Charisma was founded by clarinettist Roslyn Dunlop and cellist Julia Ryder in 1995 to explore and develop music for clarinet and cello. David Miller joined the group in 2003. The group has premiered many works and enjoys an international reputation for lively and virtuosic music-making, receiving critical acclaim for tours in Australasia and Europe. Charisma moves easily across all kinds of musical boundaries – from classical to blues, avant-garde to tangos, and minimalist to multimedia works. The marriage of styles has led to performances in unconventional venues such as jazz clubs, art galleries, bars and open spaces as well as traditional concert halls.
Penny Quartet have gained a reputation as a driven and multifaceted voice in Australian chamber music. Founded in early 2014, the group brings a vibrant approach to their performances across the country.
Penny Quartet regularly collaborate and record with various composers and musicians, both independently and as Festival artists. They have been part of the “Local Heroes” subscription series at the Melbourne Recital Centre since late 2017 and are two-time recipients of the MRC Contemporary Masters Award.
Melbourne String Ensemble is a dynamic youth string orchestra that offers exciting performance opportunities. The Melbourne String Ensemble was founded in 1985 and has a proud history of promoting excellence in music performance. Students perform high quality and challenging repertoire and develop individually as musicians while learning sophisticated ensemble skills in a variety of ensemble settings. Recent major works performed have included Schoenberg’s Transfigured night and Carl Vine’s Smith’s Alchemy.
Accademia Arcadia is a Baroque chamber ensemble of high originality. Known simply as Arcadia, this company was formed by Jacqueline Ogeil in 2001 to explore the trio sonata, cantata, early opera and grand liturgical music genres.
Its annual performances in the Woodend Winter Art Festival have been a popular feature, including liturgical gems with the outstanding chamber choir Ensemble Gombert. As well as the Baroque operas, first Australian performances with original instruments include Domenico Scarlatti cantatas, Haydn’s Harmoniemesse and Vivaldi’s Vespers.
Since winning the ANAM Chamber Music Competition in their inaugural year, Affinity Quartet has established itself as one of Australia’s leading string quartets. Their international touring has included critically acclaimed performances in Europe at the Amsterdam String Quartet Biennale, Festival Les Voix Intimes Belgium, Fondazione Cini Venice, Mirabell Palace Salzburg; and in the UK at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Southbank Centre, City Music Society, and Prussia Cove International Musicians Seminar.
Awarded a fellowship at the Australian National Academy of Music upon their formation in late 2013, they became Musica Viva Australia’s inaugural FutureMakers musicians from 2015–17. They have brought their brand of energetic, joyful and spontaneous performance to festival stages in almost every state and territory in the country; concert halls across mainland China; and listeners around the world through broadcasts of the BBC Proms Australia chamber music series. And they have revelled in musical partnerships with internationally renowned performers including the Australian String Quartet; piano virtuosi Lambert Orkis, Paavali Jumppanen and Anna Goldsworthy; and woodwind masters Ole Kristian Dahl and Thorsten Johanns.
Founded by cellist John Painter in November 1975, the ACO has travelled a remarkable road to become one of Australia’s most dynamic performing arts organisations.
Since taking up the leadership of the ACO in 1990, Artistic Director Richard Tognetti has transformed the Orchestra into a major cultural export, performing over 100 times per year in concert halls around Australia and the world.
The Consort of Melbourne is Melbourne’s premier vocal ensemble, comprising eight of this city’s finest chamber singers under the artistic direction of Steven Hodgson. Typically performing a capella (unaccompanied) with one singer per part, The Consort of Melbourne champions both historic and contemporary repertoire, bringing 1000 years of vocal music to life with an intimacy and verve that leaves audiences spellbound. Our programmes include celebrated masterpieces heard alongside lesser-known gems, exploring the full expressive potential of human voices combined.
Daphnis Ensemble is an exciting Melbourne-based chamber ensemble. We perform traditional and contemporary works for piano, cello, and more!
Duo Chamber Melange is a wonderful partnership between internationally acclaimed musicians, Ivana Tomaskova (violin) and Tamara Smolyar (piano).
Each of them has produced numerous recordings for national and international broadcasters and performed in many prominent venues across three continents.
