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Spiros Rantos with his wife, Brachi Tilles

Spiros Rantos, violinist and conductor, was born in Corfu, Greece, grew up in Athens and pursued his musical studies in Vienna, Austria, where he met his wife and musical partner, Israeli born pianist Brachi Tilles.Spiros has won the International Violin competitions of Colmar, France and Forte dei Marmi, Italy and commissioned and promoted over 400 performances around the world as a soloist, chamber music player and conductor. He has recorded over 55 records for many labels including Deutsche Grammophon, Harmonia Mundi, Adelcord and Grevillea Records. He has been a frequent guest performer for National broadcast companies in Europe, Asia and Australia. Spiros came to Australia in 1976 as a member of the Vienna based group Ensemble 1. He is the founder, artistic director and conductor of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, and has taught at the Victorian College of the Arts, the University of Southern Queensland & University of Melbourne.

The Northern Rivers Symphony Orchestra has the pleasure of performing under the expert baton of Spiros Rantos for their upcoming concert, “Musical Treasures” at the Tweed Civic Centre, Sunday 26th March 2017. Spiros Rantos, who is of Greek origin, has a reputation internationally for his brilliant violin playing and conducting. One can’t help but be under his spell with the pure emotion he evokes from his orchestra. The charismatic Spiros is also well known for his storytelling and a great sense of humour.

NSRO is pleased to announce that Nicholas Routley will conduct our upcoming concert “Glorious Classics” in October.

Nicholas Routley

Nicholas Routley

Nicholas Routley was born in England and educated at George Heriot’s School, Edinburgh, and St John’s College, Cambridge. There he studied piano under Peter Feuchtwanger, composition with Patrick Gowers, and analysis and conducting with Hans Heimler, a pupil of Weingartner.

He has a passionate interest in the music and culture of India. Routley emigrated to Australia in 1975 to take up a post at the Department of Music at the University of Sydney, and became an Australian citizen in 1984.

He was twice seconded to the University of Hong Kong for periods of three years. The founder-director of the Sydney Chamber Choir, Routley has also conducted the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and several other orchestras in Australia and East Asia. He has also been active as a professional pianist, especially in vocal and chamber music, having performed extensively with the tenor Gerald English and the counter-tenor Hartley Newnham, among many others, and has given recitals in many European countries, Hong Kong, and Australia.

Returning to composition in 1996, Routley has composed a large-scale choral work Mycenae Lookout, for baritone soloist, choir, two pianos, and percussion, and three orchestral pieces (a symphony, a symphonic poem, and a guitar concerto) as well as numerous works for voice and piano, two small-scale choral works, and works for brass. His work has been described as polystylist – it derives most of its stylistic base from a combination of postmodern and Romantic influences, but also often reflects his deep love of the music of Josquin des Prez. Other influences include Ross Edwards and Michael Tippett; recently he has been strongly affected by South Indian music. His current composition project is to write three operas on the Indian epic, Mahabharata.

Routley has developed a special relationship with the Darwin Symphony Orchestra, as both conductor and composer, including three major commissions. The Sydney University Musical Society, the guitarist Adrian Walter, and the trombonist Greg Vanderstruik are among many performers and organisations who have commissioned works from him.

He has five children, Rachel, Alexis, Stephanie, Jeremy and Celeste, and lives in Georgica in the Northern Rivers district of NSW.

Find out more about our upcoming concert “Glorious Classics” on our Concerts page >


MEDIA RELEASE 29/08/16

NSRO delighted to have Soloist Gaynor Morgan performing at our upcoming concert “Glorious Classics” in October.

Gaynor Morgan - Soprano

Gaynor Morgan – Soprano

Gaynor Morgan was born in Cardiff, Wales and studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London where she gained an AGSM in Singing.  She then went on to complete the Guildhall Post-Graduate Opera Course under Johanna Peters.  Gaynor also studied at the European Opera Centre in Belgium with the aid of scholarships from the Countess of Munster Trust.

Gaynor made her UK debut for Glyndebourne Touring Opera, singing Barbarina in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro under the direction of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. As a result Gaynor was invited to make her Glyndebourne Festival Opera debut in the same role in 1991 under Sir Andrew Davis. At Glyndebourne, Gaynor also covered several major roles in the Festival including Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Miss Wordsworth in Britten’s Albert Herring, Zdenka in Arabella and Mrs Frestln in the world premiere of The Electrification of The Soviet Union.Gaynor performed roles throughout the UK with English Touring Opera including Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Miss Wordsworth in Albert Herring, Papagena in Die Zauberflote, Nannetta in Verdi’s Falstaff under Stephen Barlow and Ivor Bolton and Norina in Don Pasquale for the Cheltenham Festival.  For Music Theatre London, she also sang Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte at Kammerspiel Theater in Hamburg. Gaynor made her debut in France in 1997 with Jean-Claude Malgloire and the Atelier Lyrique de Tourcoing singing Despina in Cosi fan Tutte in Massy, Brest and San Brieuc.

