Classical Performance

Classical performance for the 21st century.

Career opportunities   Learn from the best   How to apply

Student playing violin to a large audience in Elder Hall

Join us

Located in the heart of Adelaide’s cultural precinct, the Elder Conservatorium presents an outstanding team of internationally renowned musicians offering a breadth of opportunities and training essential for today’s classical musician.

In a supportive and flexible environment, all students receive rigorous instruction in their chosen specialty supported by core subjects including aural, harmony, music theory, rhythm training and music history. 

Ensemble playing is considered essential for students at all stages of their degree. You will perform each semester in at least two of our many ensembles, from chamber music to symphony orchestra with a range of styles from baroque through to the contemporary Music Lab.

Student’s individual talents are nurtured through a wide range of relevant, tailor-made courses, with the BMus Advanced program offering intensive performance training. 

What you'll study

Bachelor of Music (Classical Performance)

You’ll receive one-on-one instrumental training and attend masterclasses within your specialisation. We offer the following instruments:

  • classical brass (trumpet, trombone, tuba, French horn, euphonium)
  • classical keyboard (piano, organ, harpsichord)
  • classical percussion
  • classical strings (violin, viola, cello, double bass, guitar, harp)
  • classical woodwind (flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, saxophone, recorder)


Making music in ensembles is a vital part of our programs. Find out more about the ensembles you can take part in.

Find out more

  • Elizabeth Layton | Violin

    Elizabeth Layton

    Dr Elizabeth Layton (FHEA UK) is Head of Classical Performance and Senior Lecturer, violin, at the Elder Conservatorium of Music.

    Described as ‘one of the most outstanding performers of her generation’ (The Strad), Elizabeth enjoys a varied career performing recitals and chamber music throughout Australia and New Zealand.

    Born in London, Elizabeth studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School where, aged twelve, she was invited to join Hephzibah and Yehudi Menuhin for a chamber music concert to celebrate the latter’s Golden Jubilee, broadcast by the BBC from the Royal Festival Hall, London. She continued her studies at the Juilliard School, New York with Dorothy DeLay and Masao Kawasaki, going on to win the Young Concert Artists Trust Competition.

    Elizabeth made her UK concerto debut with the Philharmonia and appeared as soloist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, English Sinfonia, Calgary Philharmonic, City of Barcelona Symphony, Lahti Symphony and many others. Festival appearances include Bath, Edinburgh, Harrogate, Cheltenham, Valencia, Gstaad and numerous music societies.

    She has toured chamber music worldwide with the Nash Ensemble, also performing with the Australia Ensemble, Australia Piano Quartet, Ensemble Q, Selby&Friends, Australian String Quartet and Flinders String Quartet. Chamber music festivals include the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Music by the Springs, Coriole Festival, Coramba Festival, Port Fairy Spring Festival, Bendigo Festival, George Town Festival, Penang, MCO Concert Series, ASO ‘She Speaks’ Festival, and at the Melbourne Recital Centre. Broadcasts by the ABC presented her on Sunday Live in recital and as soloist in Raymond Hanson’s Violin Concerto with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

    CD recordings include the complete Beethoven piano trios (nominated for a Gramophone Award), violin and piano works by Schubert (Daily Telegraph ‘CD Choice’), Beethoven Folksongs (DG), chamber music by Ravel, Schubert, Brahms, Fauré and Shostakovich (Hyperion, Naxos, BIS and Chandos). 20th Century repertoire includes Arvo Part’s Passio with the Hilliard Ensemble and a critically acclaimed CD of Jonathan Harvey’s ‘Scena’ for solo violin with the BBC SSO under Ilan Volkov (NMC). Recent releases include chamber music with oboe (Bax, Britten, Bridge), Boccherini complete chamber music with flute, and a three CD project of chamber music by William Shield (Naxos).

    Elizabeth was Concertmaster of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Associate Leader of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, regularly broadcasting for the BBC as soloist and director. She is a regular guest concertmaster with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and been guest leader with symphony orchestras in Sydney, Melbourne, Queensland, Tasmania, Auckland and Wellington. Passionate about directing orchestras from the violin, she has collaborated with soloists including Michael Collins, Alison Balsom and Martin Roscoe for the BBC, and was guest director of the Scottish Ensemble, Manchester Camerata and Ambache Ensemble. She regularly works in this capacity with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, also directing the Lamda Chamber Orchestra at AYO National Music Camp. She is director of the Elder Conservatorium Chamber Orchestra, giving performances every semester in the Elder Hall Concert Series and in venues around Australia.

