One of Australia's leading pianists, Kristian Chong has performed throughout Australia and the UK, and in China, France, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, USA, and Zimbabwe. His wide-ranging performance schedule finds him equally at home as concerto soloist, chamber musician and recitalist. As concerto soloist he has appeared with the Adelaide, Melbourne, Queensland, Sydney and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, and orchestras in the UK, New Zealand and China with conductors such as Werner Andreas Albert, Andrey Boreyko, Nicholas Braithwaite, Jessica Cottis, Fabian Russell, Roy Goodman, Sebastian Lang-Lessing, Nicholas Milton, Benjamin Northey, Tuomas Hannikainen, Marcus Stenz, Arvo Volmer and Marco Zuccarini. Highlights have included Rachmaninoff 3rd with the Sydney Symphony, the Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a theme by Paganini in Beijing and Canberra, and Britten with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Recent concerto highlights include Shostakovich 2nd, Chopin 2nd, Rachmaninoff 3rd, Beethoven's Emperor in Melbourne, Ravel's Left Hand concerto in Melbourne (Australian Youth Orchestra) and Dunedin (Dunedin Symphony Orchestra) and Saint-Saëns 2nd concerto with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Described by The Age as ‘a true chamber musician at work’, Kristian is highly sought after with extensive collaborations with ensembles such as the Tinalley and Australian String Quartets, violinists Sophie Rowell, Natsuko Yoshimoto, cellist Li-Wei Qin, flautist Megan Sterling and baritone Teddy Tahu Rhodes, with whom he has recorded with ABC-Classics. Other collaborations include violinists Ilya Konovalov, (concertmaster Israel Philharmonic), Vadim Gluzman, Elizabeth Layton, Alexandre Da Costa, Adam Chalabi, Dale Barltrop, and Jack Liebeck, violists Christopher Moore and Caroline Henbest, clarinetists Michael Collins and Philip Arkinstall and the Orava Quartet amongst many others. His festival appearances include the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Adelaide Festival, Huntington Estate Music Festival, Mimir Chamber Music Festival and the Bangalow Festival. Other recent solo and chamber highlights include the Xing Hai Festival in Guangzhou, Australian Music Week on Gulangyu Island (Xiamen) with the Melbourne Symphony, the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival, where Kristian performed the complete Rachmaninoff Preludes, piano trios and the Beethoven Triple Concerto with Yoshimoto and Qin, the complete Beethoven Piano & Violin Sonatas with Yoshimoto and Rowell at the Melbourne Recital Centre, and Beethoven's Hammerklavier Sonata.
Kristian studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Piers Lane and Christopher Elton, and earlier with Stephen McIntyre at the University of Melbourne where Kristian currently teaches piano and chamber music. His competition successes include the Symphony Australia Young Performers Award (keyboard) and the Australian National Piano Award.
Philip Arkinstall has been the Associate Principal Clarinet of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra since 2009 and was principal with the Malaysian Philharmonic for 11 years before that. He was the winner of the Australian Woodwind Competition in Brisbane at the age of just 18 and also won the 2MBS Radio Performer of the Year in 1996 and the ABC Young Performers Award in 1997. Queen’s Trust and Big Brother awards enabled him to further his studies in Europe and he has appeared both as a soloist and as a guest principal with the Sydney Symphony, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and has been a regular soloist with the MPO in repertoire ranging from Mozart, Henze, Copland, Strauss and Bruch amongst others.
He’s an active chamber musician and has been fortunate enough to tour Australia for Musica Viva with the Auer quartet, also working with groups like the Goldner Quartet, the Eggner trio, as well as the Australia Ensemble, The Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and many contemporary ensembles including The Arcko and Australysis groups.
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