ELIZABETH LAYTON, STEPHEN KING, Nicholas Braithwaite Elizabeth Koch AM and Robert nairn
STEPHEN KING Stephen King joined the Australian String Quartet as the viola player in 2012. Stephen loves the role of the viola in the string quartet, being both the agitator and the peacemaker, the push and the drag, the consonance and the dissonance, and always the meat in the sandwich. Music has taken Stephen to diverse venues and festivals around Australia and the world. With the ASQ, Stephen has been integral in the development of projects with First Nations artists, new Australian commissions and recordings, and innovative cross-artform collaborations.
Before joing the ASQ, Stephen was a member of the Australian Chamber Orchestra for nine years. As the ACO's education representative from 2004-2011, he played a major role in founding and building the Orchestra's education and emerging artists programs and ACO2.
Growing up in Canberra, Stephen learned the violin but fell for the darker tone of the viola after all but completing an architecture degree in Brisbane. Following the inspiring teaching of Elizabeth Morgan, he completed his studies in the USA with James Dunham (Cleveland Quartet), Kathy Murdock (Mendelssohn Quartet) and Michael Tree (Guarneri Quartet). From 1997 Stephen was violist of the Coolidge String Quartet based in Washington D.C. He holds a Doctorate in Chamber Music from the University of Maryland, having worked closely with the Emerson and Guarneri Quartets.
While living overseas, Stephen was also the Associate Principal Viola of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and a member of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. He was on the faculty of the New England Conservatory Prep Division in Boston and the American String Teachers Association Workshops. In Australia he has been invited to play guest principal of the Melbourne and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras. Stephen teaches viola and chamber music the University of Adelaide, Elder Conservatorium of Music and regularly tutors at National Music Camps for AYO.
Senior Lecturer in violin, Head of Strings and Head of Classical Performance at the Elder Conservatorium, University of Adelaide, Elizabeth Layton studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School with Elisabeth Perry and Pauline Scott. At the age of twelve, Elizabeth was invited to join Hephzibah and Yehudi Menuhin in a chamber music concert to celebrate the latter’s Golden Jubilee, broadcast from the Royal Festival Hall, London. She continued her studies at the Juilliard School, New York with Dorothy DeLay and Masao Kawasaki, going on to win the Young Concert Artists Trust Competition.
Elizabeth made her UK concerto debut with the Philharmonia, and has appeared as soloist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players, Bournemouth Symphony, English Sinfonia, Calgary Philharmonic, City of Barcelona Symphony, Lahti Symphony and many others. Festival appearances include Bath, Edinburgh, Harrogate, Cheltenham, Valencia, Gstaad and numerous music societies.
She has toured worldwide with the Nash Ensemble and Trio Zingara, and CD recordings include the complete Beethoven piano trios (nominated for a Gramophone Award) and violin and piano works by Schubert (Daily Telegraph ‘CD Choice’). Other recordings include chamber music by Ravel, Schubert, Brahms, Fauré and Shostakovich for DG, Hyperion, Naxos, BIS and Chandos.
Elizabeth was Associate Leader of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and Concertmaster of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (1998-2010). She has broadcast regularly for the BBC as soloist and director and appeared as guest director of the Scottish Ensemble, Manchester Camerata and Ambache Ensemble. Numerous performances of contemporary solo violin music include a critically acclaimed CD of Jonathan Harvey’s ‘Scena’ with the BBC SSO under Ilan Volkov.
Elizabeth moved to Australia in 2010 and is a guest concertmaster with orchestras in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Queensland, Tasmania, Auckland and Wellington. She has toured chamber music with ensembles including Selby&Friends, the Australian String Quartet, Flinders String Quartet and Australia Piano Quartet and broadcast for the ABC in recital for Sunday Live and as soloist in Raymond Hanson’s Violin Concerto with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.
In 2018 she performed with Ensemble Q at the George Town Festival, Penang and gave concerts at the Coriole Festival, Coramba Festival and Music by the Springs. In addition to re-invitations to these festivals, Elizabeth performs in 2019 at the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra concert series and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, as well as appearing regularly in the University of Adelaide Concert Series at Elder Hall.