A number of composers have written music for them as soloists and chamber musicians.
Duo Eclettico was formed by Justin Kenealy and Coady Green to explore the wealth of repertoire available for this unique combination of instruments. Kenealy and Green share a passion for programming important existing repertoire, dazzling new transcriptions, and working with composers to further the breadth of repertoire for this ensemble.
Ensemble Françaix is thrilled to share with listeners the joy of mixed ensemble collaboration, inspired by the wit and vibrancy of the 20th-century neoclassical French composer Jean Françaix. The Melbourne-based group was founded in 2016 by oboist Emmanuel Cassimatis (MSO, MCO), bassoonist Matthew Kneale (MSO, TSO, OV, Arcadia Winds) and pianist Nicholas Young (Finalist ABC Young Performers Awards 2011), who together form the ensemble’s core as a ’double-reeded’ piano trio. The ensemble incorporates further emerging and established Australian performers as guest artists according to the instrumental needs of each concert program, crafting unique sound palettes for each recital experience that especially celebrate the neglected virtuosity and versatility of woodwinds.
Ensemble Gombert is Melbourne’s outstanding chamber choir, noted for its pure intonation and historic approach to choral sound and style. Named after Nicolas Gombert (c. 1495 – 1560), who has been largely ignored in the twentieth century despite an exemplary reputation amongst his contemporaries, the Ensemble specialises in a cappella performance of Franco-Flemish music of the High Renaissance.
Described by Limelight magazine as a ‘national treasure’, Ensemble Liaison is one of Australia’s leading internationally acclaimed ensembles. They are renowned for their captivating and engaging performances, appealing to audiences from all walks of life. They presented their first concert series at The Edge, Melbourne, in 2007 and have become known as a tour de force, recognised for imaginative and innovative programming, setting the trend for brilliant collaborations with leading artists. They have performed across Australia and New Zealand, including a ten-concert tour for Chamber Music New Zealand, and appearances at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Government House, UKARIA, Musica Viva Australia, Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, Port Fairy Spring Music Festival and the Woodend Winter Arts Festival, and in 2012 gave a series of festival performances in Central Europe. Critics have hailed their performances with superlatives such as ‘spellbinding’, ‘flawless’, ‘a revelation’, ‘moving’ and ‘joyous’.
The Fidelio Quartet has been described as one of the most exciting forces on Melbourne’s Concert stage, offering a depth of intimacy with the performance of Beethoven. Each member of the Fidelio Quartet has an enviable reputation among the finest artists in Australia.
Firebird Trio – like its mythical counterpart which shone magically through the darkness – sheds light on music from all epochs. Founded in 2010, Firebird Trio has performed nationwide to critical acclaim, with a vibrancy of imagination that echoes its name. Described by The Australian as “an ensemble of immense energy and focus” and praised in The Age for their “togetherness, charisma and playfulness”, Firebird Trio has performed around Australia including for Musica Viva, Noosa LongWeekend Festival, Coffs Harbour Music Society, Camberwell Music Society, Macedon Music, Melbourne Recital Centre, 3MBS Marathon and ABC Sunday Live. Their performances are regularly heard on ABC Classic FM and 3MBS FM.
Flinders Quartet (FQ) is instantly recognisable as one of Australia’s most loved chamber music ensembles. A quartet for the twenty-first century, FQ approaches its third decade with acknowledged musical skill and maturity. The group’s dynamic and stirring performances of a full spectrum of repertoire have audiences and critics articulating their esteem, and the quartet is a highly-respected force in Australian chamber music.
Forest Collective is a not for profit artist collective focusing on contemporary classical music, dance and collaboration.
We commission, create, and present various art forms, often giving independent artists a platform to develop their practice and reach new audiences. Under the direction of composer and conductor Evan J Lawson, Forest Collective is run by a team of creative practitioners who strive to enrich audiences through multidisciplinary, innovative, collaborative, experimental, and traditional art forms from early career and established artists.
We pride ourselves on giving a voice to underperformed and underrepresented artists.
