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Canberra Bach Ensemble

The CANBERRA BACH ENSEMBLE was established in 1999 by Andrew Koll.


16 years ago, when the world celebrated the turn of the century (and indeed the millenium), research and performance of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach was reaching a zenith, leading into the 250th anniversary of Bach's death in July 2000.


In a blazing flurry of musical activity between June 1999 and July 2000, the CANBERRA BACH ENSEMBLE presented a number of concert performances of Bach's cantatas, and other sacred and instrumental works, including BWV 4, 22, 23, 39, 43, 51, 55, 66, 82, 103, 105, 125, 127, 131, 156, 170, 229, 230, 235. The last official performance of the CBE was on 28 July 2000, the 250th anniversary of Bach's death.


Many of the original performers in the CBE went on to distinguished musical careers in Australia and abroad. Many are still living and working here in our beautiful city, Canberra. Here are some of the concert programs of the 'original' Canberra Bach Ensemble of 1999-2000...


26 June 1999

2nd Concert

11 September 1999

3rd Concert

26 September 1999

Solo Cantatas

8 April 2000

8 Easter Cantatas

29-30 April 2000

Bach 250th Anniversary

28 July 2000

In Australia, there was a deluge of performances of Bach's music leading into and following that milestone date, 28 July 2000. Many excellent Australian and international musical ensembles and festivals devoted to performing Bach's music have since presented in public performance most, if not all, of Bach's entire oeuvre around the country. But the Canberra Bach Ensemble was at the front of that wave back in 1999, and many of the Cantatas that the CBE performed were not only first performances in Canberra, but we suspect may have indeed been first performances in Australia. (N.B. we are currently investigating this claim - we'll get back to you with an update...) 


Since 2000, the world has changed. Canberra has changed. Since the CBE last performed, the growth in the substance and quality of music making in this city has been extraordinary and expansive. Many excellent resident and visiting musicians and ensembles have made and continue to make stellar contributions to music making in this town.


The time has arrived for the CANBERRA BACH ENSEMBLE to take its place again within the firmament of Canberra's music-making life. We look forward to engaging many of this city's fine musicians and presenting our audiences with energetic performances of the wondrous music of our beloved composer, the musician's musician, Johann Sebastian Bach...

Andrew Koll, Musical Director of the Canberra Bach Ensemble


Musical Director, Conductor


Andrew Koll is a Performance Teaching Fellow at the School of Music, ANU in Canberra Australia. He is a specialist in aural training, harmony and counterpoint, the science of just intonation, and the works of Johann Sebastian Bach.


Andrew first formed the CANBERRA BACH ENSEMBLE in 1999. He is eagerly anticipating the CBE's return to public performance in September 2016.

Over the past 20 years, Andrew has conducted many Canberra choirs and instrumental groups, including the ANU Choral Society (SCUNA), The University of Canberra Chorale, the Choir of St Paul’s Manuka, the Combined Choir Corpus Christi Parish of Calwell and Gowrie, and the Canberra Community Orchestra (now known as the National Capital Orchestra).


Since completing his studies at the School of Music, ANU in the late 1990s, he has established a music study group, the REAL BACH SOCIETY, where he presents multimedia seminars to academic and community groups examining the musical, cultural, liturgical and theological interconnections of Bach’s music, and the musical sciences that underpin Bach’s art. Andrew is a regular delegate of the dialogue meetings hosted by the Bach Network UK...

Leanne Bear, Leader of the Orchestra


Leader of the Orchestra


Composer and violinist Leanne Bear (BMUS, Qld) travelled around Europe with violin and suitcase, improvising and busking, and learning from acclaimed pedagogues Simon Fischer and David Takeno, having won the Gertrude Langer prize in Brisbane; and given broadcasts and touring for Qld Arts Council with her Piano Trio ‘Icarus’. Other tours with or without suitcase have ensued since moving to Canberra, memorably in tandem with Australian String Quartet for the Leigh Warren and Dancers “Quiver” tour, performing and tutoring at Mt Buller Chamber Music School and National Music Camp, Taabinga chamber music schools and festivals. Without suitcase, solos with local orchestras have been worthy, for instance Andrew Ford’s “Furry Dance” with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra. Other things: orchestral playing in QSO, QPO, CSO Principal 2nd violin; tutor University of QLD in harmony/counterpoint, aural, & at Australian National University as director of Contemporary Ensemble.


