Saturday April 18 -  Inventi Ensemble

Inventi Ensemble have established themselves as a leading force in Australian chamber music. Award winning performances in Australia’s leading concert halls and at festivals around the country have led to an enthusiastic following of their innovative programming and outstanding performance style. Inventi performances can range from a duo or trio, through to a chamber orchestra of 20 players. They are one of the most prolific chamber ensembles in Australia, with over 40 concerts in their 2020 season. Inventi is an exciting voice in Australian music. 

Inventi are renowned for their impressive arrangements of large-scale orchestral works for chamber ensemble. They have done this in collaboration with Melbourne’s Glynn Davies for epic works such as Bach’s Art of Fugue, Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade and Holst’s Planets Suite.

Passionate about music reaching as many people as possible, Inventi have created interactive, dynamic children’s shows of Carnival of the Animals, Scheherazade, Peter and the Wolf and Holst’s Planets Suite. They also engage with musicians of all ages and abilities in their community music performances, and workshops including side by side’ projects, improvisation and composition. 

Leaders in promoting new repertoire, Inventi have commissioned numerous works that have gained worldwide recognition - international festival performances and competition winning works. Inventi’s debut recording Inventi Ensemble I was released in 2016 to great acclaim and they will be releasing their next album soon. For a taste of what is in store, visit the Inventi YouTube channel or

Saturday May 23 - Bach Akademie Australia

Bach Akademie Australia is dedicated to performing the works of J.S. Bach. It was established in late 2016 by Australian violinist Madeleine Easton who has recently returned after 19 years of living and working in Europe. Its aim is to enrich and enhance the musical life of Australia. The ensemble's focus on mastery of performance, authenticity and originality of interpretation brings the music of J.S. Bach to life. Bach Akademie Australia is also focused on forging close links with academic institutions around the country in order to establish educational and learning opportunities for young musicians.

Having been inspired by the world's leading Bach exponents, Bach Akademie Australia aims to give audiences the very best experience of J.S. Bach's music. Bach Akademie Australia gave its first public performance in April 2017, which sold out in Sydney, and later that year at the Canberra International Music Festival. These concerts were met with glowing reviews in Limelight Magazine and Canberra City News. The orchestra also made its debut recording for ABC Classic FM of Bach's Cantata BWV 4 'Christ lag in Todesbanden' and Brandenburg Concerto No. 4, both of which have been broadcast nationwide.  

Violinist Madeleine Easton is internationally recognised for her versatility and expertise on stage. Throughout her career, a desire to combine period and modern playing has led to unique opportunities to work with a variety of ensembles worldwide. She performs internationally, appearing as soloist, concertmaster and director of some of the world’s most respected ensembles and orchestras.

Madeleine studied with Alice Waten and Chris Kimber at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where she graduated with first class honours. Alongside her degree, she studied baroque violin with Lucinda Moon. She was awarded scholarships and was successful in competitions winning the Sydney Conservatorium Concerto Prize with Bartok's 2nd violin concerto, and was a finalist in both the 1999 Richard Goldner Concerto Competition and the 1998 Gisbourne International Music Competition in New Zealand. In 2000 she was a recipient of a full scholarship to attend the Meadowmount Summer School in New York State winning the chamber music prize, and a year later won a place to study at postgraduate level at the Royal College of Music with Dr Felix Andrievsky where she graduated with distinction winning the String Prize for most outstanding performer.

Foremost, Madeleine is forging a career as a director and concertmaster. She has performed as both guest and permanent concertmaster of many leading orchestras worldwide. Engagements include the Orquesta Sinfonica de Madrid, the Gulbenkian Foundation Orchestra of Lisbon, The English Baroque Soloists, the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, The Kings Consort, The Gabrieli Consort, the Musicians of the Globe, The Independent Opera Company, London Orchestra da Camera, Orchestra Nova, the Guildford Philharmonic, Bath Philharmonia, Southern Sinfonia, Florilegium, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Northern Ballet Orchestra of England. She was appointed concertmaster of The Hanover Band in 2006 and continues to perform with them as both leader, director and soloist. Madeleine also performs with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Academy of Ancient Music, and the Orchestra Revolutionaire et Romantique.

