|Saturday 25th November, 2023|
Glebe Music Festival
In conjunction with The Glebe Society Inc
Opposing yet complementary performers can create thrilling artistry - this is the basis on which Contra Guitar Duo was formed by Hamish Strathdee and Emma-Shay Gallenti-Guilfoyle.
The pair met at their university auditions in 2011 and have been making music together ever since. Their contrasting musical personalities and charming personal chemistry bring a dynamic spin to the fantastic combination of two guitars.
United by their passion to bring audiences music they love, Hamish and Emma-Shay are excited to showcase the varied and rich expressive capabilities of the guitar duo as an ensemble.
Contra Guitar Duo has performed extensively in Europe and Australia. Performance highlights include the Dubai World Expo, Staatsoper Hamburg, Melbourne Guitar Festival and the Darmstädter Gitarrentage, where they presented a number of Australian works. The duo has been fortunate to be recognised and lauded by organisations such as the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, PPCA Performers Trust Foundation and ANU School of Music.
Hamish has received numerous prizes in both national and international competitions including; the 2nd Prize in the London International Guitar Competition, and 3rd Prizes in both the Stuttgart and Aalborg International Guitar Competitions. Hamish has also received numerous scholarships and grants to help further his artistic studies including; the prestigious Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) for musicians, the Peter and Lena Karmel Honours Scholarship awarded to "the most outstanding student in music commencing an Honours year at the ANU School of Music" and awards from the PPCA Performers’ Trust Foundation. Recent performance highlights include: Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, Antoniede L’Hoyer’s Guitar Concerto and Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto in D. Hamish’s most recent recording Impulses was released on Move Records alongside Contra Guitar Duo’s debut EP, Contra.
Hamish holds a Master of Music from the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg, an Artist Diploma (Künstlerisches Aufbaustudium) from the Akademie für Tonkunst Darmstadt and a Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours from the Australian National University, where he studied with Minh LeHoang and Timothy Kain. Hamish is currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Queensland on a Research Training Program and full tuition scholarship.
As a champion of new repertoire for guitar, Emma-Shay has premiered new works written for her by leading Australian composers as part of her Green Guitar project, bringing together female forces in Australian composition to create new works for guitar inspired by the theme of ‘green’ in response to the climate crisis. In 2023, Emma-Shay gave the Australian premiere of works by Holly Harrison and Helen Svoboda at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music Guitar Festival. In 2022, she worked on multiple interdisciplinary projects with the Elbphilharmonie, Hamburger Gitarrenforum and the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg.
Emma-Shay has consistently been selected as a finalist in international guitar competitions,including New York, Melbourne and Adelaide. She has received numerous awards and scholarships including the Australian Music Foundation Guy Parson Award, a prestigious scholarship from the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, PPCA Performers' Trust Foundation award, HfMT scholarship for especially dedicated students, and the ANU School of Music Ken & Vera Fowler Honours Scholarship awarded for "outstanding level of musical accomplishment and potential to make an outstanding contribution to music."
Emma-Shay holds a Masters of Music from the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg, an Artist Diploma (Künstlerisches Aufbaustudium) from the Akademie für Tonkunst, Darmstadt and a Bachelor of Music with First-Class Honours from the Australian National University.