TYO Conductors

Each ensemble is supported through the year by hand selected conductors. These music education specialists and professionals leads the development of their ensemble through the year, along with the support of expert tutors, professionals and music educators. Some of our ensembles will also be working with Guest Conductors across the year for special projects and events. Read on to find out about our conductors.

Greg Stephens - 2018 TYO Conductor

Born in Sydney, Greg Stephens began piano studies at the age of five, later also studying organ, trumpet and voice. He completed the Bachelor of Music degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2001, studying horn with Campbell Barnes and Robert Johnson, and conducting with Henryk Pisarek. As a horn player Greg has performed with the Sydney, Melbourne, West Australian and Adelaide symphony orchestras, as well as the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and was principal horn with the Australian Youth Orchestra.

In 2004 he moved to Germany, studying horn at the University of Music Karlsruhe with Professor Will Sanders. In 2005 Greg took a position with the Essener Philharmoniker (Germany) and in 2006 joined the Tiroler Symphonieorchester Innsbruck (Austria). In 2008 he returned to Australia to take up a position with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

In 2001 Greg studied with renowned conducting professor Jorma Panula as part of the Symphony Australia conducting program, which included conducting the Sydney Symphony Orchestra as part of the Young Conductor of the Year competition. Since then, as part of the Symphony Services International course, he has also conducted the Tasmanian, Adelaide, Queensland and Melbourne symphony orchestras and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, with tutors such as Christopher Seaman, Lutz Köhler, and Johannes Fritzsch. Also, in 2014 Greg conducted members of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra for a course in Aix-en-Provence, France. In Tasmania he has conducted the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra brass section, as well as the chamber-sized "Mini TSO". Recently he conducted the Hobart Chamber Orchestra in Opera Van Diemensland's production of Lucia di Lammermoor. He is a guest conductor of the Tasmanian Youth Orchestra, and the founding conductor of the Tasmanian Medical Orchestra. He is a regular conductor of the Derwent Symphony Orchestra and the Hobart Chamber Orchestra, and has conducted the Tasmanian Discovery Orchestra Sinfonietta. He was the organist for St Mary’s Cathedral in Hobart (2009-2012), and has been teaching French horn at the University of Tasmania Conservatorium of Music since 2012.

Paul Radford - Guest Conductor

Paul Radford's association with the Tasmanian Youth Orchestra began when he was a student at the Conservatorium of Music, in the early 90s as a conductor of the Wind Ensemble and then the Youth Orchestra. After graduating from the University of Tasmania with a Bachelor of Music (Honours, First-class) Paul became a Music Teacher at The Friends' School, where he has held a number of positions. He is currently Head of Music at the School.

Returning to TYO in 2017 as Guest Conductor, Paul's program of dance-inspired works reached new heights in performance and we are thrilled to work with him again.

Paul is a clarinet player and is also a member of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Chorus, and is delighted to be rekindling ties with the Tasmanian Youth Orchestra.

Simon Reade - Philharmonic Conductor

Born in Launceston, Tasmania, Simon graduated from the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music in 1998, majoring in composition. He then completed a Bachelor of Education in 2005 and is currently employed at Ogilvie, Clarence and Bellerive schools.  

Simon has been the Musical Director of the Hobart City Band Inc since 1997 and is the conductor of the Hobart Wind Symphony, who he led to the 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2017 National A Grade Concert Band titles. He was accepted into the Symphony Services International Conductor Development Program in 2014/15, completing modules with Christopher Seaman and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Eckehard Stier and the Auckland Philharmonia, and Johannes Fritzsch and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

As a conductor, Simon is passionate about the performance of new music - and especially Tasmanian music.  He has conducted the premiere performances of over 50 new works by Tasmanian composers, as well as reviving many important Tasmanian compositions. He has premiered several important works of Don Kay as well as most of the large ensemble works by Simon Barber. In February 2014 he conducted premiere performances of Barber and Kay’s Piano Concertos with Michael Kieran Harvey as soloist. In November 2014 he premiered Kay’s opera, The Bushranger’s Lover to great critical acclaim. In 2016 he conducted Sculthorpe with the Tasmanian Youth Orchestra, Kay with the Hobart Chamber Orchestra and premiere works by Barber, Misson, Young, and Reade with the Hobart Wind Symphony, as well as the premiere of Scott McIntyre’s Piano Concerto with soloist Michael Kieran Harvey.

In his spare time, Simon composes, and has filled commissions from the Tasmanian Youth Orchestra, the Festival of Voices (Tasmania), IHOS opera, the Hobart Chamber Orchestra, the Derwent Valley Band and the Tasmanian Composer’s Festival, amongst others. His music has been performed by such eminent performers as; Michael Kieran Harvey, Jabra Latham, Diego Campagna, Maurizio Barbetti, Duo Porto-Frontini, Luca Ferrini & Joze Kotar, and Benjamin Price.  He has music for band published through Brolga Music Australia, selected chamber works through Musicisti Associati Produzioni of Milan, and he is a represented composer at the Australian Music Centre.

He lives in Campania, just out of Hobart, with his wife Claire and sons Owen, Callum and Elliott.

