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the sydney consort

Concert Series 2016

1+2+3 (Bach’s Concerti)

" Concerto for Three Harpsichords in C major - one of Bach's most impressive compositions." (Philipp Spitta, the great Bach scholar)

The Sydney Consort welcomes Israeli virtuoso harpsichordist, Michael Tsalka, who will join the ensemble in a rare performance of such a concerto composed by none other than Bach himself. The program will also feature a jazzy version of Bach’s famous double violin concerto.



  • Concerto for harpsichord & strings in D Major BWV 1054
  • Concerto for 2 harpsichords & strings in C Major BWV 1061
  • Concerto for 2 violins in d Minor BWV 1043 (jazzy version by Profesor Teddy Bor)
  • Concerto for 3 harpsichords & strings in C Major BWV 1064


  • Monika Kornel  harpsichord
  • Michael Tsalka  harpsichord
  • Diana Weston  harpsichord
  • Stan Kornel  baroque violin
  • Julia Russoniello baroque violin
  • Valmai Coggins  baroque viola
  • Laura Moore  baroque cello



Monika Kornel studied at the Torun State Conservatorium of Music (Poland), where she received her Diploma in Music and Piano Performance. With her husband, violinist, Monika has performed extensively, giving violin and piano recitals in Europe and later in Australia. After furthering her studies at the Academy of Music in Lódz (Poland), Monika moved to Sydney and completed a Bachelor of Music degree in piano and a Master of Music degree in performance in harpsichord and early music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Monika performs regularly as both soloist and continuo player with a number of well known ensembles and orchestras including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Willoughby Orchestra, SBS Orchestra, the St Laurence Baroque Orchestra, Marais Project, Salut!Baroque. In 1998 she also appeared in the Sydney Bach Festival, regularly participating in major music festivals and concerts in Australia. Monika has recorded six CD’s with the Sydney Consort and more with other ensembles, including Salut!Baroque and the Australian Baroque Brass among others.

Early keyboard performer and pianist Michael Tsalkahas won numerous prizes and awards in Europe, the U.S.A., the Middle East and Latin America. A versatile musician, he performs with equal virtuosity a wide span of repertoire from the early Baroque to our days on the harpsichord, fortepiano, clavichord, square piano, chamber organ and modern piano. Tsalka was born in Tel-Aviv, Israel. After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree from Tel-Aviv University, he continued his studies in Germany and Italy. In 2001, he received a piano solo diploma from the Scuola Superiore Internazionale del Trio di Trieste, where he studied with Dario di Rosa. From 2002-2008, he studied at Temple University under the guidance of Joyce Lindorff, Harvey Wedeen, and Lambert Orkis. Tsalka holds three degrees from that institution: a Master’s degree in chamber music/accompanying, a Master’s degree in harpsichord performance and a Doctorate in piano performance. Other teachers included Sandra Mangsen, Klaus Schilde, Malcolm Bilson, and Charles Rosen.

Dr. Tsalka maintains a busy concert schedule. Recent engagements include performances at the Boston Early Music Festival, the Forbidden City Hall in Beijing, Bellas Artes Theater in Mexico City, the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, St. Denis Festival in Paris, Der Gasteig in Munich, Beethoven House in Bonn, the Volksbuehne Hall in Berlin, the Jerusalem Music Center, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and interviews and live performances for radio stations in Hong Kong, Chicago, Buenos Aires, Berlin, Munich, St. Petersburg, Beijing, Stockholm, Helsinki, Auckland, Amsterdam, Brussels, Geneva, London, and Jerusalem.

