ANU Cello Mini-Festival

ANU Cello Mini-Festival
ANU School of Music student Eloise Ng (cello). Image by Peter Hislop, Canberra.

Join us for the inaugural ANU Cello Mini-Festival!

This event will bring together ANU School of Music and Open School of Music staff and students and cello students from across Canberra and the region with leading cellists and teachers.



Registrations closed at 12pm on Friday 17 February.

Panel discussions registration cost $60
Community cello choir registration cost $25
Masterclasses registration cost $10
Competition/recital registration cost $30

School of Music/Open School of Music students are eligible for free registration/tickets.

Registrants may sign up for one, or all activities on offer. Please see more information below.


From 9am to 6pm on Saturday 18 February, registrants will have the opportunity to attend panel discussions on "Life and Career after earning one's BMUS (Classical Cello Performance)", mediated by David Pereira (Senior Lecturer in Classical Performance [Cello] - The Australian National University).

Registration cost: $60

Panel discussions schedule

9am: Rachel Johnston (Teacher [Cello] - The Australian National University)

10am: Patrick Suthers (Principal Cello - Canberra Symphony Orchestra)

11am: Anna McDonald (Convenor of the Women in Music program - The Australian National University, honorary cellist)

12pm: Robert Jackson (New England Conservatorium of Music, Armidale)

2pm: Jack Hobbs (Bemboka), Liam Meany and Rita Woolhouse

3pm: Zoltan Szabo (Sydney Conservatorium of Music)

4pm: Rachel Scott (Australian Children's Music Foundation, Bach in the Dark, Sydney)

5pm: Lindy Reksten (Orchestral Development Liaison - Canberra Symphony Orchestra [CSO], Cellist - CSO, DMP Chamber Program - ANU Open School of Music, Vice president - Friends of the ANU School of Music)


From 7pm to 9pm on Saturday 18 February, adult registrants may also participate in a relaxed Community Cello Choir session. 

Registration cost: $25

Led by Gillian Pereira, this event will be preceeded by a conversation on "The Adult Cello Student – possibilities and challenges for learning" with Professor Wilhelmina van Rooy at 6pm (see Wilhelmina's CV and presentation summary attached below). Cellists of all levels of skill are welcome to participate, from open string to established players.

Music will be available for rehearsal prior to the event. If you have any further questions please contact Gillian on 0407 256 235.


At 3pm on Sunday 19 February, all cellists and cello enthusiasts are invited to watch a Bach Masterclass with Zoltan Szabo, featuring ANU School of Music cello students.

Registration cost: $10


At 9am, 12pm, and 6pm on Sunday 19 February, outstanding cello students representing the most productive cello studios of our region will compete and perform in three showcase recitals.

Audience members can choose how much they pay for each ticket. All income will go towards the administration of the Cello Mini-Festival, and will help the School of Music continue to host similar events into the future!

Purchase tickets for the Cello Recitals here:

Recital Guidelines

Registration cost: $30 (this includes entry to the recital for one family member)

Upon registration, participants may opt out of performing as a competitor in the running to win several prizes; if so, players are permitted to perform only one piece, or more than one, as they please, and the minimum duration does not apply.

Primary students performing from 9am must play at least 2 contrasting works totalling 4-7 minutes. Secondary students performing from 12pm must play two contrasting works totalling 9-12 minutes. Tertiary students performing from 6pm must play two contrasting works totalling 12-15 minutes.

Recital participants may only perform in one concert. Participants may only perform works for solo cello, or cello and piano.

Recital articipants will have to organise their own associate artist if necessary (each performer must liaise directly with their assocaite artist regarding costs, rehearsals, etc.).

To ensure a high standard of entries, we appreciate that applicants will have secured endorsement from their teachers and mentors.



We truly appreciate our donors' generosity, and their passion for and commitment to the arts, which we share. Without their support, the organisation of the ANU Cello Mini-Festival in its current form would not have been possible.

We acknowledge and thank the Friends of the School of Music for their support of the ANU Cello Mini-Festival. To join the Friends of the School of Music as members, follow the link:, or simply search ‘Trybooking Friends of the School of Music’. The Friends of the School of Music is a non-profit association which aims to be a source of practical and financial support to students of the ANU School of Music. We advance musical endeavours within the School and help foster its engagement with the Canberra community. The Friends assist the School's pre-tertiary program by organising concerts to enable our young musicians to present their talents in public performances. We fund prizes to tertiary students for musical performance and academic achievement and offer ad hoc grants for projects adding substance to their musical experience. We provide a Friends Transition Award to recent graduates to assist in the transition from formal study to a professional career in music. Read about the Friends’ activities and support of students for the past year in the Friends of the School of Music Annual President's Report.