As a concert soloist Gaynor has performed at major concert venues throughout the UK. This includes the world premiere of Elgar’s The Spanish Lady with Bryn Terfel at St. John’s, Smith Square, London.  She has also performed with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra in Rossini’s Stabat Mater, BBC Symphony Orchestra in Zemlinsky’s Der Zwerg (also recorded for BBC Radio 3).

Gaynor’s recordings include Milhaud’s Les Malheurs d’Orphee for ASV with London’s Matrix Ensemble under Robert Ziegler and Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro for the Auvidis Astree under Jean Claude Malgoire in Paris.In 2005, Gaynor made her Australian operatic debut with Opera Queensland in the role of the Governess in Britten’s Turn of the Screw. She also covered the role of Countess in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, singing the final performance in the season. She has since covered the role for Opera Australia in Melbourne and Sydney. Gaynor returned to Opera Queensland in 2008 to sing the role of First Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute.

In  2009 she was soprano soloist in Opera Queensland’s Sunset Opera on South Bank.

In  the 2010 season Gaynor sang the role of Praskowia and understudied the title role in The Merry Widow. She performed the role of the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro as part of  the 2010 Brisbane Festival with the Queensland Orchestra.

Gaynor has been a guest lecturer at the Griffith University Queensland Conservatorium and given Master classes and directed and conducted the Val Machin Opera Scenes.

This year she has been a guest professor at the University of Queensland. Gaynor is also a vocal examiner for the AMEB.

Find out more about our upcoming concert “Glorious Classics” on our Concerts page >


John Curro and Hugh Won reunite in “Musical Portraits”

      Hugh Won website       John Curro 2

The Northern Rivers Symphony Orchestra (NRSO) warmly welcomes John Curro AM MBE to conduct their winter concert ‘Musical Portraits’ on Sunday 10th July.  Through a career as violist, teacher, conductor and director of music, Mr Curro has gained legendary status and is one of the most respected musicians in Australia.  He has recorded and performed live broadcasts for the ABC and has toured nationally and internationally as a soloist and conductor.

John Curro is the founder (1966) and director of the Queensland Youth Orchestra (QYO) – now the Queensland Youth Symphony Orchestra (QYSO).  He has inspired thousands of young musicians in Australia and internationally throughout his career.  Under his artistic leadership, the QYSO has built a reputation as one of the world’s finest youth orchestras.  Now in his eightieth decade, Mr Curro’s commitment to young musicians whom he teaches and mentors remains undiminished.

Joining Mr Curro on stage is soloist Hugh Won who will play the beautifully romantic Bruch’s Violin Concerto No 1.  Mr Won was only 17 years old when he won the National Youth Concerto Competition under the baton of Mr Curro, playing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto.  Hugh studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and has performed with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Australian Youth Orchestra, Sydney Youth Orchestra and he is currently a member of the Gold Coast Chamber Orchestra and the NRSO.  He is also an orthopaedic surgeon in the Gold Coast-Tweed region.

The program starts with Rossini’s playful Overture from L’italiana in Algeri followed by the Bruch and then Brahms’ masterpiece, Symphony No 4 in E minor.  The NRSO look forward to seeing you at this most exciting concert.

The concert will be at the Tweed Heads Civic Centre, Brett Street, Tweed Heads on Sunday 10th July 2016 at 2.30pm.  Tickets are available here.

Warwick Potter conducts “Romantic Encounters” concert April 24 2016

Warwick Potter

Warwick Potter is one of Australia’s leading portfolio conductors equally at home conducting a professional ensemble as he is a youth orchestra. He is the Conductor of the University of Queensland (UQ) Symphony Orchestra and Director of the UQ Wind Ensemble. Recently appointed to a full-time position at UQ, his other UQ roles and responsibilities include being Coordinator of Winds, Director of Large Ensembles, Convenor of Friends of UQ Music and being a member of the Research Committee. Furthermore, he lectures in instrumental conducting, bassoon performance, chamber music, and woodwind performance classes.

Professionally, he has conducted the Adelaide, Canberra, Darwin, Queensland (QSO), Tasmanian, West Australian Symphony Orchestras (WASO) and Camerata of St. John’s across a range of orchestral portfolios. In the youth ensemble sector, he has conducted the Queensland Youth Symphony (including The Planets at the express invitation of John Curro), Young Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra (Brisbane), MOST Symphony Orchestra (Education Queensland) and the Great Public Schools Symphony Orchestra since his move to Brisbane in 2010. He has commissioned multiple world premieres from Brisbane-based composers in recent years.

Warwick was responsible for the technical part of the Australian Music Examinations Board’s (AMEB) bassoon syllabus released in 2011. He has extensively examined for the AMEB and adjudicated for multiple eisteddfods in Queensland as well as for Education Queensland’s Fanfare program in 2014. As a bassoonist, he has played for the Australian Chamber Orchestra, QSO and WASO within Australia, the latter two orchestras as Guest Principal.

A former recipient of an Australian Postgraduate Award, Warwick successfully completed a PhD in Music Performance (conducting) at UQ in 2015. Future concerts include conducting the UQ Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast at QPAC on May 29. Warwick returns to NRSO following his successful debut in 2014.


University of Queensland French Horn Quartet
engaged for “Romantic Encounters” concert April 24 2016

QUFHQ

Daniel Sherson (first solo French Horn)

A graduate of West Moreton Anglican College, Daniel started playing horn in 2003 and was heavily involved in the school’s music program. In 2012 Daniel was accepted into the School of Music, University of Queensland and made rapid progress under tutelage of Malcolm Stewart.

During his studies at UQ, Daniel excelled, playing roles in the UQ Symphony Orchestra, wind ensembles and in various chamber groups. A former Principal Horn with both the UQ Symphony Orchestra and Queensland Youth Symphony, Daniel was the winner of UQ’s prestigious Donald Tugby Prize in 2013. Following graduating from UQ in 2015, he is now exploring new avenues of performance in pursuit of a professional performance career.

NRSO is delighted to offer this exciting young soloist the opportunity to perform Schumann’s legendary party piece for French Horns as part of this concert. Daniel is delighted to accept this engagement.

Benjamin Tomarchio (second solo French Horn)

Benjamin graduated from Villanova College in 2010, where he was music and brass captain, performing in national and international music tours. A qualified nurse, Ben is now following his heart and is training to become a professional French Horn player by learning from Malcolm Stewart and Vivienne Collier-Vickers, both renowned players with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. He is currently a second year student at the School of Music, University of Queensland.

External to UQ, Ben is a regular performer with Queensland Youth Orchestra ensembles at QPAC as well as with numerous other community groups. A former Principal Horn with the UQ Symphony Orchestra, Ben works part-time as a Registered Nurse in the St. Andrews War Memorial Hospital.

Future goals include playing with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra , studying overseas and continuing study and practice as a Registered Nurse.

Timothy Allen-Ankins (third solo French Horn)

Timothy is currently in his second year studying a Bachelor of Music (performance) specializing in French Horn at the University of Queensland after graduating from St Laurence’s College in 2014. He is lectured by Malcolm Stewart, Principal Horn of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

He has toured the British Isles and aims to globally study and tour in the future within the music profession. He is currently Principal Horn of the University of Queensland Symphony Orchestra and enjoys performing regularly at QPAC with that ensemble and with the Queensland Youth Orchestra ensembles.

Timothy is looking forward to playing with the Northern Rivers Symphony Orchestra in this performance of Schumann’s classic piece for French Horn.

Michelle Henderson (fourth solo, French Horn)

Michelle is in the final year of her music degree at the School of Music, University of Queensland and is majoring in performance on the French Horn. She has been playing horn for over 11 years and continues to be an avid participant in music.

A Mansfield SHS graduate, Michelle’s musical education developed throughout high school and beyond under the tutelage of Ysolt Clarke and continued on into University under Vivienne Collier-Vickers (Queensland Symphony Orchestra).

Michelle has been an active member of Queensland Youth Orchestra for the past four years and is currently Principal Horn with the Queensland Youth Orchestra Wind Symphony. She also performs with Queensland Wind Orchestra in addition to her UQ studies with the UQ Symphony Orchestra.

Michelle is hoping to continue her music making in the future and is looking for new ways to expand her experience in the music industry. She is greatly looking forward to her performance with NRSO!


