ARTIST BIOS & PROGRAM DETAILS BELOW
Paul Grabowsky is a pianist, composer, arranger, conductor – and is one Australia’s most distinguished artists.
Born in Lae, Papua New Guinea in 1958, Paul was raised in Melbourne where he attended Wesley College. During the late 70's he became prominent in the music scene in Melbourne, working in various jazz, theater and cabaret projects.
He lived and worked in Europe and the US from 1980-85, during which time he performed with many jazz luminaries including Chet Baker, Art Farmer and Johnny Griffin. He returned to Australia in 1986 and established a reputation as one of Australia's leading jazz musicians with such bands as his own trio and sextet, the Wizards of Oz and as musical director for singer Vince Jones.
He was musical director of Tonight Live with Steve Vizard (a nationally televised variety show) from 1990-1992.
He was Commissioning Editor (Arts and Entertainment) for ABC Television 1995-98.
He has written the scores for over twenty feature film scores in Australia, the UK and US including 'Innocence' (Paul Cox), 'Last Orders', ‘The Eye of the Storm’, ‘Words and Pictures’(Fred Schepisi) and 'Shiner' (John Irvin). His television credits include the series 'Phoenix' and 'Janus' and the Emmy-winning 'Empire Falls'. His works for the theater include four operas and various multimedia works. His most recent opera, created for soprano Emma Matthews, ‘The Space Between’, with libretto by Steve Vizard, premiered at Arts Centre Melbourne in September 2018.
He is the Founding Artistic Director of the Australian Art Orchestra, which he led from 1994-2013.
He has won eight ARIA awards (most recently in 2020 for his recording Please Leave Your Light On’ with singer Paul Kelly), two Helpmann awards, several APRA and Bell Awards and a Deadly award. He was the Sydney Myer Performing Artist of the Year in 2000, and received the Melbourne Prize for Music in 2007. He was the 2010 Australian National University H.C.Coombs Fellow.
He was Artistic Director of the Queensland Music Festival from 2005-2007 and was Artistic Director of the Adelaide Festival of Arts for 2010 and 2012. A Professor at Monash University since 2012, he is currently director of the Monash University Performing Arts Centres and the Monash Art Ensemble. He oversaw the development of the Ian Potter Centre for Performing Arts, which opened in May 2019, and launched MLIVE, a year-round series of curated performances.
In 2014 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for services to music and arts administration.
UMBERTO CLERICI, as soloist he debuted at the age of 17, playing Haydn’s D Major cello concerto in Japan, and has since played with an array of renowned orchestras internationally including St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Philharmonia Wien, Russian State Orchestra of Moscow, "I Pomeriggi Musicali” (Milan). Umberto has performed as soloist at the Carnegie Hall in New York, the Musik Verein in Vienna, the great Shostakovich Hall of St Petersburg and Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome.
In 2014 he was appointed as Principal Cello of the Sydney Symphony after he had been principal cello at the Royal Opera House in Turin for four years. He made his debut as a soloist with SSO in 2017 with his interdisciplinary project centred on Strauss' Don Quixote and in 2018 he played the Brahms double concerto.
He recorded several CDs with concertos, solo and chamber music and, in 2017, he realized two new solo recordings for ABC Classic.
In 2018 Umberto made his conducting debut with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House and for the season 2019/2020 his main conducting appearances will include: a series of concerts with Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Canberra Symphony as artist in Residence, State orchestras of Izmir and Istanbul in Turkey, the Turin Philarmonic and Orchestra della Valle d’Aosta.
He is currently the Artistic Director of the Sydney Youth Orchestra Chamber Orchestra.
Umberto plays a 1722 Matteo Goffriller from Venice and a 1758 Carlo Antonio Testore from Milan.
