Aleksandra (Sasha) Bronshtein


Aleksandra Bronshtein, Lithuanian-born violinist, obtained her music degree from Klaipeda University, Lithuania, graduating as a qualified violinist, teacher and string orchestra conductor. After graduation she worked as a violin tutor in a number of education institutions, including Klaipeda University, and was a first violinist in the Mazosios Lietuvos Symphony Orchestra (which from 1997-2001 staged tours to Poland, Russia, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands and Austria) and the Klaipeda Music Theatre Orchestra.

Since arriving in Australia in October 2001, Aleksandra has established herself in the Melbourne music scene. She was a member of the Istana quartet (2002-2008), which represented Monash University in tours to Singapore and Malaysia as well as undertaking numerous performing engagements for the university in Victoria. She regularly appears as Associate Concertmaster in the Melbourne Opera Company, as well as freelancing with various Melbourne music groups, including performing with ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, Royal Melbourne Philharmonic, and in the orchestra accompanying the Australian National Boys Choir for their Hamer Hall Christmas Concert series.

Aleksandra is a highly regarded violin teacher and ensemble director. As well as teaching at Princes Hill Primary School, since 2007 Alexsandra has made a major contribution to the regional Victorian music scene. She teaches in Woodend in the Macedon Ranges, and has previously worked with the Resonance String Orchestra.

Posted on Categories Players

Concert 2016

Castlemaine – Buda Garden Room
Sunday 23rd October 2016, 3.00pm


Bach – 5th Suite for solo cello, played by Sam Goble
Bartok – Duos for 2 Violins
Mozart – String Quintet in G Minor

Fintan Murphy

violin, viola

Fintan performs as a recitalist and chamber musician. Fintan works closely with composers editing and performing new works and has released 14 CD and DVD recordings. He directs the Melbourne String Ensemble, a youth orchestra specializing in small ensemble repertoire and chamber music for strings. He has worked as a guest conductor and soloist with many youth orchestras in Europe including: the orchestra of Manresa Conservatory, Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa and Junge Kammerorchester Stuttgart, He currently teaches violin and string pedagogy at Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School and Melbourne University.

Emma Wade


Emma hails from Sydney. After completing a Bachelor of Music (Hons) in viola performance at the University of Newcastle she returned to Sydney and worked as a peripatetic music teacher and performer, setting up several primary school string programs, string ensembles, Celtic ensembles and her String Quartet Bachetal. In 2006-08, Emma completed a Master of Music with Specialist Strings Study at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester (UK), while performing across the concert halls of northern England with a variety of ensembles including her String Quartet Corroboree, the Stockport and Wilmslow Symphony Orchestras, Manchester Camerata, Manchester Chamber Players and Halle Players. Emma now lives in Castlemaine and works across the region as an instrumental teacher in schools, and as a violist with Quartet Conspirito and Castlemaine Chamber Players. Together with colleague Heather Cummins she began the student string orchestra Resonance, now in its sixth year.

Frances Gall

violin, viola

At the University of Melbourne Frances finished a B.A. in history and art while playing viola in the Australian Youth Orchestra and at National Music camps. She then studied viola with Robert Pikler at the Sydney Conservatorium, followed by Paul O’Brien, Marco van Pagee and Janet Mason at the Victorian College of the Arts. Suzuki and Kodaly method studies and a Diploma of Education developed her interest in music education. In Melbourne Frances played as a freelance viola player with Orchestra Victoria, and in the Trio Istar string trio which presented classical and contemporary popular music arranged by John Nisbet.

On moving to Castlemaine Frances taught violin and viola at Castlemaine Secondary College for six years, and co-founded Castlemaine Chamber Players. She now teaches violin in her Suzuki method studio in Castlemaine, and in her playing she explores jazz improvisation as well as classical viola and violin repertoire.

Posted on Categories Players

Sam Goble


Sam Goble finished his degree of Masters studying under Tim Walden and Josie Vains in 2006 at the Victorian College of the Arts. In 1996 he was awarded a Melbourne Symphony Young Artist Award for which he chose the Saint-Saens Cello Concerto in A minor to workshop and broadcast. Other awards include the Piers Coetmore Scholarship for Cellists, Atheneum award for chamber music, and in 1999 he won the John Gaitskell Mensa Memorial Award for the most outstanding end of degree recital for that year. In 2000, Sam toured with the Cologne Youth Philharmonic through Wales and Northern France, in part as soloist. Returning to Australia in 2001, he in 2002 recommenced study for honours, again at VCA. In 2004 he completed the first year of his Masters degree and went to Germany to study at the Hannover Hochschule fur Musik und Theater in Hanover Germany for three semesters with Tilmann Wick returning in 2006. He now works as a teacher and freelance cellist in central Victoria.

