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Salon Société

Works by Poulenc, Satie and a premiere by Young Artist Gerard Nicholls.


Sally Walker, flute
David Rowden, clarinet
Clemens Leske, piano

FRANCIS POULENC Sonata for Flute and Piano


FRANCIS POULENC Sonata for Clarinet and Piano

GERARD NICHOLLS New Work (Featured Young Artist)


Flautist Sally Walker was a grand-finalist in Italy’s Leonardo de Lorenzo International Flute Competition, second prize winner in Germany’s Friedrich Kuhlau International Flute Competition and has won awards from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Ian Potter Cultural Fund and the Queen’s Trust. Her orchestral experience has included working with the Berlin Philharmonic, Deutsche Kammmerakademie Neuss, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Kölner Kammerorchester, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. She is an active chamber musician in combinations ranging from accordion to recorder consort and is a regular guest with Halcyon and Omega Ensemble. Among the many works Sally has commissioned and premiered is the concerto Night and Now by Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin.  Sally Walker is Lecturer in Flute at the University of Newcastle, Lecturer in Classical Performance (Woodwind) at the Australian National University and Artistic Director of the chamber music series Twilight Musical Dialogues. She is a graduate of the University of Sydney, Hannover Hochschule fur Music and Media, Munich Hochschule fur Musik und Theater and is currently undertaking her Doctorate in historical flutes at the University of Sydney.

Clarinettist David Rowden was born in Sydney and studied clarinet from a young age. He was later awarded a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music, London, where he won the Geoffrey Hawkes Prize for clarinet performance in 2004. Whilst overseas, David studied in Italy with Anthony Pay at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, Siena, in France at the Academie de Villecroze with French clarinetist Paul Meyer, and also at the Pacific Music Festival in Japan.

Since returning to Sydney David has performed as a freelance orchestral musician with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, The Queensland Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and as Guest Principal clarinet with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2011 he was a finalist in the ABC Young Performer of the Year Awards performing Copland’s Clarinet Concerto with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

In 2005 David founded the Omega Ensemble, one of Australia’s premiere and unique chamber music groups. As Artistic Director, David has overseen the growth of the organisation during the last ten years, from early performances in church halls and private homes to Ensemble in Residence at City Recital Hall. Omega Ensemble has collaborated with many International and Australian artists including Emma Matthews (soprano), Paul Meyer (conductor/clarinet), Dimitri Ashkenazy (clarinet) Timo-Veikko Valve (cello) and during this time has initiated the commissioning and performance of over twenty new Australian works.  In March 2016 David was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM).   In March 2017 David joined the staff at the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music as part of the University of Newcastle.  

Pianist Maria Raspopova is an acclaimed and virtuosic chamber musician and recitalist. She is the resident pianist with one of Australia’s foremost chamber groups, Omega Ensemble, and has performed with a number of acclaimed Australian and international musicians.

Maria began learning the piano at a young age in her home country of Russia. At seventeen she moved to Australia with her family and soon commenced studies at Sydney Conservatorium of Music where her teachers were Gerard Willems and Philip Shovk. Shortly after, Maria was awarded a scholarship to study with Philip Kawin (Professor of Piano at the Manhattan School of Music).

Maria has received wide acclaim for her performances with Omega Ensemble, Cut Common Magazine wrote “Raspopova’s bass notes were booming and the upper register of the piano sparkled with a shimmering clarity. Raspopova played with confidence and zest. She shone like gold…here is a pianist who could play anything”. Recently Maria performed Mahler’s’ Piano Quintet in A Minor at City Recital Hall which also received positive press reviews from Limelight Magazine: “[with] Maria Raspopova’s graceful piano, the piece traversed the hills and vales of Mahler’s twilight world in a beautifully reading, finely crafted for maximum emotional impact.” Since 2017 Maria was appointed Co-Artistic Director of Omega Ensemble.


Gerard Nicholls - Composer







Photo of Maria Raspopova and David Rowden by Bruce Terry