Playing for a Cure


Julian Smiles


Julian Smiles is one of Australia’s leading cellists. With a career based in chamber music, and extending with great success into solo as well as orchestral playing, his schedule sees him performing and recording extensively both in Australia and overseas.

Julian studied with Nelson Cooke at the Canberra School of Music and with Janos Starker at Indiana University, rapidly establishing a position of prominence among young Australian musicians with successes in various major competitions and concerto appearances with youth and symphony orchestras around Australia. By the age of 20 he had performed as soloist in the Dvorak, Elgar and Shostakovich concertos, the Brahms Double Concerto, and the Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations.

Julian has occupied many of the most prestigious positions in the Australian classical music scene. He was for several years Principal cellist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and has performed frequently as guest Principal cello with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra. In 1991 he was invited to join the Australia Ensemble, the University of New South Wales’ acclaimed resident chamber music ensemble, and in 1995 formed the highly successful Goldner String Quartet with Ensemble colleagues Dene Olding, Irina Morozova and Dimity Hall. These groups continue to be regarded as representing the pinnacle of chamber music in the country, and the Goldner Quartet in particular has established an international reputation with rave reviews of their recordings and recent performances in the UK.

In the last few years Julian has enjoyed an increasing profile as a soloist, and has performed concertos with several orchestras in Sydney, the Canberra Symphony Orchestra and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. In 2012 Julian gave the premiere performance of new concerto by Mark Isaacs with the Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic, and in 2013 will perform the Brahms Double Concerto in Sydney with his wife Dimity.

Julian is also in demand as a teacher, and has tutored gifted young musicians individually and as chamber groups at the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne, and for the Australian Youth Orchestra, and has held teaching positions at the Canberra School of Music and Australian Institute of Music. He has just been appointed Lecturer in cello at the Sydney Conservatorium, and will take that position in July 2013.

Julian plays on an 1827 Lorenzo Ventapane cello.