Aleksandra (Sasha) Bronshtein

violin

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.

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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.

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Heather Cummins

violin

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!

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Elisabeth Anderson

cello

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.

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