Florentine born Latin/Classical guitarist, Sergio Ercole has Masters of Music from Melbourne University having studied classical guitar with many master guitarists including John Griffiths, Oscar Ghiglia and Alirio Diaz.
Sergio has worked as a guitarist and writer in diverse musical fields. This includes session work the Australian Ballett, New Zealand Symphony like The Cat Empire and ABC TV show Dr Blake Mysteries. His music was also featured on the film Big Mamma’s Boy and albums by Hollywood based composer Tim Davies.
Sergio has performed at many local and overseas guitar Festivals, most recently at Festival Chitarristico di Due Cittá in Treviso, Italy and the Adelaide International Guitar Festival. He is very active in guitar education through his role as Head of Guitar at Haileybury, in which he has collaborated with many guitarists and composers including Tommy Emmanuel, the Grigoryan Brothers, Karin Schaupp, and Paul Svoboda. He has an active online community as creator and host of LatinGuitarMastery.com and The Guitar Conversations Podcast .
Olivia Hally (grad. 2012) is currently recording her sophomore album as part of pop project, Oh Pep!. In 2016, Oh Pep! released their debut album Stadium Cake, to the acclaim of The New York Times, NPR and Rolling Stone. They spent their recent years touring the world with acts like Billy Bragg, Valerie June, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, Lord Huron, Martha Wainwright and Lake Street Dive and have built an international team around them including agents, labels and a worldwide publishing deal with Sony ATV.
Sam O'Halloran is a Melbourne based musician who plays a variety of styles from European and American jazz and blues, pop, rock, country and eastern European traditional fold music. He specialises in jazz music from Django Reinhardt and Charlie Christian to the bebop music of the 40's and 50's as popularised by Charlie Parker, Bud Powell and their contemporaries.
Sam O'Halloran performs regularly around Melbourne each week with bands such as Catfish, The Furbelows, Devil on the Rooftop and The Big and Easy Band to name a few. Much of Sam's work is as sessional guitarist. Sam has performed extensively in Australia and toured Europe and America performing in jazz ensembles.
In conjunction with his performing career, Sam O'Halloran also takes on students for teaching work from his studio.
Alexandra Velasco has been building a three-pronged career as a musician since 2010, committed teaching, researching, and performing in diverse settings. She has performed in masterclasses for Xuefei Yang; David Russell; Manuel Barrueco; among others. Alex’s primary interest in classical Spanish repertoire of the twentieth century has allowed her to gain a deeper understanding of the artistic developments during the pre-Franco Spanish Silver Age of the 1920s, which was the focus of her research during her Master of Music degree (2016).
Moreover, Alex has been eager to discover a wide range of genres and their performance practices, both as a soloist and as an ensemble player, bringing her electric guitar to the MCM Brett Dean orchestral project showcasing Fire Music, recorded by ABC (2014) to playing guitar and songwriting in the hip hop/alternative/mish mash band Renelophus. As a chamber musician, Alex has enjoyed playing with the Altazena Guitar Trio and with the Melbourne Guitar Quartet.
As well as performing regularly as a soloist in numerous settings in Melbourne, Alex enjoyed the privilege of being a prize-winner in the 6th Changsha International Guitar Festival Competition.
Maximillian Rudd is an accomplished seven-string guitarist, teacher and graduate of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. As a student, Maximillian extensively pursued the music of Brazil, taking lessons abroad with acclaimed Brazilian guitarists Alessandro Penezzi, Marcus Tardelli and Rogério Caetano. Maximillian holds a Master of Music (Music Performance) from the University of Melbourne. His postgraduate research focused on the Brazilian seven-string guitar and the life and music of Yamandu Costa.
Maximillian is an active teacher and performer of Brazilian music. He performs regularly as a soloist and with his duo Max & Asha, featuring Melbourne flautist Asha Henfry. He has performed at Port Fairy Folk Festival, Queenscliff Music Festival, St Kilda Festival, Geelong’s Festival of Sails, the Annual Windfire Festival, Sofar Sounds, and appeared as a support act at Melbourne Zoo Twilights Series in 2014. In late 2017, he released his debut solo album Maximillian, and supported Australian singer-songwriter Xavier Rudd on his fifteen-show national tour in 2018, covering some of Australia’s finest live music venues, including Melbourne’s Forum Theatre and Sydney’s The Enmore. His second studio album is set for release in 2020.
Percussive fingerstyle guitar
A specialist of percussive fingerstyle guitar, Jimmy O’Hare is one of Australia’s most exciting young guitarists. Jimmy is a graduate of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and is now working widely as a performer, composer, teacher and collaborator.
His performances are renowned for his dynamic presence and virtuosic control of the guitar featuring two-hand tapping, percussion and altered tunings. Devising compositions that mould together melodies, harmonies, bass lines and percussion all at once, Jimmy presents a style that engages and challenges audiences from one note to the next. Jimmy has appeared on stages across Australia including the Fleurieu Folk Festival, National Celtic Festival and regularly in the Melbourne Guitar Perspectives Concert Series.
Sophie Marcheff is a Melbourne-based performer, researcher and teacher, who recently completed her Honours year in classical guitar performance at The University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (MCM) under the tutelage of Dr. Ken Murray.
In recent years Sophie has performed increasingly with the MCM’s New Music Studio, which has involved working with composers such as Steven Mackey (US) and Stephen Goss (UK). In 2018 Sophie’s research focused on the emergence of electronic music in Australia in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and broader experimental music of the time.
Paired with this research was Sophie’s performance of two rarely-heard Australian chamber works from the 1970s by Melbourne composers Keith Humble and Ian Bonighton in a concert entitled “Monuments,” which was held to mark the end of the Grainger Museums’ Synthesizers: Sound of the Future exhibition. In 2019 Sophie’s research focus has shifted to the guitar music of this era. This year has also seen Sophie’s debut performance with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in the second concert of the annual Metropolis New Music Festival.
Guitarist and Songwriter (world music)
Dudi Shaul is a guitarist, composer and teacher who has developed his own unique voice playing the classical guitar. Originally influenced by the music of Spain and Brazil, Dudi takes his compositions beyond borders, to a place that feels like home.
Dudi graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, receiving first place scholarship in Foundation Music Performance. Dudi has since performed around the world from Sweden to Morocco, and in festivals such as the Woodford Folk Festival (Aus) to Andanças (Portugal). Currently based in Tel Aviv, Dudi performs with and produces his original music project Saravá, and is a session guitarist in Brazilian music groups such as Samba da Massa, alongside collaborating with award winning vocalist and Moroccan music sensation LALA.
As a teacher, Dudi enjoys sharing his insights into the world of music and beyond. His experience as artistic leader at Ethno Australia and guitar facilitator at Bellingen Camp Creative, combined with his passion and recent graduation as an Alexander Technique teacher, have led to a creative and intuitive way to teach what he loves. Dudi is supported by master luthier Erez Perlman and now performs on a 2019 seven string model.
Dr. Daniel Nistico is a passionate performer, author and educator who specializes in the performance practice
of 18th and 19th century classical guitar music.
Daniel strives to promote guitar music that has not had the fortune of being widely performed. His debut solo
album 'Un Viaje Mistico... A Mystical Journey' is a result of this cause, containing hidden gems of the
guitar's repertoire including works by English composer William Lovelady, and American composer John Anthony Lennon.
Daniel completed his Bachelor of Music (BMusHons) at the Victorian College of the Arts and Master of Music (MMus) at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, studying with Tonié Field and Dr. Donna
Coleman. Daniel completed his Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, USA.