DANIEL DE BORAH is one of Australia’s foremost musicians, consistently praised for the grace, finesse and imaginative intelligence of his performances.Since his prize-winning appearances at the 2004 Sydney International Piano Competition, Daniel has given recitals in UK and Australia. As a concerto soloist he has appeared with the English Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, ACO and the Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Auckland Symphony Orchestras. His festival appearances have included the Musica Viva Festival, Adelaide Festival, Huntington Estate Music Festival and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. Daniel is a founding member of Ensemble Q, ensemble-in-residence at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University since 2017. During his studies Daniel won numerous awards including 3rd Prizes at the 2004 Sydney International Piano Competition, the 2001 Tbilisi International Piano Competition and the 2000 Arthur Rubinstein in Memoriam Competition in Poland. Born in Melbourne in 1981, Daniel studied at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, the St. Petersburg State Conservatory and the Royal Academy of Music, London. His teachers have included Zsuzsa Esztó, Mira Jevtic, Nina Seryogina, Tatyana Sarkissova and Alexander Satz. Daniel now lives in Brisbane where he serves on the faculty of the Queensland Conservatorium.
Australian blues musician LLOYD SPIEGEL celebrates his 30th year on tour in 2019. He can’t recall a time before playing guitar. Picking up the instrument at age four, Lloyd played his first professional show at age ten and was touring the east coast of Australia at 12. By 16 he was on tour in the United States, cutting his teeth as a true travelling blues man. Lloyd’s travels not only honed his craft, earned him a swag of awards and brought him to take counsel with the founding fathers of modern blues – it taught him the most important part of being a blues musician: connecting with everyday people.
Lloyd has toured extensively throughout Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan, viewing himself as a social worker more than anything else – someone to help people forget about their worries for a few hours and put a smile on their face. His contributions to music have earned him myriad accolades, such as Best Artist and Best Album at the Australian Blues Awards and being named as one of Australian Guitar Magazine’s Top 50 Australian guitarists of all time.
He has also supported the likes of Ray Charles, Bob Dylan and Etta James, and sat in with masters of the blues genre such as Brownie McGhee and Luther Allison.
In 2019, Lloyd releases his tenth album ‘Cut And Run’, the final part of an unexpected trilogy about personal redemption Lloyd didn’t even realise he was writing until it was finished. Where previous albums ‘Backroads’ and ‘This Time Tomorrow’ had Lloyd asking questions and begging forgiveness for the sins of his past, on ‘Cut And Run’ he has found the tenacity to face the next chapter of his life.
First taste of the album is lead single ‘Track Her Down’, a deep and soulful blues number about the fleeting, yet precious, nature of connections he makes with people on the road and the fragility of personal relationships for a travelling musician.
Since 2004, Lloyd has been the world-wide demonstrator and premier endorsee for Cole Clark Guitars, an Australian company that designs and builds its guitars with Lloyd’s hard-hitting style in mind.
Somewhere between songwriter, social worker and truth-seeker sits Lloyd Spiegel, guitar in hand and a song at the ready.
Don’t miss this incredible talent and charismatic personality!
Led by acclaimed Persian-Australian tar player and composer, HAMED SADEGHI, EISHAN ENSEMBLE draws on contemporary and classical music traditions of both East and West. The ensemble’s repertoire consists predominantly of Sadeghi’s original compositions with diverse improvisatory idioms featured powerfully. Variously described as “Persian chamber jazz” and “Middle-Eastern jazz fusion”, Eishan Ensemble defies neat labels.
With Hamed Sadeghi on tar, PEDRAM LAYEGH on classical guitar, MICHAEL AVGENICOS on saxophone, ELSEN PRICE on double bass and ADEM YILMAZ on percussion, the layered soundscapes Eishan Ensemble create together are driven by the individual talents of each member as much as by the compositions themselves.
Formed in 2016, Eishan Ensemble have performed internationally in Iran, Malaysia, Singapore, The Philippines and Taiwan including Yilan International festival Taiwan, Plucked music festival Philippines, along with local performances across Australia.
Their concert at The Music By The Sea will be part of their 2020 national tour before they head to Portugal and Spain for their European tour.
“... casts a spell all its own... astonishing power and convulsive impact...” – John Shand, SMH ★★★★1⁄2
ELEONORA SPINA and MICHELE BENIGNETTI'S partnership as a piano duo came to fruition in 2013, and was met with positive critical acclaim. In June 2014, they were awarded the prestigious “Diplôme Supérieur d’Exécution” at the Ecole Normale De Musique “Alfred Cortot” in Paris, with mentions “à l’unanimité”. As lifelong learners, Michele and Eleonora are currently studying under the guidance of professors Igor Roma and Enrico Pace. 2019 saw them graduate with masters degrees with honors at the Maastricht Conservatorium of Music in The Netherlands.
Their acclaimed recording of Brahms’s complete works for two pianos for Brilliant Classics Records (2015) has been praised by audiences and critics alike. Many high-profile music magazines in Italy and France (Amadeus, Musica, Suonare News, Le Pianiste) regard the recording as some of their most notable work to date, subsequently awarding it with the highest possible score in 2015.
Italian critic Luca Segalla commented that "...Eleonora Spina and Michele Benignetti, with utmost care and attention to sound, precisely execute the contrapuntal game of variation no. 4, carving out a finale which makes one feel as if he’s listening to an orchestra..." (Luca Segalla of “Musica” Magazine, September 2015).
Their album ‘Lifetime’ was followed up their former work on January 2017. Released on Sheva Collection, it went on to win Gold Medals for Best Album, Best Duo and Best Emerging Artists at the 2017 Global Music Awards in California (USA). These recordings were presented by Radio France, Rai Radio3, Radio Vaticana, Rete Toscana Classica, Radio Popolare Milano, SBS Australia and Radio Suisse.
The duo performs regularly throughout Europe, and they have also toured across South Africa, Asia, Australia and the USA. 2019 has been one of their busiest years to date, with over 50 concerts played in just 6 months.
They are also professors and currently teach at the prestigious Conservatorium of Music “Cité de la Musique et de la Danse" in Soissons, in France. Additionally, they are often invited to give masterclasses in Italy, France and China.
The piano duo are Official Yamaha Artists and have been proudly sponsored by them since December 2017.
Franz Schubert “Grand Duo” Sonata for piano four hands D812
Allegro moderato, Andante Scherzo and Trio Finale
Franz Schubert Variations on an original theme in A flat major D813 for piano four hands
Franz Schubert Fantasia in f minor for piano four hands D940
RILEY LEE began playing the shakuhachi (bamboo flute) in Japan in 1971, studying was with Chikuho Sakai until 1980, and has been a student of Katsuya Yokoyama since 1984.He was given the rank of Dai Shihan (grand master) in 1980.
Riley was born in Plainview Texas USA in 1951, and moved to Shawnee Oklahoma USA in 1957, where, aged 13, he became the bass player of the award-winning rock band “The Workouts”. He and his family moved to Hawai’i in 1966. He first went to Japan in 1970, and returned in 1971, when he began his shakuhachi studies. He lived there continuously until 1977.
From 1973, Riley became the first non-Japanese to play taiko professionally, by touring internationally as a full-time performer of taiko (Japanese festival drums), yokobue (a high pitched bamboo transverse flute) and shakuhachi with Ondekoza (now called Kodo) a troupe of traditional Japanese musicians, performing with such groups as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and at venues such as Kennedy Center (Washington DC), Roundhouse Theatre (London), Espace Pierre Cardin (Paris), and the Boston Symphony Hall.
Takako Nishibori is QLD’s eminent Koto performer and a passionate educator. She brings the classic sounds of Japan alive through her mastery of the Koto.
Takako studied the Koto with Grand Master Shizu Fujino who was the last generation of students of legendary Koto performer and composer Michio Miyagi.
She commenced her studies of the Shamisen, at the age of 16. In 2000, Takako received her teaching license from the Miyagi school of Tokyo. She was placed in the top ten for all of Japan.
She moved to Brisbane in 2005 where she entered the educational sector as a teacher, using her musical talent in her classroom. At the same time, Takako started exploring new boundaries with the Koto in contemporary music to create a new style fusing Koto with other instruments.
Takako is a member of JADE New World Collectives, a QPAC ensemble in residence; and Gen, a blues/roots inspired fusion duo of guitar and multiple Japanese instruments.