Reeds, Bending

Meet the Artists: 

Music for 5 reed instruments

Tempo Rubato Bruwnswick, 20 November 2021

An oak and a reed were arguing about their strength. When a strong wind came up, the reed avoided being uprooted by bending and leaning with the gusts of wind. But the oak stood firm and was torn up by the roots. (Aesop)


Josh de Graaf - Oboe
Justin Beere, Paul Champion - Clarinets
Tim Murray - Bassoon
Niels Bijl - Saxophones

Saxophonist Niels Bijl is a relative newcomer to the Australian arts scene, having arrived in Victoria just before the global pandemic closed all the borders. Halfway through this year Niels received an invitation to join Orchestra Victoria for the September production of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. Unfortunately the latest rounds of lockdowns and restrictions meant that all the orchestra’s productions have been put on hold for the remainder of the year. 

But reeds are meant to vibrate, bend and never break under pressure. Upon hearing the cancelation of beautiful plans Niels immediately teamed up with his friend Paul Champion, to put together a program for reed quintet, with a selection of key woodwind players of Orchestra Victoria: Justin Beere, Josh de Graaf and Tim Murray.


Program Reeds Bending



Josquin Desprez - Nymphes des Bois

Ton Ter Doest - Circusmuziek

Lachlan Davidson - Spring Carnival Dance (World Premiere)

Claude Debussy - Children’s Corner

J.S. Bach - Goldberg Variations (Selection)

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Niels Bijl

Saxophonist Niels Bijl has enjoyed a very rich and colourful career as a performing artist in Europe in preparation for his new life in Australia. Having arrived just before the pandemic, he managed to set up collaborations with a wide variety of Melbourne based artists such as this magnificent team, as well as the Clinch Quartet and a duo with the marvellous Georgina Lewis. Niels has toured on every continent, and is extremely pleased to finally call Australia Home.

Justin Beere

Australian Clarinetist, Justin Beere is a passionate and vibrant musician and collaborative artist with an innate drive to perform and create. He is the Associate Principal Clarinet of Orchestra Victoria and the founding Artistic Director of the Melbourne Chamber Players. Justin has worked with leading chamber ensembles, Orava Quartet, Arcadia Winds, Hindemith Wind Quintet and the Melbourne Ensemble. 

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Tim Murray
Timothy Murray is currently Principal Contrabassoon with Orchestra Victoria. He studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and participated in the Sydney Symphony Fellowship program in 2014 before joining Orchestra Victoria at the age of 22. He completed his Master’s degree at the Hochschule für Musik, in Hannover. Timothy has recently taught contrabassoon at the University of Melbourne and he has performed as a guest musician with most of Australia’s professional orchestras.


Paul Champion

Paul has been Principal Clarinet of Orchestra Victoria since 2004. He has been Guest

Principal Clarinet with the Australian World Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra,

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, the

Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and the

Canberra Symphony Orchestra. Paul was born in Sydney and studied with Mark Walton, Head of Woodwind SydneyConservatorium. He has studied in London with teachers including Andrew Marriner, Anthony Pike, Julian Farrell and with Paul Meyer. Paul teaches at the University of Melbourne and previously at Monash University, and he is the co-founder of music education website Online Virtuoso.

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Josh de Graaf

Josh is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts and the Australian National Academy of Music.  In 2007Josh took up the position of Associate Principal Oboe with Orchestra Victoria, the position he holds today.
Josh has also performed with all major orchestras in Australia, as well as the Malaysian Philharmonic and the Australian World Orchestra.  In addition to performing, he is a regular teacher of oboe at Melbourne University, Monash University and other secondary schools around Melbourne.