About Frank Celata and Friends

 

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Ola Rudner, violin 1

The Swedish conductor Ola Rudner started his career as a high-profile violinist (he is a prize winner of the Paganini competition and was also the assistant of the legendary Sandor Vègh) and concertmaster of various orchestras such as the Camerata Salzburg, the Volksopera Vienna and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. In 1995 he founded the Philharmonia Wien. He was Chief Conductor of three orchestras:  the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in Australia (2001-2003), the Haydn Orchestra of Bolzano (2003-2006) and Württembergische Philharmonie in Reutlingen (2008-2016).

Since 1997 Ola Rudner has conducted all the major Australian orchestras: the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the orchestras of Melbourne, Queensland, Tasmania, Adelaide and Perth. In Scandinavia he has conducted most of the major orchestras. Other orchestras include the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, the SWR-Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart, Deutschen Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Wiener Symphoniker, Bremen Philharmonic, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, Fondazione Arena di Verona, Orchester der RAI Torino, Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma, Orchestra del Teatro la Fenice, Orchestra del Teatro V.Bellini di Catania, Orchestra Filarmonica Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Maggio Musicale Fiorentina, BBC Symphony Orchestra London, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic and Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos Lissabon.

Following his appoinment as Chief Conductor of Württembergische Philharmonie, he transformed that orchestra into one of Germanys top regional orchestras – well-known in and outside Germany. As a result he regularly took the orchestra on tours to Spain, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Switzerland and Italy including Halls like Wiener Musikverein, Liszt Academy Budapest, Tonhalle Zürich, KKL Luzern, Beethoven Festival Warsaw, Palau de la Musica Valencia and Sala Verdi Milano.

Ola Rudner is also an important opera conductor so he is regularly invited to the opera houses of Australia, Austria, Sweden and Italy. In Salzburg he conducted Carmen, followed by Don Pasquale and Barber of Seville. His repertoire includes Mozart’s Magic Flute, Così van Tutti, Figaro, Titus and Idomeneo, Beethoven’s Fidelio; Carmen and Verdi’s Il Trovatore and La Traviata as well as operettas by Offenbach, Strauss, Lehar and Kalman.

In 2016-17 he had a very successful cooperation with Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, Arctic Philharmonic, Royal Opera Stockholm, Osaka Symphony Orchestra, Polish National Radio Orchestra Katowice, Vienna Chamber Orchestra and National Symphony Orchestra of Chile and others.

Since 2010 he regularly visits Japan with the Symphony Orchestra of the Vienna Volksopera. He has recorded for BIS, Harmonia Mundi, ABC Classics, Camerata Tokyo, Amadeus, Venice Channel (DVD – HD). With the Württembergische Philharmonie he has recorded “Romantic Ouvertures”, Mendelssohn’s 3rd, 4th and 5th Symphonies and works by Grieg (Holberg suite) and Lars Erik Larsson (Pastoral suite) for ARS Productions. For Antes Edition he recorded Eduard Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suites.

Ola Rudner has an extensive repertoire ranging from Bach to contemporary composers like Ferran Cruxient or compatriot Rolf Martinsson, who also dedicated a piece to Rudner and his Orchestra. His special attention concerns the interpretation of the classical repertoire from Haydn to Brahms and Bruckner for which he has received highest critical acclaim.

He received the order of merit for services rendered to the Republic of Austria. For his outstanding musical work in Australia he received the 'Centenary Medal'.

 

 

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Anna Skálová, violin 2

Czech born violinist, Anna Skálová, is a member of the First Violin Section in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Prior to joining the SSO, Anna held a permanent Violin Section position in the San Diego Symphony. Anna holds a Performer Diploma from Indiana University and a Bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan. Her primary teachers included Jaime Laredo, Stephen Shipps and Jaroslav Foltýn (Prague Conservatoire). Upon graduation from the University of Michigan, she was awarded the Augustus Stanley Award for distinguished work in music. Anna had served as concertmaster of the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Indiana University Orchestra, New York String Orchestra and Michigan Philharmonic, with which she appeared as a soloist. Anna was a winner of the University of Michigan Concerto Competition, the Marquette Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition (Michigan) and the American String Teachers Association Competition. Anna appeared as a soloist with the University of Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra and in the 8th Emirates International Peace Music Festival in Dubai.

