Saturday Feb 16 - Inventi Ensemble
Ben Opie - oboe
Two types of people walk the alleys of Melbourne’s wildly eclectic arts scene: those who argue classical music is a static art form, and those who know the work of Ben Opie. Tackling mind-blowing innovation with the class and sensitivity of a veteran, Ben is a young oboist of matchless capacity performing at the cutting edge of classical music’s fresh-faced evolution. With a big emphasis on innovation and meaningful collaborations, Ben’s approach has the power to keep classical music connected and relevant to its audience. He does this not only in his performing career but also in his new role as Artistic Director of the Peninsula Summer Music Festival.
You’d take him for a Melbournian, of course. Bearded, sharply dressed, and with a warm and generous demeanour, but you were certain of your opinions on what classical music is, and the effects it can have, right? Think again. Not in recent history has an Australian classical musician moved so courageously between projects. Bach from a three-tonne truck in a gritty Melbourne pop-up venue? No problem.
Amongst a history of solo performances throughout Europe, the Middle East and North America, Ben’s boundary-obliterating chamber group, Inventi Ensemble has featured at the heart of the Australian music scene since early 2014. A champion of contemporary repertoire and mixed-media works, Ben has collaborated with Gretchen Miller (ABC Radio National) and artist Cecilia White (‘The Breathing Space Projects’), and has appeared in various other multimedia performances, both locally and internationally.
Ben has featured around the world as an expert music mentor. His unique approach to pedagogy and practice seeks to encourage in young musicians not only the development of their musicianship but their creative entrepreneurial skills to boot. If there’s a young mind qualified to speak on true professional balance today, there’s no doubt it’s this one.
Harry Bennetts – Violin
Violinist Harry Bennetts studied at the Australian National Academy of Music under Dr. Robin Wilson and has just returned to Australia following a two-year residency at the Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, mentored by concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley.
Harry has performed as soloist with the Melbourne, Canberra and Tasmanian Symphony orchestras, as well as giving solo and chamber recitals at the Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Recital Centre, Ukaria Cultural Centre, Cologne Philharmonie and Berlin Philharmonie. His most recent concert performance was the Korngold violin concerto with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in 2018.
Harry was accepted into the international musicians seminar at Prussia cove in the class of Thomas Adès, and performed as an Emerging Artist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO). He has participated in masterclasses and lessons with Pinchas Zuckerman, Boris Kuschnir, Midori Gotō, Christian Tetzlaff and members of the Belcea and Doric string quartets.
William Clark – Viola
William completed his Bachelor of Music at the University of Melbourne, and studied for three years at the Australian National Academy of Music – on a scholarship at each institution.
An advocate for new music, William Clark has premiered many Australian works by composers including Don Kay, Melody Eotvos and Larry Sitsky. In 2015, William became violist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra Inspire Quartet, and Melbourne-based Affinity Collective Ensemble, with whom he toured Europe in 2016. He has also toured and performed extensively throughout China and Hong Kong.
William performs regularly with the Melbourne and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, Victorian Opera, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and the Australian Chamber Orchestra Collective, as well as the Inventi Ensemble.
Paul Zabrowarny – Cello
Paul Zabrowarny is a cellist with a strong interest in contemporary repertoire. Paul completed studies at the Elder Conservatorium and the Australian National Academy of Music before received grants from the Ian Potter Foundation and the Australia Council to undertake a Masters of Music Performance at the Conservatoire de Lausanne, Switzerland specialising in contemporary cello techniques.
As a chamber musician, Paul performs frequently with Inventi Ensemble, and has appeared as a guest musician with Syzygy Ensemble, Quartz String Quartet and the Melbourne Chamber Players. He also performs with Orchestra Victoria and the Australian Classical and Romantic Orchestra. He has performed recitals throughout Australia and Europe and has appeared as a soloist with orchestras.
Paul was an Emerging Artist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and is the founding cellist of the ACO Inspire String Quartet. He has frequently performed for broadcasts, including solo performances on ABC Classic FM and Radio Suisse Romande.
Saturday May 4 - Romantic Horn Trio
Sebastian Dunn - French Horn
Having most recently completed his Masters in French Horn Performance under Gail Williams at Northwestern University in Chicago, Sebastian Dunn is currently preparing to tour regional Australia with the Australian Opera.
Growing up the son of two music teachers and the eldest of five boys, Sebastian enjoyed a lively and musically diverse childhood in Dubbo, New South Wales. His earliest musical pursuits began on Piano and Violin, learning both from his father and mother. As his passion for music grew so did the range of musical styles and instruments he and his brothers played and by the time he graduated from St Johns College, Dubbo, he was regularly performing in jazz combos on piano and percussion, singing and playing guitar in rock and pop groups, leading musicals and also performing classical repertoire on French Horn and Piano. Throughout his formative years, Sebastian was also highly involved in team sports and athletics, representing his local diocese and school in both cross country and Rugby Union.
Sebastian began formal training on French horn in 2008 when he commenced his bachelor of music at Sydney Conservatorium under Andrew Bain and Ben Jacks. After completing his study in Sydney he then received a full scholarship and stipend to study at the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne (ANAM) in 2012. During his time at ANAM Sebastian performed regularly in a wide variety of chamber music, recital and orchestral settings. It was also in Melbourne that he began to freelance professionally with the Tasmanian, Melbourne and Sydney Symphony Orchestras. Sebastian’s orchestral experience also includes two international tours with the Australian Youth Orchestra, video game and TV soundtrack recordings, a three-month season of the musical South Pacific, performances with Roberta Flack, The Whitlam’s, Michael Bolton and The Wiggle’s, a season of Massenet’s ballet Manon with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, and two national tours of Mozart’s The Magic Flute with the Australian Opera.
Benjamin Burton - Piano
Ben is a talented young pianist with a passion for accompanying vocal and instrumental performances. In his role as accompanist, Ben has performed all over the country, and in 2019 will be continuing to perform as pianist for the Opera Australia School's Tour, Moorambilla Voices, and with Voci Stupende. Highlights over the last couple of years have included recording with the ABC (appearing on the CD Ballads of a Pleasant Life with Peter Coleman-Wright and the Nexas Quartet), performing with Moorambilla Voices for the Royal Visit to Dubbo, and giving recitals with Daniela Leska at Sydney Town Hall and the Polish Embassy. Ben was awarded 1st Prize in the 2017 Sydney Song Prize, and 2nd Best Pianist in the 2016 MIETTA National Art Song Competition. 2019 sees Ben giving chamber recitals with Sirius Ensemble, in Narooma, and recording and performing with Moorambilla Voices for the 6th year, which he intends to squeeze around bringing up his young daughter, if she lets him.