Lisa McCowage – Clarinet
Lisa McCowage began playing the clarinet at the age of nine. Since then she has completed a Bachelor of Music Education, Majoring in Performance (2008) and a Graduate Diploma in Performance (2009) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music under Cathy McCorkill, Christopher Tingay and Frank Celata. In 2007 she was invited to join the Golden Key honour Society, an organisation for outstanding academic achievement in Australian universities.
During her studies Lisa was a member of The Sydney Youth Orchestra (2007-2009) and was actively involved in the Sydney Conservatorium Orchestra’s and Chamber music groups, performing live on 2MBS with her chamber music group in 2009. Lisa has been a member of the Sydney Sinfonia Orchestra since 2009, touring to Newcastle, Taree and Gosford for the Sinfonia Regional Tour in April 2010.
Travelling to Europe in 2010 Lisa received lessons in London from Andrew Marriner (London Symphony Orchestra) and Joy Farral (Guildhall School of Music and Drama) as well as attending master classes from Professor Jorg Widmann and Stefan Schneider from the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg, Germany.
Since then Lisa has played with the Australia Youth Orchestra, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Orchestra Romantique as well as guest musician for the Sydney Symphony Fellowship Program in 2010 and 2011. Lisa has recently played with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and regularly plays with The Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra.
Minah Choe – Cellist
Minah was our guest solo Cellist for concert 1 on the 3rd April 2011.
Born in Seoul,Korea, Minah Choe began her studies at the age of 8. She graduated with B.Mus Hon. I from the Sydney Conservatorium where she was admitted whilst at high school and received scholarships throughout her studies. She was a full scholarship holder at the Australian National Academy of Music in 2002. In 2004 Minah received master’s degree from the Indiana University Jacob’s School of Music under the guidance of Prof. Janos Starker and continued with doctoral degree as his teaching assistant at IU.
Currently Minah is pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Sydney Conservatorium while working as a freelance cellist in major orchestras and performing widely in various chamber music and recitals. Minah has won numerous awards including “Most Promising Performer” in 4th Adam International Cello Competition, Australian Postgraduate Award, inaugural Janos Starker Scholarship, Dorothy Fraser Scholarship and Australian University of Women Federation Commemorative Fellowship.
Shan Yew – Violinist
Shan was our guest solo violinist for concert 1 on the 3rd of April 2011.
Shan Yew began violin lessons at the age of four. Upon joining the Singapore Youth Orchestra in 1984, he was the featured soloist in two of the National Broadcast Programmes on radio, performing the Wieniawski Violin Concerto No. 2 and Paganini Violin Concerto No. 1. In 1989, he won First Prize in the National Music Competition’s Violin (Open) Division as well as the Best Performer Award. The following year, Shan was a member of the Asian Youth Orchestra on its inaugural concert tour, for which Yehudi Menuhin appointed him Concertmaster.
In 1990, Shan studied with Philippe Hirshhorn at the Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel in Belgium. He continued his studies at the Beijing and Shanghai Conservatories in China as the recipient of a grant from the National Arts Council. Upon returning to Singapore, Shan joined the Singapore Symphony Orchestra as a First Violinist, where he was Fourth Chair of the section from 1998 to 2000.
As a soloist, Shan has appeared with the Nusantara Chamber Orchestra in Jakarta, and the Singapore Sinfonietta, Braddell Heights Orchestra and Singapore Symphony Orchestra. He has given numerous solo recitals, including a fundraiser for the Singapore Red Cross in aid of tsunami relief. Shan also regularly participated in chamber concerts with both Singaporean and international artists such as pianists Tedd Joselson and Dennis Lee.
In 2000, Shan was admitted to the Yale University School of Music to study with Erick Friedman, graduating in 2003. While at Yale, he was Concertmaster of the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale, performed in the Faculty Artist Series with Erick Friedman in A Centennial Birthday to Jascha Heifetz and Jesse Levine in Violafest, and was one of three participants chosen to perform in a public Master Class with Pamela Frank. He also undertook chamber music studies with pianists Boris Berman and Claude Frank, violinists Peter Oundjian and Ani Kavafian, and the Tokyo String Quartet, and studied conducting with Lawrence Leighton Smith and Shinik Hahm.
During his time in the USA, Shan also worked professionally with other musical organisations. From 2001 to 2003, he was Concertmaster and a Faculty member of the Texas Festival Orchestra at Round Top; his performance of Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat Suite for Violin, Clarinet and Piano with Hakan Rosengren and Anne Epperson was broadcast on National Public Radio in 2001. He was also Associate Concertmaster of the Britt Festival Orchestra at Jacksonville, Oregon and Cover Concertmaster of the New Britain Symphony Orchestra in Connecticut.
Shan holds a Bachelor of Music Studies degree from the University of Sydney and a Master of Music from Yale University. He is presently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where he has been Concertmaster of both the Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra and the Conservatorium Chamber Orchestra, including their tours to Europe in 2009 and the USA in 2010. Shan has also given numerous recitals and chamber performances since his arrival in Sydney. He is also a visiting teacher at Barker College.