Bear’s compositions have been showcased in her solo mixed media shows such as “Fluffy Purple Violins” at Canberra Contemporary Art Space; and as an ANU School of Art Visiting Fellow- “INDI” for 2 violins, percussion and landscape soundtrack for the MDBC International River Health Conference. In October 2012, Bear staged, conducted and performed a full concert – “Imaginessence”- of her new composed works for piano solo, piano sextet, and cello ensemble, with much acclaim. Most recently, premiered solo, duo, improvised violin works, and the large scale string quartet “neon Romantic”. There was a suitcase on stage….


Marriage, 3 children, property in the Yass Valley, and Pedagogical program with Helsinki seems to further add a vibrant environment for this versatile artist’s forest of inspiration. (Photo © Peter Hislop)

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Lead 'Cello


Clara Teniswood studied with David Pereira from 2011 to 2015. She received her LMusA in 2013, performed at the Canberra International Music Festival in 2014 and attended the Australian International Symphony Orchestra Institute three times (2013-2015). Recently Clara has been exploring baroque cello and has participated in a number of workshops including Ironwood Ensemble’s Baroque Winter School (2014), Sydney Baroque Festival (2017), Maestro Masaaki Suzuki and Juilliard415 in New Zealand (2017), Van Diemen's Band (2018) and a summer school in the Czech Republic in July this year. Clara also holds a PhD in materials science and teaches secondary school maths and physics.  (Photo © Peter Hislop)

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Leader of the Oboes


Aaron Reichelt is one of Australia’s most versatile and experienced oboists having performed on both modern and historical oboes throughout Australia and the United States. Aaron has appeared as principal oboe with the Canberra Bach Ensemble since 2016 and as a guest artist with Bach Akademie Australia since its inception in 2017. Aaron has performed with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Victorian Opera, Ludovico's Band, Ironwood Chamber Ensemble, Lyric Opera – Melbourne and the Sydney Philharmonia Orchestra. Aaron has also been a regular guest as part of the Canberra International Music Festival. As a modern oboist, Aaron has held principal positions with Melbourne Opera and the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra and performed as principal oboe with Sydney’s Metropolitan Orchestra since its inception in 2009.


Whilst living in New York, Aaron performed with many ensembles including Juilliard 415 (The Juilliard School), Manhattan School of Music, American Baroque Orchestra, Washington Bach Consort, Sebastians Chamber Orchestra, New Opera New York, Symphonie des Dragon (Boston Early Music Festival), Operamission, Early Music New York and Grande Harmonie. Aaron was a guest artist at the Boston Early Music Festival and also its Fringe festival concerts

Anthony Smith, Répétiteur, Organ Continuo


Répétiteur, Organ Continuo


Anthony Smith is a Canberra-based pianist, musicologist, composer, and arranger. As a pianist, he has performed in Australia, England, Germany, New Caledonia, New Zealand, the USA, and Sweden.


Anthony is répétiteur of three major Canberra choirs: Canberra Choral Society, The Llewellyn Choir, and the ANU Choral Society (SCUNA). He often appears in concert with these choirs, either as piano soloist or keyboard continuo.


Anthony has worked as an accompanist for the ANU School of Music for the past sixteen years, performing hundreds of assessable recitals with undergraduate and postgraduate students, and accompanying many potential students in their auditions for entry to the School.


In December 2004, he released the CD A Year in Paris with clarinetist Nicole Canham on the Move label. In July 2007, Anthony gave a recital in conjunction with the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) retrospective of the artist George W. Lambert. This recital included the Piano Sonata of Constant Lambert (the artist’s son). Anthony’s continuing interest in the life and works of Constant Lambert developed into a research topic for his doctoral dissertation, submitted at ANU in February 2012.


Anthony has also composed music for theatre. Together with Maike Brill, Anthony wrote The Will to Freedom, a music-theatre work that premièred under the direction of Joanne Schultz at The Street Theatre in August 2010 as part of its Made in Canberra series of independent theatre and music-theatre works.

Gillian Pereira, Lead 'Cello


Lead 'Cello


Gillian Pereira began her music studies on the piano, it was only when she started her Science Degree at the ANU that she decided to pursue a dream and complete a Bachelor of Music (cello performance) at the Canberra School of Music.


In addition to playing with such diverse groups as the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, the Canberra Bach Ensemble and Earthly Delights, she has served as ‘cellist with Camerata Australia, the Young Australian Concert Artists program and also as a principal cellist with the Australian Youth Orchestra.


