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Music & Tea at Wollongong Gallery - Book Any Concert in the Series

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Dec 7, Birth and Rebirth & Premier of New Works - Paul Nicolaou, harp | Emily Su, violin | James Monro, cello 

In May, Paul Nicolaou and violinist Robert Smith delivered a stunning programme, 'Mediations by Nightfall'.  Paul returns with two musical friends and a captivating program.  Cellist James Monro is also a composer. This will be a concert of works rich with Australian composers!

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, Violin, Cello & Harp (World Premiere)

Paul Nicolaou
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 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.

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