Thomas Chawner - Viola/Violin

Thomas began his tertiary education in Viola performance at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, studying under several prominent teachers including Alice Waten, Caroline Henbest, Reiner Schmidt, Stephen King (Australian String Quartet, previously of the Australian Chamber Orchestra) and Nicole Divall. From 2012-2014 Thomas attended the University of Colorado where he completed a Professional Certificate of String Quartet Performance while being mentored by the world renowned Takacs String Quartet. During his time in Colorado he studied with Geraldine Walthers (Internatianally acclaimed soloist and violist of the Takacs Quartet) and Erika Eckert (previously of the Cavani String Quartet). 

In 2011 Thomas was an Australian Chamber Orchestra Emerging Artist, and performed in the ACO2 program as well as the main Subscription Concert Series with the ACO. Thomas has also performed with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, has performed frequently with the Sydney Sinfonia (the mentoring orchestra of the Sydney Sympony), contemporary ensemble Chronology Arts, toured and recorded education material for Musica Viva Australia, and toured internationally with the Australian Youth Orchestra.

As a baroque violist, Thomas spent two years with the Sydney Conservatorium’s Early Music Ensemble, under the guidance of internationally acclaimed performer and scholar Neal Peres Da Costa. Thomas has performed on period instruments with the Pinchgut Opera, The Orchestra of the Antipodes, and recorded with Australian Baroque Brass for ABC Classics.

The Orava Quartet has held residencies at the Banff Arts Centre in Canada and the Bundanon Artist in Residence Complex in Australia. They have also studied with members of the Emerson, St Lawrence, Schoenberg, Jerusalem, Australian, Brentano, Julliard and Goldner String Quartets. The quartet has performed in the United States, Canada, China, Philippines, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong. The quartet regularly performs at festivals which include the Musica Viva Festival, The Sydney Vivid Festival, Bellingen, Crossroads and Chinese Gardens Music Festival, and have performed for Queen Sofia of Spain and Pope Benedict XVI. In 2010 the Orava Quartet completed a highly successful tour of Asia for Musica Viva with world-renowned didgeridoo performer and composer William Barton. Orava has also been featured on 2MBS FMs Rising Stars On-Air program, and as part of the Musica Viva Rising Stars Series. Orava won the Musica Viva Australia Tony Berg Award for the most outstanding Australian ensemble as well as the Peter Druce Audience Prize at the 2013 Asia Pacific Chamber Music Competition in Melbourne Australia.

Thomas is a founding member of the Orava Quartet.