Virtuoso Profile

Josephine Vains

Josephine is a founding member of the Firebird Trio, and a busy freelance musician and educator based in Melbourne

About Me

Josephine is a versatile and engaging performer, heard regularly in concert around Australia and overseas as a cellist and chamber musician. She has worked with myriad artists on diverse projects including piano trio / quartet / quintet, string quartet, opera, baroque ensembles, contemporary and electronic music, and Argentine tango music.

She is a passionate educator, currently training the next generation of musicians at Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School, University of Melbourne and Monash University. She is a regular tutor for Melbourne and Australian Youth Orchestra, Mt. Buller Chamber Music, Pettman National Junior Academy (NZ) and for iartschool (China).

Josephine is a founding member of Firebird Trio, currently presenting innovative and engaging programs around Australia. Equally at home on modern and period instruments, Josephine performs and records regularly with other ensembles including Australia Octet, Kammermusik, Accademia Arcadia, Melbourne Baroque Orchestra, and with Elysium Ensemble.

In Australia she has performed for Musica Viva, the Sydney and Melbourne Arts Festivals, Noosa Long Weekend, Castlemaine and Port Fairy Festivals, Woodend Winter Arts and Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields Festivals. International performances include at the Musicfest Vancouver with Freshwater Trio, the Hannover Brahms and Schumann Festivals, White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg and recently at the Longyou Caves Festival (China) and Akaroa Chamber Music Festival (NZ).

Other enjoyable collaborations include performing with The Music Project for Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Gurrumul, Burt Bacharach, recordings with Katie Noonan including ‘Fierce Hearts – the music of Love Song Circus’ and ‘Songbook’, as Principal cello during Melbourne’s Ring Cycle and on period instruments, especially with fortepiano. Josephine features on a number of the Royal Children’s Hospital HUSH albums and relishes the chance to work with living composers and exploring new techniques as well as recording for radio, film and television.

Her busy musical life also extends to adjudicating, examining, blogging, reviewing for Classic Melbourne website and curating concerts and as co-founder of Melbourne’s Bach Cello Series.

After winning the inaugural Australian National Chamber Music Competition (1997) with Trio 303, Josephine spent a fruitful period of study in Europe, where she was a prize-winner with the Pacific Trio and a laureate of the Melbourne and Osaka International Chamber Music Competitions.

In Australia she studied with Henry Wenig, Nelson Cooke and Marco van Pagee, in Switzerland with Hatto Beyerle (Alban Berg Quartet) and Walter Levin (La Salle Quartet) and in Germany with Tilmann Wick (Hochschule fur Musik und Theater Hannover). She performs on a Thomas Kennedy Cello, 1850 (London) and a Thomas Dodd Cello, (1800) London.

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