Guest conductors

Professor Alan Lourens, D.Mus

Prof. Alan Lourens is Head of the School of Music at the University of Western Australia, where he directs the Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and Brass Ensemble, as well as teaching conducting, pedagogy and courses in music education.   Professor Lourens has lead the School of Music into the top 50 music programmes in the world, according to the internationally regarded QS University Guide.  Previously, Dr. Lourens has held Professorial positions in Singapore, Dubai and Australia at leading arts institutions.  He appears as a guest conductor for orchestras and bands throughout Asia, Australia and the US, and regularly performs internationally on Euphonium. Dr. Lourens is also active in the Brass Band movement in Australia, both as a conductor and soloist.

On Euphonium, he regularly appears as an international soloist, and has recorded and toured with ensembles including the Philharmonia à Vent, the Australian Wind Orchestra and the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra, under such conductors as Frederick Fennell, Harry Begian, Vernon Handley, Paul Daniels, Ray E. Cramer and Simone Young.

Dr. Lourens holds a Doctorate in Conducting and Masters degree in Euphonium Performance from Indiana University, where he studied conducting with Ray E. Cramer and Euphonium with Daniel Perantoni, M. Dee Stewart and Harvey G. Phillips.   He received a coveted Performers Certificate for the quality of his Masters recital.

His undergraduate degree is in Music Education from the Western Australian College of Advanced Education. In that state, Prof. Lourens taught high school music for 5 years where he directed award-winning ensembles, before being appointed as the Conducting Support Teacher for the state of Western Australia.

Dr. Lourens has many articles and music publications to his credit, including analysis contributions to the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series of books, recent contributions to the MBM Times, and the Journal of the California Music Educators. In 2010, he co-authored several books on the planning, policy and development of Universities. Recent years have seen the release of his Euphonium Concerto and other compositions by Cimarron Publishing.

Jessica Gethin
Jessica Gethin - guest conductor
Jessica Gethin – guest conductor

Australian conductor Jessica Gethin has won praise from audiences and critics alike for her dynamic energy, outstanding musicianship and abounding presence on the podium.

A graduate from the exclusive Symphony Australia Conductor Development Program, Jessica was awarded a podium scholarship to study under internationally renowned conductors working for five years with the Adelaide, Queensland, Victorian, West Australian and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras. Jessica has performed on stages throughout Europe, USA, UK, Canada, Asia and Australia, and graduated with a Bachelor of Music Performance degree where she won the Faith Court Scholarship Prize for Performance.

Experiencing a diverse background working in genres ranging from baroque, classical, jazz, opera, musical theatre, contemporary, film score and pop, Jessica has recorded for numerous CDs, television documentaries, live broadcasts for ABC radio and television commercials. Recognised for her ability to excel across a variety of styles, Jessica leads the way in directing collaborations featuring popular and contemporary artists with the full symphony orchestra, conducting shows including the Australian Rock Symphony (Chrissy Amphlette/Diesel/Baby Animals: Australian Tour 2010), Ten Tenors (Live in Australia: 2009) and the Worlds Festival Closing Concert with Lucy Durack (Dec 2011) to conducting orchestral proms including New Years Eve’s ‘Vienna Pops’ and ‘Best of British’ at the Perth Concert Hall.

Jessica has also conducted notable classical artists including acclaimed Dutch violinist Rudolf Koelman and Australian soprano Sara Macliver. An energetic music educator with over ten years experience, Jessica is a popular children’s presenter, writer, arranger and conductor for organisations including WA Symphony Orchestra’s EChO, Musica Viva In Schools Programme, WA Youth Orchestra’s Babies Proms, Solo To Symphony and the WA Academy of Performing Arts (Edith Cowan University) where she currently lectures in conducting.

Bruce Herriman

File 9-11-2015, 11 12 21 PMBruce is Principal of the Instrumental Music School Services of the WA Department of Education Bruce oversees the state wide instrumental music programme in WA Public Schools.

Bruce graduated from the WA College of Advanced Education in 1981 with a Bachelor of Education degree and began teaching at Perth Modern School in 1982. From 1983 to 1993 he was in charge of music at Hollywood Senior High School directing the concert bands and orchestra. He joined the School of Instrumental Music in 1994 as a conducting support teacher and was the Music Director of the Perth Modern School Senior Wind Orchestra from 1989 – 2009. From 1997 – 2015 he conducted the Churchlands SHS Senior Orchestra. He has been active for many years in the mentoring and developing of young conductors in both wind band and orchestra. In 2010 he was awarded a Citation of Excellence from the Australian Band and Orchestra Directors’ Association in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Association.

Bruce has toured Japan, Korea as conductor with the WA Youth Concert Band and Scandinavia with the Australian Youth Wind Orchestra. Bruce was invited as guest conductor for the Queensland State Honours Ensemble Program held at the Queensland Conservatorium in 2009 and again in 2013. Bruce has also conducted the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, City of Fremantle Symphony Orchestra and has lectured at the UWA school of music to pre-service teachers on instrumental music education.

Jon Tooby

Jon Tooby has been playing the cello since the age of 7. At the age of 18 he joined the West Australian Symphony Orchestra as a tutti player where he is still today after 17 years. Jon has used Perth as a base to expand his musical experience both within Australia and overseas. He spent 3 years studying in London from 1990-94 with Christopher Bunting and William Pleeth. During his time there he worked with the BBC, Halle and London Philharmonic Orchestras and won competitions at the Royal College of Music both as chamber Musician and soloist. Jon also attended the Britten-Pears Summer School in 1994 where he took part in the cello workshop with William Pleeth . Since returning to Perth in 1994 Jon has worked extensively in chamber music and as a soloist along with his position in the WASO. Jon is a member of the cello quartet ”I Cellisti” formed in 1995 which has given over 2oo performances within Australia. In 1999 Jon was a string finalist in the Australian Young Performers Competition He performed Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No1 with the the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Jon is passionate about contemporary music and has worked with the WASO Contemporary ensemble as well as the group, Elision, based in Queensland. Chamber music is Jon’s real passion and has performed extensively the Piano Trio repertoire. Currently he is a member of the West Australian Piano Trio and is involved in a five concert series to be held in 2005 in Perth. Chamber Music partners include Piers Lane, Brett Dean, John Harding, Lisa Moore, Natalie Clein and James Boyd. Jon is also heavily involved as a cello and chamber music tutor and has worked in recent times for AYO and as a chamber music coach at a summer school at the Menhuin School in U.K In 2005 Jon will also be performing at the Sydney Festival as a chamber musician.Also I Cellisti will be taking part in World Expo in Japan including a tour there in July.

Christopher Dragon

ChrisDragon2In 2013 Christopher was appointed Assistant Conductor of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO). As WASO’s first Assistant Conductor, he has been be given unique opportunities to develop his skills and gain invaluable experience by working with WASO’s musicians, Principal Conductor Asher Fisch and other guest artists The position also provides Chris with engagements with the orchestra.

Since beginning his conducting studies in 2011 his profile as a conductor is expanding internationally and is currently a student of Leonid Grin, who was the teacher of Paavo Jarvi. This year Christopher participated in the Jarvi Winter Academy in Estonia where he was awarded the Orchestra’s Favourite Conductor Prize. The previous year he was selected out of the Winter Academy to participate in the Jarvi Summer Academy where he studied with Leeonid Grin, Paavo Jarvi and Neeme Jarvi. Christopher was the only conductor in the Jarvi Summer Academy to conduct in all three concerts, which included sharing the final festival concert with Neeme Jarvi. In 2012 Christopher was invited by Fabio Luisi, Principal Conductor of the Metropolitan Opera, as a Conducting fellow to the Pacific Music Festival in Japan and the following year was invited to the Zurich Opera House.

Christopher is a member of the Symphony Services International Conductor Development Program through which he has participated in masterclasses with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Sinfonia and Auckland Philharmonia, under the guidance of course director Christopher Seaman as well as the orchestra’s chief conductors.

Christopher has firm roots in many WA ensembles and is currently Musical Director of the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, the South Side Symphony Orchestra, the WAAPA Faith Court Orchestra, the WA Youth Orchestra’s Philharmonic Orchestra, Operabox and his co-founded orchestra the Swan Philharmonic.

Christopher Van Tuinen
Canning 2014
Canning 2014

Chris graduated with a B.Mus from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2001. In 2005 he completed a Masters in Conducting at the VCA. Experienced in both vocal and instrumental music he was awarded the John Williams Conducting Scholarship for 2004-5. He also holds a B.A. from the University of Queensland, an LLB from Q.U.T. and an A.Mus.A from the AMEB.

In 2008-9 he was a member of the Young Artists program as a Conductor with Opera Australia where he worked on a wide variety of repertoire, conducted orchestral galas and the OzOpera seasons of Madame Butterfly. In 2007 Chris was appointed as the inaugural Conducting Fellowship at the Australian Ballet. His credits include Nutcracker, BodyTorque Generations and Les Presages in Sydney as well as performances of After the Rain and Les Presages in Melbourne.

His most recent opera credits include Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia for Staatsoper Hamburg Stabile, Madame Butterfly and Barber of Seville for OzOpera, Die Fledermaus and Hansel and Gretel for In Good Company, The Medium, Der Schauspieldirektor/ Prima la musica poi le parole, Abduction from the Seraglio, Guistino, Don Pasquale, Sweeney Todd and The Rape of Lucretia for Lyric Opera and Gianni Schicchi / The Telephone for Powerhouse Opera Queensland. In 2005 he performed his re-orchestration of Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle with the Australian Classical Players.

In 2005 year he was nominated by the Musical Theatre Guild for Best Music Direction. In 2006 he received a Green Room Award nomination in the ‘Best Conductor’ category.

Richie Burton

Richie burton photoRichie began his musical education as a cornet player with the Bo’ness and Carriden Brass Band at the age of 13. After studying music at secondary school – and much practice! – he then successfully auditioned at the Royal Marines School of Music, and at the age of 20 graduated as a Solo Trumpet player, taking up his first position with the Ban dog the Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth. For the next 4 years, Richie performed nationally and internationally, throughout the UK, the US, Switzerland, Italy, Cypress, the Falkland Islands and Iraq! In 2008 he took up his next position with the Royal Marines Band Scotland. More touring followed, including his second stint with the Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo. The next 4 years in Scotland was the beginning and growth of Richie’s conducting career. It began with brass bands and wind ensembles, moving then to his real passion, symphony orchestras. After 12 years with the Royal Marines Band Service as a principal trumpet player, Richie then moved to Perth as the new Orchestral Operations Manager of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra in January 2014. Soon after his arrival, he became the musical director of Canning City Brass, winning two State Championships under his direction. December 2014 saw Richie conduct the WASO Brass and Chorus at the Princess Margaret Children’s Hospital for a Christmas Carol Concert, and in May 2015 he journeyed to Kalgoorlie to work with the Australian National Champions in preparation for the recent State Contest.

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