Howard and Chris are thrilled to welcome such wonderful and talented colleagues to the 2024 festival.

Sophie Rowell

Recently appointed as the Artistic Director of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, violinist Sophie Rowell has had an extensive performing career as a soloist, chamber musician and principal orchestral violinist both in Australia and abroad most recently as the co-concertmaster of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra,

After winning the ABC Young Performer’s Award in 2000, Sophie founded the Tankstream Quartet which won string quartet competitions in Cremona and Osaka.

Having studied in Germany with the Alban Berg Quartet the quartet moved back to Australia in 2006 when they were appointed as the Australian String Quartet. During the six seasons of their tenure, the ASQ performed and recorded at chamber music festivals all over the world.

Sophie has played in principal violin positions with orchestras including the Scottish and Mahler Chamber Orchestras, and the Vancouver, Sydney, Adelaide and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras.

Sophie studied with Beryl Kimber in her hometown of Adelaide, then with Alice Waten in Sydney. She is the Head of Chamber Music (Strings) at the Australian National Academy of Music.

Irène Duval 

Since graduating from the Conservatoire de Paris and Kronberg Academy, Irène has firmly established herself as a captivating and passionate performer.

This season Irène makes her debut with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe conducted by Sir András Schiff in the opening concert of the Kronberg Festival in the new Casals Forum Concert Hall and returns as soloist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jamie Phillips.

She takes part in the IMS Prussia Cove 50th Anniversary concerts and a Boccherini Concert with Steven Isserlis at Wigmore Hall (live streamed) and gives recitals at Perth Concert Hall (broadcast by Radio 3), Konzerthaus Berlin, the Bath and Brighton International Festivals.

Sought after as a chamber musician Irène collaborates with Khatia Buniatishvili at the Klavier Ruhr Festival, and takes part in Hindsgavl Festival In Denmark and the Alumni and Friends Festival in Kronberg.

A prize-winner at the 2021 YCAT International Auditions, over the last year Irène has made her debut with the Royal Northern Sinfonia, and given solo and chamber music recitals at Wigmore Hall, the Philharmonie in Paris and across the UK.

Previous highlights include recitals at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Salle Gaveau, Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad, Festival de la Roque d’Anthéron, Les Folles Journées; and solo appearances with the Kremerata Baltica, l’Orchestre d’Auvergne, l’Orchestre Colonne and the Dresdner Philharmonie at the Dresdner Kulturpalast.

Natsuko Yoshimoto

Natsuko Yoshimoto joined Queensland Symphony Orchestra as Concertmaster in 2021, after serving as Concertmaster at Adelaide Symphony Orchestra for 12 years.

Born in Japan, Natsuko Yoshimoto began playing the violin at the age of three. She studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School and Royal Northern College of Music in England and the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. She received direct guidance and teaching under Lord Menuhin and Wen Zhou Li.

She has won many awards and prizes in international competitions including the Gold Medal in both the prestigious 1994 Shell/London Symphony Orchestra Competition and the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa Award and the Iwaki Award for outstanding achievement as a Japanese artist.

In great demand as a soloist, she has appeared with many world renowned orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia (London), Halle Orchestra, Odense Symphony (Denmark), Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic, Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Melbourne Symphony and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras.

Natsuko is also a member of highly acclaimed chamber group, Ensemble Q. She has been the leader of both the Australian String Quartet and the Grainger Quartet as well as the Concertmaster of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Natsuko frequently guests as a Concertmaster with many major orchestras in Australia and Asia and continues to perform chamber music as a guest artist with various groups and musicians in many of the festivals.

Natsuko is also a passionate teacher and is a staff member at the Conservatorium of Music in Queensland teaching violin and chamber music.

She has given many world premieres of works by Australia’s most prominent composers and has recorded for Virgin Classics, ABC Classics, Melba Records and Tall Poppies.

Natsuko plays on a Giovanni Battista Guadagnini generously on loan from UKARIA Trust.