From 2006 to 2015, he has been an artist-in-resident every July at the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Red Wing, Minnesota ( Dr. Tsalka has recorded 15 CDs for labels such as Naxos, Grand Piano, Ljud & Bild (Stockholm), Brilliant Classics (Amsterdam) Paladino (Vienna), and IMI (Israel). Current and future recording projects include CDs dedicated to keyboard works by J. S. Bach, Daniel Gottlob Türk, Johann Baptist Wanhal, Carl Dittersdorf, Ferdinand Ries, Franz Schubert, Felix Mendelssohn, Viktor Ullmann, Leonardo Coral, and Yehezkel Braun. Together with Dr. Angelica Minero Escobar, he is preparing a critical edition of Türk’s 30 keyboard sonatas for Artaria Editions in New Zealand ( Sonatas 1–12 were published in 2013. Sonatas 13-24 will be published in 2016. Tsalka often collaborates with composers: In 2015-2017, he will perform sixteen world premieres dedicated to him by composers of fourteen different nationalities. Michael Tsalka has presented 75 master classes and lecture-recitals in academic institutions in all continents. Several of his scholarly articles have been published by music journals, including De Clavicordio(Italy), Piano Bulletin EPTA(Netherlands), Early Keyboard Journal and Early Music America (U.S.A.). He taught Temple University in Philadelphia, at the National Center for the Arts (Mexico), and Lilla Akademien (Stockholm). Currently, he is a visiting professor at Celaya Conservatory in Guanajuato, Mexico. In 2011, Tsalka was the artistic director of the Bach Festival, at the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, with presentation at Qingdao’s Grand Theatre and Wuhan’s Qintai Concert Hall. From 2012 to 2015, he was the co-artistic director of the Nordic Historical Keyboard Festival in Kuopio, Finland. In December 2014, he was the artist director of a mini-festival for the Dutch Embassy in Stockholm. From 2014, he is the artistic director of the Geelvinck Fortepiano Festival, Netherlands ( Dr. Tsalka currently resides in Valencia, Spain.

Diana Weston is a musician living in Sydney. Since changing her career path from medicine to music, gaining her Masters in Music in 2008 with a study of harpsichord continuo styles, she has been involved with many musical activities and projects including festivals and concerts, operas and recitals. She is the director of the ensemble Thoroughbass which she formed in 2009. Thoroughbass is a group dedicated to the presentation of little-known early and contemporary music on period instruments. While the backbone of Thoroughbass is in early music, Diana routinely commissions and arranges contemporary music for the ensemble. In addition to her highly qualified regular players, Diana invites outstanding guest artists to participate in her concert series and provides opportunities for younger players.

Diana is a recording artist for Wirripang. She is also music director for Ondine Productions and a free-lance harpsichordist. She has commissioned a number of works by Australian composers for the group including Magpie Baby: A Childhood Suite by Nadje Noordhuis (2013), Flying West by Ann Carr-Boyd (2014), The Birch Tree by Elena Kats-Chernin (2014), Suite for Diana by Ann Carr-Boyd (2015) and Flutter-by, the Butterfly by May Howlett (2015).

Recordings include: Bach and Harmonious Euphony: Music for 2 harpsichords with Monika Kornel (2010), Blue Skies, Magpies and Goldfish: Music for harpsichord, recorders, voice and cello by Australian women composers (2013), Flying West: the music of Ann Carr-Boyd, a double CD (2014/15, published by Wirripang), The Birch Tree: music based on folktunes (2015). All recordings include works by Australian composers. Tracks from these recordings appear regularly on ABC Classic FM and other radio stations.

Major projects with Ondine Productions: Francesca Caccini’s La liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola d’Alcina (2012 fully staged); Glass’ Akhnaten (2013, a scented opera), Legacies of Love and Loss: lieder recital with international soprano Claire Primrose (2013); Britten’s Phaedra/Gorecki’s Concerto for Harpsichord and String Orchestra (2014).

Publications: Magpie Baby: A musical storybook for the pre-reading child (2014).

Stabat Mater

Traditionally, the ensemble will be celebrating that evening with the sombre and grave music composed intentionally for the Good Friday. Stabat Mater this year will be even more special due to premiere of this discovered music. Please come and experience this sacred work by 18th century Bohemian Jesuit composer.

The Sydney Consort is thrilled to have obtained the rare music of Stabat Mater by the obscure bohemian composer, Karel Loos. It appears that there have been no performances or recordings of this work in our times and many musicologists are unaware of its existence.


Karel LoosStabat Mater for four voices and strings


  • Belinda Montgomery  soprano
  • Nicole Smeulders  alto
  • Richard Black tenor
  • Craig Everingham bass
  • Stan Kornel  baroque violin
  • Julia Russoniello  baroque violin
  • Valmai Coggins  baroque viola
  • Monika Kornel  harpsichord



Belinda Montgomery graduated in 1997 from Sydney University with a Bachelor of Music (Honours) in Voice. She later studied with Emma Kirkby and Evelyn Tubb in England and has since established a freelance career in Sydney, where she is particularly active as an early music specialist. She has appeared regularly with such ensembles as The Marais project, The Sydney Consort and Salut!Baroque. Solo engagements have included Bach Cantatas (The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra), Handel’s Dixit Dominus ((Sydney Philharmonia Motet Choir), Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Handel’s Israel in Egypt, Faure’s Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem and Solemn Vespers (Sydney Chamber Choir) and Steve Reich’s Drumming (Synergy Percussion). In 2003 she gave the world premiere performance of Andrew Ford’s award-winning song cycle, Learning to Howl.

As both a soloist and chorus member she has performed and recorded extensively with Cantillation, Australia's leading professional chorus. Belinda sang the role of Iris in Pinchgut Opera’s inaugural production, Handel’s Semele, in 2002 and has appeared as soloist and chorister in all subsequent productions. She has sung with the chorus of Opera Australia in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte and also performed the role of first women in OzOpera’s Eternity Man, by Jonathan Mills, in the 2005 Sydney Festival. Recent performances have included Steve Reich’s Tehillim with Halcyon at Melbourne’s new Recital Centre as well as a guest soloist appearance with the Darwin Symphony Orchestra and Chorale. Belinda was the soprano soloist for the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra’s performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria in May, 2009.

Nicole Smeulders is a graduate of the NSW Conservatorium of music. She has twice been recipient of the Lauris Elms’ Contralto Award and has had an extensive career as a soloist, particularly in oratorio. Her most recent performances include recitals of Scarlatti Duets for Soprano, Alto and Harpsichord at Sydney University and the National Trust Property, Mahratta. Other performance repertoire has included Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Scarlatti’s Christmas Cantata, Caldara’s Vaticini di Pace (recorded live with the Sydney Consort for ABCFM), Mozart’s Requiem, Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky, Tippett’s A Child of Our Time, JS and CPE Bach Magnificats, De Falla’s El Amor Brujo and numerous performances of the Haydn Nelson Mass, Vivaldi’s Gloria and the Messiah.

Nicole works regularly as a chorister for Opera Australia having performed in their most recent productions of Carmen and La Traviata on Sydney Harbour, as well as Aida,Turandot, Lakme and Fidelio. With Cantillation, she has performed on numerous CD’s and in concert. Engagements with them have included Rameau’s Castor and Pollux and Haydn’s opera L’anima del filosofo at Angel Place Recital Hall. She is currently preparing to sing with them again in Iphigenie en Tauride. Nicole has worked and toured with several prominent ensembles, including the ACO Voices, the Song Company and Hallelujah Junction.

Richard Black began vocal studies with Norma Hunter in 1991 while studying Science at Adelaide University and singing under the inspiring direction of Hilary Weiland in the Adelaide University Choral Society. Soon after, he was invited to become a member of the highly acclaimed Adelaide Chamber Singers directed by Carl Crossin OAM.

In 1994, Richard moved to Sydney to join Australia’s premier vocal ensemble: The Song Company, a position he now holds again, having rejoined the ensemble in 2002. Richard was a member of the choir of St James’ Church, King Street for eighteen years, and was a founding member of both ACO Voices and Cantillation, with whom he has recorded many CD’s and film scores. He has appeared as a soloist for The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Salut! Baroque, Australian Baroque Brass, The Sydney Consort and many of Australia’s university and chamber choirs.

With a keen interest in early music and historically informed performance he has also formed, directed and sung in two vocal ensembles: Renaissance Men and Chroma.

