Soloist Spotlight 2020



Dr Brian Chatpo Koo
Founding Conductor, Artistic & Executive Director
Sydney Contemporary Orchestra

It is great that we can back to normal live concerts now while some other countries are still suffering from the pandemic.

This concert is a showcase of our young musician’s improvements and achievements after one term of training. 

This concert is divided into two parts. In the first part, the Sydney Hills Junior Orchestra will perform L. V. Beethoven Symphony No.6. Allegro ma nontroppo, arranged for strings by Jeff Manookian. 

In the second part, the Sydney Hills Youth Orchestra will perform Max Bruch’s Kol Nidrei for solo cello and orchestra with our young cellist Felix Soon. And Mozart Symphony No.29 in A major. K201.

Sincere thanks to our new SYS Management team without whom nothing could have been done.

I would like to thank the Hills Shire Council, Baulkham Hills High School for their great support.


From the Mayor of the Hills Shire – Dr Michelle Byrne

Welcome to the Sydney Contemporary Orchestra’s 2020 program.

I’m thrilled that we are now in a position where can once again come together and enjoy wonderful music, produced by our talented locals.

It’s been a tough year, but it’s been a year that has really made us stop, think and reconsider our actions.

It’s been a year, where we’ve reclaimed some of our time and really focused on reconnecting with others.

And it’s also been a year, where some of us have discovered new talents, learnt new skills or pursued new hobbies.

I want to thank the Sydney Contemporary Orchestra for their tenacity throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and for discovering new ways of sharing their music with others.

I also want to thank event organisers, the talented musicians and everyone else who has contributed to making tonight a very special evening.

Finally, I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year.

Thank you.

Mayor of The Hills Shire
Dr Michelle Byrne


The training arm of the Sydney Contemporary Orchestra Inc. (SCO), the SCO Youth Symphony (SYS) is our Youth Program for young music lovers, music students, young musicians and young music teachers in Sydney, Australia.

It consists of two training orchestras – the Sydney Hills Junior Orchestra and the Sydney Hills Junior Orchestra.  Led by its Founding Conductor, Artistic & Executive Director, Dr Brian Chatpo Koo, the SYS offers young music lovers the opportunity to play and enjoy classical orchestral music of all kinds, not only performing but also learning to understand how those masterpieces were constructed, and expanding their orchestral music education training and orchestral music performance experience. The orchestra also broadens their potential music career by building up their orchestral music repertoires, as well as imparting to them the value of communication, teamwork, and discipline.

To achieve ones full potential as musicians what better and greater opportunity there is for a youngster than being part of the SYS Orchestras. With professionally training and be influenced by the classical symphonies you will be equipped to broaden their vision globally and to enhance their understanding of human civilisations.


Dr Brian Chatpo Koo is a Sydney based musician.

Having studied music at the University of Hong Kong and the University of Sydney, Brian was the first person in Australia to receive a PhD degree in music composition. Supported by the Hong Kong University Grant, Brian also studied music at the International Summer Course for New Music in Darmstadt, Germany, and obtained his Licentiate and Fellowship Diplomas from the Trinity College of Music in London.

He founded the Sydney Contemporary Orchestra in 2013. Together with about 100 the finest Sydney professional musicians and a strong volunteer management team, Brian is dedicated to creating a platform where more new orchestral works can be written, performed, heard, recorded, published and become a part of our music culture, as he believes music development history is written by composers’ creativities. To encourage and to reach the pinnacle of this creativity and art, Brian believes that it must through devotion, perseverance, determination, and the most importantly through constant performances. Since 2013 the SCO has held 11 concerts, performed 38 new works of the composers from 22 countries.

Brian also founded the SCO Youth Symphony, a training arm of the Sydney Contemporary Orchestra, in order to provide professional orchestral training to young musicians, as he believes with classical music training and carefully selected programs covering a variety of cultural perspectives, young musicians can be equipped to broaden their vision and to enhance their understanding of culture, civilisation and human society.

He founded the Western Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 2019 in aim to enrich the music cultural live of the Western Sydney by providing fantastic opportunities for the local music lovers to play and enjoy the classical music. Through these events he wants to build a more vibrant, sustainable and inclusive local community for lovers of classical and symphonic music.