Genesis Baroque is a Melbourne-based period chamber orchestra founded by Artistic Director and violinist, Jennifer Kirsner, and directed by baroque violinist Lucinda Moon. The ensemble comprises some of Australia’s finest historically-informed performers, and aims to explore the spontaneity, imagination, and richness of music from the 17th and 18th centuries through its intimate concerts at the Abbotsford Convent and regional performances across Victoria.
Golden Gate Brass brings a joy and energy to its playing that is nothing short of inspiring. Michael Olsen (trumpet), Fletcher Cox (trumpet), Aidan Gabriels (horn), Jackson Bankovic (trombone) and Jason Catchpowle (tuba) formed the band while studying at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM), and this meeting of young musical minds has proven to be a winning combination ever since.
Inventi Ensemble have established themselves in Melbourne and are a leading force in Australian chamber music. Award winning performances in Australia’s leading concert halls and at festivals around the country have led to an enthusiastic following of their innovative programming and outstanding performance style. Inventi performances can range from a duo or trio, through to a chamber orchestra of 20 players. They are one of the most prolific chamber ensembles in Australia, with over 40 diverse concerts in their 2019 season. Inventi is an exciting voice in Australian music.
“We are four individuals whose lives were brought together when we first formed as a string quartet for a music ensemble elective at university. However, we quickly realised that our mutual love and appreciation for string quartet would last far beyond a semester and decided to make this a lifetime commitment. We love exploring the unparalleled classical string quartet repertoire as well as collaborating with artists from all walks of life – from contemporary composers to R&B and neo-soul music producers – we strive to create music that will resonate with people in any way. Our goal is to share this ever evolving world of music with everyone.”
Zoe Black and Joe Chindamo are routinely described as edgy and a welcome new and unique voice to Australian Chamber music: their music is inclusive because it is informed by the rigour of classical music and the excitement and urbanity of jazz.
Their concert performances and two CD releases REIMAGININGS and DIDO’S LAMENT have met with highest acclaim from critics and peers.
The duo is also committed to presenting new music, much of which is composed by Joe Chindamo.
Described as ‘masterful’, ‘positively ecstatic’ and ‘profoundly moving, subtle and exuberant’, the KIAZMA Piano Duo brings together the infectious musical synergy of pianists Aura Go and Tomoe Kawabata. Equally at home in two-piano and four-hand repertoire from the baroque to the present day, KIAZMA is passionate about sharing the unique combination of intimacy, intricacy, dynamism and power that each medium has to offer. The pair has recorded a highly-praised CD, Five Rocks in a Japanese Garden, which features first recordings of works by five of Japan’s foremost contemporary composers. KIAZMA has presented regular concert series at the Melbourne Recital Centre since 2016, a regional tour in 2018 and has undertaken ambitious projects such as a new take on J.S. Bach’s The Art of Fugue. As performer-composers, the duo is developing a new collaborative work with acclaimed director/designer Clare Britton and dancer/choreographer Kristina Chan. KIAZMA is committed to the performance of new, rarely-performed and undervalued repertoire.
La Compañia unfailingly embodies repertoire with a unique blend of precision, flexibility and joyful musicality. The celebrated Renaissance band unearths some of the most beautiful and fascinating music of the 16th and early 17th centuries with virtuosity and flair.
Ludovico’s Band is one of Australia’s most dynamic baroque bands. Taking its name from the influential 16th century Spanish harpist, Ludovico, the band is acclaimed for its performances of music from the 16th to the 18th centuries, including the great works from the Italian and Spanish baroque.
Formed in 2002, the ensemble emerged from the desire to create a predominately plucked basso continuo band, while highlighting the solo repertoire of early plucked instruments. Led by Marshall McGuire (harp) and Tommie Andersson (theorbo/lute), it includes Ruth Wilkinson and Samantha Cohen.
Comprising some of Australia’s top brass musicians, Lyrebird Brass is a collective of artists dedicated to performing the finest brass chamber music. The group’s mission is twofold: to engage Australian audiences through exceptional artistry and accessible programming, and to expand repertoire through new commissions with a particular emphasis on Australian music and works by composers from underrepresented demographics. Members have performed across the globe in many of the world’s premiere ensembles, each bringing a unique musical background to the troupe . Lyrebird Brass is the first professional Australian brass ensemble to feature women as core members.
