Julian Thompson


Julian joined the ACO in 2006 and was amazed to find that, not only would he be able to feed his love of music-making within this remarkable ensemble, but he would also be able to fuel his passion for music education and surfing!
Julian loves chamber music, has played at many of Australia’s leading chamber music festivals and appears on many ACO recordings, most recently on the Mendelssohn Octet recording for the BIS label. Also passionate about other forms of music-making, Julian has performed in a variety of folk styles at most of Australia’s major folk festivals. He has also released a number of recordings with the ABC, including the ARIA Award-winning disc Fyvie’s Embrace.
Julian is a keen surfer and was among the crew of intrepid ACO musicians who made the trek to remote King Island (Tasmania) in 2007 to film the awarded surf/music documentary Musica Surfica. In 2012, Julian was involved with a small but dedicated crew of ACO musicians and surfers creating The Reef, a live performance piece which marries footage of the ocean and wild desert landscape with an eclectic range of music, exploring the landscape and seascape around Ningaloo Reef in northwest Western Australia.
Julian is a Fulbright Scholar and completed a Master of Music Degree in the USA with Janos Starker and Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi. He also studied at the Australian National University with Lois Simpson and David Pereira, at the Australian National Academy of Music, in the UK with Raphael Wallfisch, and at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Julian was Principal Cello with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra from 1997 to 2006, often performing with them as soloist, and in 2006 was awarded the prestigious Arts ACT Creative Arts Fellowship which enabled him to explore the weird and wonderful world of electric-cello sound manipulation.
Julian is the ACO’s Education Representative and has been involved in their ambitious multi-tiered education initiatives for several years. Very proud of the profound impact of the ACO’s Education Program, Julian does sometimes wonder whether perhaps the kids remember him more for his hairstyle than anything else!
Julian plays a 1721 Giuseppe Guarneri filius Andreæ cello kindly on loan from the Australia Council.
Chair sponsored by The Grist & Stewart Families