The Canberra Symphony Orchestra (CSO) is a professional part-time orchestra that brings together dedicated musicians from the Canberra region and further afield. The CSO is enriched by the diverse experiences and expertise of its players, many of whom are also teachers, scientists, policymakers and arts administrators among other professions and callings.
CHIEF CONDUCTOR & ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Award-winning conductor Jessica Cottis, named ‘2019 Classical “Face to Watch”’ (The Times, UK), is much in demand, working regularly with leading orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Singapore Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Opéra Orchestre national Montpellier, new music ensembles such as London Sinfonietta and Bang on a Can, as well as numerous re-invitations at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and the prestigious BBC Proms. She has recorded for the BBC, ABC, and Decca Classics labels.
One of the most outstanding Australian conductors working today, 2022 marks Jessica Cottis’s second season as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra. Under her leadership, the orchestra has already developed a number of important new initiatives, including significant commissions and championing of Australian works. Recognised for her engaging, wide-ranging and thought-provoking programming, Cottis’ domain is music of the 19th to 21st centuries. This season she will conduct major works by Wagner, Sibelius and Stravinsky in Canberra, and make highly anticipated debuts with orchestras including Bremer Philharmoniker, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Opéra National de Bordeaux, Oslo Philharmonic, and Royal Danish Opera.
A gifted communicator, Jessica works widely as an advocate for classical music. Described as a “cool, contained, super-articulate and engaging” (The Scotsman), she is a frequent contributor on BBC radio and television, commenting on a wide range of arts-related topics, from opera to architecture, synaesthesia, the environment, and acoustics.
Jessica Cottis’ early musical career was as an organist. Awarded first class honours at the Australian National University, she continued her studies in Paris with pioneering French organist Marie-Claire Alain. After a wrist injury halted her playing career, she began conducting studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London, studying with Colin Metters and Sir Colin Davis. She went on to serve as Assistant Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and at the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, where she worked closely with mentors Sir Donald Runnicles, Charles Dutoit, and Vladimir Ashkenazy. More recently she was honoured with the title of Associate of the Royal Academy.
Jessica Cottis resides in London, and outside of music pursues her passion for butterflies all over the world.
The following is an alphabetical list of CSO players for 2021–22
Kirsten Williams* Sponsored by Glen & Lucille Halloran
Leanne Bear, Anthony Chan, Georgia Chan, Tahni Chan, Jack Chenoweth, Tobias Chisnall, Samantha Chiu, Lauren Davis, Dominique Gallery, Jenny Higgs, Michelle Higgs, Valerie Jackson, Jocelyn James, Andrew Lorenz, Douglas Macnicol, Lucy Macourt, Annastasia Milwain, Erin Patrick, Claire Phillips, Madeleine Retter, Dan Russell, Irene de Silva, Pip Thompson, Tim Wickham, Matthew Witney
Lucy Carrigy-Ryan Sponsored by OPF Consulting, Ben Carvalho, Elizabeth Chalker, Julia Clancy, Robert Harris, Freyja Meany, Iska Sampson, Yona Su, Caroline Suthers, Jo Tobin, Alina Zamfir
Julia Janiszewski, Liam Meany, James Monro, Samuel Payne, Emma Rayner, Lindy Reksten Sponsored by RA David Campbell AM (Retd), Alex Voorhoeve
Isabella Brown Sponsored by Janet Compton, David Flynn Sponsored by Ingrid Mitchell, Ethan Ireland, Hayley Manning Sponsored by Anne Caine & Jim Lumbers, Kyle Ramsay-Daniel, Hayley Witmore
Alexandra Castle, Teresa Rabe, Lisa Ring, Rebecca Timoney Sponsored by Jane Batts
Lisa Ring, Kiri Sollis
Callum Hogan, Julie Igglesden, Caitlin McAnulty
Julie Igglesden, Caitlin McAnulty
Rachel Best Allen, Sam Kelson-Gray, Benn Sutcliffe
Rachel Best Allen
Rachel Best Allen, Sam Kelson-Gray, Benn Sutcliffe
Michael Favreau, Thomas Fell, Benn Sutcliffe, Joe Taylor, Lauren Thurlow
Matthew Kneale∞, Jordan London, Jordy Meulenbroeks, Kristen Sutcliffe
Dianna Gaetjens* The Principal French Horn chair is sponsored by Prof Brian Schmidt and Dr Jenny Gordon
Carly Brown, Victoria Chatterley, Adrian Hallam, Ben Jacks∞, Michael Jackson, Lotti Ropert, Dianne Tan, Philip Wilson
Zach Raffan, Greg Stenning, Brendon Tasker, Julie Watson
Michael Bailey, Chris Retter
Colin Burrows, Darren Cole, Clayton Fiander, Brett Page, Chris Retter
Veronica Bailey, Louis Sharpe
Thomas Chalker, Rachel Cope, John Dewhurst, Steve Fitzgerald, Gary France, Louis Sharpe, Tim Watson
BANJO / GUITAR
Sidney Brien, David Flynn
Edward Neeman, Stephanie Neeman, Susanne Powell, Katrina Tang
The Keyboard chair is supported by the Eldon and Anne Foote Trust, a charitable fund account of Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation