Colin Mackerras

Australian sinologist, Emeritus Professor at Griffith University, and specialist in Chinese culture

Professor Colin Mackerras (AO, FAHA) is is a specialist on Chinese history, musical theatre and ethnic minorities, as well as Australia-China relations and Western images of China, and has published widely on all those subjects. He worked at Griffith University from 1974 to 2004 and has been a professor Emeritus at the University since retirement. He has also worked frequently at the Beijing Foreign Studies University and the Renmin University of China in Beijing. He has written or edited over 40 books and authored nearly 200 scholarly papers. He also has a deep passion for European music and is brother to the distinguished conductor, the late Sir Charles Mackerras.


Barry Tuckwell

Australian Horn player AC, OBE

Barry Tuckwell was born on 5 March 1931 in Melbourne, son of Charles Tuckwell, an organist and his wife Elizabeth. 

After studying the piano, organ and violin as a chorister at St Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney, Tuckwell was introduced to the horn at age 13 and was playing professionally within six months. He studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music under Alan Mann, one of Australia's most influential brass players. 

Tuckwell relates an anecdote regarding his choice of instrument: sitting in a cafe one day with his sister Patricia, Charles Mackerras and a horn player from the local symphony, Patricia speculated on what Tuckwell's future in music might be. The horn player suggested, "Why not try the horn?" Tuckwell did so and within two years was playing in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. 


In 1955, he was appointed first horn with the London Symphony Orchestra. During his 13 years with the LSO, which is a co-operative orchestra run entirely by the players, he was elected to the Board of Directors and was Chairman of the Board for six years. 

He resigned from the orchestra in 1968 to pursue a career as a soloist and conductor. For the next thirty years, he carved out a career exclusively as soloist — one of the few horn virtuosos to have done so. His last concert was with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 1997.

He is one of the most recorded horn soloist, having made over 50 recordings and has received three Grammy Award nominations.


Jun Yi Ma

Concertmaster and Orchestra Director, Opera Australia Orchestra

Considered a prodigy, violinist Jun Yi Ma has performed for three US presidents, three Australian Prime Ministers and has a long and illustrious career as a solo violinist, Concertmaster and University Professor.

Born in Shanghai in 1972, Jun began violin studies at the age of six under the tuition of Professor Ding at the Shanghai Conservatorium. By 12 he was performing for Ronald Reagan at the White House, representing China as a ‘Little Ambassador’. Also present at this performance was Jascha Heifetz, who then took Jun on as a student.

Since his appointment as inaugural Concertmaster of the Asian Youth Orchestra in 1990, Jun has held Concertmaster positions with the Asian Youth Orchestra, Australian Virtuoso Chamber Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and has been a regular Guest Concertmaster with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony, Adelaide Symphony, Orchestra Victoria and the San Antonio Symphony.

Academically, Jun has tutored and mentored hundreds of students since becoming a Professor of Violin at the University of Tasmania in 2006.

In 2017 Jun was appointed Concertmaster and Orchestra Director of the Opera Australia Orchestra.

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Xiaoming Han

Chinese International Horn Player

At the age of 10 Xiao-Ming Han began studying horn with his father, Xianguang Han, a renowned Chinese horn professor and prizewinner at the Geneva International Horn Competition in 1960. After graduating from the Academy affiliated with the China Central Philharmonic Orchestra and Beijing's Central Conservatory of Music at the age of 17, Xiao-Ming Han was appointed principal horn of the China Central Philharmonic Orchestra.

During Seiji Ozawa's visit to China in 1979, maestro Osawa was impressed by young Xiao-Ming Han's musical talent and invited him to attend the Tanglewood Music Summer Institute in the United States. Consequently, in 1981 he was enrolled to study with Richard Mackey (member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra) of the New England Conservatory on a full scholarship. In 1983 Han won the first prize of the International Horn Competition organized by the International Horn Society.


In 1984, upon receiving a scholarship from the Deutscher Akademischer AustauschDienst (DAAD), he went to Europe to further his studies with Prof. Ifor James at the Freiburg University of Music, and with Prof. Otto Schmitz at the Munich University of Music where he obtained his Master of Arts degree in 1986.


Within three months after arrival in Germany, at age 22, Han was appointed principal horn of the Würzburg Philharmonic Orchestra and later that year principal horn of the German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of maestro Myung-whun Chung. Han has continued his career with the German Radio Philharmonic up to present time.


Han has performed with many celebrated conductors such including Leonard Bernstein, Georg Solti,  Claudio Abbado, Lorin Maazel, Seiji Ozawa, Mariss Jansons and Christoph Eschenbach. He has been invited to various music festivals such as the Salzburg Music Festival, Würzburg Mozart Music Festival, Saito Kinen Festival, Schleswig- Holstein Music Festival, Lucerne Festival, London Proms and also famous the Marlboro Music Festival where he performed chamber music together with Midori Goto, Mitsuko Uchida, Hilary Hahn and many others.


Additionally, he has been invited as guest principal with the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bavarian, Hamburg, Cologne, Frankfurt, and Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestras, the Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, and Düsseldorf Opera House Orchestras as well as the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.


In 1993 Han became the youngest and up to present time the only Asian professor for horn and chamber music in Germany at age of 30. He has been professor at the University of Music Saarland until 2011. In all those years, Han has shown great commitment to further horn education worldwide. Next to invitations for Master Classes in the USA, Australia, Japan, Singapore, and various countries in Europe, he has also been invited as regular guest professor at the Central Conservatory of Music (CCOM) in Beijing and the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.


Han has shown to possess great organizational skills to promote international collaboration in classical music. He held the position of Artistic Director of the annual Music Festival of the CCOM from 2004 to 2010, organized the first Chamber Music Festival in the worlds’ largest concert hall, namely the China National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Beijing, and was consequently asked to establish a new residence orchestra at the NCPA. Having taken a sabbatical from his position at the German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Han acted as the General Manager of the China NCPA Concert Hall Orchestra from 2010 to 2012. After the orchestra booked it's initial successes, Han returned to Germany to continue in the position as Principal Horn of the German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra.


Since his return to the stage in Germany, Han also increased his guest performances worldwide. He toured with the Berlin Philharmonic in Europe and with the Royal Philharmonic in China, performed at the Surrey Hills International Music Festival, London and with the Sydney Opera Orchestra. He furthermore gave several solo, chamber music and orchestra performances in China, Taiwan, and Korea.


Amongst some of the recent highlights in his career, are the release of his Strauss and Mozart recordings by Oehms Classics in 2014 and 2017 consecutively, and the 2016 invitation as the judge in the most prestigious competition for horn, namely the ARD Competition in Munich.