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 - Horn Trio
Michael Wray - French Horn
Michael received his Bachelor of Music (Advanced Performance) on French Horn from the Queensland Conservatorium in 2004. During this time he performed regularly with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Queensland Pops Orchestra as well as initiating several chamber music projects. In 2006 he moved to Shenzhen, China to play as Principal Horn in the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra. From China Michael moved to The Netherlands where he completed his Master of Music (Performance) under the tutelage of world renowned hornist and teacher Will Sanders. As well as his studies he also performed with many symphony orchestras and opera orchestras in The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
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.