Rachael Beesley is an internationally renowned Australian/British violinist, director and concertmaster. Beginning her professional career with Orchestra Victoria in 1991, Rachael performs as a guest concertmaster for Opera Australia, Victorian Opera and Pinchgut Opera. Performing in a wide range of orchestras and ensembles, Rachael has been engaged by the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Australian Brandenburg Orchestras, directed the Tasmanian and Canberra Symphony Orchestras, performs for Musica Viva Australia and has recorded on over 50 CDs.
Graduating from the Royal Conservatoire, The Hague, The Netherlands in 1999, Rachael’s fascination with historically informed performance has blossomed into years of international experience performing in festivals, concert halls and opera houses worldwide. Constantly seeking out new challenges, Rachael is dedicated to creating and directing new orchestras and ensembles, including the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra and Ironwood, by researching and redefining the approach to performance practices.
As an advocate of music education, Rachael presents workshops and lectures at international conferences and teaches at universities in Europe and Australia, including the Royal Conservatoire, The Hague and the Conservatoriums of Melbourne and Sydney and is a regular tutor for the Australian Youth Orchestra and the Adelaide Baroque Academy. For dedication to her work, Rachael has received an Ian Potter Cultural Trust grant and is listed in the Who’s Who of Australian Women. rachaelbeesley.com
Merewyn Bramble - VIOLA
Merewyn began playing both violin and viola when she was little and was taught by her mother. She completed a Bachelor of Music with Honours in Performance under the tutelage of William Hennessy and two years later, a Master of Music Performance mentored by Caroline Henbest. During her course at the University of Melbourne she was awarded the Peg Oldfield Prize and the H.A. Owen Award for performance excellence.
Merewyn is Principal Viola of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and holds casual positions with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and has appeared as guest Principal Viola of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.
To quench her constant thirst for chamber music, Merewyn plays in the Australian Octet within its own series and in festivals far and wide. Merewyn is a current member of Quartz, a quartet with a big Victorian presence and which performs as part of a series at the Melbourne Recital Centre. Violist with the Patronus Quartet, Merewyn competed in the 2015 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition and as a member of the Tailem Quartet she was a finalist in the 3rd Australian Chamber Music Competition and competed in the 2008 ARD International Chamber Music Competition in Munich. The Tailem Quartet also completed residencies at the Banff Centre, Canada, and at Yale University’s Norfolk Summer Chamber Music Festival. Merewyn made another soul-searching solo trip to Banff in 2011, a journey she intends to repeat many times in the future.
Away from the music stand, nothing beats writing for children, running long distances and the fever of tap dancing.
Edith Salzmann - CELLO Edith Salzmann is a German/NZ cellist with an extensive career as a soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. She began her studies at the Music Academy in Detmold in Germany at the age of fourteen and went on to study at Indiana University, Bloomington (USA), where she studied with Janos Starker. She was a member of the Tibor Varga Chamber Orchestra, the Corda String Quartet, the Musikfabrik Duesseldorf, and various other New Music ensembles and has performed extensively all over Europe, America, Asia, and Australasia.
As a chamber musician and soloist, she has performed in major European concert halls, such the Berlin Philharmonie, the Alte Oper Frankfurt, Cologne Philharmonie, Gasteig Munich, the Barbican London, and the Tonhalle, Zuerich with, amongst others, Heinz Holliger, Christoph Poppen, Eduard Brunner, Gustav Rivinius, Menahem Pressler, Nobuko Imai, Erick Friedman, Luba Edlina, Clio Gould, Hansjoerg Schellenberger, Michael Endres and others.Her discography includes releases on Naxos, Stradivarius, EMI Germany, Atoll, and Rattle records.
Edith is a highly successful teacher, with many of her former students now having careers in professional orchestras or as chamber musicians. From 2001 - 2012 she was Director of Performance and Senior Lecturer at the University of Canterbury (NZ), and in 2013 she accepted a Senior lecturer position at the University of Auckland. Since 2019 she teaches at the University of Melbourne. She is in demand for masterclasses and regularly teaches in Korea, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Italy, Germany, Poland, and Switzerland.
