violarama Conservatorium Open Academy


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A Viola Day at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, in association with AUSTA (the Australian String Teachers Association)

Saturday 13 10am – 5pm

An unmissable event for all violists – whether performers, teachers or students – and lovers of the viola.

A packed day of concerts and masterclasses, including a recital by Roger Benedict and Ying Yo (featuring music from Roger’s recent ABC Classics CD A Winter’s Tale), masterclasses by Tobias Breider (SSO Principal), Stuart Johnson (Conservatorium staff and SSO), and Roger Benedict (Conservatorium staff and SSO Principal); student recitals, luthier displays and a closing concert by the Conservatorium’s celebrated Viola Ensemble.

See the Con’s Viola Ensemble in action here


Roger Benedict
Tobias Breider
Stuart Johnson
Ying Ho (piano)


10.05Stuart Johnson Masterclass – How to Practice
11.00Roger Benedict and Ying Ho in Recital
11.50Morning Tea
12.00Roger Benedict – Masterclass
2.00Student Recital
3.00Tobias Breider – Masterclass
4.30Sydney Conservatorium Viola Ensemble Concert


Roger Benedict’s wide-ranging career has encompassed work as a conductor, soloist, orchestral player, chamber musician and teacher. He is currently principal viola of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the orchestra’s Fellowship Program and a Senior Lecturer at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Roger Benedict was Principal Viola of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London from 1991- 2000 and has held the same position with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra since 2002.

As a viola soloist, Roger Benedict has appeared with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and Ulster Orchestra in the UK as well as the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa (Japan).

As both recitalist and chamber musician, Roger Benedict has appeared at London’s Wigmore Hall and Purcell Room, at major festivals and concert series in Europe and Australia, and with such groups as the New Zealand String Quartet, Tinalley String Quartet and Sydney Soloists.

Roger Benedict’s debut recital CD Volupté (with pianist Timothy Young) of music by Charles Koechlin and Joseph Jongen, released in 2010, was selected as one of the ten best recordings of 2010 by His recording of Vaughan Williams' Flos Campi with the SSO was released in 2011, and a disc of music by Hans Gál and Ernst Krenek in 2014. His most recent disc, A Winter’s Tale, music of Schubert and Schumann with Simon Tedeschi , was released earlier this year on the ABC Classics label.

Increasingly active as a conductor, Roger Benedict has conducted the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in subscription concerts at the Sydney Opera House, City Recital Hall and in regional centres, as well as in special events. In addition he appears with other major Australasian orchestras such as the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Auckland Philharmonia, and, demonstrating his ongoing commitment to orchestral training, the young symphonists of the Australian Youth Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra (UK).

Roger Benedict is active as editor and arranger and also writes regularly for journals such as The Strad. He plays a viola made in 1753 by Carlo Antonio Testore.


Before his appointment as Principal Violist of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 2011 Tobias Breider has held Principal Viola positions in prestigious german orchestras like the Rhine Opera Düsseldorf, the Hamburg State Opera (under Simone Young) and the Konzerthausorchester Berlin.
As a guest Principal he frequently performed with other European top orchestras such as the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Radio Orchestras of Vienna, Berlin and Cologne and the Las Palmas Philharmonic. In chamber music he regularly collaborates with many of Australia’s finest artists and ensembles such as the Australia Ensemble, Selby&Friends, Wilma&Friends, the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and the Australia Octet. Tobias is founding member of the String Trio EX PATRIA (together with his SSO colleagues, Concertmaster Andrew Haveron and Principal cellist Umberto Clerici) and last year joined the Brisbane based EnsembleQ. Internationally he has been invited to Festivals in the US, Germany, Austria, the UK and South Africa.

As a soloist Tobias has appeared at the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Domain, Parrammatta Park, City Recital Hall and the Recital Centre in Melbourne, he regularly tours Queensland in recitals and performs at the Sanguine Estate Festivals, the musical Marathons in Melbourne and at the Sydney Chamber Music Festival. In 2018 he made his debut at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville.

Tobias Breider teaches privately in Sydney; previous engagements include the Britten/Pears School in Aldeburgh, the Shanghai Academy, Stellenbosch University (South Africa), the Sydney Conservatorium and ANAM.


Stuart Johnson joined the Sydney Symphony Orchestra viola section permanently in 2009. As a violist, Stuart has performed with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Singapore Symphony Orchestra, featured as a soloist with Orchestra Victoria, and appeared as guest Principal Viola with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and the Opera Australia Orchestra. Stuart was a member of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra viola section for almost five years before returning to Sydney. In addition, he is a keen chamber musician and has appeared in a number of broadcasts for ABC Classic FM.

Stuart is currently a Viola Lecturer at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and also teaches viola and coaches chamber music at the Conservatorium High School and Conservatorium Open Academy Rising Stars program. He has previously lectured viola at the University of Melbourne and taught and conducted at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts Junior School. In addition, Stuart has been an orchestral tutor and mentor with the Australian Youth Orchestra, and been a guest teacher and given classes at the Xinghai Conservatory of Music, the Shanghai Orchestra Academy and the Queensland Conservatorium of Music.


Ying Ho has performed as soloist and chamber musician across Australia, UK, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and America. A recipient of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music International Scholarship, she studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Tatiana Sarkissova, at the Universität der Künste in Berlin with Jacques Rouvier, and the Sydney Conservatorium with Dr Paul Rickard-ford.

Ying won numerous prizes and scholarships during her studies including the Else Cross (Brahms) Prize and the Maud Hornby Memorial Prize from the Royal Academy, London. She won the Sydney Conservatorium Concerto Competition, the Kathleen and Allison Short Memorial Scholarship, the John and Dorothy Vimpani Scholarship, and the Sonya Hanke Memorial Prize. First prize winner of the Kawai Australasian Youth Concerto Competition, she performed Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No.1 with the Western Australian Youth Orchestra. Ying has also worked with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Sydney Youth Orchestra. As a chamber musician, she has performed in festivals including the Prussia Cove International Musicians Seminar, the Duo Sonata Program with Pierre Amoyal and Bruno Canino at the Lausanne Academie de Musique in Switzerland, the Estivo Chamber Music Festival in Verona, Italy, and recently at the Mimir Chamber Music Festival in Fort Worth, Texas. She has performed for Musica Viva Countrywide, at the Musica Viva Festival, and her piano trio will feature as one of their regional touring artists in 2019. Ying regularly performs with the Sydney Symphony Fellows, and has appeared in masterclasses with Vladimir Ashkenazy, Maxim Vengerov, Pinchas Zukerman and Anne-Sophie Mutter.

In 2008, Ying spent a year in Jerusalem where she was on the faculty of the Edward Said Conservatory of Music. She gave concerts in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Ramallah, Haifa and Nazareth, and conducted the Conservatory’s orchestra in Bach’s Keyboard Concerto.

Ying is currently Head of Keyboard at MLC School in Sydney.


Registration typeEarly bird (til 2 Sep 2018)Full rate
2-Day Festival Pass$215.00$250.00
1-day Festival Pass$127.50$150.00
Student 2-day Festival Pass$100.00
Student 1-day Festival Pass$50.00


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