Her talent of combining both period and modern styles of violin playing has led her to form a special relationship with the Royal Academy of Music in London. She has directed the Bach Cantata Series since its inception in 2009, the Baroque Orchestra, the first year String Orchestra and the Modern Instrument Period Orchestra. Other educational opportunities have included teaching period style on modern instruments for the World Orchestra at the Schleswig Holstein Festival in Germany, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and Monash University in Melbourne.

Madeleine has performed on many award winning recordings including the Bach Cantata series with the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists, the recently released Bach B minor Mass recording with the same ensemble, Haydn's 'Creation', Mendelssohn's Elijah and Mozart's C Minor Mass with the Gabrieli Consort. She has released the complete piano trios of Alexis de Castillon with her piano trio 'Trio Castillon', on Peyrole Records. She has also recorded the Antoine Reicha Bassoon Quintet and variations with the all Australian ensemble, 'Island' on the ARS label.

Madeleine plays on a 1682 Giovanni Grancino violin and a 1704 Jo. Bapt. Rogeri baroque violin. 


Saturday June 27

David Miller and students of the Sydney Conservatorium

David Miller is widely recognized as one of Australia's leading pianists, chamber musicians and vocal accompanists. He is also highly regarded as a mentor for young ensemble pianists and repetiteurs. He has been appointed as a member of the Order of Australia for his service to music.

David’s distinguished career has included partnerships with many internationally renowned singers and instrumentalists, and he has been a member of a number of Australian chamber music ensembles. He is a founding member of the acclaimed Grevillea Ensemble and pianist in the innovative Charisma Trio. He also performed with the legendary contemporary music group Flederman and the Huntington Piano Trio, and has toured and recorded regularly for the ABC and 2MBS-FM and also served for several years on the Artistic Review Panel for Musica Viva Australia, touring for them with the original Song Company.

In his role as chair of the Piano Accompaniment Unit, David introduced a uniquely innovative and comprehensive program of study at both graduate and undergraduate levels. David’s studio has produced many of Australia¹s finest young piano accompanists, and he was instrumental in setting up the Geoffrey Parsons Australian Scholarship and other awards to assist young accompanists and repetiteurs.

David has conducted masterclasses and lectures for schools, universities, conservatoriums, music organizations and music conferences in many parts of Australia and Asia. In 2006 he was the artist-in-residence at a highly successful Festival of Accompanists in Adelaide. On several occasions, he has been a panel member for the Mietta Song Recital Awards and a guest artist on the staff of the Australian National Academy of Music. He has also been the official pianist for the finals of the prestigious McDonald’s Operatic Aria and early in 2009 coordinated an innovative and highly successful Collaborative Pianist Program at the prestigious Australian String Academy’s Summer School in Sydney. He has given a number of illustrated lectures on the art of accompaniment to organizations such at the Music Teachers’ Association and the Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing.

David is currently the president of the Accompanists' Guild of NSW and very active in the promotion of piano accompaniment as an independent art form worthy of professional recognition and academic research.