Elizabeth has taught in London at the Guidhall School Junior Department and at the Royal Scottish Conservatoire, Glasgow. She continued her wider commitment to music education tutoring at the 2018 Australian Youth Orchestra Chamber Music Course and mentoring students and leading the orchestra as part of the Griffith University/Ensemble Q/Lisa Gasteen Opera School performance of Strauss’s Ariadne Auf Naxos, conducted by Simone Young. In 2019, her schedule includes masterclasses and performances at the University of Queensland.
In addition to her teaching commitments at the University of Adelaide, Elizabeth directs the Elder Conservatorium Chamber Orchestra, giving concerts with students in venues around South Australia.
ELIZABETH KOCH AM Associate Professor Elizabeth Koch AM is Associate Professor of Flute, Head of Performance and Head of Woodwind at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, and has spent 16 years at the University of Adelaide. Elizabeth’s orchestral experience is extensive with 27 years in the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. She was also Principal Flute of the Australian Youth Orchestra and Principal Flute of the Adelaide Chamber Orchestra. She has performed as soloist with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and the Adelaide Chamber Orchestra.
In 1976 Elizabeth was awarded a prestigious Churchill Fellowship to study with Maxence Larrieu in Paris and has since performed in masterclasses with master teachers including Jean-Pierre Rampal, Alain Marion, Andras Adorjan, Sir James Galway, Susan Milan and William Bennett. Her students have been accepted into the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music, London, the Mannes School, New York, Yale University and have won positions in Australian symphony orchestras and the Australian Youth Orchestra.
Elizabeth has been awarded a number of University prizes including the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty Prize, a Carrick Citation and the University of Adelaide’s highest teaching award, the Stephen Cole the Elder Excellence in Teaching Prize. In 2010 Elizabeth won an ALTC (Australian Learning and Teaching Prize) for her excellence in teaching on a national level.
Elizabeth has conducted many extensive study tours to Paris and London, taking regular groups of Australian conservatorium students to study with international master teachers as part of and in addition to their university studies.
In June 2016, Elizabeth was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, for her significant service to the performing arts, particularly to music education and performance, and through executive roles with professional associations.
In June 2006, Elizabeth was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, for her services to flute music and for the mentoring of young musicians. Elizabeth is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, United Kingdom.
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.
Rob Nairn is a Distinguished Professor of Music at Penn State’s School of Music and on the Faculty of The Juilliard School in New York. He has lived and worked in Germany, England, Australia and the United States performing with such groups as the London and Oslo Philharmonic Orchestras; the Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Gothenburg Symphony Orchestras; the English, Scottish and Australian Chamber Orchestras, the Bavarian Radio Symphony, the Melbourne, Sydney, Queensland and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras, the London Sinfonietta, the Halle Orchestra, and the London Mozart Players. Rob has played in all seasons of the Australian World Orchestra and featured as one of the AWO’s 8 double bass soloists in the 2016 premiere of Elena Kats-Chernin’s commissioned concerto “The Witching Hour”.
Rob is a specialist in historical performance, he has been principal bassist with Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society since 2003. He is also principal bass of the Boston Early Music Festival and Juilliard Baroque. He has performed with the English Baroque Soloists, Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique, Concerto Caledonia, Washington Bach Consort, Rebel, Florilegium, The Smithsonian Chamber Players, and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
He has commissioned and premiered more than forty new works for solo double bass and chamber groups including concerti by Barry Conyngham and Doug Balliett, and he has given solo recitals in Europe, Scandinavia, China, the United States, and Australia.
He can be heard on over 60 commercial CDs and has recorded for Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Sony, EMI, Virgin, ABC Classics, and Channel Classics.
Rob is a Past President of the International Society of Bassists from whom he received a Recognition Award for Historical Performance in 2009. He is a Howard Foundation Fellowship recipient from Brown University and DAAD German Government Scholarship recipient and held the position of Professor of Double Bass at the Juilliard School & Penn State University until 2016.