Co-Concertmaster of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, violinist Sophie Rowell has had an extensive performing career as a soloist, chamber musician and principal orchestral violinist both in Australia and abroad.
After winning the ABC Young Performer’s Award in 2000 which resulted in solo performances in with all the major Australian symphony orchestras, Sophie founded the Tankstream Quartet which won string quartet competitions in Cremona and Osaka.
Having studied in Germany with the Alban Berg Quartet the quartet moved back to Australia in 2006 when they were appointed as the Australian String Quartet. During the six seasons of their tenure, the ASQ performed and recorded at chamber music festivals all over the world. Highlights of their time together include participation in the QuartetFest Bonn as part of the Beethoven Festival and giving performances for remote communities on Cape York in Far North Queensland.
Before being appointed to the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sophie has in played in principal violin positions with orchestras including the Scottish and Mahler Chamber Orchestras, and the Vancouver, Sydney, Adelaide and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras. Sophie studied with Beryl Kimber in her hometown of Adelaide, then with Alice Waten in Sydney. She has participated in numerous masterclasses with eminent musicians such as Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Norbert Brainin (Amadeus Quartet) and Walter Levin (LaSalle Quartet.)
She is the Head of Chamber Music (Strings) at the Australian National Academy of Music, having previously taught at the Elder Conservatorium in Adelaide and the Australian Institute of Music in Sydney. She has also given masterclasses in the UK, France, Singapore and throughout Australia.
Sophie Rowell has been appointed as the new Artistic Director of Melbourne Chamber Orchestra. Although she will formally take up the role in January 2023, she intends to lead the orchestra’s programming in 2022.ahead of the 2023 season. She will be only the third artistic director in MCO’s over 30-year history.