Saturday Sep 5 - Dimitri Ashkenazy, clarinet

with Julian Thompson, cello, and Susanne Powell, piano

Born in 1969 in New York, Dimitri Ashkenazy began playing the piano at the age of six and then switched to the clarinet under the tuition of Giambattista Sisini, with whom he continued studying when he entered the Conservatory of Lucerne in 1989. Since completing his studies, he has gone on to perform widely, both as soloist and chamber musician. On tour, he has appeared at the Royal Festival Hall in London with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, at the Hollywood Bowl with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, at the Sydney Opera House with the Sydney Symphony and SBS Youth Orchestras, at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and in Japan with the Japan Philharmonic, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony and Mito Chamber Orchestras. In addition to the major concertos for the clarinet, his repertoire extends to include contemporary works such as Peter Maxwell Davies' Strathclyde Concerto No.4, which he has performed with the composer himself conducting at venues around Europe (and at the composer's 80th Birthday Prom with Ben Gernon conducting), and Krzysztof Penderecki's own transcription of his Viola Concerto with the composer himself conducting both in Poland and on tour in Spain. He also gave the world premiere performances of concertos by Marco Tutino (with the Filarmonici della Scala, Milan) and Filippo del Corno (with the orchestra «I Pomeriggi Musicali»), and of Peter Maxwell Davies' Clarinet Quintet «Hymn to ArtemisLocheia» (with the Brodsky Quartet at the Lucerne Festival). An active chamber musician, he has performed with the Kodály, Endellion, Heath, Brodsky and Faust Quartets and with partners such as Barbara Bonney, Helmut Deutsch, Bernd Glemser, David Golub, Edita Gruberova, Ariane Haering, Antonio Meneses, Cristina Ortiz, Maria João Pires, and of course his brother Vovka, his father Vladimir Ashkenazy, and violist Ada Meinich, with whom he shares his life. In addition to his concert activity, Dimitri Ashkenazy has made numerous CD (paladino, Orlando, Pan Classics, Decca, DUX, Ondine), radio (Radio Nacional de España, France Musiques, Radio della Svizzera Italiana, DeutschlandRadio) and television recordings, and been invited to give master classes in Australia, Spain, Romania, New Zealand, Singapore, Iceland, Switzerland and the U.S.

Hailing from Canberra, Julian Thompson is one of the most versatile cellists of his generation. For the last 14 years, Julian has toured Australia and the world with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, regularly performing in the world's most prestigious concert hall and appearing in many of the ACO's recordings. 

Julian is much in demand as a recording artist and his solo cello performances can be heard in films such as Sherpa, Miracle on Everest and Tanna, and the Sydney Dance Company productions 'ab [intra], and  2 One Another. 

Most recently, Julian recorded all the solo Yidaki parts on the ground breaking Gurrumul album Djarimirri, which was the first recording in an Indigenous language to reach No. 1 on the Aria charts and also won the Aria for Best World Music Album. In 1999 Julian won the Best World Music Album Aria for Fyvie's Embrace. 

Julian is a Fulbright Scholar and completed a Master of Music degree in the USA, studying with Janos Starker and Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi. He also studied at the ANU School of Music with Lois Simpson and David Pereira, and at the National Academy of Music. 

Susanne Powell has had an extensive and distinguished career as a chamber musician, accompanist, orchestral pianist, academic and teacher.

Susanne studied piano with Nancy Salas and David Miller and bassoon with John Cran at the Sydney Conservatorium High School and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. She graduated with Honours and was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II scholarship for Young Australians to continue her studies with Professor Heinz Medjimorec in Vienna , Bruno Canino in Italy and Geoffrey Parsons in London. While in Vienna she was awarded an Austrian Government Scholarship.

A frequent performer and recording artist for ABC Classic FM, Susanne has undertaken national and international tours for Musica Viva Australia. She has participated in many Australian Music Festivals and was awarded the prestigious ACT Arts Creative Fellowship. Artists with whom Susanne has appeared include Cho Liang ("Jimmy") Lin, Camilla Tilling, Dimitri Ashkenazy, Ilya Konovalov, Tina Gruenberg, Ofra Harnoy, Dene Olding, Roger Benedict, Kirsten Williams and Paul Goodchild.

A passionate orchestral pianist, Susanne appears frequently as principal guest keyboard with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and was invited to tour as the celeste player with London Symphony Orchestra and Valery Gergiev on their 2014 Australian tour. She has worked with conductors David Robertson, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Charles Dutoit, Christoph von Dohnányi, John Adams, Thomas Adès and Osmo Vänskä.

