Assistant Conductor & Assistant Principal Cello, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Nicholas began his music studies on piano aged seven and took up the cello two years later. Throughout his school years he pursued a widely varied range of musical styles. After leaving school Nicholas concentrated on cello, studying with Janis Laurs at the University of Adelaide where he completed a Bachelor of Music with honours. Nicholas then spent two years with Stefan Popov at the Guildhall School of Music, London.
After training in Adelaide and London, Nicholas spent three years as Artist-in-Residence at the University of Queensland as part of the ensemble Perihelion. During this time he forged a strong reputation as an exponent of contemporary music, and had several works commissioned for him.
In 1998, Nicholas joined the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) as Assistant Principal cellist. Since then he has appeared as a soloist, chamber musician, and recitalist. He has also taught cello and improvisation at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM), and has always had a strong commitment to music education and community engagement.
Nicholas was awarded the Dame Roma Mitchell Churchill Fellowship in 2010 to travel to the UK for two months, where he looked in depth at the London Symphony Orchestra’s iconic Discovery program, and at the use of improvisation in training classical musicians at the Guildhall School of Music.
In 2016, Nicholas’ considerable experience as an orchestral musician and his passion for communication led him to undertake a fellowship at ANAM, where he developed, conducted, and presented educational concerts for primary school children. During the fellowship he was mentored by Paul Rissmann, Graham Abbott, and the legendary Richard Gill AO. Since then, Nicholas has presented educational concerts for children and adults for MSO, ANAM, and the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra.
In support of his work as an education presenter, Nicholas has been studying conducting with Benjamin Northey, and won a coveted place at the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra’s 2019 Australian Conducting Academy.
Nicholas was appointed as Assistant Conductor of the MSO for 2020, and he will present and conduct all three concerts of the MSO’s popular Ears Wide Open series at the Melbourne Recital Centre.
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Musical Director, Essendon Symphony
Jenny is currently Musical Director of the Essendon Symphony, where she has been the principal conductor since 2008. In 2015, she was the inaugural recipient of the Rosemary and John Hopkins Award for Conductors, and she also completed her Masters of Music performance degree in the same year, specialising in orchestral conducting at the University of Melbourne under Benjamin Northey.
In 2016 she founded the West Melbourne Schools Orchestra, of which she is the Musical Director, and was rehearsal conductor for Opera New Zealand’s season of Sweeney Todd. Jenny has conducted some of Melbourne’s leading ensembles including the Zelman Symphony and Hopkins Sinfonia.
Jenny also founded Noteable Music Education Resources. As Managing Director, she has written and published numerous resources for classroom music teachers. During her music career she has worked as a professional trombonist with the Royal New Zealand Navy Band, performed on stage with Randy Breaker, Arturo Sandoval, Robin Eubanks, and Rob McConnell during her time studying in America, and toured extensively throughout the west coast of the USA.
Jenny conducted our concert A Midsemester Night’s Dream in September 2017.
Principal Conductor, U3A Hawthorn
Born of Hungarian-Dutch parents, Gyula has studied with conductors such as Carlo Felice Cillario, Carl Crossin OAM, and Professor John Hopkins AM OBE. He has conducted the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic, Melbourne Conservatorium, Zelman Memorial Symphony Orchestra, Ballarat Symphony, and the Melbourne Lawyers Orchestra.
Gyula also founded and was Chief Conductor of La Fratenita di Soloist Chamber Orchestra for five years, and he now conducts U3A Hawthorn.
Gyula conducted our concert Into the Baltic in May 2017.