Nicholas Routley conducts “Symphony and Song”

conductor Nicholas Routley

Nicholas Routley

Nicholas Routley was born in England and educated at George Heriot’s School, Edinburgh, and St John’s College, Cambridge. There he studied piano under Peter Feuchtwanger, composition with Patrick Gowers, and analysis and conducting with Hans Heimler, a pupil of Weingartner. He has a passionate interest in the music and culture of India.Routley emigrated to Australia in 1975 to take up a post at the Department of Music at the University of Sydney, and became an Australian citizen in 1984. He was twice seconded to the University of Hong Kong for periods of three years. The founder-director of the Sydney Chamber Choir, Routley has also conducted the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and several other orchestras in Australia and East Asia. He has also been active as a professional pianist, especially in vocal and chamber music, having performed extensively with the tenor Gerald English and the counter-tenor Hartley Newnham, among many others, and has given recitals in many European countries, Hong Kong, and Australia.

Returning to composition in 1996, Routley has composed a large-scale choral work Mycenae Lookout, for baritone soloist, choir, two pianos, and percussion, and three orchestral pieces (a symphony, a symphonic poem, and a guitar concerto) as well as numerous works for voice and piano, two small-scale choral works, and works for brass. His work has been described as polystylist – it derives most of its stylistic base from a combination of postmodern and Romantic influences, but also often reflects his deep love of the music of Josquin des Prez. Other influences include Ross Edwards and Michael Tippett; recently he has been strongly affected by South Indian music. His current composition project is to write three operas on the Indian epic, Mahabharata.

Routley has developed a special relationship with the Darwin Symphony Orchestra, as both conductor and composer, including three major commissions. The Sydney University Musical Society, the guitarist Adrian Walter, and the trombonist Greg Vanderstruik are among many performers and organisations who have commissioned works from him.

He has five children, Rachel, Alexis, Stephanie, Jeremy and Celeste, and lives in Georgica in the Northern Rivers district of NSW.


Barrie Gott

Conducts “An Afternoon at the Proms”

barrie_gott

Barrie Gott (b.1947), M.Mus. LTCL A.Mus.A, began his music career as a professional musician, studying trumpet with John Robertson and Harry Larsen at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.  He subsequently joined the National Training Orchestra and was a regular casual player with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.  Barrie holds performance diplomas from the AMEB, Trinity College of Music, London in and a Masters degree in conducting from Azusa Pacific University in California where he studied with Dr. Gary Bonner.  He has also studied composition and arranging at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with Ross Edwards and Don Banks.

Barrie has taught at all levels of education in private and government sectors and was Director of Instrumental Music at Azusa Pacific University.  He currently works for Education Queensland as a Senior Instrumental teacher and is a state examiner for the AMEB.

As a conductor Barrie has served as music director for Salvation Army bands in Sydney, Pasadena and Brisbane as well as the Brisbane Excelsior Band where he was successful in bringing a new dimension into concert programming. He is the former owner and musical director of the Queensland Pops Orchestra.

As a composer and arranger Barrie is published in Australia, United States, Great Britain and Europe and his works are on concert programs all over the world. He is a regular contributor to the Standard of Excellence repertoire for beginning concert bands in the education system.

Barrie is also an adjudicator for contests, festivals and eisteddfods throughout the world having officiated at regional, state and national contests in Australia and overseas in Norway and New Zealand.

Barrie was the recipient of the 2004 Frank Wright Medal for services to banding.

Soloist for “Appassionato” – Irit Silver

Irit Silver has been Principal Clarinet of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra since 2007. She is a 2010 Churchill Fellow, having spent six months studying with Alexander Bader of the Berlin Philharmonic.  She has appeared with Sydney Symphony and the Tasmania Symphony Orchestra as a guest Principal and as a soloist with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

“Memoirs” – People’s Choice Concert

Northern Rivers Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 20th anniversary with the upcoming concert, “Memoirs”, on Sunday 30th March 2014.

The NRSO was founded by its original Conductor and Artistic Director, Mr Barry Singh, who grew up dreaming of conducting his own orchestra one day.  That dream became a reality in early 1990s, starting with an 18-piece chamber ensemble, and now, as the Northern Rivers Symphony Orchestra, draws as many as 60 musicians for each concert.

Since Mr Singh’s retirement in late 2012, the orchestra and its committee, run solely by dedicated volunteers, have worked tirelessly to keep that dream alive.  Magnificent repertoires are put together with guest conductors, invited professionals and local musicians, all with the common goal of bringing the highest quality classical music to the Northern Rivers for the enjoyment of all our audience.

