Chamber Orchestra Director – National Music Camp 2018

Sophie Rowell playing the violin

As a musician you’ve had an incredibly varied career, from teaching music to performing solo. What are you up to nowadays?

I’m the Associate Concertmaster for Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. At the moment I’m playing lots of different repertoires, which is such a change from the music I was playing as part of a string quartet. Alongside MSO I’ve really enjoyed doing some teaching at the Australian National Academy of Music, and at Monash University. All in all, it’s a good combo!

When you’re as immersed in Classical music as you are, do you ever like to tune out and listen to something different?

I like listening to the news, that’s the truth! I do love a good Sunday afternoon with a bit of John Coltrane or Fats Waller; any really classy jazz and you’ll find me there! There’s also a fabulous old big band at my local pub on a Tuesday night, I’m a fan of that too.

What do you remember about being a part of AYO as a young musician?

I had a fabulous time at National Music Camp way back 1993. I was inspired enough by this experience to audition for the Australian Youth Orchestra which I absolutely loved doing. I had quite a lot of involvement with AYO for a few years after that.

What are you most looking forward to about being a director at National Music Camp?

I love the enthusiasm and dedication that comes about through living and working together for two weeks. The satisfaction when you witness the level of achievement at the end is just so wonderful. One thing I particularly enjoy about National Music Camp is having the time to explore the music and grow together as an ensemble, which isn’t always possible in day-to-day life as a musician; there’s always that added time pressure. Next year’s camp is in Adelaide, which is where I’m from, so it’s also a great excuse to spend a couple of weeks in my old hometown, even though I know how hot it gets in January!