Gillian has also enjoyed teaching at a number of schools including Canberra Girls Grammar, Radford College and the Young Regional School of Music, and is currently a cello tutor at the Orana Steiner School. Recent collaborations have included performances with the Riverina Chamber Orchestra and a recording project with the award-winning Australian composer and pianist Sally Greenaway - 'Aubade & Nocturne'. In Canberra and surrounds Gillian performs for the Music Agencies Sweethearts Music, String Musicians Australia, Tonic String Quartet and the Diva Quartet.


In addition to teaching and playing the cello Gillian is a registered yoga teacher, and leads Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Flow and Gentle Yoga classes in Murrumbateman and Canberra. More information about these classes can be found at Gillian is delighted to be the cello & yoga tutor for the 'Let's Play' String Chamber Orchestra weekends held in Canberra and Bathurst annually.

Kiri Sollis, Flute




Kiri Sollis is flautist for The Griffyn Ensemble, one of Australia's most innovative contemporary chamber ensembles, and specialises on piccolo and contemporary chamber music.  Kiri has performed over 50 Australian premieres and over 15 world premieres as chamber musician and soloist, including the Australian premiere of David Bedford's Recorder Concerto which she adapted for flute, piccolo, alto and bass flutes; and the world premiere of Michael Sollis' Perelandra Piccolo Concerto.  Kiri has toured and recorded extensively with the Griffyn Ensemble and as freelance flutist, and has performed and recorded with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.  She frequently performs on alto flute, piccolo, and recorder.


Kiri has over fifteen years of teaching experience and as mentor for chamber musicians. She has been teaching at Radford College since 2006, and also teaches at Canberra Girls Grammar School, Daramalan College, the ANU and privately. In 2008 she launched the Griffyn Mentoring Project which was shortlisted for an Australian Classical Music Award for Services to Education.



Kristen Sutcliffe, Bassoon




A Canberran born and bred, Kristen Sutcliffe started her musical studies at 4 years of age on the violin. The bassoon took over as her instrument of choice at the age of 14 and she completed a Bachelor of Music (Hons) from the ANU School of Music in 2004 under Richard McIntyre. She is currently second bassoon with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, holding the Friends of CSO chair for 2009-2012, the Cochlear chair 2013-15. She has performed with many orchestras including the Australian Youth Orchestra (including European Tour, 2004), The National Academy of Music, Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra, Lyric Opera, The Orchestra Project, Sydney Lyric Orchestra and the Australian Classical Players. Chamber music performance experience includes Young Australian Concert Artists, Camerata and augmenting The Canberra Wind Soloists.


Kristen also completed a BSc from ANU and a Masters of Clinical Audiology (University of Melbourne). She has worked as an audiologist with Australian Hearing for over 8 years, specialising in the hearing assessment, hearing aid fitting and re/habilitation of paediatric and complex adult clients. Her two worlds have met and for the last 4 years she has been facilitating a programme run by Canberra Symphony Orchestra and Cochlear Ltd bringing especially tailored music concerts and workshops to people with hearing loss.

Zach Raffan, Trumpet
Zach Raffan, Trumpet


Leader of the Trumpets


Zach is a musician, actor, composer, and teacher.


His debut for playing high piccolo trumpet in a chamber orchestra was Handel's Messiah with the Russian orchestra Ensemble XXI, in Merimbula, on their tour to Australia in 2001.


After a seven-year stint as a professional freelance orchestral trumpeter in Australia and Germany, he joined Royal Caribbean cruise ships as a newly inspired jazz musician in 2008 and sailed all over the world, returning to Canberra in 2010, where he became the brass tutor for 'Music for Canberra' at the Ainslie Arts Centre and a full-time member of local bands Canberra Symphony Orchestra, Brass Knuckle and Mitierra. In 2013 he quit all bands to form Trumpet Club, a local learning community of highly motivated amateur trumpet players.


In the theater scene, Zach's most recent lead acting roles have been in High Fidelity (Pheonix 2015), Gold Digger Nights (Short and Sweet 2014), The Magic Flute (Carl Rafferty 2013), Pool No Water (Everyman 2012), Speaking in Tongues (Rep 2012), and Voyage Around My Father (2010). As a Musical Director, he recently performed and conducted The Music Man for Queanbeyan Players (2016).


Zach considers it an honour to be a part of the Canberra Bach Ensemble and looks forward to many more concerts to come.

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