    Elizabeth taught in London at the Guildhall School Junior Department and at the Royal Scottish Conservatoire, Glasgow. She continues her wider commitment to music education tutoring at the Australian Youth Orchestra Chamber Music Course, and giving masterclasses in South Australia, Victoria, ACT, at the University of Queensland and VCASS Melbourne, as well as working regularly with AUSTA. Elizabeth received her doctorate from the University of Adelaide in 2019 and in 2021 was awarded Fellowship of the Higher Education Authority, UK. She is currently an Artistic Director of the Thursday Recital Series at Adelaide’s Baroque Concert Hall.

  • Rob Nairn | Double Bass

    Rob Nairn

    Returning to Australia from the U.S. in 2017 Rob was appointed as an Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, taking over as head of the Early Music department and director of graduate studies. From 2020 – 2022 he held the position of ‘Master Musician in Residence’ at the Elder Conservatorium of Music. 

    Rob previous taught on the faculty of the Juilliard School for 11 years, at Penn State University for 18 years where he was a Distinguished Professor, and as a Kulas Visiting Artist at Case Western Reserve University. He is past-president of the International Society of Bassists from whom he received a Recognition Award for Historical Performance in 2009 (the third ever given). He hosted the Society’s 2009 Convention at Penn State University bringing together over 2,600 people from 32 countries for 6 days. In 2008 he was awarded a Howard Foundation Fellowship from Brown University. 

    Rob received his Bachelor of Music with distinction from the Canberra School of Music and a post-graduate diploma from the Berlin Musikhochschule by courtesy of a two-year DAAD German Government Scholarship. His teachers have included Klaus Stoll, Tom Martin, and Max McBride. 

    Rob’s performing experience covers Contemporary, Jazz, traditional Orchestral, and Historical Performance Ensembles, with a career that has spanned Europe, the U.S. and Australasia. He has performed with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony, The Gothenburg Symphony, The Oslo Philharmonic, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, The Melbourne, and West Australian Symphonies, the Tasmanian Symphony Chamber Players, the Australia Ensemble, The Australian World Orchestra and the Australian String Quartet. He has acted as guest Principle Bassist with the Halle Orchestra, the London Mozart players, the Sydney and Queensland Symphony Orchestras, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, The Australian Opera Orchestra, and held the position of Principle bass with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. As a soloist he has performed concerti with the Australian Chamber, Adelaide and Darwin symphony orchestras and Handel and Haydn Society. 

    Rob has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, Sony Classical, EMI, Naxos, Virgin, Tall Poppies, RCA, Decca, Channel Classics and ABC Classics and can be heard on over 60 commercial CD recordings. Recent releases include Louise Farrenc quintet for piano and strings with Ironwood on ABC Classics, a CD of music for double bass and viola duos by American composers, Barry Coyngham’s double bass concerto on ‘Move’, and his first solo CD, entitled ‘Tremor’, was released on the U.S. ‘Ablaze’ label in 2022.  

    His recording on the English ‘Coro’ label of Mozart’s “Per Questa Balla Mano” was the first on Viennese bass and his duo CD of the repertoire of Dragonetti and Lindley was released in Oct 2012. A review in the ‘Strad’ described how the players ‘demonstrate their virtuosity and excellent rapport’. 

    A specialist in historical performance, he has been principal bassist with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra since 1997 and a member of both Ironwood and Adelaide Baroque. He was principal bass of Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society since 2003, and also principal bass of the Boston Early Music Festival and Juilliard Baroque. He has performed with the English Baroque Soloists, Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique, Concerto Caledonia, Washington Bach Consort, Rebel, Florilegium, The Smithsonian Chamber Players, The Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra, Muffat Collective, Bach Akademie Australia, and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. 

    Rob is also active in commissioning new works and has premiered more than forty compositions for both solo bass and chamber music featuring the bass, championing in particular the music of Australian composers. In these performances he has worked both alone and with such groups as the London Sinfonietta, Gruppe Neue Musik Berlin, Australysis, the Music Theatre of Wales, and the Sydney Alpha Ensemble. In 2009 he premiered a new concerto by Barry Conyngham and by Doug Bailliet in 2016. He has performed recitals in Europe, Scandinavia, China, the U.S. and Australia. 

  • Edith Salzmann | Cello

    Edith Salzmann

    Edith Salzmann is a German/NZ cellist with an extensive career as a soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. She began her studies at the Music Academy in Detmold in Germany at the age of fourteen and went on to study at Indiana University, Bloomington (USA), where she studied with Janos Starker. She has performed She was a member of the Tibor Varga Chamber Orchestra, the Corda String Quartet, the Musikfabrik Duesseldorf, and various other New Music ensembles and has performed extensively all over Europe, America, Asia, and Australasia.As a chamber musician and soloist, she has performed in major European concert halls, such the Berlin Philharmonie, the Alte Oper Frankfurt, Cologne Philharmonie, Gasteig Munich, the Barbican London, and the Tonhalle, Zuerich with, amongst others, Heinz Holliger, Christoph Poppen, Eduard Brunner, Gustav Rivinius, Menahem Pressler, Nobuko Imai, Erick Friedman, Luba Edlina, Clio Gould, Hansjoerg Schellenberger, Michael Endres and others. Her discography includes many releases on Naxos, Stradivarius, EMI Germany, Atoll, and Rattle records. Recent recordings for Naxos records include the complete chamber music of William Shield with the Dorrit Ensemble and the Hummel Beethoven Symphonies and the Pleyel trio with the Pettman Ensemble.

