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Neil Thompson.

Managing Artistic Director & viola


Having begun on viola in his hometown Whyalla, Neil's career has taken him all around the world, including to Europe as soloist. Neil has performed and toured with the Adelaide, Melbourne, Tasmanian and Sydney Symphony Orchestras (upon holding an SSO fellowship in 2012), as well as with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and its sister orchestra ACO2 (currently ACO Collective) with whom he was an ‘Emerging Artist’.


His stylistic diversity allowed him to enjoy two years of touring with ‘The Cat Empire’ and features as soloist and guest artist on their DVD ‘Live at the Bowl’. Neil regularly performs at the Sydney Opera House with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra for Opera Australia and the Australian Ballet.

Primarily involved in playing chamber-music, he has been fortunate enough to have performed many world and Australian premieres and to have shared the stage with Pekka Kuusisto, Kristian Winther, Richard Tognetti, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Simone Young, Brett Dean, Lisa Moore and others to name a few. 2015 proved to be a particularly exciting year for him having been invited to join the highly acclaimed 'Omega Ensemble' as well as co-founding 'The Nano Symphony' -


With previous conducting mentors including Richard Gill, Keith Crellin, Christopher Seaman and John Hopkins, Neil is currently director-conductor of Killara High’s Orchestras with whom he frequently hosts ‘feeder’ primary school workshops and events. He has conducted performances of Schubert’s ‘Great’ 9th Symphony (in Adelaide) and Faure’s Requiem with the Mosman Symphony Orchestra, Sydney. In 2016 Neil will conduct Brahms’ 2nd Symphony and Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto with the Eastern Sydney Chamber Orchestra.


A passionate advocate for music education, Neil is a tutor for the ACO Penrith Youth Strings program, The Arts Unit and Sydney Youth Orchestra. 2015 saw him tutoring School Spectacular, Mid-North Coast Strings Alliance, senior state music camp (NSW) as well as many other school and organisation’s’ orchestras and/or camps.


Neil studied on full scholarship at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) studying under Christopher Moore and Roger Benedict, and holds a Bachelor of Music in Performance (Honours) from the Elder Conservatorium of Music, University of Adelaide having studied under Keith Crellin. 

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