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Rueben Levi & Olena Nikulina

    Sunday 11 August, 2024 
    2:30 – 4:00pm

    Wolumla Memorial Hall

    Rueben Levi on violin and Olena Nikulina on piano deliver a classical program.
    Mozart k454 violin sonata in Bb Major
    Brahms Op.100 A major violin sonata
    Mendelssohn violin concerto in E minor.

    Rueben Levi Oddy, born in Australia and currently based in Nuremberg, Germany, is a distinguished violinist specializing in German classical music. From his early beginnings in Moruya, Australia, Rueben demonstrated a remarkable affinity for the violin, embarking on a journey that has taken him from small-town Australia across continents, into the heart of the classical music world.

    Having discovered his passion for the violin at the age of 11, he embarked on a path of musical discovery that led him to study under esteemed instructors such as Siggi Lacheta, Vincent Edwards, and Josette Esquedin-Morgan. This early foundation paved the way for Rueben’s relocation to Germany in 2014, where he immersed himself in the rich musical culture of the country.

    In Germany, Rueben found himself captivated by the nuances and complexities of German classical music, dedicating himself to mastering its intricacies under the guidance of world-renowned professors such as Koh Gabriel Kameda, Ulrike Anima-Mathe, and Valerie Rubin. His dedication and talent were further honed through participation in lessons and masterclasses led by Professors Ingolf Turban and Eckhard Fischer, refining his technique and interpretation to a fine art.

    Rueben has also had the privilege of collaborating with prestigious ensembles such as the Detmold Chamber Orchestra and the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra. His contributions as both a performer and educator were recognized when he was invited to serve as concertmaster and to tutor the first violins of the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Upper Franconia.

    As a chamber musician, Rueben has played first violin for many chamber groups, including the German premiere of Christian Mason’s “Tuvan Songbook”, as well as Christoph Staude’s “Kodex” with the Pegnitzschäfer-Klangkonzepte for the IPPNW congress “Medicine and Conscious”, as part of the Anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials.

    Presently, he continues to push the boundaries of his craft while pursuing studies in instrumental pedagogy and music therapy. Adding to his journey, Rueben currently performs on a loaned instrument crafted in 2020 by the German master violin luthier Alfred Binner, as well as a small piece of German History with a bow made ca. 1930 by master bowmaker August Rau. These exquisite instruments serve as a testament to his commitment to excellence and further enhance his ability to convey the depth and beauty of German classical music to audiences around the world.

    Olena Nikulina is an accomplished classically trained pianist, who graduated in 1999 from the Donetsk State Conservatoire, Ukraine, with a Masters degree in pianoforte and accompaniment. She studied in the Ukraine under Professor’s Natalia Chesnokova and Natalia Strochan.

    She has performed extensively in her homeland, Ukraine, as well as Australia and overseas in Italy, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain as a soloist and four-hand pianist. Since moving to Canberra in 2006 Olena has performed as a soloist, four-hand pianist and accompanist in Canberra, Victoria and throughout New South Wales. Olena has worked extensively with baritone Jeremy Tatchell, accompanying him in 2010, Schumann’s Liederkreis Opus 39, 2012, Schubert’s Winterreise and again in 2016, From Russia (and New Zealand) with love.

    Besides performing Olena is acknowledged as a high-level piano teacher. In 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2023 Olena had the distinction of joining the elite group of talented musical educators by the Australian Music Examination Board (AMEB) and awarded a Certificate of Distinction as one of the ‘Top ten most outstanding music teachers’ in New South Wales (NSW) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

    In 2017, 2022 and again in 2023 Olena was selected from all the AMEB participating piano teachers in NSW and the ACT and recognised for her hard work, dedication and exceptional teaching ability and presented with the prestigious award ‘Most Outstanding Private Teacher Preliminary to Grade 6 – Keyboard’. Olena truly treasures the awards and finds being singled out from so many a humbling experience.