symphony, Omega Ensemble and Victorian Opera. Internationally she sang recitals at St Martin in the Fields and at the Edinburgh International Festival.

Source and further information:



Glenn Riddle (piano)

On 25 November 2016, Glenn Riddle performed Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1.


Melbourne-born pianist Glenn Riddle studied at the Royal College of Music, London and Vienna Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst before returning to Australia. A Lecturer in Keyboard at the Melbourne Conservatorium, and AMEB Federal Examiner, Glenn has established a reputation as one of Australia’s leading mentors of the next generation of young pianists – his students having won prizes in international piano competitions in the USA, France, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and in Indonesia, as well as in all of Australia’s major competitions. He himself has been invited to join international juries for piano competitions in the USA, Greece, Thailand and New Zealand. Glenn continues to perform extensively and has just released a CD of Australian music for Piano & Violin with his long-time collaborator, Marianne Rothschild (The Sky is Melting, Move Records). He is currently recording a CD of the Collected Chamber music of Australian composer Christine McCombe. He has also recorded over a dozen CDs for Hal Leonard and the AMEB. Recent concerto performances include Beethoven’s Piano Concertos Nos 1 and 4 with the Surabaya Symphony Orchestra in Indonesia, and he is frequently heard on ABC FM and 3 MBS FM as solo pianist, chamber musician or conductor especially in connection with the music of Percy Grainger. Glenn features on the internationally released DVD Classical Destinations III (seen on SBS Television) performing numerous works of Grainger, and he has also performed works by Grainger on the ABC’s 7:30 Report. For many years he also performed with Australia’s leading contemporary ensemble Chamber Made Opera.


Streeton Trio

Emma Jardine  ~  Umberto Clerici  ~  Benjamin Kopp

On 9 September 2016, the Streeton Trio performed Beethoven’s Triple Concerto.

StreetonTrioDescribed by Musica Viva as “Australia’s most internationally successful piano trio,” the Streeton Trio was formed in 2008, in Geneva, Switzerland, from three young Australian musicians. In 2010, the trio was selected to be a part of the prestigious European Chamber Music Academy, where it was in residence for three years. Now based in Sydney, the trio has studied intensively with the world’s leading chamber musicians and has performed extensively across Europe, UK, Scandinavia, Asia, New Zealand and Australia. [source:]

For further information about the Streeton Trio, including biographies, reviews and CD releases, visit:


Lee Abrahmsen (soprano)

Lee AbrahmsenOn 24 June 2016, Lee Abrahmsen performed Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été.

Possessing a voice “with a deliciously full-bodied tone, rich in expression and control” and a “radiant, soaring sound”, Lee Abrahmsen is a multi-award winning soprano both on the operatic stage and concert platform. Lee has performed in Australia with Sydney Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, Queensland Symphony, Omega Ensemble and Victorian Opera. Internationally she sang recitals at St Martin in the Fields and at the Edinburgh International Festival.

Source and further information:



Mi Yang (violin)

On 28 November 2015, Mi Yang performed Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto No. 2.

Mi Yang (Nov 15)Australian violinist, Mi Yang has performed throughout China (Si Chuan, Beijing, Hubei, Shanghai, Hunan), Singapore and in Australia, and has performed in regional cities throughout Victoria. As a prize-winner, she has won state-wide and national competitions in China such as Si Chuan youth strings competition, the 9th Youth Strings and Piano competition in Leshan, as well as being a national prize-winner at the Hubei youth national violin competition and a national finalist in the Luoyang national youth violin competition. Recent recital engagements include performances for the Austral Salon for Literature and Music and Art, Australian Catholic University, Music Lovers’ Society, St Paul’s Cathedral (Melbourne) and Ruby’s Music Room. She also has recorded frequently for 3MBS FM, and has performed and recorded for provincial radio throughout China, as well as national radio in Singapore. She has also performed frequently as a guest concerto soloist, and recent engagements include concerti by Mozart (D major, G major, A major), Sibelius, Bruch, Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky with various orchestras.


