Great to be back in the UK for two very special shows “Nigel Kennedy & Friends” at Symphony Hall, Birmingham (11 March) and Royal Albert Hall, London (14 March). Guest artists include Jean-Luc Ponty, Georgi Andreev, Michael Guttman, Peter Daniel and Robert Plant.
* with Nigel Kennedy + Band (New Four Seasons + Dedications)
* The Carnival circus-opera
17 & 18 Feb – The Concourse, Sydney
Hope to see you! x
Tonight! Mahler 1 with a twist… 🙂 Celebrating 50 years of relations between Austria and Burkina Faso, proceeds going to the ÖJAB Project “Street Children of Ouagadougou”. I feel privileged to play under conductor Attilia Kiyoko Cernitori as concertmaster of this beautiful ensemble made up of musicians from all over the world. Nothing is impossible. 😉 Event info here.
Tonight!!! Join us for a Charity Christmas concert and some awesome good vibes, possibly the most Australian song ever written by Bach, as well as my Vienna double bass debut.
My amazing friend Abe McWilliams has started this beautiful initiative – artists reaching out internationally to spread love and tolerance through performances, flashmobs, actions and peaceful demonstrations – to combat hate in the best way we know how – with art. First events are being planned in London UK, Boston USA, and Vilnius Lithuania. Please check out the facebook page, mission statement and feel free to get in touch with your ideas!
Joining some amazing artists (pianist Alfredo Ovales, tenor David Jagodic and fellow Aussie, soprano Kate Rafferty) for the launch of Kate’s new series “Concerts for Vienna”!!! Hope to see you there!
21 October, 19h
Karl-Borromäus Saal (Karl-Borromäus Platz 3, Vienna 1030).
To everyone who supported us by sharing and voting – we did it!!!
The Freestyle Orchestra are the recipients of the Audience Choice award for the 2016 Tarisio Young Artist Grants!!!
Cannot wait to share the results of our training with you very soon. For now, a small video from us with a huge thank you!! 🙂
Excited to be back at the Dutch National Ballet, Amsterdam this week, rehearsing and performing ‘The Phoenix’ – a new piece for solo violinist and solo dancer (Joey Massarelli) for the New Moves choreography festival. Choreographed by Remi Wortmeyer and composed by Chloé Charody, performances on 24 June. More info here.
Thrilled that one of my projects, The Freestyle Orchestra, has been selected for the audience voting round for the Tarisio Auctions Young Artists Grants 2016!!!
That means we need your assistance – please help us by clicking the link and voting for us (bottom of page, under Sonja Schebeck). Will take max 5 seconds and we’d really appreciate it! 🙂
A little introductory video:
Amazing to be back with a most important part of my musical family, touring the UK with Nigel Kennedy and members of the Orchestra of Life.
Program includes Nigel’s new take on Vivaldi’s Four Seasons as well as some of his own pieces entitled ‘Dedications’ – each to mentors of his own. Lots of fun! More info and dates here.
Back for Mosaïque Wien this weekend for a Shakespeare themed Mini-Festival!
Performing violin/fire eating/manipulation alongside one of my partners in crime from The Freestyle Orchestra, violinist/fire artist/acrobat Farid Feyzullayev, for our semi-choreographed version of the solo violin work ‘Fire is in mine ears’ by the seriously talented composer/conductor/pianist Daniel Masmanian (UK/Australia). Our most ambitious fire work to date, we cannot wait to share it with you!!
These things cannot be done without an awesome team; special thanks to Antonio Chorbadzhiyski (safety) and Georgina Oakes (rehearsal support).
Event also features the Vienna Theatre Project, Chanda VanderHart, some brilliant singers and musicians, a distinct possibility of some puppetry and fencing, and catering from the vegetarian chef-duo ‘Food of Love’. Details and tickets here!
Thrilled to be playing once again alongside cellist Antonio Chorbadzhiyski and the amazing team at Zirkus Pikard tonight for the new season “Träume werden Wirklichkeit” (dreams become reality), opening in Mannersdorf! 🙂 Some incredible new acts (and props!) debuting tonight!! ❤
Thrilled to be playing with this amazing new ensemble – melding universal music with global issues – for their inaugural concert at the Menier Chocolate Factory Studio in London tomorrow night! Featuring Francesca Martinez (comedian, activist and writer) speaking about climate change and social responsibility.
