Ian Sykes – Clarinet

Ian Sykes graduated with a Bachelor of Music (first class honours) from the University of Newcastle. Subsequent studies have included a Master of Music (performance) degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and private lessons in Australia and London. Ian is a busy freelance musician, dividing his time between chamber and orchestral music, music theatre and pedagogy. Ian has performed in productions of Mary Poppins – The Musical, Phantom of the Opera, South Pacific and West Side Story 2010. Ian is a founding member of Sirius Chamber Ensemble and has performed with Sydney Philharmonia, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, The Metropolitan Orchestra, NSW Police Band as well as the education programs for Musica Viva and Sydney Opera House.

Dr Alison Evans – Bassoon

Alison completed her Bachelor of Music in Performance in 1999 and her Master of Music Studies in 2000 at the Queensland Conservatorium. She then went on to complete Master of Music (Performance) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, graduating in 2005 with High Distinction. Her research thesis focussed on the bassoon compositions of the German bassoonist and composer Victor Bruns. Alison won first prize at the Queensland Double Reed Society Competition in 2003. In 2007 Alison travelled to Germany to take lessons at the Hochshule der Music Franz Liszt – Weimar. Alison returned to Sydney to undertake a PhD at the Sydney School of Public Health, The University of Sydney. Completed in 2014, her doctoral thesis focussed on applied functional anatomy of the soft palate in woodwind and brass musicians. Alison is a co-founder of Sirius Chamber Ensemble, has a keen interest in music education and multidisciplinary research, and is an active member of the Australian Society for Performing Arts Healthcare (ASPAH). Alison continues to teach bassoon privately and currently works for The University of Sydney.

Melissa Coleman – Flute

Melissa graduated from the Newcastle Conservatorium with a Bachelor of Music, having studied with Paul Curtis and James Kortum. She then went on to complete a Master of Music degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, under the tutelage of Dr Alexa Still. Melissa is an active freelance musician, who enjoys performing orchestral repertoire, music theatre, and chamber music as well as solo works. She is a core member of the Sirius Chamber Ensemble; and is especially passionate about promoting and performing contemporary Australian chamber works, and collaborating with composers in the creation of new music. Melissa also teaches the flute and piccolo, and maintains a thriving private teaching studio.

Julia Zeltzer – French Horn

After commencing her French Horn studies in Sydney and Melbourne, Julia undertook a Master of Music degree in Chicago, where she studied with Dale Clevenger, Principal French Horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. During her time abroad Julia played in various ensembles including the National Radio Orchestra of Slovenia and the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra in Japan, where she performed with the Principals of the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras under the baton of Riccardo Muti and others. Since returning to Australia, Julia has maintained a busy performing schedule appearing with orchestras such as the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, The Philharmonia Chorus Festival Orchestra, The Queensland Orchestra, Willoughby Symphony and the Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra. Julia teaches French Horn at St Aloysius’, St Josephs’ and St Ignatius’ colleges as well as at Loreto Convent School (Kirribilli).  Julia also maintains an extensive private teaching studio based in the Lower North Shore of Sydney.

Martyn Hentschel – Violin

Martyn Hentschel was born in Christchurch, New Zealand, where he lived before moving to Australia in 1999. Martyn completed a Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours at the University of Canterbury in 1998 and a Graduate Diploma and a Master of Music with Distinction in violin performance at the Australian Institute of Music in 2002, studying with Alice Waten.  He is currently a member of the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and the Sydney Philharmonia.

Georgina Price – Viola

Georgina has worked in the Sydney region as a freelance violist for a number of years. She is currently studying with Justine Marsden.  She has worked in many different musical genres including Opera and Ballet with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, large Choral works with the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, as performer in the Sydney Opera House Babies proms Orchestra for the Proms seasons, string backing for Rock performers as well as many recordings for Film, Television and Audio.

Clare Kahn – Cello

In 2003 Clare completed a Bachelor of Music with first class honours at the Canberra School of Music, under the tutelage of David Pereira.  With the aid of a University of Sydney Postgraduate Award she then undertook a Masters of Music (Performance) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, studying cello with Susan Blake. Whilst studying in Canberra Clare was the inaugural winner of the Ruth Pfanner Scholarship for Cello and was also awarded the Erica Haas Award for excellence in performance and chamber music. Clare has always enjoyed ensemble playing, especially participating in the Winter school of the Australian Festival of Chamber, playing with Ensemble Consonant, the Sydney Symphony’s Sinfonia, Live Music Sydney, the Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra, Canberra Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Romantique and the Sydney Symphony.

Claire Howard Race – Piano     

Claire Howard Race completed her Master of Music in Performance and Research at the Royal Academy of Music, studying piano with Malcolm Martineau and Iain Ledingham.  She has been awarded the Broadwood Junior Piano Accompanist Fellowship from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and in addition to winning Lieder and Accompaniment prizes at the RSAMD and the RAM, Claire has been recognised with sponsorship from the Geoffrey Parsons Trust, Tait Memorial Trust, Hope Scott Trust and the Alex Menzies Memorial Fund, the latter being awarded “to an outstanding accompanist” at the RSAMD.  Claire has performed in recitals in Mexico, Spain, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Ruhr Klassische Musik Festival in Marl, Germany, the Paisley Festival, Glasgow, the Henley Festival, London and St Martin-in-the-Fields.

3 responses to “Bios


    Looking to contact Ian Sykes to invite him to play with the Sydney Concert Orchestra in 3 concerts in 2019. Have his email as

    Kindly advise if this is correct. Many thanks,

    Steve Watson

  2. Pingback: Even-tempered retrospective – O'Connell the Music

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