Heralded as a “First-magnitude star in the making” by the Seattle Times, British violinist Emma McGrath made her London debut aged 10 in the Purcell Room, and at 14 she performed Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in the Queen Elizabeth Hall with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. She has since performed as a soloist with the Seattle Symphony, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Northern Chamber Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Jacksonville and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, and toured France, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Brunei, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Russia, Israel, Australia, the UK and the USA as a soloist and chamber musician. Emma became the Concertmaster of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in 2016 and maintains an international career as Guest Concertmaster with the BBC Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Royal Northern Sinfonia, The Hallé, León Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Wellington. Emma was previously the Associate Concertmaster/Acting Concertmaster of the Seattle Symphony. Emma is also a professional singer, composer, folk musician, baroque violinist, conductor, and violinist with the Tasmanian String Quartet. When she is not making music, she enjoys hiking, and exploring Tasmania with her family.
Follow Emma on Instagram: @mcgrathviolin
Alexandra Flood made her professional debut at the 2014 Salzburg Festival and has since graced opera and concert stages in leading roles the world over. Recent highlights include her debut with the Opéra national de Paris in The Rape of Lucretia and performances at the 2021 Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. Alexandra has appeared as a soloist at the Gärtnerplatz Staatstheater, Bregenz Landestheater, Krakow Opera, Dutch National Opera’s Opera Forward Festival, the Richard Strauss Festival, Victorian Opera, Opera Queensland and with Pacific Opera in Sydney. In concert, she has performed with the Munich and Polish Radio, the Moravian, Bochum, Rossini, National, Adelaide and Queensland Symphony Orchestras, and the Vienna and St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestras. Alexandra’s roles include the title role in The Cunning Little Vixen, Violetta in Traviata Remixed, Serpetta in La finta Giardiniera, Norina in Don Pasquale, Maria in West Side Story, Jemmy in William Tell, Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, Blonde in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Musetta in La bohème and Nannetta in Falstaff. An avid new music artist, Alexandra has performed new works by Jonathan Dove, M. Eggert, and M. Artac. Alexandra first appeared with SXS at the 2015 Bangalow Festival and has continued this wonderful artistic collaboration ever since. Alexandra is thrilled to perform with SXS again in 2022.
Follow Alexandra on Instagram: @alexandrafloodsoprano
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USA born baritone, Alexander York, recently made his Bayerische Staatsoper, Bregenz Festival, Theater Augsburg and performed as Escamillo in Andrea Bernard's adaptation of Carmen at Opéra Grand Avignon, and as Schaunard in La bohème at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. In the January 2021 edition of Opéra Magazine, York was profiled as a “Young Talent to watch”. In September 2020, he was awarded the City of Gordes Prize and the Best Young Baritone Prize at the International Competition of Art Song in Gordes, France. Graduating from the prestigious Northwestern University Chicago, Alex was awarded a Luminarts Fellowship, the Bel Canto Society of Chicago Award, and 2nd Prize in the Art Song/Oratorio division of the American Prize. York won the 2016 Fulbright Research Grant, the 2017 Hanns-Seidel Foreign Student Grant, and the arte-Musica Foundation in Frankfurt. Upon joining the Académie in Paris, York received the Richard F. Gold Career Grant. From 2018-2021, York was a member of the opera studio of the Opéra national de Paris, singing Tarquinius in Britten's Rape of Lucretia, Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus, and in Ravel’s L'Enfant et les Sortilèges, and performed recitals at Palais Garnier, Évian-les-Bains, Amiens, Metz, and Grenoble. As a concert artist, York has performed with the Munich Radio Orchestra, Heidelberg Philharmonic, Jewish Chamber Orchestra Munich, Aspen Opera Center, Central City Opera and at the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam.
Follow Alexander on Instagram: @alexanderjamesyork
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One of Australia’s most renowned classical pianists, Simon Tedeschi won the Australian Young Performer of the Year Award, the Creativity Foundation’s Legacy Award (USA), and the New York Young Jewish Pianist Award. Recipient of a Centenary of Federation Medal, Simon regularly performs for audiences worldwide, from the Sydney Opera House to Carnegie Hall and Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts. Described by the Sydney Morning Herald as possessing “True greatness”, Tedeschi performed his first Mozart piano concerto in the Sydney Opera House at age nine, later moving to the USA and performing with the Colorado, Fort Worth and Illinois Symphony Orchestras. Since returning in 2009, Tedeschi performs as a soloist with all major Australasian symphony orchestras, including Sydney, Queensland and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras. Simon performs regularly as soloist at the Sydney Festival, Art Gallery of NSW, Salon Series at The Langham, Musica Viva, ABC Classics, and Melbourne Digital Concert Hall, and in collaboration with John Bell AO OBE, violinist Andrew Haveron, and flautist Sally Walker. 2022 performances include the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orava Quartet, touring with John Bell, Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, and Monash Academy of Performing Arts. Solo recordings includeThe Gershwin Collection, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, R. Strauss’ Enoch Arden, Schumann, Schubert and concerti by Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Grieg for ABC Classics/Universal Music. Tedeschi also makes his literary debut with the release of Fugitive, for Upswell Publishing.
Sydney-born pianist Vatche Jambazian completed his Master of Music at The Juilliard School following studies at the Sydney Conservatorium. Following his international debut in Armenia, Vatche has since performed extensively throughout Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. Vatche was awarded the Fine Music Station (2MBS) Young Performer of the Year (NSW) , was a finalist in the ABC Young Performer of the Year and a prizewinner at the Los Angeles International Piano Competition. Vatche has performed at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House, City Recital Hall, Hobart Town Hall, The Foundling Museum, Zipper Hall, and the Lincoln Centre NYC. Vatche regularly features on ABC Classic FM, Fine Music Station 2MBS, WQXR Radio (NYC), Melbourne Digital Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House, Australian Festival of Chamber Music and Phoenix Central Park and has performed with baritone David Greco, soprano Eleanor Lyons, and the Orava Quartet. Vatche was recently appointed Principal Pianist for Omega Ensemble and currently holds the position of Academic lecturer at the Australian Institute of Music.
Jonathan Békés has quickly established himself as one of Australia’s leading cellists and is in great demand as a solo artist, chamber musician, orchestral musician and educator: nationally and internationally. Békés is based in Hobart, Tasmania where he is a cellist with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra: a position that he has held since 2018. He frequently performs with the Australian World Orchestra, he is a founding member of the award winning Clarendon Trio and regularly presents recitals across the world having performed on four different continents. He has been principal cellist of the Australian Youth Orchestra, the Momentum Ensemble, the Musician’s Project, the Australian International Symphony Orchestra Institute and the Sydney Youth Orchestra. As a solo artist Békés performs often across Australia and throughout the world. He has played as soloist with many orchestras across Australia including the Hobart Chamber Orchestra, the Sydney Youth Orchestra and the South Coast Orchestra. He has presented a series of his own solo recitals and regional tours and in 2019 toured to Sydney, Melbourne, Coffs Harbour, Orange and throughout Tasmania.
The Orava Quartet, founded in 2007 by brothers Daniel Kowalik (violin) and Karol Kowalik (cello), Thomas Chawner (viola), and joined in 2011 by David Dalseno (violin), is one of the most exciting string quartets of its generation. Known for their passionate and engaging performances, they have been hailed by The Australian as, “the future of Australian Chamber Music, the real deal.”Orava Quartet has been invited to perform in Canada, the United States, United Arab Emirates, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Philippines, as well as for Queen Sofia of Spain and Pope Benedict XVI. As graduate Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Colorado (USA), they had the privilege of working closely with the world-renowned Takács Quartet from 2012-2014 as well as with the Jerusalem, Emerson, St Lawrence, Schoenberg, Julliard, Brentano and Goldner String Quartets. The Oravas have performed at the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar in New York City, and toured extensively in the US including at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.. The Quartet also made their debut at the Sydney Opera House for VIVID Festival (in PLANETARIUM: Sufjan Stevans, Bryce Dessner and Nico Muhly) and won two major awards at the 2013 Asia Pacific Chamber Music Competition in Melbourne, including the Musica Viva Australia Tony Berg Award for ‘Most Outstanding Australian Ensemble’.Since returning to Australia, the Orava Quartet has continued its impressive and rapid rise to national attention, earning a reputation for consistently excellent and thrilling performances. Alongside performances for Camerata - Queensland's Chamber Orchestra, where they are Quartet-in-Residence, they have performed at major festivals which include return engagements at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music and Huntington Estate Music Festival; the BBC Proms Melbourne (for which they were named one of the ‘2016 Arts Highlights of the Year’ by arts luminary, Robyn Archer); Queensland Music Festival, Melbourne Festival (where they were again one of the ‘Top 10 Picks’ of the Festival, in the Herald Sun), the Musica Viva Festival, Brisbane Baroque, and more.In 2018 the Orava Quartet released their debut album for Universal Music, for worldwide release on a major classical label in February, alongside performances for New Zealand Festival, Sydney Opera House’s Utzon Music Series, Melbourne Recital Centre, Canberra International Music Festival, Darwin Entertainment Centre and more.The quartet has held residencies at the Banff Arts Centre in Canada and the Bundanon Trust Australia, and regularly collaborates with musicians such as harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, trumpet soloist Paul Merkelo, the Goldner Quartet, pianists Piers Lane, Tamara-Anna Cislowska, Olga Kern; singers Katie Noonan, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, and guitarists Slava Grigoryan and Karin Schaupp.
Follow The Orava Quartet on Instagram: @oravaquartet
A descendant of the Wakka Wakka people from Queensland, trumpet and didgeridoo player Chris Williams began his music studies from an early age. Chris studied trumpet at the Royal College of Music in London and was appointed Principal Trumpet of the Australian Youth Orchestra for two year. As a professional trumpet player, Chris has toured extensively through Europe and Asia and performed with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London as well as with the Tasmanian Symphony, Principal Trumpet with Hong Kong Sinfonietta, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and the Queensland Pops Orchestra. Chris has performed as a trumpet soloist with the Hobart Chamber Orchestra, the Queensland Pops Orchestra and the Australian Army Band. He was nominated for the Australian Freedman Fellowship award for Jazz and for the Australian Young Achiever Award twice. As a didgeridoo soloist Chris has performed extensively in the UK, France, Ireland, Austria, Italy, Israel and throughout Africa, with highlights including Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and the Vatican.
Follow Chris on Instagram @chris.williams.didgeridoo
SXS DIDGERIDOO ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
sponsored by Kay Feeney, Christine Dauber, Michelle May
Eric Avery is a violinist, dancer and composer from the Ngiyampaa, Yuin, Bandgalang and Gumbangirr people of northern NSW. Working with his family’s custodial songs predominantly in the Ngiyampaa language, Eric seeks to revive and continue on an age-old legacy—continuing the tradition of singing in his tribe—utilising his talents to combine and create an experience of his people’s culture. Eric’s practice explores the deep relationship between Indigenous and non indigenous forms and narratives through the combination of dance and music. Eric is an Associate Artist with the Indigenous, intercultural dance theatre company Marrugeku, and has performed with and composed for the Black Arm Band, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Byron Bay Bluesfest, Desert Song Festival 2019 and has opened for Grammy Award winner Rhiannon Giddens as well as appearing in TEDxSydney 2019. Eric performed at the 30th anniversary of the Australian Parliament House and in 2021 will be touring Australia with Tina Arena. Eric hopes to highlight connection to culture through his music.
Follow Eric on Instagram @eric_avery_marrawuy
Paula Nazarski appeared in To Kill a Cassowary at Jute Theatre. For QTC, Paula has appeared in, Head Full of Love (National Tour for QT) Mother Courage and Her Children (co-production with QPAC), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (co-production with Black Swan State Theatre Company), An Oak Tree, The Crucible, The School of Arts (co-production with QPAC). Other Credits: Queensland Arts Council/Artslink: My Story, Your Story, Tales My Mother Told Me, Blow ‘Em; State Library of Queensland: A Night with Paula Nazarski, Yarnin Time, Yuletide Celebrations; QUT: Box the Pony; NAIDOC Week: This Woman’s Journey; Kooemba Jdarra: The Mack, Bitin’ Back, True; Canto Choir: 1975; Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts: Up the Road; Brisbane Festival: Are We There Yet? Film: The Second Sense & Centsability, Australia Day, After The Apology, The Butterfly Tree. Television: Wake In Fright, Hoges, Deadline, The Bureau of Magical Things. Positions: Emerging Artist 2011 – Queensland Theatre Company, Australia Council for the Arts – Indigenous Artist Mentorship 2011. Training: Advanced Diploma in Performing Arts, ACPA; Cert IV in Training and Assessment. Paula is from the Quandamooka country.