    Edith is a highly successful teacher, with many of her former students now having careers in professional orchestras or as chamber musicians. She was Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland and has, in recent years taught at the University of Melbourne. She is in demand for masterclasses and regularly teaches in Korea, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Italy, Germany, Poland, and Switzerland.

    In 2005, she founded the Pettman National Junior Academy, a privately sponsored scholarship program for highly talented young musicians. To date, this program has been going from strength to strength, with multiple international prize winners coming out of its ranks. Edith is the artistic director of the International Akaroa Music Festival, a chamber music and masterclass festival in Akaroa, NZ, and the Director of the Pettman Open Chamber Music Program, a concert career-development program for young musicians. She regularly tours with the Pettman Ensemble, the Jade String Quartet, and the Dorrit Ensemble.

  • Simon Cobcroft | Cello

    Simon Cobcroft

    Simon Cobcroft is the Artistic Director of the Coriole Music Festival, and for almost 10 years has served as Principal Cello with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. He is a member of the critically acclaimed Lyrebird Trio, familiar to audiences around Australia and further afield, since winning the 2013 Asia Pacific Chamber Music Competition. Simon studied at the Queensland Conservatorium and the Australian National Academy of Music. Since graduating, he has held principal positions with the Queensland Symphony and Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestras, and has performed with London's Philharmonia Orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony, Denmark’s Esbjerg Ensemble, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and as principal with the Tasmanian and Singapore Symphony Orchestras. 

    Recent highlights include performances as guest principal cello with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Australian String Quartet, Tinalley Quartet and with Pinchas Zukerman and friends. He has appeared as principal and soloist at the Aldeburgh, Pacific and Salzburg Music Festivals. Simon has performed the cello concertos by Haydn, Elgar, Saint-Saëns and Bruch with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, winning the 2016 Adelaide Critics’ Circle Award for his performance of the Elgar Concerto. In previous years he appeared as soloist with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Sydney’s Metropolitan Orchestra, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria. Simon studied with Matthew Farrell, Janis Laurs, Alexander Baillie, David Strange and Michael Goldschlager. He plays on a beautiful English cello made in 1840 by Thomas Kennedy. In his spare time, he loves to cook.

  • Stephen King | Viola

    Stephen King

    Australian violist Stephen King performed with the Australian String Quartet from 2012-21. Prior to this, he was a member of the Australian Chamber Orchestra for nine years. With the ASQ, Stephen developed projects with First Nations artists, young players, new Australian commissions and recordings, and innovative digital collaborations. As the ACO's education representative, he played a major role in founding and building the Emerging Artists program and ACO2.

    Growing up in Canberra, Stephen learned the violin but fell for the darker world of the viola studying with Elizabeth Morgan. He completed his studies in the USA with James Dunham, Kathy Murdock and Michael Tree. From 1997 Stephen was violist of the Coolidge String Quartet based in Washington D.C. He holds a Doctorate in Chamber Music, having worked closely with the Emerson and Guarneri Quartets.

    Stephen was also Associate Principal Viola of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and a member of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. He was faculty of the New England Conservatory Prep Division in Boston and the ASTA Workshops. Recently Stephen has been a regular guest principal of the TSO and plays with AWO and ARCO. Stephen teaches viola and chamber music at the University of Adelaide, Elder Conservatorium and regularly tutors at AYO National Music Camp.

  • Helen Ayres | Violin

    Helen Ayres is a Doctoral graduate of the University of Melbourne and current violin teacher at the Open Music Academy, University of Adelaide. She is a founding member of Seraphim trio, resident leader of the Adelaide Hills Chamber Players Hendrickson Strings ensemble and has appeared as guest with numerous Australian ensembles.

    As a founding member of Seraphim, Helen has commissioned new works by Brett Dean, James Ledger and Jakob Jankowski and has performed at various Australian festivals with musicians Paul Kelly, Lucinda Collins, Konstantin Shamray and Elizabeth Layton. Helen’s chamber music concerts are regularly broadcast on ABC and MBS-FM radio stations and she has also presented for Radio 5MBS-FM in Adelaide. In 2019, Seraphim’s recording with Paul Kelly, James Ledger, and Alice Keath, Thirteen Ways to Look at Birds, won the ARIA award for Best Classical Album.

