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CSO Mixtape: Tim Wickham

Portrait of Tim Wickham with violin

Tim Wickham, CSO Violinist (Image: Martin Ollman)

Canberra violinist Tim Wickham has over thirty years of musical practice, performance and ensemble experience to share.

Tim moved to Canberra from Maitland, New South Wales, in 2001. He studied at the  Australian National University’s School of Music with Barbara Jane Gilby, graduating in 2005. Tim has also studied at the University of Newcastle Conservatorium and the Queensland Conservatorium of Music with Elizabeth Hollowell and Alan Smith.

Tim first performed with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra (CSO) in 2004, for a season of Swan Lake at the Canberra Theatre with the touring Kiev Ballet. He is now a prolific performer with the CSO and across the wider Canberra music industry.

Tim has toured and performed in remote and regional parts of Australia, as well as destinations in Singapore, Malaysia, Austria, Switzerland, and Germany with Adelaide-based opera company, Co-Opera. Tim is proficient in contemporary and improvised electric violin methods and enjoys sharing sound with audiences of all types.

In addition to his performance activities, Tim is a sought-after local violin teacher and ensemble conductor. He believes humour is a key element of the learning process! More about Tim

Selected listening notes

Download listening guide / profile (PDF 814KB)

This eclectic playlist features some of my favourite composers and performing artists. I hope you hear something new and interesting amongst the sounds. Enjoy!

VIVALDI Concerto for Violin and Strings in F minor, op. 8, no. 4 – ‘Winter’

This ARIA award-winning recording by Barbara Jane Gilby, Geoffrey Lancaster and the Tasmanian Symphony Chamber Players evokes the frosty and chilling chords of the Canberra winter season – something I’m sure we can all relate to!

TCHAIKOVSKY Swan Lake, op. 20, Act IV – Finale

I chose this familiar work as Tchaikovsky is one of the great masters of lush melodic themes. Every time I hear this work, it takes me back to my first ever CSO performance season back in 2004.

NIGEL KENNEDY The Four Elements – ‘Air’

I have included this interesting work by UK violinist Nigel Kennedy as I feel it explores diverse violin sounds through both acoustic and electric mediums.  ‘Air’ is a movement from Kennedy’s 2011 album ‘The Four Elements’. The album features Kennedy on most of the instruments recorded – not just the violin!

THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS We’ve Got to Try

I included this work by British electronic music duo The Chemical Brothers as I really like the combination of electronic beats and acoustic string lines.

Curator profile: Tim Wickham

Download listening guide / profile (PDF 814KB)

How did you come to be a musician?

I started violin at age four. I later took up brass playing as there weren’t any string ensembles in my hometown of Maitland, New South Wales. My love of the violin, and its magical musical voice, has always been my main focus though.

Tell us a bit about someone who had a formative influence on you in your creative development.

Whilst there are many people who have significantly influenced, encouraged and assisted my musical evolutions, I would say that my mentors and peers at the ANU School of Music (during the early 2000s) were some of the most influential. Many of these people are also current and past musicians of the CSO.

How did you come across the repertoire in this playlist? 

My playlist consists of an eclectic mix of music that I have either performed or really enjoy listening to. I hope my neighbours also like the sounds!

How would you be enjoying this music in ideal conditions? 

While live music has its raw and powerful energy, recorded studio music is certainly one of the great marvels of the modern musical world, especially for electronic music. I recommend you experience my playlist on a quality hi-fi system, or headphones, at appropriate volume levels. Turn it up to 11!

Describe a memorable music experience you enjoyed as an audience member.

Experiencing the Vienna Philharmonic perform Debussy’s La Mer at the Wiener Musikverein, conducted by Zubin Mehta.

Describe your best and worst gigs.

The best would have to be a wedding gig in the Hunter Valley, where I was taken for an aerobatic flight in a Pitts Special stunt plane. It went tiddley up-up, and tiddley down-down!

The worst gig…no comment!

Name something meaningful you’ve received as a gift. What made it special?

One of my violins was purchased and gifted to me by my late grandfather, Merv MacFarlane. It was made in London in the early 1800s by a notable Italian luthier family. It’s a privilege to be the current custodian of this amazing musical tool.

Are you a cat person or a dog person?

While I have neither, cats seem to like me more!

Name a composer you admire (and tell us why)

I admire Brisbane-based Australian composer Robert Davidson. So much of his music is a unique and fitting reflection on the modern and strange political times we live in.

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