Lyall McDermott - Philharmonic Orchestra Guest Conductor

Our Philharmonic Orchestra Conductor Simon Reade will be on leave for Term 1 so we are delighted to welcome back Lyall as our Philharmonic Orchestra Guest Conductor!

Born in Hobart, Tasmania, Lyall began studying piano and violin from an early age. He graduated from the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music in 1974 having majored in Performance and Education. The following year, he commenced a career with the Tasmanian Department of Education that spanned almost 40 years, working variously as a classroom music teacher, a music consultant, a specialist instrumental music teacher and as a band director.

Active in the local music scene over many years, Lyall has played in cabaret bands, big bands and rock bands, including the acclaimed Fern Chutney. For ten years he was a recording engineer at Red Planet Studios, during which time, in collaboration with Stewart Long, he wrote a considerable body of music for the ABC TV Education Unit and, for American Cable television. They worked on soundtracks for several documentary series including the award-winning Frontiers of Flight, which was produced as a joint venture by the Discovery Channel and the Smithsonian Institute. Lyall is also a published composer of ensemble and concert band pieces written especially for use in schools.

Lyall joined the Derwent Valley Concert Band as a baritone saxophone player in 1999, after which he was appointed Assistant Conductor (2009) before becoming the Chief Conductor in 2010.

Tracey Patten - Percussion Ensemble Conductor

After completing an Honours Degree in Arts in Music from the Victorian College of the Arts, Tracey used her Willem Van Otterloo Orchestral Prize to study at the Sweelinck Conservatorium of Music in Amsterdam, studying with Principals from the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and various leading European freelance players.

Tracey has since been a freelance orchestral percussionist, augmenting with the Adelaide and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras, Orchestra Victoria and playing in many music theatre productions. She is currently a regular casual percussionist and timpanist and guest Principal Percussionist with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

Chamber music has always been a passion and she spent 10 happy years playing in the Melbourne-based, Aria nominated percussion quartet “Woof!” and still plays in the duo “Mattra” with her husband, Principal Timpanist with the Tasmanian Symphony, Matthew Goddard.

Tracey has taught in various schools in Melbourne, and at Melbourne University and the Victorian College of the Arts. She currently teaches at The Friends’ School and for the Tasmanian Education Department. She also presents workshops and tutorials for various schools and groups in Hobart and has adjudicated the percussion solos for the Australian Band Championships.

As an Australian Youth Orchestra alumnae, Tracey is committed to supporting youth music and has been involved with the TYO for many years as Percussion Ensemble director, tutor, board member and Artistic Adviser. She has also tutored at AYO’s Young Symphonists Camp and been a panel member for various AYO programs.

Simon Cawthorn - Wind Ensemble Conductor

Simon is a graduate from the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music, where he studied trumpet and flugelhorn. Simon has played in various ensembles in Australia, including the National Australia Brass (NAB), Hobart Wind Symphony, augmented with the Melbourne Opera Company, and has been privileged to travel with bands such as Derwent Valley Concert Band to Japan, China, Canada and America.

As a soloist, Simon has won several state and national awards, including winning the National Open Flugelhorn Competition at the ANBC in Adelaide (2011). In 2013, Simon was one of three conductors in Australasia to be awarded a Lady Stewart Conducting Bursary to study under Professor David King from the Royal Northern College of Music in the UK.

Simon has also been musical director for a number of concert and brass bands, including the Hobart and Glenorchy City Concert Brass and teacher in charge of bands in several schools. He also received the Tasmanian Bands League Badge of Honour (2016) for services to community banding.

Simon has been an assessor and an adjudicator of musical performance and was most recently the adjudicator at the TBL State Solo and Party Championships. He enjoys seeing wind and percussion players reach their full potential and, in his spare time, he plays drums for Hillsong Hobart.

Dale Brown - Academy Strings Conductor

Dale Brown began her orchestral career at the age of 12, attending Saturday morning rehearsals in youth orchestras for a further 8 years.

She has a B Mus (Hons) in cello performance from the University of Western Australia and a Post Graduate Diploma in Performance from the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music. Dale was a member of Australian Youth Orchestra and a string finalist in the Young Performer of the Year, playing Dvořák's Cello Concerto with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

She has held positions with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. She has also worked in Sydney with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

She has also done freelance work including a lengthy season of Les Misérables, film and jingle work.

Recently retired from orchestral playing, Dale now enjoys engaging with young players through extensive cello teaching and youth orchestra conducting.

Sarah Matthews - Camerata Strings Conductor

Sarah was awarded BA Honours in Music Education from Kingston University in 1987 where she studied cello and piano. She studied cello with Derek Simpson of the Aeolian String Quartet and Leonard Stehn at the London Guildhall School of Music, and was later awarded a Diploma in Orchestral Studies from the University of London.

After emigrating to Australia in 1992 she played with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony and Philharmonia Orchestras and was Principal Cellist of the Darwin Symphony Orchestra. She was also cellist of the Orion Piano Trio, who performed regular local and national concerts. Subsequently she became a member of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra then the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.