Richard Black appears by courtesy of the Song Company

Craig Everinghamcompleted degrees from the Newcastle and Sydney Conservatorium of Music before undertaking studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK. Awards and scholarships enabled him to study further in Europe. International performances have included the Salzburg Festival – Austria, the Batignano Festival – Italy, Verdi’s Requiem in Leeds, the role of Marcello (La Boheme) for the RNCM and recital and oratorio performances throughout the UK.

Since returning to Australia, Craig has sung in numerous productions with the Opera Australia Chorus and had a minor role in their production of Lucrezia Borgia. He has featured as a soloist with Pinchgut Opera (the High Priest in Semele, Pastore in L’Orfeo and Pluto in L’anima del filosofo) and with Opera Hunter (the title role in Rigoletto). Craig has been involved in numerous performances with the vocal ensemble Cantillation and has appeared with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra both as soloist and part of the ensemble. Among many other solo engagements, Craig has appeared as a soloist in Mozart’s Requiem at the Sydney Opera House for Present Australia and also as a soloist for the Sydney Chamber Choir in concert at Angel Place Concert Hall in Sydney as well as a soloist in Bach’s St. John’s Passion in Adelaide and Sydney. He has also featured in the musical theatre production Les Miserables (Javert).

His recordings include Spain, Carmina Burana, Silent Night, Hallelujah!, Lead Kindly Light, YeBanks and Braes and Messiah, all with Cantillation; Verdi’s Requiem (Opera Australia); Semele, The Fairy Queen, L’Orfeo, and Dardanus (Pinchgut Opera); and What Sweeter Music (Choir of Christ Church St. Laurence).

Craig is a Vocal Teacher at Sydney Grammar School, St. Ignatius College Riverview Monte Sant’ Angelo and St. Mary’s Cathedral College in Sydney. He is also a lay-clerk with the Choir of St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney.

Scottish Baroque

You are welcomed to a concert of the Scottish classical and folk tunes. In the 18th century Scotland, the traditional instrument, the bagpipe gradually languished from centre stage and gave its place to the Violin. The instrumental combination of fiddles with flute and harp produce typical Scottish folk music and will take you back to Old Scotland.


Niel Gow, James Oswald, William McGibbon, Francesco Geminiani and others.


  • Hans-Dieter Michatz  recorder
  • Stan Kornel  baroque violin
  • Verna Lee  harp
  • Monika Kornel  harpsichord



Hans-Dieter Michatzhas been a performer and educator for more years than he cares to remember. His unique blend of a European background and training – his teachers included Ferdinand Conrad, recorder and Barthold Kuijken, baroque flute – and a deep affinity with modern Australian culture have influenced several generations of musicians in his adopted country. As a reputable player of modern and baroque flute as well as recorder, he has performed and recorded with many Orchestras and Early Music groups, eg: as principal flute with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra for many years, with Salut Baroque, Ensemble Ecclectus, Melbourne, and The Sydney Consort.

Apart from his acclaimed recording of Telemann’s ‘Sonate Metodiche, he features as principal recorder soloist in the ABC Classics recording of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerti. As a conductor, he pioneered landmark premier performances of Handel Oratorios and newly discovered works by J.D. Zelenka, as well as the first Australian performance of Vivaldi’s ‘Dixit Dominus’ RV 807. Hans-Dieter is Classical Coordinator at the Australian Institute of Music (AIM) and teaches at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and Sydney Grammar School.

He is also the patron of the Sydney Society of Recorder Players and his work as an arranger of symphonic repertoire for recorder orchestra has been published by MOECK, Germany. As part of annual engagements overseas he has joined the Sydney Consort in Germany, Luxembourg, Scandinavia, Poland and the Baltic States.

Verna Leestudied harp with June Loney, Alice Chalifoux, Alice Giles and Louise Johnson. As a soloist, she has toured Australia and performed many concertos  (45 performances to date!) including 4 Australian premieres, most recently, Alwyn's Lyra Angelic. She performed Ravel's Introduction & Allegro with the Australian Youth Orchestra in 1996. Verna was awarded a grant for her multi-media performance "The Harp in Nature", part of which is featured in the 2014 World Harp Congress in July.