And it is our audience that we thank today for all the support they have given the orchestra, many of whom have been attending our concerts from the beginning.  The audience makes us their local orchestra.  As one audience has commented, “The NRSO concerts are a high point which I look forward to and try not to miss”.

To celebrate NRSO’s 20th anniversary, our audience helped us select the repertoire for “Memoirs”.  The journey of the NRSO is re-lived in this program, with a collection of all-time favourites including Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, Mozart’s Overture to the Marriage of Figaro, and many more.  We look forward to sharing this wonderful concert with our audience, who have made it possible for us to keep performing throughout the years.

At this concert we will also present the major raffle prize, “No Strings Attached” painting by Di Skelly Heron.  A well known and respected Australian artist, Di held her first solo exhibition in Perth in 1987 and subsequently exhibited around the world.  Borne from her love of the orchestra and music, “No Strings Attached” is a colourful and uplifting reflection of the NRSO, a truly marvellous artwork.  The lucky winner of the painting will be drawn and announced at the concert.

“Memoirs” – People’s Choice Concert, conducted by Chen Yang and performed by Northern Rivers Symphony Orchestra, is on Sunday 30th March 2014, 2.30pm NSW time, at Tweed Heads Civic Centre.

To purchase tickets with credit card please click here.

For any enquiries please phone 0466 819 154.  Tickets (cash-only) are also available at the Box Office from 17th to 28th March, Monday to Friday between 10am – 3pm, or at the door if not sold out.

Chen Yang conducts “Memoirs”

Chen Yang in action

The Conductor for the NRSO’s ” Memoirs” concert is Chen Yang, a well- known and respected personality in South East Queensland musical circles. Chen has been associated with the Queensland Youth Orchestra for several decades starting as a violinist in 1975 and later appointed concertmaster from 1978 to 1980, He toured with the orchestra in 1980 to Europe, including the International Festival of Youth Orchestras in Aberdeen, Scotland. Chen studied at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and graduated with distinction in violin performance. Chen’s first professional engagement was as Concertmaster of the Queensland Theatre Orchestra (later renamed the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra. under the baton of Georg Tintner. In 1981 he joined the Queensland Symphony Orchestra as a member of the first violin section until 1989. He has continued to perform as a freelance musician, performing in show orchestras for many major musical productions. Chen is the leader and conductor of The Sinfonia of St Andrew’s orchestra and is also the string teacher at St Hilda’s School, Southport, and the leader of the Corda Spiritus Orchestra of Brisbane who have performed several concerts for 4MBS Music Festival in recent years. Chen also performs with the Badinerie Players of Brisbane, an ensemble which performs on period instruments. He is also a prolific arranger of string music for the Junior String Ensemble and was the conductor of QYO3 from 1983 to 1988. He is also a judge at Eisteddfods and competitions. The NRSO is delighted to welcome Chen to guide us through the rehearsals and performance of “Memoirs”

For bookings click here

Guest soloist John Coulton plays Hummel’s Trumpet Concerto

John Coulton is an international trumpet player, concert and recording artist, who has toured and performed with some of the world’s finest conductors and orchestras including the Hamburg Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Australian Ballet Company and the London Concert Orchestra.  His playing has been recorded for numerous radio and TV programs, and was featured in the 2000 Sydney Olympics Games.

John’s career highlights include a performance of the Shostakovich Concerto for Piano and Trumpet with Nikolai Demidenko at the British Proms and a solo recital at the 2010 International Trumpet Guild Conference in Sydney.  He has even performed for Her Majesty the Queen on three separate occasions.

John started learning the trumpet when he was 8 years old, following in his sister’s footsteps. “I thought it was very cool,” John remarked.  He studied at The Queensland Conservatorium with Yoram Levy, where he learnt to develop his own style and trumpet artistry through years of intense work.  He went on to do a Masters degree and studied with various teachers in the UK, France, Germany and the United States.

John is currently enjoying a busy freelance career with the Queensland Symphony orchestra and the Camerata of St. Johns, among others, as well as teaching the trumpet students at All Saints Anglican School at the Gold Coast.

The NRSO was one of John’s performance avenues when he was studying at the Conservatorium.  After living and working overseas for nearly 12 years, John returned to Queensland in 2012 and reunited with the orchestra. “It is a great opportunity to play with the NRSO once again and support this great organization,” John said.