Holly Piccoli

Violinist Holly Piccoli has recently returned to Australia and is now performing as Principal 1st Violin of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

Enjoying a diverse career, Holly has toured nationally and internationally with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Trinity Baroque Orchestra Manhattan, and Australia’s ARCO; Holly has been Assistant Concertmaster of the Omaha Symphony; performed as soloist with Apollo’s Fire: The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra at Ravinia, Tanglewood and Caramoor music festivals; has frequently played on the live-to-air show Dancing with the Stars Australia, and was a fiddling violinist in a wildly popular country music show in the Midwest called “Always, Patsy Cline.”

Career highlights to date include: traveling the arid and sparse West coast of Australia with the ACO while performing “The Reef,” and also spear fishing and seeing our beautiful untouched country; performing as Concertmaster and soloist for Bach’s “St Matthew Passion” with the Trinity Baroque Orchestra. Playing masterworks with champion violinists Anthony Marwood and Andrew Haveron at the Sanguine Estate Music Festival (Heathcote, VIC); and at the Valley of the Moon Festival (Sonoma, CA) performing Schubert’s ‘Death and the Maiden’ string quartet on period instruments with Elizabeth Blumenstock.

Holly received her training in modern violin at the Australian National Academy of Music and Yale University, and began her Baroque violin career as a fellow in the Yale Baroque Ensemble.

When not traveling for work, Holly loves being home, exploring new places with her husband Kyle and hiking together with their dog Sally.

Tobias Breider

Tobias Breider is principal viola at Sydney Symphony Orchestra.  Tobias was born in Münster and began his music studies with violin and piano. He 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. 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.

As a soloist he has performed at the Sydney Opera House, the Domain and City Recital Hall, as well as the Melbourne Recital Centre. He regularly tours Queensland giving recitals and is a member of Ensemble Q in Brisbane. He is in demand as a chamber musician, and has performed at numerous festivals in the USA, Germany, the UK and South Africa.

Thomas Chawner

Thomas studied Viola performance at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, studying under several prominent teachers including Alice Waten, Caroline Henbest, Reiner Schmidt, Stephen King and Nicole Divall; Then later at the University of Colorado Boulder with Geraldine Walthers and Erika Eckert.

In 2011 Thomas was an Australian Chamber Orchestra Emerging Artist and has since performed regularly with the ACO. Thomas has also performed with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Although usually appearing as part of the Orava Quartet -which he co-founded in 2007, Thomas has made several solo appearances at prominent music festivals around Australia including the Huntington Estate Music Festival, The Australian Festival of Chamber Music and the Bangalow Music Festival.

Howard Penny

Howard Penny was born in Canberra and after studies with Nelson Cooke moved to Vienna studying with Tobias Kühne, Andre Navarra, Boris Pergamenshikov and William Pleeth.

He won the ABC Young Performers Awards, and his concerto performances have included concerts at the Sydney Opera House, Vienna Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Berlin Schauspielhaus, Suntory Hall Tokyo and Casals Festival Prades.

A regular Principal Cello with Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, Vienna Radio Orchestra and Australian World Orchestra, he is a long-standing member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, working with the world’s leading conductors and soloists, participating in over 100 CD and DVD recordings. As a chamber musician he has appeared in Wigmore Hall, Salzburg Festival, Lucerne Festival, Beethoven Festival Bonn and KREMERata Lockenhaus.

Howard frequently directs from the cello – a Haydn opera at ANAM with tenor Steve Davislim and soprano Sara Macliver being a highlight – and is a regular guest at all major Australian chamber music festivals. He also works closely with AYO in various projects. Since 2007 Howard has been a member of the Resident Faculty of the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne, where he is now Head of Strings.

Chris Howlett

Chris Howlett is a cellist, festival director and producer.   He graduated in 2007 at the top of his class with First Class Honors at the University of Melbourne which included semester on scholarship in Vienna with Howard Penny.  Following graduation and launching his professional career he continued to take lessons in London with Richard Lester as part of the McKenna Fellowship and was part of the performance class at the Australian National Academy of Music.

