Nicholas Braithwaite, Helen Ayres, Konstantin Shamray and Celia Craig.
HELEN AYRES Helen Ayres is a Doctoral graduate of the University of Melbourne and founding member of Seraphim Trio. She has appeared as guest with numerous Australian small ensembles including Flinders Quartet, Syzygy, the Australian Octet and Melbourne Chamber Orchestra. After spending two years living in London and studying pedagogy at the Yehudi Menuhin School, Helen has now returned to Adelaide to teach violin at Elder Conservatorium’s Centre for Young Musicians.
While living in London Helen performed with the BBC Scottish Symphony and London Philharmonic Orchestra. As part of these orchestras she performed across England, Scotland, Germany, Austria and China. Closer to home, Helen is a past member of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and has performed as guest principal with Orchestra Victoria and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.
With Seraphim Trio Helen has regularly performed at various festivals including the Melbourne International Arts Festival, Port Fairy Spring Music Festival, Adelaide Festival of Arts, Adelaide French Festival, the Peninsular Summer Music Festival and in 2013, Opera Australia’s Ring Festival in Melbourne. Seraphim has recorded numerous CDs for ABC Classics and are currently part way through a series of trio recordings for ABC Classic FM titled The History of the Piano Trio.
NICHOLAS BRAITHWAITE Nicholas Braithwaite’s career has been unusually wide-ranging, both musically and geographically. His first appointment was Assistant Conductor to Constantin Silvestri with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Since then he has held positions as Music Director or Principal Conductor from Norway to New Zealand and many places in between, including the Tasmanian and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras. His repertoire has centred around German and Russian music and he is regarded as an outstanding Wagner conductor, having conducted all of that composer’s works from Rienzi onwards, including 7 Ring Cycles. Concurrently with his Australian activities he was Principal Conductor of the Manchester Camerata and Permanent Guest Conductor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra. He has been a frequent guest conductor for all the major orchestras in the UK, has toured Japan and Korea with the London Philharmonic Orchestra as Associate Conductor to Sir Georg Solti, and appeared with many orchestras throughout Europe, Scandinavia and Australasia.
Mr. Braithwaite was Associate Principal Conductor of Sadler’s Wells/English National Opera, Music Director of Glyndebourne Touring Opera, and Musiksjef of Gothenberg’s Stora Teater. He has also conducted opera at Covent Garden, Hamburg, Norwegian Opera, Scottish and Welsh National Operas, and many companies in Australasia.
In recent years Lyrita Recorded Edition have released more than 28 CDs of Mr. Braithwaite conducting the London Philharmonic, London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic and Philharmonia Orchestras in music by English composers.
Celia Craig trained as a Scholar at the prestigious Purcell School in London, under Nicholas Daniel, before winning two consecutive Exhibition Awards to the Royal Academy of Music and the Craxton Prize for Chamber Music, and is a Howarth of London oboe artist.
Since migrating to Australia in 2006, Celia has left an indelible mark on the South Australian classical music landscape. Her new venture, multimedia recording company Artaria, seeks to meld the visual beauty of South Australian scenery with sublime works of classical music. Inspired by Celia’s personal experience of synaesthesia, Artaria is on a mission to deliver South Australia to the world through innovative, immersive, musical experiences.
Celia is extraordinarily well-qualified to lead this charge, as Dedicatee of Master of The Queens Music, Judith Weir CBE’s first Oboe Concerto. During her impressive career she has also worked with Bernstein, Boulez, Haitink, Ashkenazy, Rattle, Gergiev, BBC Symphony and London Symphony Orchestras, to name but a few. Celia has also performed for the Royal Family, recorded and toured extensively and, more recently, held the position of Principal Oboe of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra until 2018.
In 2020, Celia was appointed Resident Artist for the National Trust of South Australia and was awarded a major Fellowship by Arts SA: Exploring New Artistic Directions.
KONSTANTIN SHAMRAY Described as an exhilarating performer with faultless technique and fearless command of the piano, Australian based Russian pianist Konstantin Shamray enjoys performing on an international level with the world’s leading orchestras and concert presenters.
Konstantin was born in Novosibirsk and commenced his studies at the age of six with Natalia Knobloch. He then studied in Moscow at the Russian Gnessin Academy of Music with Professors Tatiana Zelikman and Vladimir Tropp, and the Hochschule fur Musik in Freiburg, Germany with Professor Tibor Szasz.
In 2008, Konstantin burst onto the concert scene when he won First Prize at the Sydney International Piano Competition. He is the first and only competitor to date in the 40 years of the competition to win both First and People’s Choice Prizes, in addition to six other prizes. He then went on to win First Prize at the 2011 Klavier Olympiade in Bad Kissingen, Germany and has performed at the Kissinger Sommer festival. In July 2013, following chamber recitals with Alban Gerhardt and Feng Ning, he was awarded the festival’s coveted Luitpold Prize for “outstanding musical achievements”.
Since then, Konstantin performs extensively throughout the world. In Australia future highlights include engagements with the Adelaide Symphony, West Australia, Melbourne and Sydney Symphony orchestras. Outside of Australia he has performed with the Russian National Philharmonic, the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, Moscow Virtuosi, Orchestre National de Lyon, Prague Philharmonia, Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra and the Calgary Philharmonic among others. He has enjoyed collaborating with distinguished conductors such as Vladimir Spivakov, Dmitry Liss, Tugan Sokhiev, Nicholas Milton and Alexandr Vedernikov.
Chamber music plays a strong role in Konstantin’s musical career and collaborations include tours with the Australian String Quartet, the Australia Piano Quartet, Kristof Barati, Andreas Brantelid, Li Wei Qin and Leonard Elschenbroich. Later this season Konstantin will perform as part of the International Piano Series in Adelaide, the Melbourne Recital Centre and Ukaria Cultural Centre. He has enjoyed critical acclaim at the Klavier-Festival Ruhr, the Bochum Festival in Germany, the Mariinsky International Piano Festival and the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, Adelaide festival, 2019 Musica Viva Sydney and Huntington festivals. Konstantin has recorded albums with the labels Naxos, ABC Classics and Fonoforum.
Konstantin is Lecturer in Piano at the Elder Conservatorium of Music at the University of Adelaide, and was recently awarded his PhD for his performance-based project ‘The piano as Kolokola, Glocken and Cloches: performing and extending the European traditions of bell-inspired piano music’.