RACHAEL BEESLEY Rachael Beesley is an internationally renowned Australian violinist, director and concertmaster.
She graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne - Bachelor of Arts in Music (1989), Graduate Diploma of Arts in Music (1991) studying with Spiros Rantos and from The Royal Conservatoire, The Hague, The Netherlands - Master of Music (1999) studying with Sigiswald Kuijken, Elizabeth Wallfisch and Vera Beths. Rachael is a talented and versatile violinist and musician who has devoted her life to performing, teaching, and researching and has become one of the world leaders in the field of historically informed performance (HIP). She is well known throughout the world, a regular member of some of Europe's finest ensembles, including as guest concertmaster with Anima Eterna Brugge, Les Muffatti, La Petite Bande, Il Complesso Barocco, Bach Concentus, Restoration Company and the New Dutch Academy as well as performing regularly with Les Arts Florissants, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Combattimento Consort.
Based in Australia since 2009, Rachael is a guest concertmaster of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Pinchgut Opera, Opera Australia and Victorian Opera for performances on period instruments, including a national tour for Musica Viva Australia, as well as concerts of the St John and St Matthew Passions presented by the Melbourne Recital Centre. She co-founded the ensemble Ironwood in 2006 and regularly leads the chamber music ensembles Ludovico's Band, Salut! Baroque and Accademia Arcadia.
Rachael is a wonderful director who has the expertise to present fascinating and colourful programs that will delight and educate audiences. She has therefore been invited to direct from the violin the Tasmanian and Canberra Symphony Orchestras, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra (core member), Adelaide Chamber Players and NZBarok. Most recently, Rachael has been appointed Co-Artistic Director of the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra, specialising in Classical and Romantic repertoire on period instruments. She also has performed in Australia with Orchestra Victoria, Melbourne and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras and the Australian Chamber Orchestra.
As a highly regarded and much sought-after teacher and mentor, Rachael teaches at the Sydney and Melbourne Conservatoriums of Music, the School of Music Monash University, was the Kate Buchdahl Distinguished Artist in Residence, Adjunct Academic at the ANU School of Music, Canberra and guest director at the Australian National Academy of Music. She has inspired a new generation of Australian graduates who are forging successful careers in Europe, the US and in Australia. In the field of Historical Informed Performance Practice and the unique area of Practising in Flow, she has been invited to speak at conferences in Australia, New Zealand and The Netherlands where she has taught at Royal Conservatoire in The Hague, The Netherlands since 2000. Rachael is much in demand as a chamber musician and soloist, regularly collaborating with contemporary Australian composers as well as exploring repertoire from the 17th- to 20th-centuries on period instruments. Rachael performs in festivals throughout the world, notably winning prizes at both the Van Wassenaer Concours (1998) and the Festival van Vlaanderen Brugge Concours (1999). In 2000 she was awarded an Ian Potter Cultural Trust grant and since 2011 is listed in the Who’s Who of Australian Women. She has performed on broadcasts for the radio and television and on over 50 CDs for Harmonia Mundi, SONY, BIS, Accent, Pentatone, Et’Cetera, Centaur and ABC Classics.
KEITH CRELLIN OAM From 2001-2016, Keith Crellin OAM held the positions of Head of the String Department and Conductor-in-Residence at the University of Adelaide’s Elder Conservatorium of Music. Since May 2016 he has concentrated on his role as Artistic Director of the Adelaide Youth Orchestra which he took up in 2003, as well as further pursuing performing, conducting and composing.
The first violist to win the ABC Young Performers Award in 1972, Keith quickly established himself as one of Australia’s leading soloists and chamber music players. He was appointed Lecturer in Viola and Chamber Music at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music, Director and Principal Conductor of the Conservatorium Orchestra and Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Tasmanian Youth Orchestra.
In 1985, Keith became a founding member of the Australian String Quartet, based in Adelaide. He held the position for sixteen years, performing with the ASQ in many countries and making numerous recordings. As well, Keith has been conductor of the Australian Youth Orchestra’s Young Symphonists and tutor in the Australian Youth Orchestra’s Young Australian Concert Artists program on many occasions. He has attended numerous National Music Camps as tutor and conductor and now divides his time between teaching, performing and conducting. Keith was awarded the Order of Australia medal for his contribution to music and education in 2008.
SHARON GRIGORYAN Based in Adelaide, Sharon Grigoryan was the cellist with the Australian String Quartet from 2013-2020. As part of that group she has collaborated with artists such as the Goldner and Tinalley Quartets, Pieter Wispelwei, Sara Macliver, Slava Grigoryan, Pepe Romero, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Katie Noonan, Konstantin Shamray, Caroline Almonte, and the Melbourne, Sydney, Tasmanian and West Australian Symphony Orchestras.
Born in Melbourne, Sharon studied at the University of Melbourne and the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) under David Berlin, Philip Green, and Howard Penny. From 2008-2012 Sharon held a position with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and in 2011 Sharon was a recipient of the MSO Friends’ Travel Scholarship which took her to Berlin to study with Professor Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt and Nicolas Alsteadt. Whilst there she performed with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Spira Mirabilis Chamber Orchestra.
An avid chamber musician, Sharon performed in the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Chamber Players series many times, and in 2009 she formed the Hopkins String Quartet. In the same year, she was accepted into the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s Emerging Artists program and has toured extensively with the ACO both nationally and abroad since then. Sharon was also made a Core Player of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra in 2012.
Sharon has performed as a guest with the Australia Ensemble and Australian World Orchestra, and has been invited to be guest principal cellist with the Melbourne, Adelaide, and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras. Sharon is the current Artistic Director of the “Barossa, Baroque and Beyond” music festival, which recently completed its sixth year. In 2019 Sharon curated a chamber music series, “Live at the Quartet Bar” as part of the Adelaide Festival Centre, and made her debut as a radio presenter on ABC Classic.
Apart from teaching the cello privately, Sharon has tutored ensembles such as the Melbourne Youth Orchestra, the Australian Youth Orchestra, is on staff at the University of Adelaide, and been a guest chamber music tutor at ANAM and the University of Melbourne.
Sharon formed the cello/guitar duo with husband Slava Grigoryan in 2014, and this has been a particularly joyful musical and personal collaboration for her. She is currently on contract as acting Associate Principal Cello of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.
DEAN NEWCOMB Dean Newcomb is Principal Clarinettist with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, a position he has held since 2008.
Before deciding to settle in Adelaide, Dean was offered the Principal Clarinet position with The Macau Orchestra. Dean has performed as guest Principal Clarinet with various orchestras in Australia and overseas including the Australian World Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. His solo concerto performances have received critical acclaim, with reviewers praising his "musical gifts, technical finesse and outstanding ability" (The Advertiser).
Dean regularly performs as a recital and chamber musician with Australia's leading ensembles including the Australian String Quartet, The Australia Ensemble, and Southern Cross Soloists. Notable highlights include performing with the Hamer String Quartet at the Melbourne Recital Centre opening ceremony and the world premiere of Arthur Benjamin's century-old Clarinet Quintet with the Goldner String Quartet. Dean's active involvement in music education includes regular masterclasses, lecturing and tutoring at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, as well as tutoring for the Australian Youth Orchestra's orchestral and chamber music seasons. In 2015 Dean was a guest adjudicator for the Lisbon International Clarinet Competition in Portugal.