Follow Paula on Instagram @pauladelaneynazarski
Brenda Gifford is a Yuin woman, originally from Wreck Bay, south coast NSW. She is currently the Inaugural First Peoples Composer in Residence with Ensemble Offspring and her works have been performed in Australia and overseas including at the Canberra International Music Festival and at National Sawdust in New York. Brenda was a member of the 2020 Composing Women program at Sydney Conservatorium and her composition was nominated for an Aria in 2019 for the ABC CD, Music for the Dreaming. Brenda has twenty years’ extensive experience as a musician, composer, saxophonist and teacher and is a member of the band Mixed Relations. She toured extensively nationally to Aboriginal communities around Australia and internationally to Native American communities and the Pacific Islands. She has worked with Kev Carmody, on his album Eulogy (for a black person) playing saxophone on the track Blood Red Rose. She wrote the album sleeve notes for the reissued The Loner Album by Uncle Vic Simms. She has done over one hundred interviews and oral histories with Aboriginal musicians.
Follow Brenda on Instagram: @gifford1707
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Southern Cross Soloists (SXS) is synonymous with excellence, delivering quality music-making both in Australia and internationally. Over the past 25 years, SXS has established itself as one of Australia’s pre-eminent chamber music ensembles. Comprised of leading soloists from across Australia, SXS creates and performs dynamic, unique and world-class musical experiences for audiences of all ages. SXS annually employs over 85 artists and art workers, mentors the next generation of performers and offers participation opportunities across a broad spectrum of activities. It has established itself as a company with a growing national and international reputation, performing, learning and celebrating music through intimate connections with artists, audiences and communities.
As a Company-in-Residence of the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, the group has developed a strong community profile; building and engaging with new audiences. SXS communicates through a vibrant and collaborative approach to performance, and fosters creative partnerships with leading soloists, composers, cross-art forms and cross-genres. SXS curate and deliver a national performance program to an expanding audience across Australia and internationally whilst continuing to nurture and develop emerging chamber music talent and provide meaningful engagement in regional communities. SXS provides opportunities for emerging artists through its flagship SXS Next Gen Artists Program, nurturing some of Australia’s most in-demand young musicians today.
In its 19th year the Bangalow Music Festival, presented by Southern Cross Soloists, is a major event in the Australian arts calendar. Performing with Australian and international artists and providing meaningful community outreach to regional NSW, Southern Cross Soloists are Tania Frazer (Artistic Director, Oboe), Ashley Smith (Clarinet), Alan Smith (Violin), Jonathan Henderson (Flute) and James Wannan (Viola).
A graduate of the Guildhall School of Music in London, Tania Frazer has performed as Principal Oboe with the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival Orchestra under Lorin Maazel, Rostropovich and Solti; the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Zubin Mehta and Valery Gergiev; Royal Scottish National Orchestra; New Zealand Symphony; Jerusalem Symphony; Stavanger Symphony in Norway; Montreal Chamber Orchestra and was Principal Cor Anglais of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Tania was Principal Oboe of the Israel Opera in Tel Aviv
and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, often performing as a soloist, including alongside Dawn Upshaw on their 2006 European tour. Tania won first prize at the Coleman International Competition in Los Angeles, the Queen Elizabeth Silver Jubilee Award in London, the Australian Foundation in London Award, and the Philharmonia Orchestra’s Martin Award (UK). As SXS Artistic Director, Tania was the Musical Director of the The Red Shoes (2014) and The Host (2015) with Expressions Dance Company and Invisible Me for QPAC’s 2012 Out of the Box Festival, and guest musical director with the Daejeon Philharmonic Chamber Music Series in South Korea.
Oboe Chair sponsored by Marg O’Donnell, Diana Khursandi
The Head of Winds and Contemporary Performance at the University of Western Australia, Ashley Smith is a graduate of Yale University, the University of Western Australia, and a Fellow of the Australian National Academy of Music and was awarded the highest honours as the most outstanding performance graduate of each institution. Ashley is the recipient of Australia’s most prestigious awards including the APRA Performance of the Year, the Music Council of Australia Freedman Fellowship, an ABC Symphony International Young Performer Award, and a Churchill Fellowship. Ashley has performed throughout Australia, the USA, Europe and Asia in performances with Bang on a Can, the Chamber Music Society of the Lincoln Center, Chamber Music Northwest, the Kennedy Center and the Beijing Modern Music Festival. Ashley has performed as a soloist and director with many Australian and international orchestras and was awarded the APRA 2015 Performance of the Year for his premiere of Lachlan Skipworth’s Clarinet Concerto with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.
Clarinet Chair sponsored by Peter Collins
Alan Smith was born in Brisbane. His early teachers included John Curro and Elizabeth Morgan. He completed a Bachelor of Music (1st Class Honours) at the Elder Conservatorium, Adelaide, studying with Beryl Kimber. Alan was awarded a DAAD scholarship for postgraduate studies at the Robert Schumann Institute in Dusseldorf with Gottfried Schneider, and chamber music studies with the Amadeus Quartet in Köln. He has had extensive experience as a Concertmaster, both within Australia and overseas, and has been a soloist with the Adelaide, Melbourne and Queensland Symphony Orchestras as well as appearing in various chamber music ensembles in Australia and Europe. Alan teaches part-time at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University and is also a regular tutor for the Conservatorium orchestras as well as the Queensland Youth Symphony. He was director of music at the McGregor Summer School, USQ Toowoomba for 18 years. In 2020, he was head of the chamber music program at the Cuskelly Summer School in Brisbane.
He plays a violin made by Jose Contreras in 1770.
Violin Chair sponsored by Cass George
Jonathan Henderson trained with Europe’s leading flute professors and has carved out a multifaceted musical career spanning from Australia to the Nordic countries. A regular recitalist and chamber musician, his solo performances have been hailed by Limelight Magazine as “assured, eloquent and impressive”, possessing “a level of virtuoso-control rarely heard”. Jonathan was appointed Principal Flute of the Estonian National Opera Orchestra at age twenty-four, and has appeared as a guest principal flute with the Turku and Tampere Philharmonic Orchestras (Finland) and has performed with the ACO, QSO, Nordic Symphony Orchestra and MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra, performing at prestigious festivals such as the Lucerne Festival, Tallinn Chamber Music Festival, Audi Sommerkonzerte and BBC Proms. Jonathan was appointed as flute soloist with the Southern Cross Soloists in 2020, after appearing as Associate Artist in their 2019 QPAC Series. He is currently performing as Guest Principal Flute with the Opera Australia Orchestra.
Flute Chair sponsored by Shirley Leuthner
James Wannan studied viola with Alice Waten in Melbourne and viola d’amore in Vienna with Marianne Rônez and constantly explores his passion for music from ancient to contemporary on a variety of instruments. In 2015 James performed as violin soloist in Elliott Gyger’s opera Fly Away Peter featured at the Melbourne Festival, recorded a CD of music by Jack Symonds, collaborated on five Australian premieres and toured to China with the Sydney Symphony. As a soloist, James has performed with the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and the Tasmanian and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras. James has performed as a viola d’amore soloist in festivals in Austria and Germany, and has performed as guest principal viola with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the Asia Pacific United Orchestra’s tour of Europe and the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra. He recently premiered a new viola d’amore concerto at the Bendigo New Music Festival.
Viola Chair sponsored by Philip Dubois and Leanda Elliot
Nick Mooney is an Australian-Austrian horn player and currently the principal horn of the Flanders Symphony Orchestra. After completing his Commerce Degree Nick studied horn with David Thompson at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music before being awarded a place in the prestigious Southbank Sinfonia training programme in London in 2016. Aside from his regular position in the Flanders Symphony Orchestra, Nick has maintained a busy freelance career in the UK, including regular engagements as guest principal with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and BBC Concert Orchestra and has recorded with these orchestras for Deutsche Grammaphon, Decca, and Universal Music. As a chamber musician Nick has relished collaboration with the Allegri Quartet, Marryat players of London, Selby and Friends, and members of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
French Horn Chair sponsored by Jennifer Blake
SXS International Ambassador Sean O'Boyle AM was awarded the Order of Australia in 2015 for services to music. Sean’s compositions have been performed and/or recorded by all the major Australian orchestras. European Orchestras include; Berlin Philharmonic, Orchestra Symphonique Divertimento, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra and by North American orchestras including the Dallas, Atlanta, Tacoma, Lexington, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. Sean has written and produced music for more than 150 CDs recorded in collaboration with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, numerous television shows, sporting events and for
film. Sean is proud of his 25-year relationship with Southern Cross Soloists.