Chris has been described as “…one of Australia’s finest emerging talents” and has been a finalist and prize winner at a number of chamber music competitions including the prestigious Trio di Trieste International Competition, the Asia Pacific Chamber Music Competition and The Hamburg International Chamber Music Competition.

As a cellist his focus is on chamber music performances with the trio as well as duo performances of the cello Sonata repertoire with close friends.  He performs regularly at a number of Australian festivals and has performed concertos around the world.  Chris has also performed concerti with both symphonic and chamber orchestras in Milan, Rome, Paris, Estonia and Melbourne.

Daniel de Borah

Daniel de Borah is recognised as one of Australia’s foremost musicians, consistently praised for the grace, finesse and imaginative intelligence of his performances. His busy performance schedule finds him equally at home as concerto soloist, recitalist and chamber musician.

Since his prize-winning appearances at the 2004 Sydney International Piano Competition, Daniel has given recitals on four continents and toured extensively throughout the United Kingdom and Australia. As a concerto soloist he has appeared with the English Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Sydney, Melbourne, Queensland, Adelaide and Auckland Symphony Orchestras.

An avid chamber musician, Daniel has enjoyed fruitful collaborations with many leading soloists including Vadim Gluzman, Andrew Haveron, Dale Barltrop, Kristian Winther, Baiba Skride, Umberto Clerici, Nicolas Altstaedt, Li-Wei Qin, Roderick Williams, Steve Davislim and Andrew Goodwin. His festival appearances have included the Musica Viva Festival, Adelaide Festival, Huntington Estate Music Festival and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. Daniel is a founding member of Ensemble Q, ensemble-in-residence at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University since 2017.

Daniel studied at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, the St. Petersburg State Conservatory and the Royal Academy of Music, London. He now lives in Brisbane where he serves on the faculty of the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University.

Anna Goldsworthy

Professor Anna Goldsworthy is Director of the Elder Conservatorium of Music at the University of Adelaide, and an award-winning pianist, writer, and festival director.

As a pianist, Anna performs extensively throughout Australia and internationally. She is a founding member of Seraphim Trio, whose most recent recordings are the ARIA-award-winning Thirteen Ways to Look at Birds for Decca, with Paul Kelly, James Ledger, and Alice Keath, and the ABC Classics set Trio Through Time for ABC Classics.

As a writer, Anna was awarded Newcomer of the Year at the Australian Book Industry Awards for her debut memoir, Piano Lessons, released in Australia, North America, Germany, Korea and Vietnam, and shortly to appear in China. Her most recent book, the novel Melting Moments, was released in 2020. She is the author of several works for the stage, including the libretto of the Graeme Koehne’s opera A Christmas Carol, premiered by Victorian Opera in December 2022.

Anna has directed many festivals, most recently including the 2022 Coriole Music Festival, and the 2022 Hayllar Music and Mountains Festival in Queenstown, New Zealand. In 2022, Anna was also co-curator of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s ‘She Speaks’ festival with Anne Cawrse, and the PianoLab festival with Anne Wiberg.

In 2023, she performs throughout Australia with Seraphim Trio, and collaborates with musicians including Andrew Haveron and Konstantin Shamray. Her stage play, Welcome to Your New Life, will be premiered by the State Theatre Company of South Australia in November.

Timothy Young

Timothy Young is a much sought after recitalist, soloist and chamber musician performing regularly in Australia’s major festivals. His versatility and large repertoire has seen him forge a career as a pianist highlighting the eclectic nature of the instrument itself. As a concerto soloist he has performed with the Australian World Orchestra, the MSO, the MCO and play/directing the ANAM orchestra.

As a regular recitalist with prominent instrumentalists and singers his experience and repertoire is extensive. A founding member of Ensemble Liaison, he has composed and made countless arrangements for their ‘Ensemble Liaison and Friends’ annual series. Numerous recordings for Decca, ABC Classics, Tall Poppies, MOVE records and Melba Records.

Timothy is also a passionate educator and is Head of Piano at ANAM where he has been resident faculty for over 21 years, teaching and training Australia’s most talented young musicians.

