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Who are we?

Rodney and Anthea

Anthea and Rodney Wikstrom both attended Sydney’s world-famous Conservatorium of Music High School. During this time they had not met each other yet, however, a chance meeting in 2004 at a violin teacher’s conference brought them together.

Their natural harmony and passion for the violin has formed a partnership which brings beautiful music into the lives of young children and their families.

Anthea and Rodney’s exposure to music and musicians of diverse cultural backgrounds has led them to appreciate and gain a broad knowledge of the violin in a global context.

They have performed in principal positions, touring both nationally and internationally with many leading orchestras and ensembles. They have also taught and performed throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Europe.

In 2004 Rodney and Anthea formed Sydney Ensemble – one of Sydney’s leading classical ensembles. They also occasionally collaborate with other ensembles and artists

When not teaching they are regularly updating their skills and knowledge through professional development, with musical and educational associations.

Anthea Wikstrom
Rodney Wikstrom
Anthea Wikstrom MTeach., B.Mus., B.Arts.

Anthea Violinist

Anthea couldn’t imagine life without music.

Anthea grew up in an environment where music performance was a part of everyday life. She spent many evenings and weekends watching musicians performing at her mother’s French restaurant, in South Africa.

After watching an orchestra one afternoon, Anthea begged her mother to learn the violin. Her grandmother, who was a renowned concert and jazz pianist in South Africa, was very pleased to hear of her granddaughter’s wish to learn violin.

Eventually an old 1/4 size violin was recovered by the family, which was first used by Anthea’s father as a young boy.

Anthea was four years old when she received the old family violin, and began violin lessons with the respected Dutch teacher Jenny Pereira. With her teacher’s help Anthea quickly became a confident performer.

After several years of learning, Anthea led the youth orchestra in Pretoria, and began performing at her mother’s restaurant. She also participated in many festivals, concerts, and competitions. Anthea was also encouraged by her teacher to enter violin exams, which included the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), University of South Africa, and Trinity College of Music London.
In 1993 Anthea and her family moved to New Zealand.

Anthea took lessons with New Zealand Philharmonic Orchestra violinist Ray Crosley Croft. She also joined the Auckland Festival and Nova Orchestras to perform and participate in music camps and workshops across New Zealand.

Two years later Anthea headed for the Sydney Conservatorium High School of Music, as she and her family moved to Australia. She studied violin performance with Janet Davies and Stan Kornel, and composition with Dr Trevor Pearce. During her time at the Sydney Conservatorium High School she also briefly took up the piano and harp.
In 1999 the Greek ensemble AIDOS was formed by Anthea and several colleagues.

She arranged and transcribed traditional Greek folk music, and performed at functions and festivals. In 2000 she performed at the Sydney Olympic Games Opening Ceremony as a Ned Kelly Fiddler, and in 2001 was selected to perform with Professor Goetz Richter in the string chamber ensemble for the festival of the re-opening of the Conservatorium of Music.

In 2002 Anthea entered the University of NSW to study a double bachelor degree in Music (Major in Violin Performance and Composition) and Arts (Major in Theatre, Film and Performance Art). During this time she led the string sections in the UNSW Orchestra and Camerata Ensemble.

She studied with Opera Australia Concertmaster Adrian Keating, and composition with Dr Anna Pimakhova and Dr John Peterson. While at UNSW Anthea collaborated with the Physics/Acoustics department, contributing to the research of violin acoustics.

During her undergraduate studies Anthea approached her local music school and began to teach violin. As her reputation grew she took on more students privately. Anthea has always felt a strong commitment to passing on her knowledge and experience to the next generation of young learners. She will never forget the wonderful teachers who have inspired her to learn.

In 2004 Anthea, Rodney and fellow musician Lindsay Adams formed Sydney Ensemble – one of Sydney’s leading classical ensembles. In 2005 she performed alongside Rodney in the Edinburgh Military Tattoo- A Salute to Australia.