Verna has worked and recorded with orchestras such as the Singapore Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Australian Opera and Ballet, Tasmanian Symphony, Adelaide Symphony, Australian Philharmonic and the Australian Youth Orchestra and with artists such as Aded Jones, Amelia Farrugia, Sumi Jo, the Kiev Ballet, Il Divo, the English National Ballet and Deutche Kammerakedemie Neuss.

Verna is the harpist featured in the movie "The Matrix". Outside of harp, she and her husband raise a panda-loving cellist and guitar-playing Lego fanatic.

The Organ Recital

The Sydney Consort invites you to its third annual feature of its concert series: The Organ Recital, celebrating the English pipe organ in the beautiful setting of St Augustine’s.

This fundraising event for the restoration of the 1886 William Hill heritage pipe organ at St Augustine’s Church will feature German organist, Wolfgang Kleber from Darmstadt.


  • Felix MENDELSSOHN  Sonate in B flat Major
  • Johann Sebastian BACHChoralvorspiele aus der Leipziger Sammlung
  • Max REGERVariationen und Fuge über ein Originalthema, Op. 73


  • Wolfgang KLEBER  organ


Wolfgang KLEBER was born in 1958 in Idstein/Taunus. He studied church music and organ solo (with Edgar Krapp) at the Musikhochschule in Frankfurt am Main. In 1982 Wolfgang received an award – the "Johann–Pachelbel–Preis" at the International competition of interpretation of organ music in Nürnberg. From 1981 until 1985 Wolfgang Kleber held a position of an organist and director of music at Wiesbaden's Kreuzkirche. Since 1985 he had the same position at the Pauluskirche in Darmstadt. Apart from his performing career Wolfgang also worked as an organ teacher at the "Hochschule für Kirchenmusik" in Heidelberg. The musician recorded a number of CD's  as well, live broadcasts for radio stations.

As a devoted musician, Wolfgang Kleber developed interest in the chamber music field and consequently founded his own ensemble – Trio Insolito in 2002. The other two members of that ensemble are famous soprano Barbara Meszaros and her brother Gabor Meszaros performing on bassoon.

Performing regularly, the organist’s dream to fulfill his music career was to work as a composer. His best works are the opera "Santa Cruz" (Max Frisch) and the oratorios "Tefilla" and "Weg–Farben".

In 2010 Wolfgang Kleber received a highly distinguish award in Germany for his work– the "Darmstädter Musikpreis".

The Concert Royale

Please join the Sydney Consort for the Concert Royale and all of its majestic and sophisticated music, which has been the source of the ensemble’s love affair with French baroque music for many years. The major influence which France did exert over the baroque age was one of courtly opulence. In 1669 Louis XIV decided to convert an old hunting lodge at Versailles into a palace of unprecedented magnificence. The Royal Palace of Versailles was where some of the best music of the French baroque era was created and produced.


Francois Couperin (the Great), Jean-Philippe Rameau, Joseph Bodin de Boismortier and Michel Pignolet de Monteclair


  • Josie Ryan  soprano
  • Stan Kornel  baroque violin & viola d’amore
  • Laura Moore  viola da gamba
  • Monika Kornel  harpsichord



After graduating from Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Josie Ryancompleted her Masters degree specializing in Early Vocal Music and Historical Performance Practice at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, with the aid of a grant from the Dutch Government. She studied with Rita Dams, Jill Feldman, Barbara Pearson and Diane Forlano, as well as participating in master classes and private lessons with Emma Kirkby, Evelyn Tubb and Barbara Schlick.  During her thirteen years in the Netherlands Josie performed as an ensemble singer with various leading groups across Europe, including The Tallis Scholars, The Amsterdam Baroque Choir and Collegium Vocale Gent. Her operatic roles include Rameau’s Les fetes d’Hebe, Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and Cavalieri’s Rappresentatione di Anima e di Corpo. Josie is frequently engaged as a soloist with ensembles including the St Mary’s Singers, the Choir of Christ Church St Laurence, Australian Baroque Brass, The Sydneian Bach Choir, Coro Innominata, SUMS, Sydney University Graduate Choir, The Oriana Chorale, Salut!

