Tobias Breider, Viola

German born Tobias Breider is Principal Violist of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Previous positions as Principal include the Rhine Opera Duesseldorf, the Konzerthaus Berlin and in the Philharmonic State Orchestra Hamburg under Simone Young. He has also appeared as guest leader with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, both Radio Symphony Orchestras of Berlin, the Radio Symphonies of Vienna and Cologne, the Qatar Philharmonic and the Melbourne Symphony a.o.

Having a busy International career as a chamber musician he has been invited to numerous Festivals in the US, Germany, the UK and South Africa.

As a Soloist he performed a.o. at City Recital Hall in Sydney and the Recital Center in Melbourne. He recently toured Queensland and has collaborated with numerous chamber ensembles in Australia, like Wilma Smith & Friends, Kathryn Selby&Friends and the OMEGA ensemble Sydney. He was invited to the The Sanguine Estate and Pearl Beach Festivals, The Australian International Viola Conference, to Viola Week at ANAM and to the Schubert and Brahms-Marathons in Melbourne.

Tobias has taught at the Sydney Conservatorium and is guest teacher at ANAM (Melbourne). He coached at the Britten/Pears School in Aldebourgh (UK) and was invited for Masterclasses at Stellenbosch University (S.A.) and at the Shanghai Academy.


Where do you do most of your performing?

I am mostly performing with the Sydney Symphony in the Opera House and chamber music wherever I can.

What do you like about Selby & Friends?

It presents first class chamber music to people and as a player you are performing with some of the finest musicians in the country. After living here for two years I also finally get to visit Canberra and Adelaide.

What do organisations like Selby & Friends mean for Australian musicians?

Kathy is an exponent for chamber music in Australia and the success of Selby & Friends shows how many people love to come and listen.

How long have you known Kathy Selby? Have you played with her before?

We met last May [2012] and played a lunch time concert together which was a great delight.

How old were you when you first started playing your instrument? Do you remember why you chose it?

I started on violin and piano when I was six. I guess my parents chose for me at that time. At 19 I switched to viola due to lanky extremities. Seriously, I fell in love with the viola after hearing Michael Tree of the Guarneri String Quartet and just had to step up to the viola. Six years later, after moving to New York, I was fortunate to have him as my mentor.

What is your favourite aspect of being a performer in Australia?

Australians are much less burdened with tradition and prejudice when they listen to music than Europeans, a motivating factor for a performer trying to tell his own musical story.

Do you think there is enough opportunity for chamber musicians in Australia?

There is never enough opportunity for chamber music, nowhere, ever. The nature of the music business today is more focused on events that attract masses. Chamber music is less spectacular on the outside and speaks more to the individual soul. It is up to us musicians and to concert organisers to bring to the people the fascination for chamber music.

Why chamber music? What draws you to it?

Chamber music is challenge, fulfillment, intimacy, communication and ecstasy.

Are there any favourites, challenges or unknowns in the tour repertoire for your tour in 2013?

I am thrilled to learn the 1st Faure piano quartet for this tour and to play it for the first time with these extraordinary musicians. The Dvorak piano quintet is an old friend with one of my most favorite viola tunes in the Dumka.

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Tobias is joining Selby and Friends for:

Four-Part Harmony, 30th April - 10th May, 2022