Anthea has become known for her versatility as a musician, and is equally comfortable performing in a classical setting, as she is collaborating with contemporary artists, rock, pop, and folk musicians. Some of Anthea’s recent work includes appearing on the ‘Live for Love’ film clip by Anthony Callea, recording violin for soundtracks for the Radio, Film & Television School, and performing with ‘Mariachi Australia’, Mexican Mariachi show band.

In 2005 Anthea joined her mentor Professor Shixiang Zhang on a tour to Shanghai China to observe and participate in violin Master Classes by Prof. Zhang and renowned violin pedagogue Zakhar Bron. Anthea experienced many different methods used by violin teachers from around the world, which inspired her to reflect on her own teaching style.

In 2007 Anthea became a qualified classroom teacher after completing a Master of Teaching degree at Sydney University. She also began studying the famous Suzuki method, which she has adopted to form part of her own philosophy of teaching. Anthea especially identifies with a saying by Dr Suzuki - "Music is a language that goes beyond speech and letters - a living art that is almost mystical.”

Anthea has had a strong passion for the creativity of composition since her early high school years. She has entered composition competitions such as MusicOz, and her pieces are performed annually at concerts. Anthea hopes to devote more time to composition as an artistic pursuit, and for educational purposes.

Her love and passion for teaching children is infectious, and shows through her personality. Her teaching style is creative, interesting and enjoyable because of her friendly and inquisitive nature. Anthea enjoys seeing her young learners developing solid foundation skills, good listening skills, discipline, effort and patience to achieve great results.

Anthea firmly believes that children who learn the violin develop a love and appreciation of music, and should have a great time along the way!

Anthea taught music most recently for 2 years at the Sydney Conservatorium High School and has also taught primary school in a remote Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory.


Rodney Wikstrom MTeach., B.Mus., A.Mus.A ., C.O.G.E

Rodney Violinist

Rodney was introduced to the violin by his older sister Margot, who was inspired to learn after admiring violin buskers at Circular Quay.

At the age of 3 Rodney began violin lessons with the celebrated Suzuki method violin teacher Sister Mary Bartholomew, in Dapto on the South Coast. He also took piano lessons for several years. During his primary school years he was a regular competitor and winner of the Wollongong and Nowra Eisteddfods in both the violin and piano divisions.

Soon the violin took Rodney to Sydney, a two hour trip each Saturday for further violin lessons and to play with the Sydney Youth Orchestra. At age 12 he won a scholarship to study at the Kinross Wolaroi School in Orange and in 1994 embarked on his first of what would become many international music tours.

In 1997 he entered the Sydney Conservatorium High School and in the same year was awarded the Associate Diploma of Music by the AMEB.

After completing the HSC he undertook tertiary study at the world famous Sydney Conservatorium of Music. It was the String Pedagogy subject that initiated Rodney’s passion for music education, sparking his teaching career. He began to view teaching as a means of contributing to the education of young people, sharing his knowledge, and gaining further experience in music.

During his university years he developed his orchestral playing with the SBS Television & Radio Youth Orchestra, Sydney Youth Orchestra, Youth Music Australia Orchestras, Sydney University orchestra, and various other ensembles, including The Real Mexico show band.

In 2001 he toured Mexico, Japan and Canada with The Real Mexico and performed at the 8th International Mariachi Encounter.

After completing a Bachelor of Music he immediately pursued post-graduate study with the Master of Teaching program at Sydney University.

In 2004 Rodney, Anthea and fellow musician Lindsay Adams formed Sydney Ensemble – one of Sydney’s leading classical ensembles. The following year he and Anthea attended violin master classes conducted by his mentor Shixiang Zhang and Zakhor Bron, at Shanghai Conservatory China.

In addition to teaching violin, Rodney also teaches classroom music to students in state schools. He hopes his contribution in a broader educational context will enable more children to grow up with sensitivity, discipline, patience, and a love of music.

Rodney taught music most recently at Manly Selective Campus for 2 years and has also taught at a primary school in a remote Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory.


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