Festival Artists

Drawing upon major international and Australian ensembles, including the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Lyrebird Trio and each of the major Australian symphony orchestras, our Festival Artists are among Australia's leading musicians.

Violist Stefanie Farrands has been Principal Violist with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra since 2015. She has studied in Berlin with renowned Violist Tabea Zimmermann at the Hochschule für Musik, Hanns Eisler Berlin and was the recipient of the Georgina Grosvenor Scholarship studying at ANAM in Melbourne with Alice Waten and Roger Benedict.

Stefanie has performed extensively throughout Europe, America, Asia and Australia both as a chamber musician and orchestral player, including playing regularly with some of the world’s most renowned orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Camerata Salzburg. She has also been Guest Principal with the Strasbourg Philharmonic in France and Amsterdam Sinfonietta in the Netherlands.

Stefanie plays regularly with Chamber Groups based in Europe such as the Noga Quartet and chamber orchestras such as Spira Mirabilus (Italy) and Le Concert Olympique (Belgium). In 2018 she also performed in the inaugural chamber music concert series ‘Concerts Sans Frontières’ in Paris, performing alongside some of Australia’s finest chamber musicians and has also performed at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, USA as well as other festivals around the world.

In Australia she has been guest principal Viola with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, guest Principal Viola of the Australian World Orchestra, and is a regular guest with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Melbourne Chamber Orchestra. She has appeared as Soloist with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (giving the Australian Premiere of Olga Neuwirth’s Viola Concerto in 2011), ACO Collective, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, AYO Young Symphonists (Performing the World Premiere of Natalie Williams’ Viola Concerto) and the Orchestra of the Australian National Academy of Music.

Stef's biggest passion is chamber music and is the founding member of the Hamer Quartet which was successful in winning the Asia Pacific Chamber Music competition, taking the overall First Prize Tony Berg Award, 1st prize for String Quartet and the Audience Prize in 2009. They gave their debut to critical acclaim in 2007 and since then have toured both nationally and internationally and recorded their Debut album for Melba records. Stefanie has performed at many chamber music festivals in Australia including Sanguine Estate Chamber Music Festival, Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, Norwich and Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Daylesford Chamber Music Festival, Violatag/Hindemith Festival in Berlin and was Artist in Residence at Monash University as a member of the Hamer Quartet. She was also a scholarship holder at the Villa Musica Chamber Music Academy in Germany.

Commissioning new works for the Viola is of keen interest to Stefanie. In 2016 she was the winner of the Freedman Classic Fellowship from which she has commissioned numerous new works for the viola. She has premiered Douglas Weilands third string quartet with the Hamer Quartet as well as given premiers to numerous solo, chamber and orchestral works as well as workshops and masterclasses on writing for the viola.

She has recorded both solo and chamber works for the ABC and is regularly featured of ABC Classic Fm and 3mbs, and is currently a member of the Viola Faculty at the Conservatorium of music in Hobart.