Born in Turin, Italy, Umberto Clerici started studying the cello with the Suzuki method at the age of five. He continued his studies at the Conservatorium of Music in Turin under Antonio Mosca and mastered his art with Mario Brunello, David Géringas and Julius Berger. At the age of 19, Clerici won the Istituzioni Concertistico Orchestrali contest which launched his career as a soloist, debuting with 13 orchestras in the next 3 years. Umberto went on to receive several other prizes including the Janigro Competition in Zagreb, the Rostropovich in Paris and, in 2011, at the Čajkovskij in Moscow making him the second Italian cellist in the history of the Čajkovskij Prize to receive this award, after his former teacher, Mario Brunello.

As a concerto solosit, Clerici performed internationally with innumerable orchestras including the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic, the Moscow Russian State Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Wien, the Zagreb Philharmonic, the Orchestra of Florence and the Istanbul Symphonic Orchestra, performing in some of the most prestigious concert venues including Carnegie Hall, the Musikverein, the Great Shostakovich Hall in Saint Petersburg, the Parco della Musica Auditorium in Rome and the Sydney Opera House. In 2012 he played Čajkovskij's Variations on a Rococo theme with the Turin Teatro Regio Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev.With an extensive list of highly acclaimed solo recordings to his name, Clerici’s next step was to explore orchestral repertoire and to experience the interactions that take place in this genre.  Clerici started sectional playing and took on appointments as principal cellist with Lorin Maazel's Toscanini Philharmonic Orchestra and the Scala Philharmonic Orchestra. Clerici was appointed as principal cello the Teatro Regio in Turin for 4 years under Gianandrea Noseda and in 2014, accepted the Principal Cellist position with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Umberto is also engaged as Lecturer in Cello at Sydney University.

In 2017 Clerici began studying conducting with Eduardo Diazmunoz, Conducting Professor at Sydney University and sees conducting as a natural evolution of his multifaceted career and as result of his collaborations with orchestras as principal cellist and soloist. This performance with the WPO marks Umberto’s first conducting collaboration and we are thrilled to welcome him to the WPO family.


Brad Lucas completed his Bachelor of Music Performance (Euphonium) in 2014 under the tutelage of Scott Kinmont at the Sydney Conservatroium. He has played as a casual musician with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and with both the Australian International Symphony Orchestra Institute (AISOI) and The Musicians Project. As a soloist he was a finalist in the Fine Music FM ‘Young Virtuoso Award’ in 2015. He is also a founding member of the Sydney Ophicleide Quartet and a casual lecturer of Euphonium at the Sydney Conservatorium, various other schools, and is the Low Brass Tutor for the Department of Education’s ‘The Arts Unit’.

As a conductor Brad has worked with previous WPO Conductor, Dr Anthony Clarke as well as Dr John Lynch and Stephen Williams. Brad conducts multiple school ensembles and in 2017 he took the Symphonic Wind Orchestra from the Department of Education’s ‘The Arts Unit’ on their tour of the Riverena

Louis Sharpe is a prominent young conductor in Sydney who was born and raised in Newcastle, NSW. He began studying music from a very early age at the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music. Louis discovered that drums were his passion and his skills on this instrument earned a coveted position at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School in 2007. In 2010, Louis completed his secondary education with a focus on orchestral percussion and conducting. 

While studying at the University of Melbourne, Louis moved towards conducting and co founded the Hopkins Sinfonia. In 2013 he become the Music Director of the Hopkins Sinfonia and, after three successful seasons, Louis conducted their last performance in late 2016. In early 2016 he won a position at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music to study conducting under the tutelage and guidance of the head of the conducting department, Maestro Eduardo Diazmunoz, as well as Maestro Stephen Mould,and Maestro Neil McEwan. Brad is currently enrolled in the Masters of Music Performance program which he will complete in November this year. 

In 2017 Louis was appointed as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Eastern Sydney Chamber Orchestra and Guest Conductor with the North Sydney Symphony Orchestra