    Helen held a permanent position with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and has since performed in England, Scotland, Germany, Austria and China with the BBC Scottish Symphony and London Philharmonic Orchestra. She is currently acting Principal First Violin with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

    Helen is passionate about increasing performance opportunities for young Australian musicians. To this end she is appears on the board of Recitals Australia and convenes the String and Ensemble Divisions of the Adelaide Eisteddfod Society.

  • Suzanne Handel | Harp

    Suzanne Handel earned her Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School, studying with Susann McDonald, having previously studied with Marcel Grandjany and Nancy Allen.

    She toured the USA and Europe as a soloist, won numerous American Harp Society competitions, was a frequent Fellowship recipient to the Aspen Music Festival and won a place at the Marlboro Music Festival, specialising in chamber music. She was the Principal Harpist of the Sarasota Opera before joining the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, where she was Principal Harpist for 29 years. She has given master classes at harp festivals and played concertos with many Australian orchestras, tutored at National Music Camp, and been heard frequently on ABC Classic FM. She brings her extensive experience as a solo performer, chamber musician, and orchestral player to her teaching, emphasising the importance of a broad spectrum of tone quality and dynamics, as well as musical phrasing and clean technique.  

  • Emma Gregan | Horn

    Emma Gregan

    Emma plays Tutti Horn with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and is an Alliance Brass representative artist. She holds a PhD in Musicology from the Elder Conservatorium for which she received the University of Adelaide Doctoral Medal, and a Bachelor of Music with Class I Honours from the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University. Emma has performed with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Canberra Symphony Orchestra, Camerata, Opera Australia’s South Pacific, Disney’s The Lion King, and the Welsh Theatre Company for the Tongyeong International Music Festival in South Korea. She also performs with Adelaide Baroque and the Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra on historical instruments.

    Alongside her performance career, Emma has built a profile as a composer specialising in writing for horn and brass. Her works have been performed across Australia, the USA, Europe, and Japan in recent years, and include a prize-winning piece for the Twin Cities Horn Club in Minnesota, USA. Her arrangements and original works can be heard on discs including Rose Strewn Course by Calliope Brass and The Christmas Album by the American Horn Quartet and Queensland Symphony Orchestra Horns. Several of her pieces are now also published in the Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB) Series 2 Horn Syllabus grade books.

    Emma is enthusiastic about building and contributing to education and community programs: she maintains a private teaching studio and is the Artistic Director of the Adelaide Horn Jam. She is regularly invited to tutor the Adelaide Youth Orchestras and has appeared as a guest tutor at the Queensland Conservatorium Brass Weekend, the Australian Youth Orchestra’s National Music Camp, and the Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra's Young Mannheim Symphonists program. Her research interests are centred around amateurism and sustainability in community instrumental music organisations.

  • Philip Paine | Horn

    Phillip Paine

    Philip is the Principal Third Horn of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (ASO) and has been the horn lecturer at the University of Adelaide’s Elder Conservatorium of Music since 1994.

    He holds a Bachelor of Music from the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music and a Master of Music from the University of Adelaide. He has been a member of the ASO since 1992 and was formerly in the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra from 1988 to 1992. He has also performed with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Australian Chamber Orchestra, and appeared with the Tasmanian and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras as guest Principal Horn. 

    Philip is an experienced educator across all levels. He has a strong background in orchestral excerpt preparation and currently lectures the brass technique and repertoire class at the Elder Conservatorium. 

  • Colin Prichard | Trombone

    Colin Pritchard

    Colin graduated with a Bachelor of Music from Newcastle Conservatorium in 2011, and then pursued postgraduate studies at the Sydney Conservatorium with Scott Kinmont. In 2015, he moved to Europe to study with Professor Jonas Bylund at the Hochschule für Musik Theater und Medien Hannover, where he graduated with a Konzertsolist Diploma, the highest performance degree attainable at German universities. 

    Colin is Principal Trombone with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and has worked with orchestras and chamber ensembles in both Australia and Europe. Colin was Principal Trombone of the Australian Youth Orchestra for their 2013 International Tour with Christoph Eschenbach. 

    Colin enjoys helping aspiring trombonists to achieve their performance goals and teaches at the University of Adelaide and the Australian National Academy of Music.

  • Howard Parkinson | Trombone

    Howard Parkinson

    Howard’s parents were Salvation Army Officers (ministers) so what else could he possibly play but a brass instrument!
    Howard studied at Sydney Conservatorium of Music High School, and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Howard joined the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra as Principal Trombone in 1980 and from 1985 to 2021 was Principal Bass Trombone.

    Teaching brass, and conducting both professionally and in amateur settings, has been a major part of Howard’s musical life. Howard was the Head of Brass at the Elder Conservatorium from 2004 till 2019

    Many of Howard’s students are playing in professional orchestras and service bands both in Australia and overseas. Howard’s students are also found in the music teaching profession throughout Australia and overseas.

