{In Conversation}

Adelaide Baroque is delighted to present a series of interviews with musicians created during the COVID-19 restrictions. This has been a wonderful opportunity to engage our artists and find out more about them!

Ben Dollman | Baroque Violin


Ben is one of Australia’s leading performers on baroque violin, having held the position of Principal 2nd violin in the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra for over fifteen years.

Studies in early violin began at Indiana University with the Australian baroque violinist Stanley Ritchie. Upon returning to Australia, Ben was mentored by Lucinda Moon and invited to become a regular member of the ABO in 1999. He has performed as soloist and concertmaster on a number of occasions, and was a featured soloist on two ARIA award-wining albums for best classical album. In 2015 he was the recipient of a Brandenburg Foundation Study Grant to undertake extensive professional development work in Europe. He is now a foundation member of the Brandenburg Quartet, a worldclass string quartet devoted to performing music form the classical and early romantic periods on period instruments. Based in Adelaide, he has been a leading performer in the SA chamber music and orchestral scene for many years with Adelaide Baroque, Ensemble Galante and over many years as a regular guest with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. He also makes regular appearances in Victoria for Evergreen Ensemble and Melbourne Baroque Orchestra. Within Australian and internationally he is a member of the theatrical musical duo ‘Dual Aura’ with Danish recorder player Monica Schmidt Andersen. He also holds a Masters degree in Environmental Studies, and maintains a strong interest in how arts practice can influence issues of social importance such as environmental awareness.

Rob Nairn | Violone


Rob recently returned to Australia to a position as Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne where he teaches Double Bass, Violone, coaches chamber music and directs the Baroque Ensemble.

Rob was previously a Distinguished Professor of Music at Penn State University and on the faculty of the Juilliard School. He has performed with the London and Oslo Philharmonics, Pittsburgh and Gothenburg Symphony Orchestras, English, Scottish and Australian Chamber Orchestras, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Melbourne, Sydney, Queensland and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras, London Sinfonietta, Halle Orchestra, London Mozart players and the Australian String quartet. He is principal bass of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston, MA, and is a member of the Australian World Orchestra. He has performed with the Boston Early Music Festival, Juilliard Baroque, English Baroque Soloists, Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique, Concerto Caledonia, Washington Bach Consort, Rebel, Florilegium, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Ironwood, and Adelaide Baroque. He has recorded for Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Sony, EMI, Virgin, ABC Classics, and Channel Classics.

Heidi von Bernewitz | Baroque Viola


Originally from Washington DC and now in Adelaide, Heidi von Bernewitz plays the baroque viola.

Heidi has performed with the Halle, Pittsburgh and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras, the London Philharmonic, the English National Opera, the Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras, and the Australian Opera and Australian and Würtemburg Chamber Orchestras, at festivals including Glyndebourne, the London Proms, the Edinburgh Festival, Cabrillo, Aspen, Tanglewood, EMF, Schleswig Holstein Music Festival. St. Endellion, and the Rencontres Musicales Internationales des Graves, and as a historical performer with London Classical Opera, Modern Musick of Washington D.C. and regularly with Adelaide Baroque.

A graduate of Boston and Yale Universities, her teachers include Wolfram Christ, Michael Zaretsky, Atar Arad and Nabuko Imai.

A frequent chamber musician, Heidi has performed solo recitals in the U.S., U.K., Scandinavia, and Australia, and recorded for Deutsche Grammaphon, Sony Classical, Telarc, EMI, Naxos, and ABC Classics.

Jackie Newcomb | Contrabassoon


Originally from Sydney, Jackie Newcomb is currently Principal Contrabassoonist with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, a position she has held since 2009.

Jackie has performed with most of Australia’s major symphony orchestras including the Sydney, Queensland, Melbourne, and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Australian Chamber Orchestra. As part of her busy schedule, Jackie performs regularly with various chamber ensembles on both modern and historical bassoons. As a founding member of Unholy Rackett and The Adam Page Ensemble (TAPE), Jackie enjoys exploring performances of an eclectic range of music.

In 2019 Jackie graduated with a PhD from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music researching historically informed performance practice for the renaissance bassoon.