Australian Haydn Ensemble

Biography Australian Haydn Ensemble

Australian Haydn Ensemble

The Australian Haydn Ensemble (AHE)
under the direction of Artistic Director Skye McIntosh, is one of Australia’s leading historically informed orchestras and chamber music groups. AHE brings together world-class musicians who excel in both modern and period instrument performance and are highly committed to both historical research and performance. The group’s repertoire is principally music of the late baroque and early classical era. The Ensemble's name pays tribute to the great 'Papa Haydn' who was a central figure of the late eighteenth century in Europe.

Formed in 2012, AHE burst onto the Australian music scene with passion and energy. It has performed all over the country, including at prestigious internationally focussed Australian multi-arts festivals including the Adelaide Festival (2022), the Canberra International Music Festival (2022 and 2023), the Melbourne Festival (2016) as well as locally focussed events such as Festival By the Sea (QLD 2016), the Tyalgum Festival (2018), the Mornington Peninsula Festival (2019), the Organs of the Ballarat Goldfield’s Festival (2019) and the Canowindra festivals.

AHE made its debut international tour to the USA in October 2023.

AHE has built a reputation for its vibrant and accessible performances, which are faithful to the sound-worlds that would have been familiar to Haydn and his contemporaries.

AHE have received critical acclaim for its debut ABC Classics recording, The Haydn Album, which premiered at No. 1 on the Australian Classical Aria Charts. According to Gramophone magazine, ‘…this is a polished, style-conscious ensemble.’

The Australian Haydn Ensemble has collaborated with many leading international and Australian historical specialist performers including Midori Seiler (GER), Melvyn Tan (UK), Marc Destrubé (CAN), Catherine MackIntosh (UK), Charles Neidich (USA), Stefanie True (CAN), Erin Helyard (Australia), Neal Peres Da Costa (Australia), Sara Macliver (Australia), Helen Sherman (UK) and David Greco (Australia).

Skye McIntosh
is the founder and Artistic Director of the Australian Haydn Ensemble. She has appeared numerous times as a director and soloist with the Ensemble to critical acclaim. She is a sought-after specialist in baroque and classical period violin throughout Australia.

She has appeared as Principal 2nd Violin for Pinchgut Opera (Orchestra of the Antipodes), with whom she has performed regularly for the past five years, has been principal 2nd violin with the Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra and was a regular member of The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra between 2008-2014. In addition to this, she has appeared at baroque festivals and concerts all over Australia including the Brisbane and Hobart baroque festivals.

She has a wide range of experience in Historical Performance having worked with many distinguished baroque/classical specialist performers such as Catherine Mackintosh, Stefano Montinari, Marc Destrubé, Neal Peres De Costa, Danny Yeadon, Elizabeth Wallfisch, Monica Huggett, Richard Egarr, Catherine Mackintosh, Erin Helyard and Lawrence Cummings.

Skye completed a Master of Music degree on full scholarship, specialising in baroque and classical violin performance, at the Sydney Conservatorium in 2011, under the tutelage of Rachael Beesley and Julia Fredersdorff. As part of her course, Skye also worked closely with international mentors including Catherine Mackintosh and Simon Standage as well as attending many individual lessons with teachers such as Marc Destrubé, Pavlo Besovonik, Stanley Ritchie and Brian Dean.

During this time she explored a keen interest in Historically Informed Performance Practice, with a particular focus on the music of Beethoven. Her research focused on vibrato and portamento practices in the classical era.

Whilst at the Sydney Conservatorium she frequently appeared as leader and soloist of the Early Music Ensemble, was a winner of the Conservatorium’s concerto prize, and joined EME on a tour of Italy, Holland and the UK in 2011. Skye also participated in the Ironwood Developing Artists program.

She began learning the violin aged 4 1/2 in Northern NSW. Skye then had the opportunity to study with John Wilison, formerly Principal Violin of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, from the age of 10.

Skye undertook tertiary studies at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music with Carmel Kaine in 1999, during which time she was awarded her A.Mus.A with distinction and also participated in the Australian National Academy masterclass program.

After being awarded a Bachelor of Music in Performance with First Class Honours, Skye travelled to the UK in 2004 to continue her studies as a ‘Year In’ student at The Royal Academy of Music, London, with Professor Howard Davis on modern violin. She also commenced studies on baroque violin with Simon Standage which was the beginning of her journey into the world of period instrument performance that has now become a life passion.

During her three years in the UK she performed with many modern and period orchestras and ensembles, including The Royal Academy Baroque and Classical period instrument orchestras and modern orchestras, as well as the Britten Pears Symphony and Baroque Orchestras.

In 2006 Skye was a full-time member of Southbank Sinfonia, London’s leading orchestral program for young professionals. She also performed throughout the UK in many festivals such as The London Handel Festival, The Aldeburgh Festival, The Dartington Festival, The York Trust Festival and the Three Choirs Festival.

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