Heather Cummins


Heather’s driving professional passion is to create and participate in musical communities that are inclusive, joyful and musically engaged. She is committed to the development of community music opportunities in regional areas. She is Co-Artistic Director of Resonance String Orchestra, a vibrant regional community music initiative based in Castlemaine and Woodend. She also holds the position of Principal Second Violin with Bendigo Symphony Orchestra and is a member of the BSO Artistic Council. She holds a Bachelor of Music (Hons) from the University of Melbourne, majoring in Pedagogy and Ethnomusicology, and has studied violin with Deborah Fox, Andrea Keeble and William Hennessey. For eight years she was a member of Quartet ConSpirito, who were also Quartet in Residence for Resonance. Heather currently holds the position of Violin and Viola teacher at Castlemaine Secondary College. She has a private teaching practice and is an experienced VCE teacher with past students successfully auditioning for music degrees at Melbourne and Monash Universities. She adores playing in Castlemaine Chamber Players!

Posted on Categories Players

Elisabeth Anderson


Elisabeth studied with Miriam Morris at the Victorian College of the Arts, completing her degree in 1989. She did further postgraduate studies with Nelson Cooke (London Symphony Orchestra) and David Berlin (Melbourne Symphony) and worked as a freelance musician and teacher in and around Melbourne before coming to live in Castlemaine with her three children. She is passionate about music education and teaches cello and directs ensembles at Castlemaine Secondary College. As often as possible Elisabeth performs with chamber ensembles and as soloist. Elisabeth sang soprano with the 8 piece vocal group, 37 Degrees South, which specialized in contemporary classical music. She recently completed a Masters of Primary Teaching.

Posted on Categories Players

Concert 2015

Castlemaine Steiner School

Saturday 24th October, 3pm

Following the success of their sell-out concert last year featuring Brahms’ first string sextet, Castlemaine Chamber Players return this year to present Brahms’ second string sextet and Fintan Murphy performs another exquisite solo Bach suite.

Brahms – String Sextet No 2 in G

Bach – Solo played by Fintan Murphy

Schubert – String Quintet in C, 1st movement

Carl Vine – String Quintet, 1st movement

In an unusual pairing, Castlemaine Chamber Players will play the first movement of the famous String Quintet in C by Schubert, one of the masterworks of the chamber music repertoire. This is followed with the first movement of Carl Vine’s 2009 String Quintet, composed as a concert companion to Schubert’s quintet, and dedicated to human rights lawyer Julian Burnside.

Concert 2014

Castlemaine Art Gallery
Saturday Nov.15th 2014 7pm

Luigi Boccherini 1743-1805
Cello quintet in C Major Op.28/No.4

Boccherini was an Italian composer who worked in Spain at the royal court. He was a prolific composer, writing over 100 works for string quintet alone. Boccherini was a cellist and the first cello part is virtuosic, often in a higher register than the first violin. There are sounds imitating bird calls, shimmering textures with fast overlapping notes and many trills. Influences of Spanish dances and refined 18th century court life are there, with musical jokes in the fast movements and exquisite pathos in the slow 3rd movement, ‘Grave’. This Quintet in C features the famous Rondo that is often played inan arrangement for cello and piano.

J.S. Bach 1685-1750
Suite for Solo Cello No.5
in C Minor

This suite of movements based on French 18th century court dances is one of six suites by Bach for solo cello that push the boundaries of the form and do not appear to have been performed in Bach’s lifetime. They were studied and performed by Pablo Casals in the 20th century and have since become important solo works for cello and viola players. Fintan Murphy plays this solo suite on viola. Prelude, Allemande, Corrente, Sarabande, Gavottes and Gigue are the six movements.

Johannes Brahms 1833-1897
String Sextet No.1 in Bb Major

This piece for two violins, two viola and two cellos is one of the masterpieces of the Romantic chamber music repertoire. With six voices instead of the usual four Brahms creates rich harmonies and adds even more depth with double stops. Brahms’ music features sophisticated use of syncopation. Melodies and accompaniments occur in different timings so the overall effect is of fluid ever-changing movement. In true Romantic style there is a lush string tone. The melodic invention is extraordinary, with different melodies invoking characters of grandeur and storms, contrasted with charm and lightness.