 

 

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Tobias Breider, viola 

German native Tobias Breider is Principal Violist of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.  He has established himself as one of Australia’s most asked for violists in chamber music and regularly collaborates with many of the country’s finest artists and ensembles such as EnsembleQ in Brisbane, the Australia Ensemble, Selby&Friends, Wilma&Friends and the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra.  Tobias is founding member of the Haveron-Breider-Clerici String Trio.

As a soloist, Tobias has appeared at the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Town Hall and City Recital Hall, the Sydney Domain, Parrammatta Park and the Recital Centre Melbourne.  In recitals he toured Queensland and Victoria and has performed at all Sanguine Estate and Bendigo Festivals, the Coriole Festival and UKARIA, the musical Marathons in Melbourne and at the Sydney Chamber Music Festival. Internationally, he has performed by invitation at festivals in the UK, South Africa, USA, Austria, Germany and Austria.

Tobias teaches privately in Sydney and previous engagements include the Britten/Pears School in Aldeburgh, the Shanghai Academy, Stellenbosch University (South Africa), the Sydney Conservatorium and ANAM.

Tobias Breider studied viola with Rainer Moog in Cologne, completing his Master’s degree, and a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) scholarship enabled him to study in New York with Michael Tree of the Guarneri Quartet. On returning to Germany, he completed the Soloist Program in Lübeck with Barbara Westphal. His intensive study of chamber music has also included lessons with the Alban Berg Quartet, Juilliard String Quartet, Sarah Nelsova and Miriam Fried.

Before moving to Australia to join the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 2011, he held principal positions at the Rhine Opera Düsseldorf, the Konzerthaus Berlin and with the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra under Simone Young. He has also appeared as guest principal with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Berlin, Vienna and Cologne radio symphony orchestras, the Qatar Philharmonic and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Since his arrival in Australia he has collaborated with ensembles such as Wilma Smith & Friends, Kathryn Selby & Friends, Charmian & Friends, the Australia Octet and the OMEGA Ensemble, as well as artists such as Kathy Selby, Ian Munro, Paul Wright, Howard Penny, Brett Dean, Timo-Veikko Valve, Elizabeth Layton, Timothy Young, James Crabb and Sara Macliver.

 

 

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Catherine Hewgill, cello

Catherine Hewgill  is the Principal Cellist of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, a position she has held since 1990. She completed her Bachelor of Music degree in 1984 at the University of Southern California and went on to win the Hammer-Rostropovich Scholarship in the same year. Catherine was invited by Rostropovich to perform at the second American Cello Congress and a period of private study with a legendary musician followed. In 1985 Catherine toured Europe with I Solisti Veneti and followed with study in London with William Pleeth. 

Catherine became a member of the Australian Chamber Orchestra in 1987 and in 1989 was invited to join the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.  She has toured worldwide with the Sydney Symphony and appeared countless times as a soloist with Australian orchestras, including playing concertos under the direction of Charles Dutoit and Vladimir Ashkenazy.

In 2003 she toured Japan as soloist with the orchestra ensemble Kanazawa and in a varied career has also performed extensively as a chamber musician, including for several years performing and recording with the Australian Trio. She also appears regularly as principal with the Australian World Orchestra. In 2017 Catherine released a highly acclaimed CD of Russian repertoire for cello and piano with pianist, Vladimir Ashkenazy.

She plays a Carlo Tononi cello made in Venice in 1729

Frank Celata biography

Photo courtesy of Sydney Symphony Orchestra

Francesco (Frank) Celata, Clarinet

Frank graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 1987, then studied in Amsterdam with Piet Honingh (Concertgebouw Orchestra) and Siena with Giuseppe Garbarino. In 1991 he was appointed Principal Clarinet with the then Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra.

Frank joined the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 1993 as Associate Principal Clarinet and has appeared in several solo performances including Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, Bernstein’s Prelude, Fugue and Riffs, Krommer’s Double Clarinet Concerto with Principal Clarinet Lawrence Dobell, and a concerto written for him by Gordon Kerry.

He has also appeared as soloist with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and the Auckland Philharmonia, and on a number of occasions between 2003 and 2009 he appeared with the London Symphony Orchestra as guest Principal Clarinet, performing on international tours and recordings.

Frank's career highlights include recordings with the London Symphony Orchestra, notably a performance of Shostakovich's 5th Symphony conducted by Mtsislav Rostropovich and a live DVD recording of Ravel’s Bolero conducted by Valery Gergiev. 

Frank has performed in several internationally recognised festivals such as Salzburg, the Yehudi Menuhin Festival, and the Olympic Cultural Festival prior to the Athens Olympic Games.

With an enthusiasm for chamber music, Frank established the Sydney Soloists and guided it to becoming  one of Sydney’s leading chamber ensembles.He is also a member of the New Sydney Wind Quintet.

Frank is also a passionate teacher at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where he lectures in clarinet. He is also a member the faculty of the University of Tasmania Conservatorium of Music as Lecturer in Orchestral and Chamber Music.

Frank is the Artistic Director of the Australian International Symphony Orchestra Institute (AISOI) run through the University of Tasmania. He has also given masterclasses at the Shanghai Conservatorium and Trinity College in London.

Frank performs in the Australian World Orchestra and is also a member of the Orchestra's Board of Directors. 

 

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 Vivian Choi, piano

Pianist Vivian Choi has built a fast-rising career by exploring how music can speak to the universal aspects of the human condition.  She is in demand both for her definitive interpretations of new works by living composers and for her far-ranging recital programs that combine core and contemporary pieces into unified, transcendental musical statements. Called “an exemplar of the modern global pianist” (Fanfare), Choi was born in Korea, raised in Australia, and has studied in Russia, France, and the United States. 

Highlights of Ms Choi's recent concerto appearances include the world premiere of Kate Moore’s Piano Concerto Beatrice in Australia and the US premiere of Huang Ruo's Piano Concerto with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Her recital debut at the Sydney Opera House was broadcast nationally and in recent seasons she has appeared as a recitalist at the Glazunov Hall, Rimski-Korsakov Museum, and Anna Akhmatova Museum in Russia; in the November Music Festival, Groningen Sounds of Music Festival, and De Link Tilburg in the Netherlands; the Lido di Venezia Festival in Italy; and at the Bozeman Symphony Series, Stony Brook International Piano Festival, Monadnock Music Festival, Nantucket Music Festival and Saint Vincent Concert Series in the US. 

An avid chamber musician, Ms Choi has performed as a guest artist with the Boston Symphony Chamber Players at Tanglewood, at the Rockport Chamber Music Festival and the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society in the US and at the Muziekgebouw and the Korzo in the Netherlands. She is a resident pianist with the Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston and a member of Herz Ensemble Amsterdam.

Ms Choi recently recorded Harold Shapero’s Partita in C for Piano and Orchestra with the Grammy Award®-winning Boston Modern Orchestra Project. The album was released in 2020 on the BMOP/Sounds label and received wide critical acclaim.  It was selected as one of the best recordings of 2020 by The Arts Fuse, Sequenza21 and ClassicsToday. Her debut album, consisting of works of Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, and Godowsky, was released on the Northern Flowers label in 2010 and has since been a mainstay of public radio stations including WQXR, WWFM, and WQED. Future releases include another album with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project featuring Gail Kubik’s Symphony Concertante for Trumpet, Viola, Piano and Orchestra.

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Kees Boersma, double bass 

Kees Boersma enjoys a multifaceted career as Principal Double Bass with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Lecturer of Bass at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, recitalist and chamber musician.  

As a soloist with the SSO he has given world premiere performances of concertos by Colin Bright (Young Tree Green) and Mary Finsterer (Ice Tales No 1) the latter performances earning an APRA Music Award nomination for ‘Best Australian Performance of a New Work’.  A recent highlight with the orchestra was featuring as soloist and presenter as part of the innovative SSO ‘Playlist’ series of concerts.

He is a regular performer at such prestigious festivals as the Australian Festival of Chamber Music and a guest leader of Australian and International ensembles, with invitations to perform with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.  Kees has been a member of the Australian World Orchestra since its inception and was soloist in the groundbreaking Elena Kats Chernin concerto (The Witching Hour) for eight Double Basses and orchestra.  

In his role as educator, he enjoys tremendously working with young musicians striving to engage in music and further enhancing the profile of the majestic double bass, both in his regular participation as tutor with the Sydney Youth Orchestra and Australian Youth Orchestra programs and as presenter and recitalist at double bass events.  Recent ‘bass events’ have included symposiums at the University of Georgia, USA, and The University of Melbourne.

A native of the Netherlands, Kees came to Australia as a young boy but returned to his country of birth to further his music studies.  Prior to his appointment to the SSO he performed for several seasons with the acclaimed Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under such celebrated conductors as Bernard Haitink, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Antal Dorati and Carlo Maria Giulini.

Kees will be performing on his beautiful and rare John Lott Snr. Double Bass, which is currently enjoying it’s third centenary of concert giving!