Unfortunately sold out this time (go team!) but please head over to their Facebook page here and give it a like for future events.
Busy few weeks back in Vienna to close out the year, from sitting in again with the amazing Wiener Symphoniker accompanying Igudesman & Joo at the end of November, to appearing in benefit concerts with new groups Johannesgasse Solisten (for ÖJAB’s ‘Street Children of Burkina Faso’ project) and Ensemble Australis (supported by the Australian Embassy in Austria for refugee projects of Caritas and Diakonie) – and being reminded time and time again how lucky I am to be surrounded with such amazing and inspiring artists!
Plus of course hard at work training with my amazing Freestyle Orchestra crew and generally cooking up some new and crazy projects that I can’t wait to share with you in 2016.
If you are reading this, many many thanks for your support and here’s to seeing you at a concert soon! 🙂
Super proud to have played on this record, released on October 9! A short album trailer here:
Good times rocking the stage once more at the KKL with my ‘X-traordinary’ colleagues at the Lucerne Festival! The theme of this years festival was ‘Humour’ and who would be more fitting than Igudesman & Joo? 🙂
More info and tix here. A little hint of the madness:
This Saturday, June 13th at 7PM, we’ll be in the red and white tent at Aupark, Klosterneuburg, joining the crew of Zirkus Pikard for an evening of classical music combined with trapeze, juggling, aerials, fire and a host of other surprises. I will perform excerpts from ‘PyroViolinist’ fireshow with the amazing Chanda VanderHart and other violin madness including Saint-Saens Introduction & Rondo Capriccioso featuring the incomparable Deirdre Brenner as pianist/mime and excerpts from Ravel Sonata no. 2 featuring juggler Alexander Schneller. Popcorn and cotton candy await so come on down, will be a fun night!
So proud to have been a part of this awesome project, the debut recording from the Krakow-based Extra Sounds Ensemble with Alicja Śmietana and Pekka Kuusisto! Available on CD and iTunes. Released April 15, already chalking up sweet reviews across the continent. Go team!
A little behind the scenes action here for you. Hot tip: kickass La Folia at 0:54. 😉
With greatest sadness, I announce the passing from sudden stroke of my beautiful mother Luba Schebeck on 12 March 2015 in Sydney, Australia at the age of 69.
I wish to pay respect to the fact that if it were not for my mother I would not be a musician.
I became entranced by the violin after attending a Baby Prom by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and from then on mimicked the movements with any objects I could find.
After making inquiries, my mother discovered the Suzuki Method and she was there from the start, from attending lessons and supervising practice as per the Suzuki violin school from the beginning of my studies at age 3 with Barbara Hayward, sewing dresses for concerts, to taking pages and pages of notes during masterclasses and lessons with my professor at the Sydney Conservatorium, Christopher Kimber. She hardly ever missed a concert and luckily was even present to observe my very last violin lesson with Professor Florian Zwiauer before I completed my Masters examination in Vienna.
Though not inherently musical, she always gave me her unwavering support and will remain my strongest influence in wishing to create classical music concerts that appeal to a wider audience. An electrical engineer by trade, she worked with Siemens by personal invitation on the circuits and computerised stage lighting at the Sydney Opera House. As such, it is extremely special for me whenever I perform there.
I could not have wished for anything else in a mother except more time. I will be forever thankful for her grounding support which gave me the foundation to follow my own path in music and am grateful that though unconscious, I was able to be by her side for the last days and play for her one last time in the ICU, and then of course at a ceremony filled with music and wonderful memories.
Rest in peace my incredible mother. I am grateful for the time we had. Words cannot do justice to the profound influence you will continue to have on my life. With deepest love and respect.
(Photo: taken by Markus Wögerbauer during my parents’ visit to Vienna, Xmas/New Year 2014/15)
A 2008 recording of ‘Variations on an Epitaph’ composed by Chloé Charody and performed by myself alongside pianist Lindsay Gilroy has been selected for inclusion in the upcoming ‘Music for the Journey Home – As Heard on Classic Drive’ compilation, to be released on ABC Classics (Australia) on February 6.
More details here.
Performing tonight alongside some extraordinary musicians for Igudesman & Joo’s NYE show at the Vienna Konzerthaus. I will be performing excerpts from my ‘PyroViolinist’ fireshow as well as some acrobatics and other violin madness. Should be a fun night!