She is a regular performer with Pinchgut Opera, The Australian Brandenburg Choir & Cantillation. Josie is a regular guest with the Choir of St James’ and a member of the St Mary’s Cathedral Special Services Choir and Hallelujah Junction. In 2014 Josie particularly enjoyed her participation in the 8-voice performance of Bach’s St John Passion in the Crypt of St Mary’s Cathedral conducted by Thomas Wilson. Josie has recorded numerous CD’s and DVDs including the role of Liebe in Schmelzer’s sepolcro “Stärke der Lieb”, Monteverdi’s Madrigals, and Vivaldi’s Magnificat in duet with Emma Kirkby. She was featured as a soloist on the ABC Classics CD “Mysteries of Gregorian Chant” with The Singers of St. Laurence, which topped the ARIA Classical Charts for several months in 2014.

In 2010, Laura Moore completed her Bachelor of Music Performance (Cello) at the Victorian College of the Arts under the direction of Josephine Vains. During this time, she also studied Viola da Gamba with Miriam Morris. Laura has participated in master classes with Jordi Savall, Les Voix Humaine and Stanley Richie. She is a regular performer in Melbourne and Sydney with Consort Eclectus and Josie and the Emeralds. She has also made guest appearances with The Australian Chamber Orchestra, Ironwood, Camarata Antica, Sydney Consort and numerous other early music ensembles. Laura was an ABC Rising Star with fellow Viola da Gamba player, Reidun Turner, and has participated in ABC recordings with Consort Eclectus and Josie and the Emeralds. Laura is also a passionate primary school teacher and values the importance of musical education, particularly in rural areas. She works as a choral accompanist and cello tutor for The Arts Unit and also teaches cello and singing for numerous Sydney schools and holiday programs.

Many Strings Attached

A performance featuring baroque string instruments: 2 violas d’amore, viola da gamba, theorbo and harpsichord. The mix of baroque compositions from different European countries will display their elegance and competitiveness’ in their chamber display. Another highlight of this program will be the unusual and interesting 18th century Concerto for Harpsichord and Two Violas D’amore by an anonymous composer, recently discovered at the Echzell Castle in Hesse, Germany.


Ignaz Franz Biber, Robert de Visée,  Joseph Nicolas Pancrace Royer, Arcangelo Corelli, Nicola Matteis,  Antonio Vivaldi and Anonymous (18th Century composer).


  • Stan Kornel  baroque violin & viola d'amore
  • Ross Mitchell  viola d'amore
  • Shaun Ng  viola da gamba & theorbo
  • Monika Kornel harpsichord



Ross Mitchellhas combined a professional career as a scientist with a deep interest in early music performance. Born in Melbourne, Ross studied violin with Andre Hadges and was a member of the Australian Youth Orchestra, before turning his attention to early music during a period of post-doctoral research in the United Kingdom. Here Ross studied baroque violin with Michela Comberti, before returning to Melbourne and participating in a numerous pioneering early music ensembles including Melbourne Collegium and Il Pastor Fido. Subsequently Ross took up the viola and viola d'amore, and has played much of the significant repertoire for the latter instrument over the years. His instrument has seven playing strings and seven sympathetic strings, and was made by English maker Rowland Ross, one of only three violas d'amore from this maker. Ross currently lives in Canberra.

Shaun Ngis a performer of instruments of the violin and viol families, and the theorbo. He received his musical training in Europe, North America and Australia, where he studied performance and musicology with many of the best musicians in the field of historical performance. In Australia, he has played and recorded with Ensemble Battistin, Ironwood Ensemble, St James Baroque, The Marais Project, Perth Baroque, Seaven Teares Viol Consort, The Camerata of St John's, Opera Queensland and the Sydney Conservatorium's Early Music Ensemble. This year, he completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.