  • Robin Finlay | Trumpet

    Robin Finlay
    • First trumpet and soloist Light Horse Infantry band 1981-1985 
    • Principal Trumpet and Soloist with Natal Philharmonic Orchestra 1985-1988 
    • Principal trumpet and Soloist National Symphony orchestra/ Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra 1988-2006 

    In South Africa, Robin has worked with Lord Yehudi Menuhin, Sir John Elliot Gardiner, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Pinchas Zuckerman, Joshua Bell, Luciano Pavarotti amongst others.  

    He recorded 2 best selling CDs for EMI South Africa.  

    In Australia Robin has performed with  ASO, Adelaide Concert Orchestra as Principal Trumpet and Section player since 2010. He has also worked with Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Symphony Orchestra and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.   

    He has taught in tertiary institutions in South Africa and Adelaide since 1985. Robin is a Yamaha artist and teaching is his passion!

  • David Gill | Tuba

    David won a Single Study Scholarship in 1997 from the Elder Conservatorium of Music to study with Peter Whish-Wilson, Principal Tuba of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. David began a Bachelor of Music and was awarded the ‘Ross MacDonald Prize’ for the top first year brass student.  

    David served with both Adelaide based Army Bands.  He also performed with the full-time Australian Army Bands of Melbourne, Townsville, Kapooka and Brisbane. 

    David joined the Band of the South Australia Police in 1998.  Highlights of his service include 7 international tours performing at such events as the Royal Tournament London, Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Basel Tattoo Switzerland, and for Her Majesty’s 90th birthday celebrations at Windsor Castle. 

    David has been a member of the Adelaide University part-time staff since 2008 teaching degree/honours level and for the Open Music Academy.   

  • Oliver Fartach-Naini

    Oliver Fartach-Naini

    Oliver Fartach-Naini has toured across Europe, Asia, Australia and the USA. His most recent accolade was published in US magazine CLASSICAL GUITAR, which included his solo album SUITE LATINA in its list of ‘Top Ten Classical Guitar Albums of 2019’. Oliver Fartach-Naini has recorded 11 CDs for Deutsche Grammophon, Kreuzberg Records, Acoustic Music Records, Credia Classics and Ethnoclassics. 

    Oliver is the repertoire consultant for the AMEB classical guitar syllabus and published 7 graded repertoire books with instructional commentary and a 1000 work repertoire list. 

    Oliver holds degrees from the University of the Arts Berlin, the Academy of Music and Theatre ‘Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’ in Leipzig and a PhD from the University of Adelaide. 

    His teaching includes classical guitar, postgraduate supervision, chamber music and music education. 

    Find out more by visiting Oliver Fartach-Naini's website.

  • Amanda Grigg

    Amanda Grigg

    Amanda Grigg is a graduate of the South Australian College of Advanced Education, where she studied percussion under the tutelage of James Bailey. With marimba solo repertoire as a focus, Amanda was a recipient of an Australia Council grant to study in New York with renowned marimba soloists William Moersch and Nancy Zeltsman. On her return to Adelaide, she completed her master’s degree in performance at the Elder Conservatorium of Music.
    Amanda has since enjoyed a diverse musical career. She has worked regularly as a percussionist with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, with highlights including tours to Asia and the US, Australian premiere of Wagner’s Ring Cycle and Brett Dean’s Hamlet. As a freelance performer her credits include opera and ballet productions, cabaret, musicals and movie soundtracks. As chamber musician recent highlights include:  Ukaria 24 with Lawrence Power and the world Premiere of Watershed: The Death of Dr Duncan for the Adelaide Festival of Arts. Amanda has also recorded for television with the Australian Dance Theatre and for national radio broadcast as a marimba soloist.
    As an educator, Amanda is passionate about percussion teaching at all levels, with extensive experience teaching in primary, secondary and tertiary education settings. She is a Percussion Advisor for the Australian Music Examination Board with compositions published in the AMEB Percussion Series 1 Grade books. In 2014 Amanda was appointed Head of Percussion Studies at the Elder Conservatorium of Music where she now serves as the Head of Brass and Percussion and Associate Director Honours Programs.

  • Lucinda Collins

    Lucinda Collins

    Lucinda Collins has been Head of Keyboard at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, since 2000. 

    She is a first class honours graduate of the University of Adelaide. Awarded the Elder Overseas Scholarship in 1984 she completed her post graduate studies at the Royal College of Music in London under the guidance of Professor Peter Wallfisch. She later won the ASKM National Bicentennial Piano Competition and the Hephzibah Menuhin Memorial Scholarship before being appointed to the staff of the Elder Conservatorium in 1990.

    She is active both as a teacher and performer and has given concerts widely throughout Australia as well as the UK and Korea. Her playing has been praised for its “daunting power, lyrical beauty and musical intelligence”. In addition to solo and concerto repertoire, Lucinda also performs extensively as a chamber musician and has partnered many distinguished artists, including internationally acclaimed cellists David Geringas and Lynn Harrell. She has performed and toured nationally with the Australian String Quartet and collaborates regularly with many of Australia’s finest musicians. 

    Lucinda is passionate about all aspects of piano teaching and many of her students have been prize winners at state, national and international level.  She also mentors chamber ensembles, oversees the Elder Conservatorium’s collaborative piano program and enjoys working with talented junior pianists through the University’s Open Music Academy.

  • Anna Goldsworthy

    Anna Goldsworthy

    Professor Anna Goldsworthy is Director of the Elder Conservatorium of Music, and an award-winning pianist, writer, and festival director. As a pianist, Anna performs extensively throughout Australia and internationally, both as soloist and chamber musician. She is a founding member of Seraphim Trio, one of Australia’s most acclaimed and enduring chamber ensembles. Anna has degrees in music from the University of Adelaide, Texas Christian University, and the University of Melbourne. Her teachers have been Eleonora Sivan, who inspired her bestselling memoir, Piano Lessons; Tamás Ungár; Ronald Farren-Price; and Hatto Beyerle for chamber music.

    Recent highlights include sold-out performances of After Kreutzer at the Adelaide Festival with violinist Andrew Haveron; concerto appearances with the Adelaide Symphony and Bendigo Symphony Orchestras; and the artistic direction of the 2022 Coriole Music Festival the 2022 Hayllar Music and Mountains Festival in New Zealand, the 2022 Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s ‘She Speaks’ festival with Anne Cawrse, and the 2022 PianoLab festival. Anna’s most recent recordings are the ARIA-award-winning Thirteen Ways to Look at Birds for Decca with Paul Kelly, James Ledger, and Alice Keath, and the ABC Classics set Trio Through Time for ABC Classics. 

  • Michael Ierace

    Adelaide born Michael Ierace has been cited as having an ‘exceptional gift’ and his playing described as ‘revelatory’.  He completed his university education at the Elder Conservatorium with teachers Stefan Ammer and Lucinda Collins. 

    Michael received the prestigious Elder Overseas Scholarship which enabled him to move to London and study at the Royal College of Music with Professor Andrew Ball. He was selected as an RCM Rising Star and was later on staff as a Junior Fellow in piano accompaniment. 

    In the UK, he won several competitions including the Keyboard and the Accompanist Prize in the Royal Over-Seas League Competition – the first pianist in the competition's distinguished history to have received both awards.  Michael performed extensively throughout London and the UK, and twice at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  

    Much sought after as an associate artist for national and international guests, he is also the regular repetiteur for the State Opera of South Australia and the Adelaide Festival. 

    Alongside his ‘classical’ duties, Michael is also the keyboard player for the Tributes in Concert Band, consistently praised as one of the best in the business after making their US debut in 2019. 

    Michael is currently working at the Elder Conservatorium. 

  • Lloyd Van't Hoff | Clarinet

    Lloyd Van't Hoff

    Lloyd Van’t Hoff is an award-winning clarinetist, director, educator, and recording artist. He has been lauded for his “life-affirming music making” (Limelight Magazine) and “spectacular brilliance, charisma and sensitivity” (Tasmanian Mercury). Born in Darwin, Australia, Van’t Hoff came to prominence as the winner of the Grand Prize and Sir Charles Moses Trophy, along with the Triffitt Prize in the 2015 Symphony Australia ABC Young Performers Awards. He now performs regularly at festivals around the world including the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Musica Viva Festival, Huntington Estate Music Festival, Yale-Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the International Festival of Modern Music in Beijing, the Menuhin Festival in Switzerland, the Young Euro Classic in Germany, the Grafenegg Summer Music Festival in Austria, and the Banff Centre in Canada. Van’t Hoff is a founding member of the quintet Arcadia Winds who were Musica Viva’s inaugural FutureMakers. Arcadia Winds have toured mainland China and performing at the BBC Proms. They are especially committed to fostering new music by Australian composers, establishing the Arcadia Winds Composition Prize, while commissioning and premiering dozens of new works by living composers. Their debut eponymous EP, Arcadia Winds, was released in 2017 on the ABC Classic label. 

    As a recording artist, Van’t Hoff has been featured on the ARIA Award winning album Conversations with Ghosts alongside Australian singer-songwriter Paul Kelly, recorder virtuoso Genevieve Lacey, composer James Ledger, and Australian National Academy of Music musicians. In 2021, Van’t Hoff released his solo album, Johannes Brahms: Music for Clarinet and Piano, in which his recordings were described as “interpretations that live in the memory for their verve and deep musicianship.” As recitalist, Van’t Hoff has performed at the venues such as Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Recital Centre, City Recital Hall, Elder Hall, Sprague Hall, and The Neilson Pier 2/3. He collaborates regularly with some the world’s leading chamber music ensembles and musicians, including the Australian String Quartet, Goldner String Quartet, Flinders Quartet, Omega Ensemble, accordion virtuoso James Crabb, pianists Tamara Anna Cislowska, Dejan Lazic, Lisa Moore and Lambert Orkis, principal flutist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Emily Beynon and the clarinet virtuoso Michael Collins.