Zoe Knighton (cello)

Zoe KnightonOn 11 September 2015, Zoe Knighton performed Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op 33.

Zoe is a founding member of Flinders Quartet, one of Australia’s finest chamber ensembles. Flinders Quartet appears regularly at Australian festivals as well as their own celebrated subscription series. The group has commissioned many works and continues to be a champion of Australian chamber music. “Flinders Quartet… whose players give such care and unanimity of musical thought to Australian Chamber Music” ~ Peter McCallum, Sydney Morning Herald.

In 2008, Zoe founded the Melbourne Chamber Feast, a biannual festival celebrating the wealth of chamber music talent in Melbourne and in 2009 was the Artistic Director of the Montsalvat 20 concert series. She was an adjudicator for the 2009 Asia Pacific Chamber Music Competition and regularly acts as panel member and assessment advisor.

A passionate educator, Zoe is a regular tutor for the Australian Youth Orchestra and the Victorian Amateur Chamber Music Society. Zoe coaches chamber music and cello studies at The University of Melbourne where in 2008, she was Acting Co-ordinator of Strings. She has been guest lecturer at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music and works regularly as guest associate principal cello with Orchestra Victoria.

Zoe has played numerous concertos with Melbourne orchestras and with pianist Amir Farid, and made an impressive debut at the Melbourne Recital Centre to great critical acclaim in 2009. Their partnership continues with recordings for ABC, concerts throughout Australia and the release of five CDs on the MOVE label.


David Soo (piano)

DSOO_photoPiaJohnson_010      (photo credit: Pia Johnson)

David performed the Tchaikowsky Piano Concerto No.1 at our concert on 12th June.

David Soo has won prizes in international competitions in France (Magin) and Malaysia (ASEAN Chopin), the Australian National Piano Award, as well as unanimously being awarded first Prize in one of Australia’s most prestigious piano competitions, the Melbourne Recital Centre Great Romantics Competition. David was also a national finalist in the 2014 ABC’s Young Performer of the Year Award. Currently studying at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music with Glenn Riddle, David is heard frequently on both ABC FM, 2MBS FM, 3 MBS FM, 4MBS FM and 5MBS FM radio. He gave a sold-out solo debut recital at the Melbourne Recital Centre, and is a frequent guest concerto soloist, having performed concerti by Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Liszt, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, and Australian composer John Carmichael with various orchestras. Scholarships and awards from the University of Melbourne include the Athenaeum Prize, Madeleine Orr Scholarship, Mary Elizabeth McComas Scholarship, John Hellyar Piano Scholarship, Rosemary Kenny Prize, Katherine Ellis Memorial Fund, Harold Newry and HA Owens Awards. In 2009, David was awarded a scholarship to study in Paris with eminent American/French pianist, Noel Lee. Copyright: 2015



38Matthew Rigby (violin)

Born in Townsville, North Queensland, Matthew Rigby moved to Brisbane in 1998 to study with Elizabeth Morgan.  He completed his Bachelor of Music at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.  During this time he won all of the performance competitions open to him including the ‘Most Promising String Player Award’, Vada Jefferies Bach Prize, Basil Jones Sonata Prize, Ronald Davis Clifford Violin Prize, Paganini Prize, as well as being the string finalist for the Brisbane Club award.  In addition to these and other awards, Matthew was awarded the highest recital performance marks for strings in the conservatorium’s history.

Matthew’s solo career began with an appearance with the former Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra (now Queensland Symphony) at just fifteen years of age.  He has performed more than 20 Violin Concertos and has appeared as soloist in concert alongside internationally acclaimed musicians such as Slava Grigoryan, Karin Schaupp and José Carbó.  He has also performed for HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh’s visit to Brisbane, served as pre-tour soloist for Vadim Repin with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and has performed multiple times as soloist with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

In 2006 Matthew was a finalist in the Symphony Australia Young Performer’s Awards in which he gave a performance of the Alban Berg Violin Concerto to critical acclaim.  In the same year he received the Australian Music Examination Board’s highest award, the ‘Fellowship of Music’.  In 2007 Matthew received first prizes in the Gisborne International Music Competition and the Australian Concerto and Vocal Competition.  In addition to these landmark performances Matthew has performed extensively as concerto soloist with numerous orchestras throughout Australia and New Zealand. 

He has also been the recipient of many awards and scholarships including a Llewellyn Foundation Scholarship and the Hugh Brandon Memorial Scholarship from the Australian Music Examinations Board.  Additionally, Matthew was shortlisted for the Andrea Postacchini International Violin Competition in Fermo, Italy and as part of the competition was invited to give a solo recital.

In 2005 Matthew travelled to Switzerland to participate in a mastercourse with renowned violinists Akiko Tatsumi and Zakhar Bron, and in 2008 spent time in Finland studying with Jaakko and Pekka Kuusisito.  Throughout his career he has participated in masterclasses with many of the world’s leading violinists including Rudolph Koelman, Thomas Zehetmair, Lara St. John, Dene Olding, Tasmin Little, Mark Kaplan and Charles Castleman.

Matthew has been based in Melbourne since 2009 where he continued his studies at the Australian National Academy of Music with violin pedagogues William Hennessy and Adam Chalabi.  This period saw him perform chamber music with artists such as Anthony Marwood and the Brodsky Quartet. Matthew completed his studies in 2011 and, in addition to his solo career, has regularly been performing with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria.

Rebecca GulinelloRebecca Gulinello (soprano)

Rebecca Gulinello is the 2014 recipient of the Amelia Joscelyne Scholarship with the Dame Nellie Melba Opera Trust and will continue studying under the tutelage of Gary May.

She is an Honours student completing her Bachelor of Music in Voice at the Melbourne Conservatorium.

Rebecca began as a chorus member in Carmen with ‘In good company’ Theatre Company in 2009. In 2012 she was a semi-finalist in the Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award, and a semi-finalist in the prestigious annual Herald Sun Aria. In the same year she was invited, as a finalist of Opera Scholars Australia, to perform a solo with the Alpha Sinfonia at the annual ‘Opera in The Alps’ event in 2013.

Angie Head ShotAngela Hogan (mezzo soprano)

Australian mezzo soprano Angela Hogan completed a Bachelor in Music Performance at The Victorian College of the Arts in 2007, and has since been captivating audiences in Melbourne and abroad in many and varying roles.

A professional and versatile performer, Angela will embark on Opera Austalia’s Oz Opera Touring Schools Company production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola later this year.  2014 has already seen Angela playing Flora in Verdi’s La traviata for Melbourne Opera and Suzuki in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, also for Melbourne Opera.

In 2013 Angela performed the title role in Bizet’s Carmen on a China National Tour, while also playing the role of Dorabella in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte and Iphigénie in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride. 

Angela has performed with various opera companies over the past 6 years in such roles as: Frasquita in Bizet’s Carmen, Musetta in Puccini’s La Boheme, Valencienne in Lehar’s The Merry Widow, Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Elisa in Mozart’s Il Re Pastore, Farnace in Mozart’s Mitridate, Hermia in Britten’s A Mid Summer Night’s Dream, Suor Genovieffa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica and Fenena in Verdi’s Nabucco to name but a few.

Nathan Lay headshot 2014Nathan Lay (baritone)

Nathan completed his Bachelor of Music at the Melba Conservatorium of Music in 2008, and has since established his career in the Melbourne opera and oratorio scene. He recently won the 2013 Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Aria competition, and also received 3rd Place in the prestigious Herald Sun Aria competition at Hamer Hall.

Last year, Nathan performed Guglielmo in Così fan tutte for Melbourne Opera. He also performed The King in El Gato con Botas, Louis the Baker and Billy Webster in Sunday in the Park with George, and Bunyip Bluegum in the world premiere of The Magic Pudding – The Opera for Victorian Opera. This year, Nathan will continue his work at Victorian Opera as a member of their developing artist program.