The Amabile Players

Bringing classical chamber music to the north of Sydney

The 2002 Sunday Concert Series

Meet the Players

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We are a group of professional musicians living in the north of Sydney who perform mainly in orchestras in the Sydney Opera House. We "discovered" each other in 1997 and decided to form an ensemble to present regular community chamber music concerts.

The members of the group are Elisabeth Mitchelmore, violin; Valmai Coggins, viola; Christopher Lockhart Smith, cello; Libby Pring, flute; Telena Ruth, oboe; and Euen Huggett, clarinet.

Our series of Sunday afternoon concerts has proved very popular, attracting ever-increasing audiences. Each concert lasts about an hour and is followed by tea, giving the audience an opportunity to meet the musicians and chat about the music. To allow maximum community participation, entry is by donation. The donations cover our expenses; we do not receive a performance fee.

2MBS-FM has broadcast several of our concerts, and a CD is planned.

The 2002 Sunday Concert Series

In 2002 the Amabile Players is again playing a series of four Sunday concerts in St. Peter's Church, 207 Pacific Highway, Hornsby, starting at 3.30 pm on each occasion. The dates and programmes are as follows.

28 April

Mozart: Prelude and Fuge in D minor for string trio
Reizenstein: Duo for oboe and clarinet
Handel-Halvorsen: Passacaglia for violin and viola
Mozart: Adagio for English horn and strings, K580a
Beethoven: Quintet in C minor for clarinet and strings
Guest artist: Robyn Brookfield, viola

30 June

Backofen: Duo Concertante for clarinet and harp
Martin: Piece Breve, for flute, oboe and harp
Donizetti: Larghetto and Allegro, for violin and harp
Ridout: Quartet for cor anglais and strings
Michael Hannan: Rajas for solo cello
Debussy: Trio for flute, viola and harp
Guest artist: Genevieve Lang, harp

13 October

Powning: Divertimento for flute, oboe and clarinet
Beethoven: String Trio in C minor
Stephen Yates: Sestetto for strings and winds
Pleyel: Quartet Op. 18 No. 2, for flute, oboe, violin, viola and cello

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Meet the Players

Elisabeth Mitchelmore (violin) was born in Germany, gaining a Bachelor of Music at the Stuttgart College of Music. She undertook postgraduate studies with Corrado Romano at the Conservatoire de Musique in Geneva and in 1994 studied for a postgraduate Diploma in Music Performance with Charmian Gadd at the Sydney Conservatorium.

Elisabeth's first professional position was with the Stuttgart Opera and Symphony Orchestra in 1984. She then moved to the Munich Chamber Orchestra, with which she toured extensively in Europe, Russia and South East Asia and made numerous recordings and broadcasts for Radio Bavaria. She was also a founder member of the Munich-based Guidantus String Quartet.

Since her arrival in Australia in 1990, Elisabeth has played regularly with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Opera and Ballet Orchestra. She has also been active in the chamber music field, including solo performances for the ABC and 2MBS-FM.

Elisabeth founded the Amabile Players in 1997 and has continued to lead them in every concert.

Valmai Coggins (viola) began her musical studies on the piano and violin before making the viola her chosen instrument. She studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with Alex Todicescu, receiving a Bachelor of Music in 1986 and a Master of Music in performance in 1991.

In 1989 Valmai was Principal Viola in the ABC National Ensemble and then became a permanent member of the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra until the end of 1994. Since then Valmai has performed with all the major Orchestras including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

Valmai was a founding member of the Alpha Centauri Ensemble, which gave many world and Australian premiers of new works, culminating in a major tour of Europe in 1992. Valmai plays regularly with the Sydney Mozart Players and has performed in many other chamber music groups, including the Goossens Ensemble and the Sydney String Quartet.

Valmai is a founding member of the Amabile Players and has played in every one of their concerts to date.

Christopher Lockhart Smith (cello) has held positions with The W.A. Symphony and the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestras, has performed with most of Australia’s professional orchestras, and is currently playing with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra. He was principal cellist with the Australian Pops, the Australian Philharmonic (including the 1994 national Bolshoi Ballet tour) and the Melbourne season of West Side Story.

Christopher has an ongoing interest in chamber music-most recently with the cello duo Cellissimo and in contemporary music, playing with Elision and the WASO’s 20th Century Ensemble.

Recent recordings are Liza Lim’s “Heart’s Ear” on ABC Classics and “The Intertwining-The Chasm: Installations and Improvisations” on the IMA label.

Christopher joined the Amabile Players in 2001.

Libby Pring (flute) studied initially in Melbourne, where she completed a Bachelor of Arts (Music) with Thomas Pinshot. An Austrian Government Scholarship enabled her to study in Vienna for three years, where she completed a Performance Diploma with high distinction. Libby studied with Wolfgang Schulz, solo flautist in the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Lukas Graf (Switzerland) and Severino Gazzelloni (Italy).

Upon her return to Australia in 1987, Libby was appointed principal flute with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra. After a stay in Malaysia, where she taught at the university and performed chamber music, and a year of freelance work with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and various other groups, Libby returned to her principal position with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra in 1999.

Libby joined the Amabile Players in 1999.

Teléna Ruth (oboe) studied with Guy Henderson at the NSW Conservatorium of Music and graduated with a DSCM in teaching and performance. The award of an Australian Arts Council Music Scholarship enabled her to continue her studies at the the Northwest German Music Academy in Metmold with Professor Helmut Winschermann. Teléna toured throughout Europe with the European Philharmonic Orchestra and the European Bach Orchestra. She also performed with the Nürnberg Symphony Orchestra, the Northwest German Philharmonic and the Hong Kong Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestras.

Since returning to Australia, Teléna has played with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. She continues to work as a freelance oboist and teacher.

Teléna is a founding member of the Amabile players.

Euan Huggett (clarinet) was brought up in New Zealand. He studied clarinet at the Royal College of Music in London with Sidney Fell, principal clarinet with the London Symphony Orchestra, before becoming an established freelance orchestral musician. He was a founding member of several contemporary music groups in London and played with some of Britain's leading orchestras before returning to a position with the Auckland Sinfonia.

In 1976, on a visit to Sydney, he was offered his current position with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra. He has performed with all the leading orchestras and well-established chamber groups in Sydney, and for many years was a member of the staff at the Sydney Conservatorium. His abiding interest, however, remains with the lyric theatre and the opera orchestra.

Euan joined the Amabile Players in 1998 and has played an active part in its development.

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Some useful links

For more information about chamber music concerts in Sydney, visit Ozdiary-Australia's performing arts diary.

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Contact us

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Last updated 7 March 2002

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