WPO SOLOISTS - 2020
PAUL CHEUNG - PIANO
Paul Cheung is one of Australia’s most promising young pianists. He is a student of Tamara Anna Cislowska, and completed a postgraduate diploma (piano accompaniment) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music studying with David Miller AM, where he received multiple scholarships.
Paul is in high demand as a chamber pianist and accompanist, having recently won the inaugural David Miller award. He is an associate artist for the Rising Stars program, and official accompanist for the Sydney Eisteddfod. Paul has also had considerable success as a solo pianist, having won prizes at a variety of competitions and eisteddfods. Paul has performed a number of concerti including Rachmaninoff’s 2nd and Beethoven's "Emperor". Paul has performed solo, concerto, chamber, and orchestral repertoire in a variety of venues across Australia, including the Concert Hall and Utzon Room of the Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Recital Centre, and the Sydney Town Hall, working with musicians from the SSO fellowship and the SSO. He has participated in the Australian Youth Orchestra’s chamber players program as well as the July season, and has performed with Momentum Ensemble.
Aside from piano-playing, Paul is also interested in mathematics. In 2008, he was a silver medallist at the International Mathematical Olympiad in Madrid. In mid 2012, he was awarded a Bachelor of Science (advanced mathematics), with first class honours and the university medal, majoring in pure maths.
CHRISTINA LEONARD - SAXOPHONE
Christina Leonard grew up in rural NSW and is one of Australia’s leading Saxophonists. She has performed both nationally and Internationally and has been a featured player with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Sydeny Symphony Orchestra, Opera Australia Orchestra. Australian Chamber Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Australian World Orchestra. She has toured with SSO and AWO internationally and ABO and ACO nationally.
Christina was awarded a Postgraduate in Advanced Instrumental Studies from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, with the support of a Queens Trust Scholarship and she is the Artistic Director of the Australian World Orchestra’s Chamber Music Festival in the Southern Highlands. Christina has made many recordings and live broadcasts for both ABC Classic and Fine Music, and has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician at many national music festivals. In 2019 Christina performed at the Four Winds Festival in Bermagui where amongst other concerts she performed in the premiere of ‘Mulga Bills Bicycle’ a children’s show that she co-wrote with Elena Kats-Chernin AO. Last year Christina also wrote children’s shows for both the Sydney Writers Festival and the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra.
Christina is a keen collaborator with artists from very diverse musical backgrounds, she has performed and recorded with Tabla player Bobby Singh and Sitarist Sarangan Siranganathan, Jazz musicians Matt McMahon and Jonathan Zwartz, and Classical Accordionist James Crabb. In 2019 she recorded the album ‘Wind Song’ with shakuhachi player Riley Lee and Elena Kats-Chernin. In 2020 she will perform again at the Canberra International Music Festival.
Christina is the first Australian to be endorsed as an International Artist with Japanese instrument maker Yanagisawa and initiated the development and production of a new ligature ‘Yani-SIXS’ which has been released on the international market.
DIMITRI ASHKENAZY - CLARINET
Born in 1969 in New York, Dimitri Ashkenazy began playing the piano at the age of six and then switched to the clarinet under the tuition of Giambattista Sisini, with whom he continued studying when he entered the Conservatory of Lucerne in 1989.
Since completing his studies, he has gone on to perform widely, both as soloist and chamber musician. On tour, he has appeared at the Royal Festival Hall in London with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, at the Hollywood Bowl with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, at the Sydney Opera House with the Sydney Symphony and SBS Youth Orchestras, at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and in Japan with the Japan Philharmonic, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony and Mito Chamber Orchestras.
In addition to the major concertos for the clarinet, his repertoire extends to include contemporary works such as Peter Maxwell Davies' Strathclyde Concerto No.4, which he has performed with the composer himself conducting at venues around Europe (and at the composer's 80th Birthday Prom with Ben Gernon conducting), and Krzysztof Penderecki's own transcription of his Viola Concerto with the composer himself conducting both in Poland and on tour in Spain.
He also gave the world premiere performances of concertos by Marco Tutino (with the Filarmonici della Scala, Milan) and Filippo del Corno (with the orchestra «I Pomeriggi Musicali»), and of Peter Maxwell Davies' Clarinet Quintet «Hymn to ArtemisLocheia» (with the Brodsky Quartet at the Lucerne Festival). An active chamber musician, he has performed with the Kodály, Endellion, Heath, Brodsky and Faust Quartets and with partners such as Barbara Bonney, Helmut Deutsch, Bernd Glemser, David Golub, Edita Gruberova, Ariane Haering, Antonio Meneses, Cristina Ortiz, Maria João Pires, and of course his brother Vovka, his father Vladimir Ashkenazy, and violist Ada Meinich, with whom he shares his life. In addition to his concert activity, Dimitri Ashkenazy has made numerous CD (paladino, Orlando, Pan Classics, Decca, DUX, Ondine), radio (Radio Nacional de España, France Musiques, Radio della Svizzera Italiana, DeutschlandRadio) and television recordings, and been invited to give master classes in Australia, Spain, Romania, New Zealand, Singapore, Iceland, Switzerland and the U.S.
DAVID LOONAM - VIOLA