Stephen Chin

Q. First Name:
R. Stephen

Q. Last Name
R. Chin

Q. When did you join SYO?
R. 1973

Q. What instruments did you play in SYO?
R. Violin

Q. What is your favourite memory of SYO
R. Attending the International Festival of Youth Orchestras in Melbourne in 1974.

Q. What role does music play in your life?
R. Huge! I love sharing all I have experienced as a player, teacher and composer. It’s such a rich life!

Q. What is your favourite musical repertoire from the SYO performances?
R. Probably Beethoven’s Eroica and Brahms Symphony no. 2. I still adore those works!

Q. What advice would you give young musicians today?
R. Prepare as thoroughly as you can whilst communicating the inner meaning of each composer’s work.

Q. Any other information or anecdotes you would like to share with the SYO?
R. The Festival of Youth Orchestras in 1974 was a defining moment for me as a musician. To be so young (15 years at the time) and be exposed to a huge range of music and experiences was magical. I remember fondly, at that time, spontaneously playing the Bach double concerto for oboe and violin on the sidewalk and gutter with other musicians who I convinced to play. I have loved making music with people ever since.

As a founding member of the Sydney Youth Orchestra, Stephen’s interest and enthusiasm for music lead him to undertake formal training at Sydney University in both violin and composition with John Harding and Peter Sculthorpe respectively.  Stephen also attained a Master of Music from Queensland Conservatorium of Music Griffith University, under the tutelage of Michele Walsh, specialising in violin performance and pedagogy. 

Stephen has been invited to perform with such groups as The ABC Sinfonia, The Badinerie Players, The Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra, The Queensland Symphony Orchestra, The Queensland Pops Orchestra and a number of professional chamber ensembles. He is also an examiner for the Australian Music Examination Board (AMEB).  

Under the banner of Everything String Pty Ltd, Stephen publishes a number of string compositions and arrangements which have been used as test pieces for a number of competitions throughout Australia. Notably, in both 2015 and 2016, Stephen was commissioned by the NSW Arts Education Unit to write works for several Sydney Opera House performances involving eight thousand primary age musicians throughout NSW.  As a gesture of good will and to promote strong international relations, Everything String has also donated music to a number of international organisations such as Serendip (Sri Lanka), the Ghana String Project and the Yew Chung International School (Hong Kong). 

Stephen’s compositions and arrangements are also presented as examination pieces in the in the AMEB books for  

  • Violin series 8, 9 & 10 
  • Viola Series 1 & 2 
  • Cello Series 2 
  • Double Bass series 1 
  • String Ensemble Syllabus 

Stephen has been invited many times to adjudicate various eisteddfods and competitions including: 

  • The Brisbane Eisteddfod 2015 
  • the Queensland Festival of Music 2001 – 2017 
  • The Western Australian Schools Orchestra Festival 2011, 2012 & 2017 
  • The Hobart Eisteddfod 2012 
  • Gold Coast Eisteddfod 2000 
  • The Redlands Eisteddfod 2007 & 2017 

He is also in demand as a string and orchestral clinician, regularly conducting a number of workshops and festivals both nationally and internationally including: 

  • Guest Chief String Clinician for UWCSEA String Festival, Dover, Singapore 2017 
  • The Inaugural AUSTA European Tour 2016 
  • Presenter for the AUSTA Q Conference 2016 
  • Organiser for The AUSTA National Conference 2015 
  • Conductor for The State Honours Ensemble Program at Griffith University  (SHEP) 2015 
  • Presenter for ABODA National Conference 2014 
  • Presenter for numerous AUSTA workshops in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Townsville, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Maryborough and Toowoomba. 
  • Conductor for the All State Senior Orchestra in New Mexico, USA 2011 
  • Conductor for The  Melbourne Summer School 2005 – 2007,  
  • The Sunwater and Stanwell Winter Music School 2007 – 2008 
  • Presenter for The AUSTA National Conference 2006  

Each year, Stephen organises four large string festivals in Brisbane that involve a number of schools. 

From 2013 – 2015, Stephen lectured in String Pedagogy and Practicum at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University and was the conductor of the BEL faculty Chamber Orchestra 2008 – 2013 at the University of Queensland. He has also written articles for journals such as The Strad and Stringendo. 

Stephen was the Queensland State President of The Australian Strings Association (AUSTA) 2011 – 13 and National President for AUSTA 2014 – 2016. As a Past National President of AUSTA, Stephen continues to be involved in the Consultation Committee and is the International Tour Organiser. 

Presently, he is Principal String Teacher and Director of Orchestras at Brisbane Grammar School. 


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