Throughout her career Sarah has always maintained an interest in music education and has had her own private teaching studio. She has regularly taught in schools and other educational establishments as a string coach, cello teacher and classroom music teacher. She has conducted numerous ensembles including youth orchestras, string groups and other instrumental and vocal groups in Britain, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East.

Sarah was Director of Music at Calrossy School in Tamworth and has held teaching posts in three different NSW music conservatoriums, as well as the position of Head of Strings at St Michael’s Collegiate College.

Andrew Bainbridge - Tasmanian Youth Chorale Conductor

Andrew Bainbridge commenced his musical career as an eight-year-old treble in the choir of St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne. He attended Trinity Grammar School in Kew, and studied piano with Margaret Schofield and organ with the legendary Dr June Nixon. Having been appointed Assistant Organist at St Paul’s at the age of 17, he went on to study piano and organ at the University of Melbourne, where his teachers included Mack Jost for piano and John O’Donnell for organ and harpsichord. He also studied voice with Lisa Ruggiero and Susan Breen-Clarke. Andrew worked for many years as a freelance musician, and was an organist and keyboard player with the Melbourne Symphony for three years before being appointed Choral Director and Head of Keyboard at Scotch College in Hawthorn.

Andrew moved to Hobart with his family in 2005, and now teaches at several Hobart schools, as well as on the casual staff of the UTAS Conservatorium of Music. He has performed several times as a keyboard player with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra since arriving in Tasmania, and was appointed Assistant Chorusmaster of the TSO Chorus in 2009. Andrew is also Musical Director of Allegri Ensemble; State Manager of the Australian and New Zealand College of Organists; State Director of the Organ Historical Trust of Australia; and Organist of St Mary’s Cathedral.


Estelle Levy - Tasmanian Junior Chorale Conductor

Estelle is a Classroom Music Teacher, whose weekly classes include Early Childhood, Primary, and Secondary Music. Estelle studied Music Performance, Conducting and Music Education under acclaimed music educator, Monte Mumford. She graduated in 1997 with a Bachelor of Performing Arts, Music (flute), followed by a Bachelor of Teaching. Recognised for her teaching talents and aptitude, Estelle was selected for the Beginner Band Conductor Training Program, under the University of Tasmania's Community Music Program. Early in Estelle's teaching career, she found herself responsible for conducting school choirs as part of her teaching role. Wanting to improve her knowledge of the singing voice, Estelle undertook classical singing lessons with the outstanding Helen Todd for several years.

Estelle began working with the Tasmanian Youth Chorale Juniors in 2011, shortly after the Tasmanian Youth Chorale introduced the Junior training choir and still holds the role of Conductor of the TYO Tasmanian Junior Chorale.

Marko Letonja - 2018 TYO Special Project Conductor

Marko Letonja is Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg. Born in Slovenia, he studied at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana and the Vienna Academy of Music. 

He was Music Director of the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra from 1991 to 2003 and Music Director and Chief Conductor of both the Symphony Orchestra and the Opera in Basel from 2003 to 2006. He was Principal Guest Conductor of Orchestra Victoria in 2008 and made his debut with the TSO the following year. He took up the post of Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra at the start of 2012. 

He has worked with many orchestras in Europe including the Munich Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, Berlin Radio Orchestra, Mozarteum Orchestra and the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, Milan. He has also worked in many renowned opera houses such as the Vienna State Opera, Berlin State Opera, La Scala Milan, Semper Oper Dresden, and the Grand Théâtre de Genève. Additionally, he has conducted at the Arena di Verona.

Future engagements include the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, Berlin Radio Orchestra, Bavarian State Opera in Munich and Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen for the Royal Swedish Opera with Nina Stemme as Brünnhilde.

Project proudly supported by

Rob McWilliams

Born and raised in Melbourne, Prof Rob McWilliams holds a PhD in Music from the University of Minnesota (USA), a Master's degree in Instrumental Conducting from Florida State University (USA), and a Bachelor's degree in Music Education from the University of Melbourne. Prof McWilliams served as Professor of Music and Director of Bands and Instrumental Music Education at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (USA) from 1996 to 2014, where he conducted symphonic and jazz ensembles, and taught courses in conducting, music education, and jazz. From 2011, he also served as Head of the Music Department.

Prof McWilliams has travelled extensively as a guest conductor and clinician, appearing at major music conferences in all states of Australia, as well as in the US, Japan, Hong Kong, the UK, Singapore, Europe, and China, including conferences of the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, and the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, Chicago. He is also Artistic Director for the Tutti International Youth Music Festival in Beijing 2019. In addition to ensemble direction, he has extensive professional performing experience on trumpet and keyboard with a number of symphonic, brass and jazz ensembles.

Prof McWilliams has been published in peer-reviewed professional publications and is a composer/arranger with Alfred's Music. In early 2015, he relocated to Brisbane, and is currently working as Yamaha Music Australia's Education Outreach Clinician and freelancing as a musician, educator, conductor, composer/arranger, and adjudicator.

In 2018, Prof McWilliams will be presenting workshops and a conducting masterclass, and conducting TYO's Brahms project, courtesy of Yamaha Music Australia.

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