For Monumental Masterpiece concert, John will be playing the Hummel Trumpet Concerto, which he says is one of the quintessential pieces of music in the Trumpet repertoire. “It was written for the brand new ‘Keyed Trumpet’ invented in 1796, without which the modern Valved Trumpets that we use today may never have evolved to their present form,” John explained.  “The piece demonstrates the newly acquired chromaticism of the keyed trumpet and regularly blends beautiful lyrical lines with fanfare type motives which were commonplace in the trumpets of old.”

So what are some of the major features to listen out for?  “The second movement is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written for the Trumpet,” John reflected, “and the Third movement contains many technical challenges, and potential pitfalls, for the trumpet player!”

Up Close and Personal with Spiros Rantos – violinist/conductor

Spiros Rantos with his wife, Brachi Tilles

Spiros Rantos, violinist and conductor, was born in Corfu, Greece, grew up in Athens and pursued his musical studies in Vienna, Austria, where he met his wife and musical partner, Israeli born pianist Brachi Tilles.Spiros has won the International Violin competitions of Colmar, France and Forte dei Marmi, Italy and commissioned and promoted over 400 performances around the world as a soloist, chamber music player and conductor. He has recorded over 55 records for many labels including Deutsche Grammophon, Harmonia Mundi, Adelcord and Grevillea Records. He has been a frequent guest performer for National broadcast companies in Europe, Asia and Australia. Spiros came to Australia in 1976 as a member of the Vienna based group Ensemble 1. He is the founder, artistic director and conductor of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, and has taught at the Victorian College of the Arts, the University of Southern Queensland & University of Melbourne.

The Northern Rivers Symphony Orchestra has the pleasure of performing under the expert baton of Spiros Rantos for their upcoming concert, “Monumental Masterpiece” at the Tweed Civic Centre, Sunday 17th November 2013. Spiros Rantos, who is of Greek origin, has a reputation internationally for his brilliant violin playing and conducting. One can’t help but be under his spell with the pure emotion he evokes from his orchestra. The charismatic Spiros is also well known for his storytelling and a great sense of humour.

We spoke to Spiros and asked him a few questions about his amazing career.

  1. Why did you choose to play the violin?“The decision was with my parents and uncle who was a famous cellist in Greece. When I started at age five I really didn’t have much say, but by the time I was fifteen I started performing in my teachers’ orchestra in Athens, and having many “professional” engagements. At eighteen I held the position of first violinist at the Opera in Linz, Austra, and the next year I moved to Vienna.”
  2. What style of music inspires you the most?“I try to keep an open mind as every genre of music and every part of music history has its own justification and place in our minds and souls. I am, though, mostly fond of the classics – Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. I have a great admiration for Dvorak and really love Prokofieff, Debussy and Ravel.”
  3. Who is your favourite conductor?“There have been so many amazing conductors through history that is very difficult for me to pinpoint one. Each one has brought their understanding and feeling of the music they present and one can’t help but be under their spell during performances. Apart from the great ones like Solti, Boehm and Toscanini, there are two close to my heart: Sergio Celibidache and Mariss Janson.”
  4. Tell us what the coming year holds for you.“In the next few months I will be performing with Brachi Tilles on Piano, the Mozart Concerti for the Moreton Bay Orchestra, recitals in Noosa and Bribie Island, masterclasses and recitals in Victoria and conducting a concert with the Toowoomba Concert Orchestra. We also hope to finish our recordings this year and release to CDs by the end of 2013.”

Banquet lady of the NRSO

As the saying goes, behind every successful man, there is a woman.  For the Northern Rivers Symphony Orchestra, behind every successful concert, there is Jennifer Ferris.

While the NRSO prepares their upcoming concert, a “Banquet of Brahms and Beethoven”, meet the person behind the scenes who prepares a banquet for the orchestra.

Jennifer has been a tireless supporter of the NRSO for over a decade.  An avid lover of classical music, she is there at every concert.  However, one will rarely see her in the auditorium enjoying the music, for she is always busy in the kitchen preparing afternoon tea for the audience during the interval. “I used to help Lyn (McBurney) serve afternoon tea,” Jennifer explained, “but when Lyn became the orchestra manager, I took over the catering with some of the other ladies.  I just happened to last the longest!”

Perhaps even more importantly, she also organises food for our musicians, providing lunch and morning tea during rehearsals to keep the orchestra happy. It is fortunate then, that she is not required on stage as well.  “I’m useless at playing music!” she said.  But not in the kitchen!

Jennifer is also a member of the NRSO committee, helping to distribute newsletters and selling concert tickets at the box office.