Growing up in a musical family, John Rotar started piano at the age of six, and composition at nine, and at 12 had his first orchestral work performed by the Bundaberg Youth Orchestra. Since then John has had his works performed and commissioned by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Southern Cross Soloists, Australian Youth Orchestra, Queensland Youth Orchestras, Flinders String Quartet, UQ Symphony Orchestra, Southern Cross Voices, among others, and has garnered such awards as the 2013 Queensland Wagner Society National Composition Prize, the 2014 Fanfare Artology Prize, 2015 Percy Briar Memorial Prize, and the 2016 Jean Bogan Youth Prize. Since 2013, John has worked as an arranger with the Southern Cross Soloists on a number of projects including their QPAC subscription concerts and Bangalow Music Festival concerts, as well as their ballet collaborations with Expressions Dance Company. John is currently undertaking his doctorate studies in composition at the University of Queensland.
Hailed by The Australian as possessing a “rare gift as a melodist” and by Limelight as expressing “both exquisite delicacy and tremendous power”, Australian composer Lachlan Skipworth writes across the mediums of orchestral, chamber, vocal and experimental music. His vivid musical language is coloured by three years spent in Japan where his immersion in the study of the shakuhachi bamboo flute inevitably became a part of his muse. Skipworth has composed works for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Japanese drumming group Taikoz, shakuhachi grand master Riley Lee, Ashley Smith, and the WA Symphony Orchestra. After winning the prestigious Paul Lowin Prize for orchestral composition, Skipworth was appointmented as composer-in- residence with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. The winning work, his Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra, also earned the Performance of the Year APRA Art Music Award and was chosen by ABC Classic FM to be presented at the 2016 International Rostrum of Composers in Poland. His 2017 work Spiritus won the national Albert H Maggs award, and has been subsequently performed by the Queensland and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras (Australia) and the New England Philharmonic (USA). Other recent highlights include the premiere of Hymns in Reverie (2018) for the Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus at Tokyo’s Dai-Ichi Seimei Hall, a national tour with Musica Viva Australia for his Piano Trio (2017), and Yuwani (2019), a collaboration with indigenous singer Don Nunggarrgalu and the Darwin Symphony.
ADFAS Byron Bay Scholarship Recipient
2022 Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Society (ADFAS) Byron Bay & Districts Young Musician Award, recognising the achievements of a young local musician, has been awarded to Tilly Jones.
Tilly Jones is a young and dynamic composer and musician from Lismore, NSW, Australia. At the age of 19 and despite her multiple diagnoses since birth, including Cerebral Palsy, ADHD, and Autism, she has persevered and is truly unstoppable. The multi-instrumentalist commenced her training on the piano at the Northern Rivers Conservatorium when she was 8 years old and since then has excelled as a composer, appearing in the internationally
acclaimed ‘Tilly’s Symphony’; composing for the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival in Austin, Texas; and performing with the renowned James Morrison, Richard Gill, Sean O’Boyle AM and Jane Rutter. Frequently working with the Lismore community, Tilly composed music for the 25th Anniversary of the Lismore Lantern Parade, and has collaborated with local artists such as Mykaela Jay and RealArtWorks. Tilly
is currently pursuing her education in music composition at Southern Cross University whilst undertaking an internship with The Flowers of War, supported by the Australian War Memorial. She composes in several genres, including jazz, classical, world, and fusion. With a bright future ahead of her, she is committed to create more ripples of positivity through her music.
Under the guidance of the Southern Cross Soloists, the SXS Next Gen Artists are a collective of early-career musicians on the cusp of their professional careers in Australia. With few formal pathways between university studies and professional careers in chamber music, the SXS Next Gen Artist Program offers these rising stars unmatched mentoring experiences from leading soloists and side-by-side performance opportunities at prestigious venues and events. Through this initiative, past recipients of the program have gone on to highly successful national and international music careers.
The 2022 Next Gen Artists are (pictured L to R) Crystal Smith piano, Erna Lai cello, Jessica Walther flute, Amelia Cherry double bass, Robert Smith violin, Jordan He composer, Drew Gilchrist clarinet and Kyle Brady viola.