We acknowledge and thank Sophia’s Strings for their support of the ANU Cello Mini-Festival. Sophia's Strings is a family operated business in the Central Western town of Orange NSW. It is operated by Peter and Frankie Reid from their private studio and as work demands, they are assisted by their eldest son, also Peter. In 2007, Peter felt confident enough to commence advertising himself as an instrument maker. This has continued to the present day and he has made over 60 instruments. Peter has furthered his understanding and knowledge within the industry through the attendance of The Violin Society of America Oberlin series of workshops. The company’s name was changed to Sophia’s Strings in 2011 after the birth of their first grandchild, Sophia. In 2016 with Frankie’s successful receipt of her Level 1 Colour Strings certificate, instrument teaching services were introduced. Frankie has been a violinist with the Bathurst Chamber Orchestra, Colour City Chamber Orchestra and the Orange Symphony Orchestra. The company has continued to grow and now offers the hand crafting of most of the bowed instrument family (violin, viola, violoncello, double bass and Baroque violins), repairs and restorations of existing instruments, bow repairs and re-hairs, hiring of small and full section sized instruments and music education for infants up to adult. This music education includes beat and rhythm, solfege, violin teaching in Colour Strings, AMEB and Suzuki methods. Further, Peter and Frankie are on the committee of the Australian Luthiers and Archetiers Congress, with Peter being the Convenor.

We acknowledge and thank Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin for their support of the ANU Cello Mini-Festival. Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin is Australia's premium, bespoke rosin maker. Leatherwood offers customised rosin recipes to suit the demands of the soloist, chamber musician, student, teacher, or recreational player, hand made in Orange NSW with Australian ingredients and materials.

instagram: @leatherwoodrosin


We acknowledge and thank Vivaldi's for their support of the ANU Cello Mini-Festival. Vivaldi’s is a stringed instrument shop based in Epping, Sydney, that has been established since 2001. Being located in Epping, they service the Inner West, Hills District and greater Sydney area. They carry a range of violins, violas, cellos and bows suitable for beginner to advanced players. At Vivaldi’s they consider it very important for all players, even beginners, to have an instrument with a high sound quality and level of playability. This ensures that the ears and fingers will be trained correctly and the player can enjoy making music, right from the start. They have therefore chosen not to stock the very cheapest, budget instruments – everything they sell has been carefully selected, set up and tested before sale. Their address and contact details can be found on the contact page.

We acknowledge and thank Hugh Withycombe for his support of the ANU Cello Mini-Festival. Hugh Withycombe runs a full-service bowed string instrument business based nearby to the ANU in Gorman Arts Centre, Canberra. Hugh makes and repairs violins, violas, cellos. Other services include: retail and consignment sales of instruments and their bows, instrument rental and accessory sales. Hugh’s business caters to the needs of players and teachers, beginners through to professionals. Hugh grew up in Canberra and learnt cello from Jean Barrett in the 70’s and 80’s. Holding degrees in philosophy and science, from the ANU, Hugh worked for a number of years with the Australian government developing policies on international climate change issues. He became increasingly interested in the craft of violin making and took a four-year course at the Newark International School of Violin Making, graduating in 2001. After working as a restorer for a few years in London, Hugh returned again to Australia in 2003 and set up his workshop in Canberra. Hugh divides his work energy between making new instruments, repairing and restoring the old. Using his experience as a player and technical expertise Hugh enjoys working with players of all standards to optimise their instruments to obtain their best possible sound potential. Hugh has a special interest in cellos; both making and sound adjustments. Hugh believes firmly in continuing professional development and has participated at the prestigious Oberlin violin making master-classes since 2008, both as a participant and faculty member. In 2009 he coordinated the third Australasian Violin Makers’ Conference in Canberra and was a tutor and presenter at the Bathurst Conference in 2019. He regularly attends conferences, exhibitions and festivals in Australia and overseas, showcasing his instruments and representing the Australian Violin Makers Association. He is the current president this professional organisation.

We acknowledge and thank Simon Daly of The Violin Shop for his support of the ANU Cello Mini-Festival.

We acknowledge and thank Lindy Reksten for her support of the ANU Cello Mini-Festival.

Image gallery

Date & time

Sat 18 Feb 2023, 9am – Sun 19 Feb 2023, 7.30pm


Larry Sitsky Recital Room, ANU School of Music


ANU School of Music
+61 2 6125 5700


Updated:  17 February 2023/Responsible Officer:  RSHA Director/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications