Society News: April 2013

The Society’s next two concerts (see below) continue to showcase music and musicians of the highest standard. It is only by ensuring the Society’s financial security that we can provide these concerts. Hence, increasing our member numbers and ticket sales is an on-going priority for your committee. You can help by continuing to tell your friends about the Society and putting our brochures where potential concertgoers will find them. Brochures are available at the ticket table on concert days.

Vale John and Gwen

By now, most of you will know that March was a sad month for the Society when we saw the passing of two life members and former Presidents: John North and Gwen Marks. In this newsletter we  honour Gwen and will do likewise for John in our next newsletter.

A Celebration of Life gathering for John North will be held 5.30pm – 7.30pm, Wednesday, 1 May 2013 at the Victorian Artists Society, 430 Albert Street, East Melbourne. All who knew John are welcome to attend.

May 5 Concert

Ariel Ensemble – Sylvie Leprohon (flute) – Stephen Robinson (oboe) – Kathryn Pisani (piano)


Loeillet:          Trio sonata in F Major
Leigh:              Trio
Kats-Chernin: Charmer’s apprentice for oboe & piano
Goossens:       Pastorale et Arlequinade
Moscheles:      Concertino
Mathias:          Sonatina op.98 for flute and piano Gaubert: Tarantelle

Sylvie Leprohon grew up in Quebec, Canada and graduated from the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal. Scholarships from the Canada Council enabled her to study in Europe, first in Zürich with André Jaunet and then with Aurèle Nicolet in Freiburg, Germany where she completed a post-graduate degree.

Through her participation in Masterclasses, Sylvie has had substantial contact with other major flautists such as William Bennet, James Galway, Maxence Larrieu and Raymond Guiot. In 1983 after spending some years performing and teaching in Europe, Sylvie came to Australia and has led an active musical life first in Brisbane and since 1984 in Melbourne. She has played flute and piccolo with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra, the

Australian Pops Orchestra and the State Orchestra of Victoria. Since 1992, Sylvie has developed a career as chamber musician and soloist. She has performed with many ensembles such as Ensemble Variante, Trio Vivace and Ariel Ensemble. Sylvie teaches flute at Monash University, Genazzano FCJ College and Kilvington Grammar.

Stephen Robinson is Principal Oboist of  Orchestra Victoria. He was born in Melbourne and studied at the University of Melbourne, the Victorian College of the Arts, and the Musikhochschule Freiburg with the renowned oboist Heinz Holliger. Stephen has been Guest Solo Oboist with I Solisti Veneti and has held positions in the Queensland Theatre Orchestra and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed as principal oboist with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. As a member of Australia’s acclaimed contemporary music ensemble Elision, he has played at festivals throughout the world and has performed with the European chamber group Ensemble Modern. Stephen’s CD Bright Vessel featuring first recordings of Australian oboe works by composers such as Richard Mills, Larry Sitsky and Elena Kats-Chernin was released on the Tall Poppies label in 2009.

Stephen lectures in oboe at the University of Melbourne, Monash University and the Victorian College of the Arts. He is a founding member of the wind chamber group Melbourne Windpower.

Kathryn Pisani (piano). After studies with Robert Chamberlain, Mack Jost and Roger Heagney, Kathryn graduated from the Australian Catholic University with a Bachelor of Music with Honours, majoring in piano performance and specialising in accompaniment and ensemble playing. Since that time, Kathryn has had considerable experience accompanying singers and instrumentalists in a repertoire ranging from medieval to contemporary, has performed for the University of Melbourne, the VCA and ACU, worked as a repetiteur in opera and musical theatre productions and taught at a number of leading Melbourne schools.

June 2 Concert

Anna McMichael (violin) – Daniel de Borah (piano)


Bach  Violin Partita No.3 in E major, BWV 1006
Schumann: Sonata No.3 for violin & piano WoO 27
C.Schumann: 3 Romances for violin and piano Op.22
Brahms : Four pieces for piano, Op.119
Bartok: Rhapsody No.1 for violin & piano Sz. 86

Anna McMichael is an Australian-born violinist who returned to live in Australia in 2010 after 17 years in Europe performing in many of the major ensembles and orchestras. Since her return, Anna has performed at three Canberra International Music Festivals as guest artist, been a soloist and member of Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and guest associate concertmaster of Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Anna has tutored at ANAM, the Canberra School of Music and appeared with the Australian World Orchestra in 2011 and 2013. In 2013, she  is recording old and new Lullabies for the Tall Poppies label together with pianist Tamara Anna Cislowska.

Australian pianist Daniel de Borah (formerly Hill) was 3rd prize winner at the 2004 Sydney International Piano Competition and has since appeared as soloist with the English Chamber Orchestra, the London Mozart Players and with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Barbican and Cadogan Hall, London. He has given recitals at major venues and festivals throughout the UK including return visits to Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall (Manchester) and St David’s Cardiff.

In Australia, Daniel has performed concertos with the Sydney, Adelaide and Canberra Symphony Orchestras, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria. Increasingly acknowledged as a sensitive chamber musician, he has partnered many leading soloists. In 2012 Daniel undertook a national tour with the Australian String Quartet. He now divides his time between Melbourne and London.

Gwen Marks

Gwen was born on 12 June 1920, the only child of Jack Marks and Hilda (née King). For nearly half her life she lived in the family home at 1 Downs St, Brunswick. She attended Brunswick Primary School and Essendon High School where she completed her. Leaving Honours year in 1937. She began work almost immediately at the offices of the Victorian Auditor General in the Old Treasury Building. She worked as a comptometrist. This gave Gwen a knowledge of and insight into finance which was to become of much value to the Society in later years.

As her father had been, Gwen was a keen bowls player. She was a Life Member of the Greythorn Bowls Club. She was also a member of the Royal Commonwealth Society. Gwen began attending the then British Music Society concerts in the early 1980s and became a financial member of the Society in 1986. She was elected to the committee in the mid-1990s when her background in auditing became helpful to the Society’s financial workings. She was elected Vice-president and then President (1998). She had a warm personality and made many friends in those years. Ill-health obliged her to retire in 2006 but she was made a Life Member of the Society at that year’s Annual General Meeting.

Gwen’s 90th birthday celebration in 2010 was a particularly joyful occasion. Another former President of the Society, John North played his viola and her eyes lit up! Gwen was admitted to care in 2007 at “Millward” in East Doncaster, where the staff were fond of her cheerful disposition. She died peacefully on 26 March and will be remembered with much affection by those who knew her.

Many thanks to Elisabeth White, Ian Collings (Gwen’s cousin) and John Perry for help with this tribute.

Zelman Orchestra 80th Anniversary

The Zelman Memorial Symphony Orchestra is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year with two performances of Mahler’s Symphony No 8. The concerts will feature some 630 people on stage: an enlarged orchestra of 120, top class soloists and a choir of over 500. They will take place in Melbourne Town Hall on Saturday 21 September at 8:00pm and Sunday 22 September at 4:30 pm. If you can, please support this organization which, like ours, has set the foundations for fine music performance and appreciation in Melbourne. Details/online bookings: