Performing Chamber Music with fellow musicians for an appreciative audience is one of the most rewarding experiences a musician can aspire to. The Chamber Music course being offered to advanced students at St. Andrew's Anglican College will include tutorials leading up to a public concert. The course is designed to provide an environment in which the students can discover their role in a small ensemble and encourages them to communicate musically with each other through gesture and musical expression. They will be guided through all aspects of concert preparation; from selecting appropriate repertoire, compiling a well/balanced concert program, developing chamber music rehearsal techniques, to promoting and presenting the concert itself. These are invaluable for skills for performing musicians which are too often overlooked in mainstream tertiary institutions. The course will give these selected College aspiring musicians a sneak preview into the professional world of music/making.
The Chamber Music Course will be led by Australia’s most highly respected historical clarinetist, Nicole van Bruggen. Nicole is passionate about chamber music from the 18th and 19th centuries and performs with orchestras and chamber music ensembles in both Europe and Australia. With her chamber music ensembles from Holland, Nicole was awarded three prizes at The International van Wassenaer Competition in 2001 and was awarded a prize in 1999 in the Musica Antiqua Competition at the prestigious Flanders Festival in Bruges. She has also recorded prize/winning chamber music CDs and performed numerous times at the Utrecht Early Music Festival as well as other major festivals in Europe such as Barcelona and Bruges, and as artist in residence at the Festival of Bows and Strings in Poznan (Poland). Since moving back to Australia in 2012, Nicole has toured as soloist and chamber musician with Musica Viva Australia and appeared as artist in residence at both the Canberra International Music Festival and the Woodend Winter Arts Festival.
Nicole is principal clarinetist and member of the Artistic Committee for the newly formed orchestra seventeen88 under the artistic direction of Richard Gill OAM. She is principal clarinetist in a number of historical instrument orchestras worldwide such as Concerto Copenhagen (dir. Lars Ulrik Mortensen, Denmark), Barokksolistene (dir. Bjarte Eike, Norway), and Concerto d’Amsterdam. Over recent years, she has performed with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra (dir. Paul Dyer), The Netherlands Bach Society, Tafelmusik (Canada), Ludovico’s Band (Australia), New Dutch Academy (dir. Simon Murphy, Holland), Arte dei Suonatori (Poland), Australian Classical Era Orchestra, Barokopera Amsterdam and Les Musiciens du Louvre (dir. Marc Minkowski, France).
In addition to her performing career, Nicole is committed to music education, particularly associated with Historically Informed Performance (HIP). She regularly conducts education projects in schools and tertiary institutions and has often been invited to participate in forums and offer her advice as specialist in HIP and as a chamber music programmer and presenter. Nicole is currently teaching historical clarinet at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. She has been a panel member for the historical clarinet examinations at the Royal Conservatorium in The Hague and at the Utrecht Early Music Festival in 2011, advising emerging artists on the formation and presentation of chamber music ensembles. Nicole recently tutored at Australian Youth Orchestra’s National Music Camp.