Bernadette Morrison

IMG_0075_Bernadette MorrisonBorn in Sydney and raised in the coastal country area of Jervis Bay, New South Wales, Bernadette grew up in a family of creative artists, as much musical as visual. Her love of the cello soon brought her to Sydney Conservatorium of Music where she completed both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Cello Performance.

Bernadette’s studies then took her to Verona, Italy, where she performed in the Sydney Conservatorium Estivo Festival with the Adelphi String Quartet, and to France for several intensive solo cello master-classes with Maria Kliegel at the Fauviere International Summer School, Conservatoire de Lyon.

In 2011 Bernadette was selected as an Emerging Artist of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s Sinfonia Programme, and in 2015, became string quartet cellist in the Australian Youth Orchestra (AYO) Chamber Players programme, performing in the renowned Australian Musica Viva Festival in Sydney. Bernadette was also selected for AYO’s chamber orchestra, Momentum Ensemble, with whom she toured Australia and had the unique opportunity to workshop and perform with the preeminent Australian World Orchestra under the baton of guest-conductor Sir Simon Rattle at Sydney Opera House.

Sharing her love of music has always been a major passion for Bernadette and therefore teaching the cello, as well as studying it, has been a big part of her life.

All this hard work and dedication came to fruition when Bernadette got a casual position with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, gaining incredible professional experience, which contributed to her selection for London’s Southbank Sinfonia.

Bernadette’s place in Southbank Sinfonia is generously supported by the Sir Charles Mackerras Chair and Tait Memorial Trust.

Rush Hour #10: Motion

I’m really looking forward to performing Rautavaara’s Cantus Arcticus as part of #ConcertLab. It’s exciting to be doing something that challenges the idea of a ‘conventional concert’, incorporating other art-forms into our performance so that ultimately it will be music that is ‘heard’ but also ‘seen’. For me, it will be so interesting to see what kinds of movement we will ultimately be inspired to add to this piece as a group, and it’s fascinating to be working on this project with Imogen Knight from Amadeus. I’ve only recently become acquainted with Cantus Arcticus and I absolutely love its woven instrumental lines which seamlessly float along, sometimes quite contentedly and sometimes with a seeping melancholy, all built around the recordings of bird calls. To me the piece evokes an exquisite landscape of soft snow and wintry trees, a beautiful setting for the magnificently exotic and graceful birds of northern Finland.

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What do you love about classical music?
It’s the most all-encompassing and vastly contrasting musical means of human expression. It can portray huge depths of emotion, tell a story, or paint a picture that is unique for every listener and performer, yet brings people together in shared experiences and emotions. I love the way anyone of any age, background or level of training or exposure can be moved by it.

What’s on your playlist right now?
An enormous list, but just to name a few: Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman; Beethoven symphonies 5 and 7; The Cure; The Cat Empire; Brahms symphonies 1 and 4; Ella Fitzgerald, The Gold Collection; Radiohead; Tchaikovsky, Swan Lake; old film music from Hitchcock films and current film music by Hans Zimmer, just to name a few; Cocteau Twins, Treasure and Bluebell Knoll – the list goes on!

What do you do with your time when you’re not playing music?
When I’m at home in Sydney, I enjoy going to weekly ballet classes and I love to go hiking in the bush or anywhere outdoors, enjoying nature and animals, taking photos of beautiful or interestingly coloured things or shapes, reading books, watching movies, having a nice chat with friends over coffee or lunch, and I like to bake a nice cake or dinner to enjoy with friends or family.

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Bernadette talks us through Beethoven’s Symphony No.7…

Meet the rest of the orchestra