    A Yale University graduate, Van’t Hoff has served as teaching faculty at Melbourne University, the Yale School of Music, and has recently been appointed as Head of Woodwind at the University of Adelaide, Elder Conservatorium. He has conducted masterclasses and teaching residencies in the USA, Canada and throughout Australia and is the Director of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music’s Winterschool and Winterschool Outreach programs. Van’t Hoff has been artist-in-residence at the Karlstad Universitet Muikhogskolan Ingesund in Sweden. As a featured concerto soloist with Orchestra Victoria, the Melbourne and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, he has also performed principal clarinet roles with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, Yale Philharmonia, and principal bass clarinet in Opera Australia, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. 

    Van’t Hoff is a Buffet Crampon and D’Addario endorsed performing artist. 

  • Joshua Oates | Oboe

    Joshua Oates

    Joshua Oates returned to Australia to take up the role of Principal Oboe of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra at the start of the 2020 season. Until then, he had been studying towards a Master of Music in Saarbrücken, Germany with Philippe Tondre where he received full marks for his final recital. Before that, he was a fellow with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 2016 and 17. During his time in Germany, Joshua played in the theatre orchestras of Aachen, Düsseldorf and Saarbrücken, as well as guest principal with Cappella Aquileia in Heidenheim. He has also played as guest principal in most of Australia’s professional orchestras.

    Joshua’s undergraduate studies took place at the Elder Conservatorium of Music Adelaide with Celia Craig, where he graduated with first class honours. During his studies, he won many awards including the Helpmann Prize for performance in 2013 and was recipient of the Jiri Tancibudek and EMR scholarship. Joshua has appeared as a concerto soloist with the Adelaide Youth Orchestra and the Unley Symphony Orchestra and Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. He is also a keen recital and chamber musician, and has his premiere as solo artist at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in 2023.

  • Kathryn Moorhead | Flute

    Kathryn Moorhead

    Kathryn Moorhead is a flautist based in Adelaide where she currently teaches at the Elder Conservatorium and freelances as an orchestral and chamber musician. She was the Associate Principal Flute with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra for over 15 years and an Artist Teacher at the University of Auckland. Kathryn has performed as a guest with the Adelaide, Melbourne, Queensland, Tasmanian and Netherlands Symphony Orchestras, the Hong Kong and Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestras, and Orchestra Victoria.

    As a chamber musician Kathryn has appeared with the Koru Quintet and NZTrio, and has performed at International Arts Festivals in Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Auckland and London. She has given solo recitals at the National Flute Association Convention in the USA and the Australian Flute Festival. Kathryn has been a jury member for the NFA Orchestral Audition Competition, the Australian Young Artist Competition and the Leslie Barklamb Scholarship.

    Kathryn completed her Bachelor and Masters degrees at the University of Melbourne and received grants from the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust and Ian Potter Foundation to study with Andreas Blau from the Berlin Philharmonic, Leon Berendse from the Netherlands Philharmonic and Harrie Starreveld at the Amsterdam Conservatorium. She holds a PhD in Music from the University of Adelaide where she was awarded the Dean’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence. Kathryn has recorded on the Move Records, Atoll Records, ABC Classics and Naxos labels.

  • Julia Grenfell | Flute

    Julia Grenfell

    Originally from New Zealand, Julia joined the ASO in 2001, following a period of study in the USA.  She completed a Master of Music at Northwestern University in Chicago, studying with Walfrid Kujala; and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Flute Performance at Rice University in Houston, studying with Leone Buyse,

    Julia has held previous positions with the NZ Symphony Orchestra, and the San Antonio Symphony in Texas. She has taken part in music festival orchestras in Verbier, Switzerland; Tanglewood in Massachusetts; and Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara.

    As a soloist with the ASO, Julia has played Vivaldi’s Piccolo Concerto in C major twice, and in 2013 gave the SA premiere of Australian composer Paul Stanhope’s Piccolo Concerto.

    In 2017 Julia was a guest artist at the Australian Flute Festival in Brisbane, where she gave a joint piccolo recital with the Piccoloists of the MSO and SSO.  In 2018-19 she played Principal Piccolo in the Gothenburg Opera Orchestra in Gothenburg, Sweden. She also got the opportunity to play with Sweden’s national orchestra, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.

  • Mark Gaydon | Bassoon

    Mark Gaydon

    Dr Mark Gaydon is an Australian bassoonist and woodwind pedagogue. As bassoon instructor at the Elder Conservatorium since 2004 and Open Music Academy since 2019 he has established a reputation for academic and research excellence. He has been a guest artist at the Australian National Academy of Music, Australian Youth Orchestra training programs and has acted as an Associate Instructor at the Indiana University School of Music, Bloomington USA.