Armand Djikoloum

Born in France, Armand studied at Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique et Danse de Lyon and with Philippe Tondre at the Hochschule für Musik Saar.  In 2021 he was a prize-winner at the YCAT International Auditions.

Nominated as a 2022 Rising Star Artist by Classic FM, this season Armand makes his debut with London Mozart Players, and performs Vaughan Williams Oboe Concerto with Chineke at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, St Georges Bristol, Warwick Arts Centre and Harrogate Festival.

Solo and chamber music highlights include recitals at Wigmore Hall, Berlin Konzerthaus, the Lammermuir Festival and Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Over the last year Armand has recorded with Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective for Chandos, and given concerts with them at Wigmore Hall and the Dublin International Festival, including performances of Britten’s Phantasy Oboe Quartet.

He joined the Chineke Chamber Ensemble at the Adelaide Festival in Australia, the Edinburgh International Festival, Cartier Foundation in Paris and Chipping Camden Festival.

In demand as guest principal with leading orchestras, this season Armand appears with the Dresden Staatskapelle.

He has given masterclasses at the Royal Welsh College, and Guildhall School of Music & Drama (London), and worked with students from the Benedetti Foundation.

Ashlyn Tymms

In 2024, Ashlyn Tymms will sing Jezibaba in Rusalka and Dido in Dido and Aeneas for West Australian Opera and Fanny Price in Mansfield Park for New Zealand Opera; she takes the alto solos in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, Mozart’s Requiem and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 for West Australian Symphony. She also sings the Beethoven with the Queensland Symphony and Bach’s St. John Passion with the Melbourne Symphony.

Ashlyn’s 2022 performances included Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with the Melbourne Symphony and Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with the West Australian Symphony.  She also made her Sydney Opera House début in Handel’s Messiah.

For West Australian Opera, she has sung Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Santuzza (Cavalleria rusticana), Hansel (Hansel and Gretel) and Flora (La traviata); in 2023, Ashlyn returned to WAO as Emilia (Otello) and in the title role in Carmen.

Ashlyn graduated as a HF Music Scholar at the Royal College of Music, London (Masters of Vocal Performance with Distinction) and was awarded the Outstanding Australian Musician Award by the Royal Over-Seas League, London.

She sang Rosimonda in Handel’s Faramondo at the London Handel Festival. Other roles include Judith in the world premiere of The Two Sisters with Tête à Tête Opera, La marchande de journaux in Poulenc’s Les mamelles de Tirésias, Euridice in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, the title role in Dido and Aeneas, Eurydice in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld and Berenice in Rossini’s L’occasione fa il ladro.

Ashlyn has performed extensively within Australia, UK and Asia on the concert platform. Major appearances have included Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music at Buckingham Palace (hosted by The Prince of Wales), a tour to South Korea in recital with the London Cello Orchestra and Verdi’s Requiem at the Sydney Town Hall.

Lyndon Watts

Lyndon Watts became principal bassoonist of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 22. After 18 years in this position Lyndon chose to move back to his home country Australia to accept the position of Lecturer in Music (bassoon) at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (MCM). Since 2019 he has been Convenor of the annual MCM Concerto-Aria Competition, and since 2020 Convenor of the MCM Early Music Studio.

He is a founding member of the Australian World Orchestra and has performed as a soloist or guest principal with numerous European and Australian orchestras and ensembles on both modern and period instruments. In 2002 he became the first Australian woodwind player to win a prize in the prestigious ARD (German Radio) International Music Competition, in combination with a special prize for the best interpretation of a newly commissioned solo work by Heinz Holliger, who has described Lyndon’s playing as possessing “an ideal balance between utmost precision and wild spontaneity.” 

From 2005 to 2015 he was professor of bassoon in Switzerland at the Berne University of the Arts, where he also taught chamber music and contemporary music. Lyndon has premiered many compositions for bassoon, including Elizabeth Younan’s wind quintet Kismet, Stuart Greenbaum’s Sonata for bassoon and piano, and Elliott Gyger’s Elude for solo bassoon. A CD with recently written bassoon works by Melbourne-based composers is soon to be released.