I have been told this is the first time in the 101 year history of the Konzerthaus that there has been a fire performance of this kind so I am very honoured. Huge thanks to the management of the Konzerthaus, Igudesman & Joo and the production team for allowing this to happen.
I have to say that fire performance cannot be done alone. So a special thanks to my duo partner Lisa Chou for being such an amazing fire assistant.
Thrilled to announce that one of my projects – ‘Spiegel Duo’ (with pianist/multi-instrumentalist Lisa Chou) – has been awarded a Konservatorium Wien ‘Fidelio’ Prize for 2014! Special thanks our donor HFP Steuerberater and congrats to the other competitors and awardees.
Also pleased to report that this was achieved whilst rocking mohawks, neon leggings and Docs and playing a total of eleven instruments between us. Continuing to bring a touch of the circus and cabaret to classical music! 😉
Some footage from the ORF RadioKulturhaus, Vienna where we performed an excerpt of ‘Maninyas’ by Australian composer Ross Edwards as part of the prizewinners concert:
Super excited to be working with such amazing, multitalented Vienna-based musicians on my inter-disciplinary chamber orchestra! This project has had many forms, ever since I decided to learn to play violin upside down as a 10 year old. From Sydney Conservatorium days in the early 2000’s to here it has already been an incredible journey and I am so excited for the next phase! Documentary footage to come. 🙂
Very much looking forward to performing Richard Strauss’ ‘Metamorphosen’ for 23 solo strings with Concertino Wien (chamber orchestra of the Wiener Symphoniker) at the Konzerthaus this weekend! Have been wanting to play this piece for quite a while. 🙂
Program also includes Mozart Symphony no.2 and Haydn Cello Concerto in D with soloist Sebastian Bru. Info & tickets here.
Excited to be making my Vienna fire debut performing parts of my ‘PyroViolinist’ show alongside some extraordinary singers and instrumentalists for the season opening of the wonderful Mosaïque!
Also includes my ‘Flamekeeper’ roaming stilts act from ‘The Harlequin Court Orchestra‘ and some violin playing too of course… 😉
7. October at brick-5, Vienna.
Doors 6:30, starts 7:30pm. More info and tix here.
The Classical Revolution movement, originally started in San Francisco, has made it to Vienna! The organisation aims to put on chamber music performances in unusual settings. Was awesome to join some great musicians (including Vienna chapter instigator Emer Kinsella) for last week’s session at Cafe Weidinger. Tonight 3 June we will be playing in Bruno Keisky Park after the Science Fiction film festival. To stay in the loop on further dates here is the Facebook group.
Recording tracks beautifully arranged by Alicja Śmietana for a project very dear to our hearts – ‘FRIENDS’ an album of the music of the late, great Polish guitarist Jarek Śmietana to be released in the next few months.
So happy to be joining the amazing Wiener Symphoniker playing Stravinsky’s masterpiece ‘The Rite of Spring’ in the Musikverein Großer Saal, Vienna for the next 3 nights! This has been on my bucket list for a while now…
Program also includes Beethoven’s Egmont Overture and Piano Concerto no. 3.
Back at the Musikverein, Vienna this week, performing some chamber music works of Jörg Widmann on 9 May. Has been a great few days of rehearsals with the composer/clarinettist – always a pleasure to work with a living composer! Some awesome music with some very cool effects. More info and tickets here.
Stoked to have joined the ranks of Concertino Wien (chamber orchestra of the Wiener Symphoniker) for a tour of Germany with oboist Albrecht Mayer (Berlin Philharmoniker). Program included Wolf, Mozart, Haydn & Wolf-Ferrari. What an awesome group of musicians! Packed houses and trailing rave reviews across Germany… 😉
As always the freelance life yields some diverse and interesting engagements! In the next few months I’ll be appearing on stage with Michael Bublé, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, the wonderful violinist Alicja Smietana, Alexey Igudesman and the Max Steiner Orchestra to name a few.
In between, background work is full steam ahead on a variety of other projects and maybe even a trip back home to Oz… More details to come soon!
Super excited to be performing at the amazing St Prex Classics festival, Switzerland on 31 Aug & 1 Sept with Nigel Kennedy and Richard Galliano. What a privilege to witness two absolute masters of their craft in collaboration.
Also very humbled that we will be opening the show with my chamber arrangement (for solo violin, oboe, string quintet and piano) of Vaughan-Williams’ ‘The Lark Ascending’!
