Freelance Multi-Instrumentalist Composer Arranger

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Bio

Biography (short)

I'm an internationally touring classically trained violinist, pianist/keyboardist, and guitarist, based in New York City and Sydney. 
I'm comfortable in a wide variety of musical styles, acoustic and amplified, and have more than a decade of critically acclaimed professional experience in:
-live performance (solo and ensemble/band)
-session recording
-composition, arrangement, and soundtrack creation
-instrumental and musical theory tuition.

For inquiries please contact me via Booking.
 

 

Biography (less short)

"Sit down, son. This is important."
-My dad putting Led Zeppelin I on for me when I was 14.

When I was 6, my kindergarten teacher suggested I'd be the kind of kid who'd take to an instrument - the violin in particular. Taking it on faith the adults knew something I didn't, I started on violin shortly thereafter, kicking off my ongoing obsession with the instrument and music generally. I added piano the next year, and guitar a few years after that. Piano has almost always played second fiddle to my violin studies, however I have performed with distinction on the instrument most notably in a performance of Mendelssohn's demanding Piano Trio No. 1 for a capacity audience at Sydney Town Hall in 2000. Guitar filled in time between the other two, but was my principle instrument in my first band and continues to prove an invaluable addition to my composition and recording work. I've been writing music for as long as I've been playing it. I have won awards for my work - classical and otherwise - from the age of 10 (winning a state composition competition with a four movement string quartet inspired by the Australian rainforest).

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As a founding member of the Nova Youth Orchestra, I received a wonderful education in ensemble playing. Thanks to the dedication of its brilliant musical directors and supportive parents, the NYO grew to become Sydney's premiere youth string orchestra. Over the course of my 11 years of regular membership, I toured with them nationally and internationally, composed and arranged works which were performed on those tours and locally, and went on to serve as concertmaster for 4 years until 2002 when I left Australia for the US - though leaving was as much a surprise to me as anyone.

I first heard of the United World College by chance the week scholarship applications to attend were due. The mission statement of the place resonated with ideals that were already very dear to me - present in the people I thought of as my heroes and the role of music in the world:

"Through international education, experience and community service, United World Colleges enable young people to become responsible citizens, politically and environmentally aware, and committed to the ideals of peace and justice, understanding and cooperation, and the implementation of these ideals through action and personal example."

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I was excited at the prospect of doing my best to live up to that. There were a lot of good reasons my application shouldn't have made it in on time - most bizarrely, contending with the unexpected peculiarities of rural Italian post office hours. I often think back on how unlikely it all was, and how easily I might not have proceeded down a path that has so deeply affected me and the course of my life.

I was the sole Australian recipient of a full scholarship to attend one of 10 UWC's around the world that year - one of 200 students representing over 90 countries. I was surrounded by some of the most wonderfully passionate idealists I've had the pleasure of knowing before or since, in the beautiful desert of the Rocky Mountains of New Mexico. Musically, I was involved in establishing a children's chorus with the local primary/elementary school-aged children in the area who had no such program available at the time (I'm very proud that this program continues to run under the leadership of the staff and successive classes), a chamber ensemble, two bands, while performing for local nursing homes and the community generally.

On completing my studies at the UWC, I accepted a full scholarship to join the class of 2008 at Princeton University as a Davis Scholar. I hadn't yet decided on my professional direction, but music had always been central to my life. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (International Relations) as well as the highest qualification available from Princeton in instrumental performance (Certificate in Musical Performance) for my work with the Princeton University Orchestra (serving as co-concertmaster in 2007/2008), in string quartets directed by members of the Brentano String Quartet (in residence at the university), and in a solo recital in my senior year of J.S. Bach, Eugène Ysaÿe, Ross Edwards, and Pablo de Sarasate.

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At Princeton, I met Josh Hirshfeld (mandolin, vocals), Geoff McDonald (cello, vocals), Tyler Pines (drums, vocals), and Evan Younger (bass, lead vocals) and together we formed the orchestral pop band, Miracles of Modern Science. I was struck immediately by the creative and musical dedication and strength of each of them. Together with the unusual instrumental line-up for the kind of intricate instrumental-heavy indie pop we played, we were convinced there was value in pushing the project professionally. MOMS moved to New York City in 2008, weathered its charming-but-ultimately-regrettable spacesuit-wearing phase, and has since released 2 full length albums and 1 EP, toured nationally and internationally, and received critical acclaim from the likes of the New York Times, NPR, and SPIN to name a few.

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Since moving to New York City: I have created soundtracks for film and web series; spent several years working for the Harmony Program, a music education non-profit inspired by "El Sistema" as a musical director, and violin/general music teacher; taught music theory and violin privately; and have been engaged in recording sessions and freelance performances with a wide range of artists, some of which I feature among my projects - particularly my ongoing association with Christopher Paul Stelling. In 2016 I featured as a top story on Strings Magazine's home page playing alongside Christopher. In 2017 I had the pleasure of performing with Christopher in 14 countries over the course of roughly 8 months on the road together. Among our performances were showcases at the prestigious Newport Folk Festival and Winnipeg Folk Festival - at the latter I had the privilege of performing with the legendary Peter Yarrow (of Peter Paul and Mary), in front of audiences thousands-strong.

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Music has been and remains, the love of my life. I've seen first hand its ability to wordlessly connect people who have never met, heal hurts, and bring joy where there wasn't. It gives certainty to our shared humanity and the ephemeral beauty of a moment. I have been very fortunate to take part in wonderful adventures, and to continue to meet people who profoundly affect and inspire me through my dedication to this art.
To and for all, I am eternally grateful and look forward to the next stop on this journey.

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