The Melbourne Baroque Orchestra was founded in 2015 by Rosanne Hunt (cello), Shane Lestideau and David Irving (violins), and Greg Dikmans (flute), and enjoys the patronage of Elizabeth Wallfisch.
The orchestra hosts its own annual concert series in and around Melbourne. These near sell-out concerts bring audiences marvellous performances of fine baroque and classical repertoire on original instruments and showcase the outstanding qualities of our local players.
The Melbourne Baroque Orchestra regularly collaborates with the Australian Chamber Choir, the Choir of Newman College and Polyphonic Voices. The support of the Robert Salzer Foundation, Creative Partnerships Australia, and our growing family of generous private donors is gratefully acknowledged.
Melbourne Chamber Orchestra is Victoria’s preeminent small orchestra and the leading independent Victorian chamber music organisation. For over 25 years, the orchestra has created a distinctive orchestral practice, with a collegial ethos, exploratory programming, and ambitious regional touring. The orchestra’s Artistic Director William Hennessy AM.
Lauded for its outstanding performances, Melbourne Chamber Players performs cornerstones of the repertoire and rare gems by lesser-known luminaries.
Directed by clarinetist Justin Beere, the ensemble features the next generation of the country’s most compelling music makers.
The ensemble has enjoyed an active life on stage with performances across Melbourne and regional Victoria, including live recordings for 3MBS Radio. Featuring regularly the Melbourne Recital Centre’s “Local Heroes” series, the ensemble looks forward to presenting many cherished pillars of the chamber music repertoire.
Formed in 2005, the Melbourne Guitar Quartet (MGQ) is a vibrant guitar based ensemble dedicated to the development of chamber music repertoire for the instrument. Utilising the unique concept of the Guitar Family of instruments (classical bass guitar, baritone guitar, standard guitar, treble guitar and octave guitar), the award-winning MGQ are continuously cultivating ground-breaking arrangements of major works for this idiom.
The Melbourne Musicians, founded by Frank Pam in 1975, comprises leading freelance players, including string teachers at Melbourne’s foremost private schools, and advanced students from institutions such as the Australian National Academy of Music.
The repertoire is very large, ranging from the 17th century to the present, including works by some Australians and some premieres. There is an emphasis on the best 18th century composers and the orchestra has earned a reputation for excellent performances of Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Haydn and Mozart.
The Melbourne Octet was formed with the aim of presenting contemporary works to audiences both in Australia and internationally, as well as familiar, well-loved repertoire. We bring a combined experience in ensemble singing that allows us to explore rarely heard works, and we aim to provide a platform for Australian composers.
Natasha Conrau – violin
Lucy Warren – violin
Suying Aw – viola
Eleanor Streatfield – cello
The Muses’ Delight are musical explorers who join with guest artists to open a window to the past, illuminating historic works that still spark wonder today, centuries after they were first performed.
The Orpheus Trio formed in early 2012. Comprising pianist Helena Kernaghan, violinist Kaori Sparks & cellist Sam Goble, the trio enjoy the challenge of being an interstate, rural dwelling ensemble with members calling Albury & Castlemaine home.
Orpheus have established themselves as one of Australia’s leading regional chamber ensembles, which was assisted by their role as ensemble-in-residence for the 2016-2019 Albury Chamber Music Festival’s. Throughout this time they collaborated with a diverse range of musicians including soprano Merlyn Quaife, clarinettist David Griffiths, and mezzo soprano Sally-Anne Russell.
As Musica Viva Australia’s 2020 – 2022 Futuremaker artists, the award-winning Partridge String Quartet are fast becoming a force within the Australian classical music scene as one of the leading string quartets of its generation.
PCM was born from the desire to create opportunities and a sense of place for Peninsula based classical musicians. Now, it draws together highly skilled musicians from across the Peninsula and beyond. PCM has achieved recognition and support from members of Melbourne’s professional orchestral community.
