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Sydney Philharmonia Choirs | Music Staff

We are very lucky to have the expertise and dedication of our talented Music Staff. Led by Brett Weymark OAM, our music staff are musicians in their own right and show their commitment to choral music by devoting countless hours to auditions, rehearsals and performances. This commitment allows us to perform to the very best standards possible.

Photograph by Keith Saunders.

Brett Weymark OAM – Artistic & Music Director

Brett Weymark is one of Australia’s foremost choral conductors. Since 2003 Brett Weymark has conducted the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs throughout Australia and internationally. He has also conducted the Sydney, Adelaide, Queensland, West Australian and Tasmanian symphony orchestras, Orchestra of the Antipodes, Sydney Youth Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic and productions for WAAPA, Pacific Opera and OzOpera. He has performed with Opera Australia, Pinchgut Opera, Australian Chamber Orchestra, The Song Company and Musica Viva.

He studied singing and conducting at Sydney University and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and continued conducting studies with Simon Halsey, Vance George, Daniel Barenboim and Sir John Eliot Gardiner, amongst others.

His performances have included Bach’s Passions and Christmas Oratorio, the requiems of Mozart, Verdi, Duruflé and Fauré and Orff’s Carmina Burana. He is champion of Australian composers and has premiered works by Matthew Hindson, Elena Kats-Chernin, Peter Sculthorpe, Ross Edwards and many others. He has prepared choirs for Sir Charles Mackerras, Zubin Mehta, Edo de Waart, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Sir Simon Rattle. He has recorded widely for the ABC and conducted film scores, including Happy Feet, Mad Max Fury Road and Australia.

Recent highlight performances include Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd (West Australian Opera), Paul Stanhope and Steve Hawke’s Jandamarra (SSO), Michael Tippett’s A Child Of Our Time (Adelaide Festival) and Carousel (State Opera South Australia). In 2023, he has led Sydney Philharmonia Choirs in Handel’s Samson, The Golden Age of Broadway for the Sydney Opera House’s 50th anniversary Inside Out at the House festival, Verdi’s Requiem and ChorusOz in Mahler’s Eighth Symphony.

In 2001, Brett was awarded an Australian Centenary Medal. In 2021, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for services to the performing arts through music.

Brett is passionate about singing and the role that music plays in both the individual’s wellbeing and the overall health and vitality of a community’s culture. Music can transform lives and should be accessible to all.

Photograph by Keith Saunders

Elizabeth Scott – Associate Music Director

Elizabeth Scott is a highly skillful choral conductor who has led Sydney Philharmonia Choirs’ young adult choir to great success since 2008. A former SPC Assistant Chorus Master (2006–2008) and Acting Music Director (2013), she is also a lecturer in conducting and the Choral Director at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney, and regularly conducts the NSW Public School Singers. Since 2009 she has been the Choral Conductor for the Schools Spectacular, and is the conductor of the NSW Public School Singers for the Arts Unit, NSW Department of Education. Elizabeth is a true leader of the next generation of choral singers.

After graduating from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 1995, she completed postgraduate studies in choral conducting, vocal performance and aural training in Hungary and Germany. Through Symphony Australia’s Conductor Development Program she has worked with the Queensland, Adelaide and Melbourne symphony orchestras and Orchestra Victoria, among others, and was awarded the 2008 Sydney Choral Symposium Foundation Choral Conducting Scholarship. Elizabeth completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting in 2021.

She is a regular chorus master for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and has prepared choirs for international conductors including Sir Simon Rattle, Simone Young and David Robertson. She also regularly works with Gondwana Choirs and Cantillation.

In 2017, Elizabeth became the first Australian woman to conduct SPC’s Messiah concerts at the Sydney Opera House. Recent performance highlights include 2022’s Mozart: Requiem & Revelations and Bach Mass in B Minor, 2021’s Berliner Messe and St John Reimagined, 2020’s Considering Matthew Shepherd, and Music at the Movies in 2019. She is a passionate champion of contemporary composers such as Eric Whitacre, Arvo Pärt, Ola Gjeilo and Ēriks Ešenvalds, and Australian composers such as Paul Stanhope, Joseph Twist, Brooke Shelley, Matthew Orlovich and Sally Whitwell.

Tim  Cunniffe Assistant Chorus Master & Principal Rehearsal Pianist 

Tim Cunniffe is an accomplished conductor, musical director and pianist who has worked with Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Sydney Children’s Choir and Gondwana Voices since 2012. He earned his degree in classical piano from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) in Perth, and later studied conducting with Dobbs Franks.

He forged his career in Western Australia where he is best known as Music Director of more than 30 stage shows, co-creator of more than 80 cabaret shows presented around the world, lecturer in Music Theatre at WAAPA, conductor of the Churchlands Choral Society for 12 years, and for his long association with His Majesty’s Theatre. He was the resident Musical Director of Downstairs @ The Maj from its inception, directed and arranged the music for the theatre’s centenary gala in 2004, and conducted many performances within its walls, most memorably Irene in 2008 with Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds.

His recent Musical Theatre work includes serving as Assistant Conductor on national tours of The King and I (Opera Australia/Gordon Frost Organisation), Dirty Dancing (Gordon Frost Organisation), We Will Rock You (Gordon Frost Organisation), and Jersey Boys (New Theatricals). In 2021, Tim was invited to return to WAAPA as a Visiting Artist to conduct its season of Crazy For You at The Maj.

Lynne Murray – Vocal Coach

Lynne has sung as a soloist in opera, oratorio, concert and recital in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Germany. She trained at the Opera School at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where she later undertook the degree of Master of Music (Performance). She was a finalist in all major Australian singing competitions, and won Opera Foundation’s German Operatic Award, which resulted in her performing as a trainee principal singer with the Cologne State Opera in Germany. On returning to Australia she sang with Opera Australia and opera companies throughout Australia and New Zealand, in principal roles including Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, and Olympia in The Tales of Hoffmann.

Lynne has built a practice as a singing teacher for over twenty years, with a particular interest in teaching choral singers. She wrote an article on teaching mature amateur singers for the 2016 edition of Australian Voice, and co–authored a chapter on voice management and the older singer, to be published this year in the prestigious Oxford Handbook of Singing.

As vocal coach for Sydney Philharmonia Choirs Lynne sits in on chorister auditions, advises choristers on issues to do with their voice, and runs workshops on vocal technique. Lynne sees her role as encouraging singers across all choirs to fulfil their vocal potential and to get the utmost enjoyment from their participation in the choir.