denise-lawrence-oam-nee-mcgarvie

About

Cello

AYO: 1958-1962
AYO National Music Camp: 1958-1959, 1961-1962

I have no doubt that attending my first National Music camp at age 14 was the catalyst which launched me on the path to a career as a cellist. Being lucky enough to attend a school where music was really important, (they even had a full symphony orchestra), I was taken aback to find dozens of like-minded teenagers at my first camp and realized that I was only on the bottom rung of the ladder!

Inspired by older role models, more advanced students and the many wonderful tutors I encountered at Camps, I went home determined to work harder. The next year I was selected for AYO, and this was the beginning of a long and successful career as an orchestral and chamber musician, at first in Australia and then in Europe. For ten years I toured with my husband, Bruce Lawrence (viola) with the Deltic Trio, as section leaders of several Chamber Orchestras in the U.K., and as the lower half of a string quartet.

Returning to Australia I taught at Sydney Conservatorium and pioneered string programs in schools, as well as maintaining a very busy private studio. I have produced many very successful students and have been proud to send many to National Music Camp and to AYO. Both my sons also took part in these programmes, Adrian as a cellist and Julian as a viola player.

I was for 40 years a String Examiner with the AMEB, and Chief Examiner of Strings in the Education Department of NSW for 30 of those years. I am passionate in my commitment to seeing as many children as possible awakened to the world of music in their formative years. I have especially devoted the latter part of my career to this end and can number many professional cellists among my former students both in Australia and in Europe.

In the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours List I am proud to have received the Medal of the Order of Australia for services to music education.