Meet our Conductor
Paul Began playing the cello in 1992. He entered the Victorian college of the arts for 1995, and completed his undergraduate degree with honours in 2001 studying with Nelson Cooke, former student of Pablo Casals, and former principal of the London Symphony. In 2002, Paul travelled to Europe where he studied with Walter Despalj, the renowned cellist and teacher at the Zagreb Academy of Music, Croatia, for one year. He then moved to Vienna, where he studied under Howard Penny, the former principal cellist of the Vienna Symphony, and principal of the European Chamber orchestra. During his time in Europe, Paul attended many master classes and summer schools, most notably “Strings Only!” in Croatia, and “Cellisimo!” in Austria. Whilst there, Paul was fortunate to study with Dimitry Fershtman, professor of cello at the Conservertoire van Amsterdam, Rudolf Leopold, Viola de Hoog, and Alexander Baillie.
In 2004, Paul returned to Australia to take up a position as a full scholarship holder at the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne. During his time there, Paul was able to study intensely with such teachers as Mats Lidstrom, principal of the London Philharmonic, David Berlin, principal of the Melbourne Symphony, Suren Bagratuni, professor of cello at Michigan State University, and graduate of the Moscow conservatorium, and again Alexander Baillie.
2005 saw Paul move to Adelaide to begin a master of Music degree under Janis Laurs, principal cellist of the Adelaide Symphony, and former student of Andre Navarra.
In 2007, Paul left Adelaide to work on a cruise ship in a string quartet for 9 months, travelling all over the world, returning to Australia, and resuming his studies in Hobart under Christian Wojtowicz, professor of cello at the university of Tasmania, and former principal of the Tasmanian Symphony. Paul graduated in 2010, and since moved to Sydney with his partner and violinist, Anthea Hetherington.
Paul has worked as a freelance cellist for 20 years and has played with many of Australia’s symphony orchestras. Paul has also done many recordings for Sony music, Pixar and many popular bands and performers, including John Farnham, Darryl Braithwaite, Gang of Youths and Paul Kelly.
Paul as a Cello Teacher
Paul has always been teaching, whether at schools, institutions or privately. Paul was the cello teacher at Mentone Girls Grammar and Carey Grammar Schools in Melbourne, and in Tasmania taught the cello class and excerpt class at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of music.
Paul has been directing and conducting chamber music, string orchestras and other ensembles for over 20 years. Paul Studied chamber music with some of the worlds finest players in Europe and at the Australian National Academy of music, and has since tutored many tertiary and secondary chamber music groups and orchestras. Most notably Paul was the musical director of AIM’s productions of Purcell’s Fairy Queen and Donizetti’s L’elisir D’amour. Paul has instituted and directed string programs at many schools, both primary and secondary, over the years, and is currently the Head of Strings at the prestigious Kings School in Sydney.