Autumn 2024 Newsletter

A warm welcome to the Autumn 2024 edition of the newsletter, and our many thanks to all the contributors to this edition. Below you will find updates on viol activities across Australia, including Rachel Walker in Canberra, Patrice Connelly in Queensland, and Knobby Clarke in Victoria. We look forward to seeing many of you over the King’s Birthday Weekend at the Annual National Viol School in Melbourne!




The Australian Viola da Gamba Society is proud to announce a special Viol School in collaboration with Consortium, with the theme of English Consort Music. Tutors will be Reidun Turner, Laura Vaughan, Ruth Wilkinson, Ruby Brallier and John Weretka.

The Annual Viol School will run between Saturday 8 June to Monday 10 June at Carlton North Primary School, Lee Street, Carlton North.

The link to complete the enrollment form is



The Early Music Society of Victoria (EMSV) holds regular bi-monthly meetings where Early Music is performed. The AVdGS will hold similarly regular bi-monthly meetings on the alternate months.

The AVdGS invites its members to participate in a series of bi-monthly workshops. Each workshop will be dedicated to a particular style of music selected from the works of a particular composer. For example, the first workshop will be devoted to a study of the Pavans written by Anthony Holborne (1563-1626).

The first of these workshops will be held on Sunday 21st July 2024 between the hours of 2pm and 4pm (later if enthusiasm requires).

  • The pitch for the afternoon will be A415Hz
  • Scores and parts for the music to be studied will be provided
  • Tea and coffee will be provided
  • No fee will be charged for attendance, but a small contribution will be required to cover out-of-pocket expenses

Please indicate your interest in participating in these workshops. If the number of interested players requires, the AVdGS will hire a suitable venue and impose an attendance fee to cover the cost of hiring the venue. If less than 25 persons indicate interest, the events will be held at the home of the organiser, Knobby CLARKE, in Glen Waverley, 3150.

These workshops will welcome players of all standards. However, we particularly hope to attract those individual players of sub-Intermediate standard who are not presently formed into ensembles. These events will facilitate the social interaction between isolated players and help to enhance their skills.

If you wish to participate in these events please email and include:

  • Name and preferred nickname
  • Level of experience
  • Instruments of the viol family that you play




Canberra continues to have an active consort scene, with regular playing on a Tuesday evening. We have been exploring a range of different music, anywhere from three to six parts.

A surprise visit from Shaun Ng also provided the opportunity to snap up a lesson, a rare treat in Canberra. Shaun was in town to play both lute and viola da gamba in the St John’s Passion with the Canberra Bach Ensemble at St. Christopher’s Cathedral in Manuka. Beautifully played, it has inspired at least one more person to take up the gamba and we look forward to more joining our ranks!




We have just started a viol consort as part of the Early Music Performance Project headed by Dr Anne Levitsky in the School of Music at the University of Queensland. I’m the lucky teacher of the consort of six absolutely delightful students. I have two violists and one cellist, a percussionist, a guitarist and a pianist and they’re all keen. More people were interested but unable to join due to timetabling conflicts. We are using a mixture of Geoff Wills’ viols which the Early Music Society of Qld is hiring to the School, as well as some of my shop instruments and bows which I’m lending so as to avoid conflict of interest problems. After four lessons, the students are all doing well, and we’ve started playing our first easy consort pieces from my Easy Four Part Consorts book (SM42). Anne has planned a concert for her whole project for mid-May, so we’ll be doing consorts as well as some easy voices and viols pieces. The consort classes will run all year, and we are starting to talk about how to expand this for next year.

I’ve published a lot of 7 part viol consorts lately as the music is really excellent and should be played. These editions will be perfect for workshops and could even be used with doubling parts for a large group work. Right now I’m finishing the 2nd book of 12 Ricercari by Fabrizio Fontana. These TrTTB works are really quite interesting; somewhat modal and in the style of Frescobaldi. I’ve found some wonderful madrigals by Renaldi which should be heard, and I have more 7 part Gabrieli in my sights too.

I’ve also just published some fantastic duets by Jean de Castro which were edited by Michael and Edith Kimbell from California. In two books, with full texts, they’ve been produced for tenor and bass viols. I’ve spiral bound the score for the bass viol and provided a separate partbook for tenor viol. I’m being offered a number of works from editors in Europe and the US at present which is making life interesting, and Rosalind Halton also has a whole slew of Italian cantatas to throw at me. Jemma Thrussell is in Germany these days, and she has also offered me an edition or three based on her Masters thesis work. Brady Lanier and I may collaborate on another Saraband book to come later in the year. If you’d like the latest listing of my editions, please email me.

I’ve also formally taken on the agency for Charlie Ogle’s viols in Australasia now. His waiting list means that I won’t have stock from him until the end of the year, but I hope to keep several Ogle viols in stock for much of the time. I’ve ordered viols from other places in the meantime though, so there will be some more come in soon, I hope. Louis is also sending me more bows, and I have plenty of cheap bows as well.

Shannon Luk has now taken up lutherie and is making that his business, although he still teaches strings while the business is growing. His craftsmanship is very good, and the big bonus for me is that he lives 5 minutes drive away. He is making something of a speciality in restoring some of the Geoff Wills viols, because after 40-50 years, a lot of them have deteriorated internally, including some which were donated to EMSQ. We are working together to expand early music in Queensland alongside the EMSQ. I have stepped down from my role as President of EMSQ but I’m still on the committee.




Reidun Turner (President)

Alasdair McAndrew (Secretary)

Rachel Walker (Treasurer, ACT Public Officer)

David Clarke (VIC Public Officer)

Krista Low (WA Public Officer)

Rosemary Evenhuis (TAS Public Officer)

Ruby Brallier (NSW Public Officer)

Victoria Watts (Committee)

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