People are at the centre of what I do, what I think and who I am. Here are some reflections on colleagues and collaborators who have helped shape my artistic dreams, my goals, and my creative work.
Alexandra Sherman (mezzo-soprano)
Alexandra and I began working together as teenagers, discovering and performing Lieder whilst students at the Victorian College of the Arts. That experience, as well as Alex’s gorgeous voice and artistry, instilled in me a deep love of Lieder, which has been at the centre of my creative work ever since.
Anthony Lyons (composer)
Anthony is a friend and a collaborator, whose musical intelligence, taste and sensibility I trust and value greatly. Together, we devised a large-scale electro-acoustic suite, Trace Elements, for piano and computer, which was at the centre of my PhD.
Caroline Henbest (violist)
Deeply committed to her craft, Caroline is a passionate, uncompromising, exquisite musician. This year our dream of working together is finally coming to fruition in a beautiful program of works by J. Brahms and Brett Dean for piano and viola.
Claire Chase (flutist, artistic director of ICE)
Founder and Artistic Director of International Contemporary Ensemble, Claire is a flutist-extraordinaire and a musical visionary. I met Claire at the Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada) whilst on a residency there. In her, I found a role model and a kindred musical spirit, who inspired me to dream bigger and think bolder. As a result of our conversations, I am now developing two exciting solo projects, which will involve new commissions and a collaboration with a lighting designer.
I met Damian through the Four Winds Festival, curated by my dear friend Genevieve Lacey. Damian wrote Bright Birds, a tour de force of a piece for two pianos, for Stephen Emmerson and me to premiere at the festival. It was an incredible time in Bermagui (NSW); working on the piece with Damian and Stephen, getting inside Damian’s endlessly inventive, wildly imaginative, beautifully creative mind, and being surrounded by wallabies and birds.
Edna’s understanding and knowledge of piano technique is quite unparalleled. She has a laser-like mind and her input into my piano playing has been significant. A role model for determination, grit, intelligence and devotion to her cause and craft, Edna remains unstoppable in assisting many pianists, including me, in finding greater pianistic health, freedom and virtuosity.
A beautiful, probing pianist, Einav embodies many of the musical and personal qualities I most admire and respect. A soul-mate on many levels; she was deeply influential in how I grew and developed as a pianist, musician, and human being during my 6 years in USA. Einav continues to inspire me with her gorgeous, consummate playing, her uncompromising musical integrity, and her bigger-than-life, irrepressible spirit.
Genevieve is one of the most inspiring people and musicians I have ever met. She is a beloved friend, a role model, a mentor, and a guiding star. Her artistry, imagination, indefatigable creativity, fearlessness, and pure-heartedness, is often at the forefront of my mind as I carve my own path through music, art and life.
Helen Ireland (violist)
Helen is a dear friend and a chamber-music partner. Together we have explored and performed some of the most beautiful repertoire for viola and piano. Helen is a remarkable musician and a person of great compassion and depth. I have learnt a great deal about music-making and the art of listening from working with her.
Joe Chindamo (pianist, composer)
Joe is a musician I hugely admire. Together, we performed Mozart’s Double Concerto some years back. It was a joyful and fascinating experience making music with a jazz musician of his calibre. He is an unbelievable talent, a musical inventor. Recently, both him and I have been ‘re-imagining’ Bach’s Goldberg Variations and sharing many conversations about our relationship to this piece.
John McCaughey (Astra Chamber Music Society)
Being part of the Astra world and playing in their concerts has been some of my most cherished musical experiences over the years. Astra has given me a platform to unleash creative ideas, curate daring programs, and premiere many of the works I’ve commissioned from my composer colleagues. I often draw on John’s creative spirit and unerring musical and dramaturgical instinct when curating my own performances.
Kate Neal (composer)
Kate and I collaborated on two remarkable projects – Particle Zoo II, a piano concerto she wrote for me, and Semaphore, a theatre piece for dancers and musicians. I loved inhabiting Kate’s world as we worked on both projects, and learnt a lot about creativity, artistic courage, and musical diversity. I admire Kate in the way she is carving her path in life and art.
Leah Scholes (percussionist)
Leah has been an instrumental force in forming my ensemble Press, Play. She is one of my musical soul-mates and kindred spirits. The process of rehearsing and performing with her always leaves me musically nourished.
Leon Fleisher (pianist, conductor, pedagogue)
Fleisher has been the most influential musical force in my life. I studied with this extraordinary musician for four years whilst at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. These were transformative years of my life – challenging, revelatory, tumultuous, magical. Fleisher’s inimitable musical insight and what he taught me continues to fuel my playing and my teaching, almost a decade later.
Lina Andonovska (flutist)
Lina is my partner in crime in establishing our ensemble Press, Play. Lina is a force of nature. Talented, entrepreneurial, powerful, intrepid – she is the person I brainstorm projects, ideas, musical dreams with. Together we have created and realised some of my most memorable concert experiences over the past two years and are currently working on a collaboration with a visual artist Angela Cavalieri.
Natasha Vlassenko (pianist, pedagogue)
A pianist and pedagogue of great integrity, sincerity and depth, Natasha entered my life when I moved to Brisbane at age 19 to study with her. She had a profound impact on my musical and personal development, and my connection with her is one that I treasure deeply.
Rob Davidson (composer)
Rob is a colleague and a collaborator. I have recently been performing his speech-melody piece based on an interview with Percy Grainger, The Art of Agony. The response has been so enthusiastic that we have decided to create a whole CD of music based on the interviews and speeches by famous politicians and artists in the coming year.
Stephen Emmerson (pianist, academic)
I met Stephen whilst a student at the Queensland Conservatorium. Stephen’s lectures on music and his performances were profoundly formative in shaping my own musical voice. Over the past two decades, my relationship with Stephen has gradually transformed from that of teacher/student to that of a colleague, collaborator, mentor and friend. We now often perform as a piano duo. Making music with Stephen and responding to his beautiful musicianship as we shape the pieces together, is a deep well of inspiration.
Steve Adam (composer, sound artist)
Steve and I worked together over the years to create an electro-acoustic suite for piano and live electronics, Ion-Chance-Avion-Star. Steve creates the most astonishing soundscapes through processing and augmenting the piano’s sound electronically.
Therese Milanovic (pianist, pedagogue)
Therese and I first met as students at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, almost two decades ago. She is a friend and colleague whom I cherish. Therese and I have shared some indelible experiences performing Messiaen’s Visions l’Amen together, and are currently working with a visual artist to create a visual narrative to go with this transcendently beautiful piece.
Topology (contemporary music ensemble)
My relationship with Topology spans eight years. I love playing with these guys. They are continuously re-inventing themselves and exploring new creative territories. This year they have asked me once again to step into their world for the Darwin Festival and their Queensland and Victorian tours with the amazing Kransky sisters, performing Tunes from the Tube.