Susanne has been accompanist for the Jacqueline du Pré masterclasses in London's South Bank Summer Music series, the Britten-Pears Summer School in Aldeburgh and the Schleswig- Holstein Music Festival master courses in Germany. Her performances at summer music festivals in Switzerland and Germany have attracted critical acclaim. Susanne was a Senior Lecturer in Music at The Australian National University for many years and is a mentor and tutor for The Australian Youth Orchestra.

Saturday October 17 - Affinity Quartet

Affinity Quartet explores the rich diversity of string quartet repertoire to bring classical music to wider audiences. Described by Classic Melbourne as ‘one of the most exciting young ensembles to make their mark’, the Quartet has given Australian premieres of works by Janácek, Haas, Britten and Panufnik, and world premieres by Jack Symonds and Matthew Laing. Affinity has represented Australia at Prussia Cove International Musicians Seminar (U.K.), Southbank Centre’s Yehudi Menuhin Festival (U.K.), and the Amsterdam String Quartet Biennale.

Part conversation with bygone eras, part homage to Beethoven, Affinity Quartet’s ode to the string quartet highlights the evolving beauty and complexity of the genre. Described as ‘the future of music’ (The Guardian, U.K.), Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw’s Ritornello is her love letter to the string quartet form. In Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No.2, the then 18-year-old composer pays tribute to Beethoven while breaking new ground in one of his most passionate works.

Founding violinist of Affinity Quartet Nicholas Waters also currently performs as Contract First Violin of Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and since 2016, as violinist of Flinders Quartet. He has performed with Australian Chamber Orchestra's ACO Collective, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Sydney Chamber Opera. In 2018 he was Concertmaster of Momentum Ensemble at the UKARIA 24 Festival in performances with international soloists Nicolas Alstaedt, Vilde Frang and Lawrence Power. Nicholas has also been an Emerging Artist with Australian Chamber Orchestra, a Fellow with Sydney Symphony Orchestra, with whom he toured China, and has received tuition with Affinity Quartet in UK and Germany from musicians including Thomas Adès and members of the Doric, Kuss, Belcea, Noga and Brodsky Quartets.

Ioana Tache joined Affinity Quartet as second violinist in 2017. She also performs with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, Victorian Opera Chamber Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria. From 2013-14 Ioana was second violinist of the Australian String Quartet, performing nationally, overseas, and at music festivals such as Huntington, Dunkeld, Margaret River, Port Fairy and Bangalow. She has performed concertos with Monash Academy Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and Queensland Symphony Orchestra. 

Founding violist of Affinity Quartet William Clark is currently Contract Viola with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and casual musician with Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Victorian Opera, and Australian Chamber Orchestra. He is founding violist of ACO Inspire Quartet which gives education tours Australia-wide. Alongside his chamber music with Affinity Quartet, William also performs as a guest with Inventi Ensemble (including in Narooma and Wollumla in 2019), Wilma & Friends and Ensemble Q. He has premiered many solo and chamber works by Australian composers including Melody Eotvos, Don Kay, and Larry Sitsky, and is regularly performs at music festivals across Australia.

Mee Na Lojewski curated Affinity Collective’s inaugural concert series, New Music by Jack Symonds for her 2015 ANAM Fellowship under the mentorship of Genevieve Lacey. Mee Na also performs with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Australian World Orchestra, and as a Principal Player with Sydney Chamber Opera and Victorian Opera. She has performed with Omega Ensemble and Sydney Symphony Orchestra, with whom she toured Japan and Korea in 2011. Mee Na was a Finalist in the 2015 ABC Young Performers Award. She completed a Master of Music jointly with the Royal Academy of Music London and Sydney Conservatorium of Music studying with Susan Blake, Timothy Walden, and Mats Lidström. During her studies Mee Na was an Academist of Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Principal Cellist of Australian Youth Orchestra, and a member of Sydney Symphony Sinfonia. Mee Na also teaches chamber music part-time at Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School.