Birth & Rebirth | Harp, Viola & Cello | Wollongong Art Gallery
EMERGING CONCERT ARTIST SERIES is an opportunity to meet and hear exceptional young musicians in our community and to discover new music. The performer's dedication and passion offer audiences an uplifting concert and an opportunity to share the musical journey of our next generation of musicians.
In May, Paul Nicolaou and violinist Robert Smith delivered a stunning programme, 'Mediations by Nightfall'. Paul returns with cellist and composer James Monro and violist Sarah Zhu with a new program, including two world premieres.
Birth and Rebirth is a program of works inspired by the spark of life from the Renaissance to the Present Day.
Austin Wintory, Nascence, Viola, Cello & Harp
Elena Kats-Chernin, Blue Silence, Viola, Cello & Harp
Charles Tessier, Quand le flambeau du monde (When the torch of the world), Viola, Cello & Harp
James Monro, Saturated Reflection, Viola, Cello & Harp (8’) (World Premiere)
Maurice Ravel, Kaddisch' from Deux mélodies hébraïques, Viola & Harp =
Paul Hindemith, Lied: „Ihr Freunde, hänget“ - Sehr langsam from Sonate für Harfe, Solo Harp
Astor Piazzola, Oblivion, Cello & Harp
Paul Nicolaou, Of Light, Divided, Viola, Cello & Harp (World Premiere)
Paul is an emerging harpist and composer based in Sydney, Australia. He has quickly gained international recognition as a creative and virtuosic young artist, receiving the Most Outstanding Performer Award at the 2022 Sydney Harp Eisteddfod, 2021 Monash University Emerging Composer Prize, and was a winner of the 2022 Artology 'Fanfare' Competition. He was also shortlisted for ABC Classic's 2022 Composer Commissioning Fund and was offered a scholarship from the highly prestigious Manhattan School of Music.
Paul studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music under the tutelage of internationally celebrated harpist Alice Giles AM. He has established himself as an accomplished and sought-after performer, appearing as Principal Harpist of the Australian Youth Orchestra, Bishop Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Fellowship Ensemble, Aussie Pops Orchestra, Willoughby Symphony Orchestra and The Sydney Youth Orchestra.\
Paul's artistry has been widely acknowledged, with Mark Walton expressing, "[Paul] plays with a profound musicality… This skill usually takes years to develop, and he understands it already. Every single note he played fitted into this glorious soundscape."
Sarah Zhu comes from a background in piano; Sarah now thrives as a violist. Originally from Canberra, she is currently based in Sydney, studying under Roger Benedict at Sydney Conservatorium. Notable musical experiences include playing with orchestras such as the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, APEX Ensemble and Australian Youth Orchestra and performing with her quartet in the 2022 Australian Chamber Music Festival as part of their Winterschool program. In her spare time, when she is not immersed in a classical chamber or orchestral music project, Sarah enjoys exploring a variety of other genres of music on viola, including folk, pop, and screen music.
James Monro is in his second year at the Australian National University, studying mathematics, physics, and music. He loves to explore the cross-contamination between the three, believing that each area enriches the understanding and appreciation of the others.
James holds the Friends of the ANU School of Music Performance Scholarship and the Ruth Pfanner Undergraduate Scholarship. He is a member of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Youth Orchestra and is the principal cellist in the ANU Orchestra. In January 2023, James was the principal cello of the National Music Camp Chamber Orchestra.
James is a solo and chamber musician as much as he is an orchestral musician, performing the Dvorak and Shostakovich cello concertos with orchestras in 2022, described by reviewers as a "dynamo on the cello", and "outstanding… every note clear, expressive and emotionally warm". He also composed and performed one of his solo cello compositions for Musica Viva at Government House.
He is part of the Ellery string quartet, which delivers "youthful enthusiasm, unbridled passionate, confident playing and fine music". The quartet won the First Prize and the People's Choice award in the 2022 ANU School of Music chamber music awards.
In 2021, James was awarded a bronze medal in the International Physics Olympiad and competed in the International Linguistics Olympiad. In 2020, he won the rank of recitalist in the National Youth Concerto Competition, and his piano trio received the Druce Family prize in Musica Viva's Strike a Chord competition. In 2019, he received his LMusA.
James studies with Rachel Johnston and plays an English cello made by George Withers in 1910.