Melbourne ensemble PLEXUS brings together the talents of three of Melbourne’s most vibrant and versatile musicians, Monica Curro (violin), Philip Arkinstall (clarinet), and Stefan Cassomenos (piano). The name PLEXUS reflects this ensemble’s devotion to supporting and engaging an ever-growing network of exceptional artists across a variety of disciplines. Since launching in 2014, PLEXUS has commissioned over 100 new works.
Acclaimed Melbourne string quartet Quartz unites violinists Kathryn Taylor and Philippa West, violist Merewyn Bramble and cellist Zoe Wallace in refreshing concerts of classical and contemporary repertoire. Frequently collaborating with sought-after Australian artists, Quartz’s vibrant performances are a confluence of Australian musical talent and world-class technique.
The members of Rathdowne Quartet were first drawn to each other out of a mutual interest for discovering music we believe to be of equal relevance and cultural value as the great pre-20th Century quartets. Circumstance finally brought us all to Melbourne, and an ensemble dedicated to bringing newfangled energies to the great quartets was born, as well as an enthusiasm for the championing and commissioning of new contemporary works.
Rubiks is one of Melbourne’s most dynamic contemporary art music ensembles, bringing together Australia’s most exciting and versatile young performers. Since debuting in 2015, the ensemble has been hailed as “a formidable contribution to Australia’s growing community of contemporary music makers” (Partial Durations) and commended for “incredibly personal, strangely spiritual and ultimately deeply touching” performances (Limelight Magazine). With a particular interest in storytelling and cross-art collaboration, Rubiks has quickly established a reputation for excellence, delighting audiences with their unique programming and dazzling virtuosity.
Chamber Music Concerts of Character
Salon Project is a Melbourne chamber music ensemble made up of dynamic and friendly musicians that host regular concerts in intimate settings like the salons of yesteryear.
Come and experience the magic of live classical music!
Solstice are a contemporary piano trio based in Melbourne. The trio formed in 2015, drawn together by a mutual desire to break the piano trio out of its classical music traditions with new repertoire, new performance venues, and a new audience.
The trio have spent the last five years engaging in genre-crossing collaborations, curating performances which extend the concert experience beyond usual expectations, allowing space for moments of social connection and the sharing of ideas.
Syzygy Ensemble came into being in the summer of 2009, formed by close friends Laila Engle, Julia Stoppa and Leigh Harrold. Things moved pretty quickly after that – in the following twelve months, Syzygy expanded into a quintet, won first prize in the chamber music section of the Australian Concerto and Vocal Competition, and were the only Australian group selected to compete in the 2011 Gaudeamus International Interpreter’s Award in Amsterdam.
Central to the The Parlour’s philosophy is the idea that fine music performance can be enjoyed in a relaxed and intimate environment, often away from the conventions of the concert hall. Salons, drawing-rooms and lounges were once considered legitimate performance venues with a wealth of compositions created for them. These works gain a richer context when exhibited in their intended spaces. The Parlour focuses on the sung story-telling of Art Song and ballad, often spinning a cabaret-like narrative to bring the program together as a collection.
Trio Avium members are Ros Bandt on recorders, Ruth Wilkinson on recorder and equally versatile on the viola da gamba, and Cynthia O’Brien virtuosic on baroque violin.
As the name suggests, Trio Avium specialise in baroque music involving birdsong. They have performed at the Castlemaine Festival, and as far afield as the Victoria International Arts Festival in Malta. They have made a recording titled “Bird Song” with Orpheus Music.
Wattleseed Ensemble brings together some of Australia’s most exciting historical string players with a love of storytelling through music. Combining medieval, baroque, folk, and modern contemporary music, they create fascinating, intimate sound worlds.
Every year violinist Wilma Smith puts together three different groups and appealing programs including beloved masterpieces, premieres and undiscovered gems. Emerging young artists and established colleagues working together produce a musical chemistry that has become a special feature.
Wilma & Friends perform around Victoria, interstate, and in New Zealand but home base is one of Melbourne’s finest chamber music venues, Ian Roach Hall at Scotch College, Hawthorn.
If you’re a Victorian-based chamber ensemble and not listed here, drop us a line with a link to your website or Facebook page.
If you’re not here it’s not because we don’t love you, it’s because you haven’t yet got on our radar.