Rachel Bremner completed her violin studies with Professor Jan Sedivka at the Tasmanian Conservatorium, has been a regular player with the TSO, and regularly appears as a recitalist and chamber musician. Rachel has toured nationally with Musica Viva, and has been extensively involved in chamber music and broadcasting, playing with Geoffrey Lancaster, David Bollard and Christian Wojtowicz. She has also performed and broadcast Australian music for violin by Gillian Whitehead, Keith Humble and Don Kay. She was associated on a number of occasions with the new music ensemble Pipeline, directed by Professor Simone de Haan. Rachel has also passed on her experience to younger musicians at music camps and chamber music classes at the Tasmanian Conservatorium and the Mt. Buller Chamber Music School in association with the Australian String Quartet. Rachel now resides at Oyster Cove.
Keith Crellin is head of the String Department and conductor in residence at the Elder Conservatorium of Music at the University of Adelaide.
As the first violist to win the ABC Young Performers Award in 1972, Keith Crellin soon established himself as one of Australia's leading soloists and chamber music players. Having studied violin initially with Gretchen Schieblich and then Ladislav Jasek at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, he completed his tertiary studies at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music under noted pedagog Professor Jan Sedivka. He was a founding member of the Rialannah String quartet, performed with the Petra String Quartet, and was a regular member of the Australian Contemporary Music Ensemble. Subsequently 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, he became a founding member of the Australian String Quartet based in Adelaide, a position he held for sixteen years and with which he performed in many countries, travelled widely throughout Australia and made numerous recordings.
As well he has conducted concerts and recordings with the Tasmanian and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras and has been conductor of A.Y.O. young symphonists and tutor in the A.Y.O Young Australian Concert Artists program on a number of occasions. He has attended many National Music camps as tutor and conductor and now divides his time between teaching, performing and conducting.
In 2003, he took up the position of artistic director and conductor of the Adelaide Youth Orchestra. In 2004 he was awarded the University of Adelaide’s Stephen Cole prize for excellence in teaching.
Christian Wojtowicz studied cello at the Tasmanian Conservatorium before gaining a Churchill Fellowship to work with Pierre Fournier in Zurich and later with Andre Navarra at the Paris Conservatoire. He freelanced extensively in France and the UK before appointment as principal cello in the Melbourne Elizabethan Trust Orchestra. His wide experience in Australia includes principal cellist of the TSO and guest principal in most Australian Symphony Orchestras and the Tasmanian Symphony Chamber Players, which he co-founded. As well as regular recitals, he has made concerto appearances and recordings with all Australia's leading orchestras. Christian has held teaching positions at the Canberra School of Music, Queensland Conservatorium and University or Queensland, University of Melbourne and Victorian College of the Arts. Christian now lives at Oyster Cove.
Karen Smithies moved to Tasmania from the Central Coast of NSW in 1998. She completed her Masters in Music Performance at the University of Tasmania in 2003, studying with Beryl Sedivka and David Bollard. Upon graduating from Sydney Conservatorium with a Bachelor of music in piano performance and accompaniment, Karen was awarded the “Mollie Neal” scholarship for excellence in Accompaniment. She has appeared as soloist and accompanist with regional orchestras and major vocal ensembles across the Central Coast and in Sydney.
Karen has made several national ABC and 3MBS FM broadcasts with artists such as cellist Christian Woijtowicz, violinists Marina Phillips and Romana Zieglerova, baritones Christopher Richardson and Michael Lampard and the TSO Brass and Friends.
Karen is currently lecturer in Accompaniment at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music and has lectured in piano studies at the University of Tasmania since 2000. In that time she has been busy as a repetiteur, and accompanist of undergraduates, postgraduates and visiting artists at the Conservatorium and throughout Tasmania. Karen regularly plays as orchestral and rehearsal pianist for the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and repetiteurs for the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Chorus. Karen lives in on Hobart’s Eastern shore with her husband Matthew and four children and is working on establishing a music centre in Lauderdale and its surrounding areas
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