    He gained national recognition as a soloist in 2005 winning the Symphony Australia ABC Young Performer Awards Wind/Brass section. “There is no question, Gaydon is a true virtuoso” and “a master of nuance” (Advertiser). “Gaydon’s performance is exceptional, and he elegantly navigates the transitions between technical virtuosity and soaring lyricism with remarkable flexibility” (CD review). He has performed throughout Australia and in the USA, Canada, Spain and Thailand.

    In 2003 he became the Section Leader Bassoon with the Adelaide Symphony and has been soloist on numerous occasions with the orchestra performing concertos by Mozart, Zwilich, Francaix, Jolivet, Strauss, Williams, Tamberg and Haydn. He has appeared as guest principal bassoon with the Sydney, Tasmanian, New Zealand and Queensland Symphony Orchestras. A keen advocate and creator of new music Mark has premiered bassoon works by Andrew Schultz, Gerard Brophy, Charles Bodman Rae, Katy Abbott, James Cuddeford, Luke Altmann, Joe Chindamo and Katia Beaugeais.

  • Leah Stephenson | Bassoon

    Leah Stephenson

    Leah Stephenson has been a member of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra bassoon section since 2001. From an early age, she learnt recorder, flute and piano, and knew she wanted to pursue a career in music. Fortuitously, Leah discovered a bassoon gathering dust in the cupboard of the music department at her high school. She eventually went on to gain her Bachelor of Music with Distinction in 1992, studying with bassoonist Peter Musson at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. Following her studies in Queensland, Leah studied at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts for a year with Kam Shui, Solo Bassoonist with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.
    Leah was a member of the Jeunesses Musicales World Youth Orchestra in 1994 and 1995, with whom she toured to Canada and Europe. In 1995 Leah began studies at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg in Germany with Professor Karl-Otto Hartmann. She graduated with an "Aufbaustudium" (the equivalent of a Masters degree in Performance) with distinction in 1998. During her studies in Freiburg Leah held a contract with the Gera State Theatre Orchestra and worked with numerous orchestras including the Freiburg Philharmonic.
    While in Germany Leah also completed a two-year course in Dispokinesis – the study of musicians' movement and postural disposition as a tool in diagnosing and treating problems with pain, performance anxiety, breathing disorders, and practice and performance efficiency.

    In 2004 Leah was awarded a grant to travel to Banff, Canada to participate in a three-month Musicians in Residence program at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. In 2018, she was supported to attend the International Double Reed Society Conference in Granada, Spain. In addition to her busy orchestral career, Leah enjoys teaching bassoon and performing chamber music.

  • Damien Hurn | Saxophone

    Damien Hurn

    Damien Hurn studied at the Elder Conservatorium of Music. He regularly performs with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and was featured as a soloist in their Symphony Under the Stars program in 2011. He performs and tours with artists such as Ray Charles, Shirley Bassey, Hugh Jackman, Tony Bennett, Jerry Lewis, Natalie Cole, John Farnham, Human Nature and Kate Ceberano.

    He has performed with many of the touring musicals for their Adelaide season, including Aladdin, Matilda, Cats, Ghost, Jersey Boys, A Chorus Line, Wicked, The Phantom Of The Opera, Chicago, Sound Of Music and West Side Story. Damien is currently lecturing in saxophone at the Elder Conservatorium of Music and is one of Adelaide’s most respected instrumental teachers.

Learn from the best

Learn from international performers and teachers.

How to apply

Audition registrations are now open for Semester 2, 2024 entry.

Register for your audition/interview

Submit your audition/interview application

Pay audition/interview fee

When registering, you must pay a non-refundable audition/interview registration fee via the online shop to be guaranteed an audition (search 'audition').

Bachelor of Music applicants

There is an audition registration fee of $26 for the first audition and $21 per subsequent audition.

Pay audition/interview registration fee

Apply to SATAC or International Admissions

Domestic students

You will need to lodge an application through the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).

Visit the SATAC website

International students

You will need to lodge an application through our International Admissions Service. You do not need to register for an audition.

International applications

Current UofA students

You will need to lodge an internal transfer application.

Apply for an internal transfer

Prepare for your audition/interview

Please ensure you have followed the audition requirements for your specialisation:

Audition requirements by program

The Conservatorium does not provide accompanists except for the Bachelor of Music Theatre auditions. All other auditions that require an accompanist should contact the Accompanists' Guild of SA.

Applicants should contact accompanists as early as possible as auditions cannot be rescheduled to accommodate accompanist availability.

On the day of your audition, please ensure you arrive 15 minutes prior to your audition or interview. You will receive notification of your audition outcome following your audition.

We look forward to meeting you!