In 2005, she founded the Pettman National Junior Academy, a privately sponsored scholarship program for highly talented young musicians. To date, this program has been going from strength to strength, with multiple international prize winners coming out of its ranks. Edith is the artistic director of the International Akaroa Music Festival, a chamber music and masterclass festival in Akaroa, NZ, and the Director of the Pettman Open Chamber music Program, a concert career-development program for young musicians. She regularly tours with the Pettman Ensemble, the Jade String Quartet, and the Dorrit Ensemble. In 2021, Edith took on the Program Coordinator position for the newly founded Melbourne Conservatorium Young Artists Academy and in 2024 she was appointed Lecturer in cello at the University of Adelaide.
Lloyd Van’t Hoff - CLARINET
Lloyd Van’t Hoff is an award-winning clarinetist, director, educator, and recording artist. He has been lauded for his “life-affirming music making” (Limelight Magazine ) and “spectacular brilliance, charisma and sensitivity” (Tasmanian Mercury). Born in Darwin, Australia, Van’t Hoff came to prominence as the winner of the Grand Prize and Sir Charles Moses Trophy, along with the Triffitt Prize in the 2015 Symphony Australia ABC Young Performers Awards. He now performs regularly at festivals around the world - the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Musica Viva Festival, Huntington Estate Music Festival, Yale-Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the International Festival of Modern Music in Beijing, the Menuhin Festival in Switzerland, the Young Euro Classic in Germany, the Grafenegg Summer Music Festival in Austria, and the Banff Centre in Canada. Van’t Hoff is a founding member of the quintet Arcadia Winds - Musica Viva’s inaugural FutureMakers - touring mainland China and performing at the BBC Proms. Arcadia are especially committed to fostering new music by Australian composers, establishing the Arcadia Winds Composition Prize, while commissioning and premiering dozens of new works by living composers. Their debut eponymous EP, Arcadia Winds, was released in 2017 on the ABC Classic label.
As a recording artist, Van’t Hoff has been featured on the ARIA Award winning album Conversations with Ghosts alongside Australian singer-songwriter Paul Kelly, recorder virtuoso Genevieve Lacey, composer James Ledger, and Australian National Academy of Music musicians. In 2021, Van’t Hoff released his solo album, Johannes Brahms: Music for Clarinet and Piano, in which his recordings were described as “interpretations that live in the memory for their verve and deep musicianship.” As recitalist, Van’t Hoff has performed at Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Recital Centre, City Recital Hall, Elder Hall, Sprague Hall, Neilson Space. He collaborates regularly with some the world’s leading chamber music ensembles and musicians, including the Australian String Quartet, Goldner String Quartet, Flinders Quartet, Omega Ensemble, accordion virtuoso James Crabb, pianists Tamara Anna Cislowska, Dejan Lazic, and Lambert Orkis, principal flutist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Emily Beynon and the clarinet virtuoso Michael Collins.
A Yale University graduate, Van’t Hoff has served as teaching faculty at Melbourne University, the Yale Department of Music, and has recently been appointed to the role of Head of Woodwind, Head of Chamber Music and Lecturer in Clarinet at the University of Adelaide’s Elder Conservatorium, South Australia. He has conducted masterclasses and teaching residencies in the USA, Canada and throughout Australia and is the Director of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music’s Winterschool and Winterschool Outreach programs. Van’t Hoff has been artist-in-residence at the Karlstad Universitet Muikhogskolan Ingesund in Sweden. As a featured concerto soloist with Orchestra Victoria, the Melbourne and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, he has also performed principal clarinet roles with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, Yale Philharmonia, and principal bass clarinet in Opera Australia, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
Van’t Hoff is a Buffet Crampon and D’Addario endorsed performing artist.