Festival Artists

Drawing upon major international and Australian ensembles, including the Lyrebird Trio, The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, and the Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras - our Festival Artists are some of the world’s leading musicians.

Simon Cobcroft is well known to audiences in Australia and further afield as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician. Simon is currently Acting Associate Principal Cello with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and since 2014 has been principal cellist with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. He has also held the positions of Associate Principal Cello with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra (2012-2014), and Sub-Principal Cello with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (2003-2011). 

He is a founding member of the Lyrebird Trio, winner of the Piano Trio and Audience prizes at the 2013 Asia Pacific Chamber Music Competition, and previously resident at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and at the Centre for the Arts in Banff, Canada. 

Simon is a graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium (2000) and the Australian National Academy of Music (2003). Since that time, he has been a frequent guest performer with London's Philharmonia Orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony, Denmark’s Esbjerg Ensemble and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. In recent years he has appeared as a guest principal with the Tasmanian and Singapore Symphony Orchestras, and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. He has performed as principal cello and chamber musician at the Aldeburgh, Pacific and Salzburg Music Festivals. 

In 2021, Simon performed as soloist with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in Haydn’s Cello Concerto in D Major. He made his first appearance as soloist with the ASO in 2015, and has since appeared in concertos by Saint- Saëns, Bruch and Elgar, receiving for the latter performance the Adelaide Critics Circle Prize in 2016. In previous years he performed as soloist with the Malaysian Philharmonic, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Queensland, Sydney’s Metropolitan Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria. 

Recent chamber music highlights include performances with Pinchas Zukerman and Amanda Forsyth, the Australian String Quartet, the Tinalley Quartet and the Seraphim Trio. In 2018 he had the privilege to appear as guest principal cello at the Singapore International Piano Festival with the legendary Martha Argerich. 

A passionate educator, Simon currently teaches at the Elder Conservatorium, University of Adelaide, and has taught at the Queensland Conservatorium, as well as tutoring for the Australian Youth Orchestra and National Music Camp. He studied with Matthew Farrell, Janis Laurs, Alexander Baillie, David Strange and Michael Goldschlager. He plays on a beautiful English cello made in 1840 by Thomas Kennedy. In his spare time, he loves to cook.