Chamber Music Concerts
Jo St. Leon (viola) & Stuart Thomson (double bass)
Tickets $10 At the Door
Post-concert afternoon tea will be available.
The Elanée ensembleFormed in 2009 to showcase the beauties of the viola/double bass duo in chamber music, Elanée has become well-known throughout Tasmania for their lively, high-quality performances and their innovative programming. Through an extensive commissioning project, they have made a significant contribution to the duo repertoire, and more recently, the viola/bass/piano trio repertoire. In addition to performing throughout Tsmania, they have undertaken two Vicorian tours, and played double concertos with the Hobart Chamber Orchestra and at the Residential Summer String Camp held annually in Ulverstone, where they are Ensemble-in-Residence.
Jo St.LeonJo studied the viola with Christopher Marting in Melbourne and Frederick Riddle in London. During her many years in London, she held Principal positions with the English National Ballet, Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet and the English Touring Opera. She was a member of the London Philharmonic Orchestra for thirteen years and their Education Director for two years. She was a regular freelance player ith the English Chamber Orchestra, the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. As a chamber musician, Jo was a member of the Priory trio for 6 years, and played regularly with the Orchestra of St. John's Chamber Ensemble and Endymion Ensemble, with whom she premiered many works of contemporary British composers. She has appeared as soloist in the UK, Australia, China and South America.
Since returning to Australia late in 2006, Jo has held positions as Lecturer in Viola at the Tasmanian Conservatorium and Head of Strings at St. Michael's Collegiate. She has appeared as Guest Principal Viola with the Melbourne Symphony Orhcestra and was a member of the Diemen Quartet from 2011 - 2013. She is currently the violist of the Elanée Ensemble, plays regularly with Virtuosi Tasmania and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, teaches at the UTas Conservatorium and has a large private teching studio. She tutors annually at the Australian International Symphony Orchestra Institute in Hobart and the Residential Summer String Camp in Ulverstone, Tasmania.
Stuart ThomsonBorn in the UK, Stuart played with many of the UK's orchestras, before leaving the UK to positions in Hong Kong and Australia. After several years holding positions in the Sydney and Queensland orchestras, Stuart moved to Tasmania in 2003, to take up the post of principal bass with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Stuart made his third appearance as soloist with the TSO in March 2015 with the Australian premiere performance of Tan Dun's new double bass concerto, The Wolf. Stuart teaches privately and at the Conservatorium in Hobart.
Jennifer Marten-SmithJennifer Marten-Smith grew up in Tasmania and at age 12 was invited to study with Professor Gediga-Glombitza at the Musikhochschule in Cologne. At age 16 she made her public debut with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra as soloist in Schumann's A minor Piano Concerto, having previously recorded the Rimsky-Korsakov Piano Concerto with the TSO. Two years later she performed the Rubinstein Piano Concerto No 4 with the TSO and, that same year, was the youngest graduate of the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music, where she was awarded a high distinction as a double major in piano performance and accompaniment.
Other concertos in her repertoire include works by Beethoven, Brahms, Dohnányi, Mozart, Saint-Saëns and Tchaikovsky, and she has appeared as soloist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Niedersächsisches Staatsorchester Hannover. In 1989 she began work as a répétiteur with the State Opera of South Australia and subsequently joined the Victorian State Opera Young Artist Programme. Between 1997 and 2001 she was répétiteur at the Staatsoper Hannover and was also a member of the chamber group Trio Médard. She was a full-time member of the music staff with Opera Australia from 2001 to 2012. She has more than 90 operas in her repertoire. Jennifer is now living in Hobart and is in demand as a vocal coach and accompanist.
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