The incredible venue ‘LUNA’, purpose built for the festival, features a balloon like roof that lights up like a moon looking over St Prex. Some behind-the-scenes pics here.
Heading to Poland for a special night of chamber music with the amazing Alicja Śmietana & friends in the beautiful Dworek Gościnny in Szczawnica. And we are sharing the bill with one of Poland’s most famous mime-artists!
Honoured to have been a part of this unique and historic BBC Proms concert at the Royal Albert Hall on 8 August – a never-before-heard rendition of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons featuring jazz, free improv and Arabic-inspired link sections with the very talented members of the Palestine Strings (ages only 13-23!).
Four and five star reviews rolling in from The Independent, The Guardian and The Times among others. Go Team! X
Excerpts from the concert can be seen here.
Following our ‘surprise’ appearance last night performing Czardas with the incredible Nigel Kennedy and his Band at Dworek Gościnny, Szczawnica, the Orchestra of Life Strings take the stage tonight at Muzyczna Owczarnia, Jaworki!
With very special guests Tomasz ‘Kukush’ Kukurba (Kroke) and Nigel Kennedy.
Program includes my arrangement of Vaughan-Williams’ ‘The Lark Ascending’ for solo violin and string orchestra. 🙂
Great vibes, gonna go off!
Honoured to be playing in a very special concert in Krakow on 17 June – ‘Music Inspired by Friendship’.
This concert features members of the original Orchestra of Life strings founded by Nigel Kennedy in 2010, who accompanied him on extensive tours across Germany, UK, Poland and Switzerland.
Program includes: E. Grieg – Holberg’s Suite, A. Vivaldi – Concerto for 4 Violins in b minor RV-580, J.S.Bach – Concerto for Violin and Oboe in d minor BWV 1060 (Alicja Śmietana, Mariusz Pędziałek), A. Vivaldi – Concerto for 2 Violins in A minor RV 522 (Alicja Śmietana, Sonja Schebeck), M. Karłowicz – Serenade for String Orchestra.
Funds raised will go towards medical treatment for the great Polish jazz guitarist and our dear friend Jarek Śmietana. If you are anywhere near Krakow please come along.
Wrapping up a MAMMOTH few months in Sydney, Australia developing ‘The Carnival’ circus opera with a very talented team of people. Fun times (and always a bonus to be at home in Sydney!!!)
Huge thanks to all involved and especially my wonderful parents for their endless help and support and for allowing their house become a temporary costume workshop/set factory/rehearsal space!
Music & libretto by Chloé Charody | Directed & created by Chloé Charody & Sonja Schebeck | Choreography by Rebecca Liu-Brennan & Allie Gunton | Costumes by Sonja & Luba Schebeck | Set by John Schebeck | Produced by Charody Productions, arts inc. creative & OutSide The Box
Behind the scenes pics here.
New trailer coming soon! 🙂
Last night I was lucky enough to perform Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto no.1 (mvts 2 & 3) with a fantastic orchestra formed for the finals of the International Space Time Concerto Competition in Newcastle, Australia. And as a bonus, I won my category of the competition!! 🙂
Fun times. Congrats to the other finalists and category winners and huge thanks to all involved.
An arrangement of Vivaldi RV516 I did a while back (beautifully played here by Isidore Tillers and Ezmi Pepper) was used for this inspirational documentary.
SO excited to be on holiday back home in Sydney!!!
Had an awesome night playing at Kinetic Jazz 2012 (works by Richard Savery).
Also pumped to be sitting in with the brilliant Sydney Symphony Orchestra for the Finals of the Sydney International Piano competition and a little later this month, the premiere of Carl Vine’s Piano Concerto no. 2 at the Opera House! Nothing quite like playing at home. 🙂
Back on the road for January with Nigel Kennedy and the Orchestra of Life for a tour across the UK, including Cardiff and Edinburgh among others! Program featuring Vivaldi: Four Seasons and Kennedy: Four Elements
Performing at the Vienna Konzerthaus on New Years Eve as part of the ensemble for The Igudesman & Joo UNICEF World Record of the Most Dancing Violinists! And a very good cause. Congrats all round!
Heading into Angel Studios, London with Nigel Kennedy and the Orchestra of Life for the recording of a new Vivaldi Four Seasons for Sony Classical. It is gonna rock!