A brief history
Chamber music is an integral part of any fine orchestra. It is the place where members of the orchestra can express their individuality in a way that is often impossible when they are but one voice in the large orchestral machine.
In 1992 Virtuosi Tasmania, an incorporated association, was established by the late Stephen Martin to gather the casual chamber music activity of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra into regular concert series.
Since then Virtuosi Tasmania has presented chamber music concerts performed by members of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (TSO) and other fine Tasmanian musicians in diverse ensembles from every section of the Orchestra, percussion duos, string and wind groups, all the way through to a very popular tuba quartet. Generally over sixteen concerts are presented through the year in unusual and interesting locations throughout Tasmania, including stately heritage homes, shearing sheds, apple sheds, limestone caves, art galleries and vineyards.
One of the strengths of Virtuosi Tasmania is its ability to draw from the TSO and mainland orchestras, wonderful players to perform chamber music written for larger mixed ensembles. Most chamber music series around the world are centered on the string quartet or piano trio. Larger works requiring mixed instrumentation are rarely performed.
Following the sad and untimely passing in 2015 of Stephen Martin, our founding Artistic Director, Virtuosi Tasmania is pleased and excited that Jennifer Marten-Smith has taken up the Musical Manager position.
Jennifer grew up in Tasmania and at age 12 was invited to study with Professor Gediga-Glombitza at the Musikhochschule in Cologne. At age 16 she made her public debut with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra as soloist in Schumann’s A minor Piano Concerto, having previously recorded the Rimsky-Korsakov Piano Concerto with the TSO. Two years later she performed the Rubinstein Piano Concerto No 4 with the TSO and, that same year, was the youngest graduate of the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music, where she was awarded a high distinction as a double major in piano performance and accompaniment. Other concertos in her repertoire include works by Beethoven, Brahms, Dohnányi, Mozart, Saint-Saëns and Tchaikovsky, and she has appeared as soloist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Niedersächsisches Staatsorchester Hannover.In 1989 she began work as a repetiteur with the State Opera of South Australia and subsequently joined the Victorian State Opera Young Artist Programme. Between 1997 and 2001 she was repetiteur at the Staatsoper Hannover and was a full-time member of the music staff with Opera Australia from 2001 to 2012. She has more than 90 operas in her repertoire. Jennifer, a member of the Kettering Piano Quartet, is now living in Hobart, and is in demand as a soloist, accompanist and vocal coach.
With her close ties with members of the TSO and the wider Tasmanian musical fraternity Jennifer is well placed to assist Virtuosi Tasmania in realising its aims.
The Virtuosi Tasmania Inc CommitteeThe committee for 2016 is made up of the following members
- Chair: Pat Leary
- Musical Manager: Jennifer Marten-Smith
- Treasurer: John Langford
- Secretary: Pieter Buining
- Committee members: Alan Blakers, Ralph Kidson, Gillian Groom, Jennifer Owen, Dianne Martin, Kay Mallinson
Elspeth Hope-Johnstone AM is a life member of Virtuosi Tasmania Inc.
The committee meets regularly during the year with an Annual General Meeting in November/December. Details are availble from the .