Jonathan is a musician and educator based in Sydney, Australia. He is currently studying Music at the University of New South Wales, majoring in Music Pedagogy and Composition. Having performed publicly from a young age, Jonathan continues to involve himself within the wider arts community of Sydney conducting orchestras and teaching students of all ages. With over 5 years of teaching experience, Jonathan instills his students with inspiration and knowledge as they continue to learn and perform to the best of their ability. Jonathan’s students perform regularly in eisteddfods and festivals around Sydney, all while achieving high grades in AMEB and Trinity music exams.

Starting at the age of 5, Jonathan began his musical training under the guidance of Dianne Donovan. Starting with the traditional AMEB piano syllabus, Jonathan added to his training by joining the studio show choir. He performed with the show choir for many years while studying piano, and has performed in some of Sydney’s premier performance venues, such as the Joan Sutherland Theatre (Penrith), and the Sutherland Entertainment Centre. Due to time constraints and other extracurricular activities, Jonathan placed his show choir training on hold whilst continuing his piano studies.

During his second year of high school, he completed his Certificate of Performance with AMEB. After transferring to a different school, he joined the Hurlstone Agricultural High School Orchestra, playing violin. By his senior years in high school, he became Concertmaster of the orchestra. During this time, he commenced conducting studies with the Band Director of the school. This gave him opportunities to rehearse the orchestra, and direct them through a highly successful performance of Beethoven’s First Symphony, which was performed at the conclusion of his high school career.

He participated The Sydney Hills Youth Orchestra Conducting Masterclass 2020. This performance is a demonstration of his achievements.  He has received Dr Koo Music Scholarship 2021 for him to continue study Orchestra Conducting with Dr Koo in 2021.

About the young solo cellist – Felix Soon

Felix Soon is a young aspiring cellist with a keen interest in the instrument since he was 10. He joined the strings program at St. Andrew’s Primary School as he was fascinated by the mellow tones of the cello and has been captivated by it ever since. Felix commenced formal cello training at the age of 11 and has risen quickly through the AMEB grades under the careful tutelage of Dr Brian Koo. He has just turned 16 and has completed his AMEB Certificate of Performance exam this year. Felix has been an active member of the Sydney Hills Youth Orchestra since 2016 and has gained significant experience in orchestra performance and musicianship participating in various concerts over the years.


Conductor – Dr Brian Chatpo Koo
Conductor – Jonathan Lam
Concertmaster – Rachael Gock (Sydney Hills Youth Orchestra)
Concertmaster – Isobel Caffyn (Sydney Hills Junior Orchestra)
Soloist – Felix Soon (cello)

Sydney Hills Junior Orchestra

L. V. Beethoven

Symphony No.6 “Pastorale”- Allegro ma non troppo arrangement for string orchestra by Jeff Manookian

Sydney Hills Youth Orchestra

Max Bruch

Kol Nidrei Adagio for solo cello and orchestra

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Symphony No.29 in A major K.201
Conductor – Janathan Lam

  1. Allegro moderato
  2. Andante
  3. Menuetto
  4. Allegro con spirito



Rachael Gock*
Grace Liu
Jonathan Yap
Audrey Stavropoulos
Emma Kan
Douglas Ip
Isobel caffyn
Maya Kikuchi
Aimee Lin
Isabella Kong


Jaden Choi


Felix Soon
Joshua Koo
Roger Gock
Hayden North
Angela Chiu
Julian Yap
William Caffyn


Bryton Johnson
Roger Gock


Adhav Manoj Pillai



  • President – Dr Brian Chatpo Koo
  • Vice President – Julia Farquharson
  • Secretary – Rajishwar Datt
  • Treasurer – Lalesh Chand
  • Rawah Dorranian
  • Linda Haworth


  • Artistic & Executive Director – Dr Brian Chatpo Koo
  • Office Manager – Raj Datt
  • Finance Manager – Lalesh Chand
  • Publicity Manager – Rawah Dorranian


  • Orchestra Manager – Rebecca Caffyn
  • Concert Manager – Rita Lee
  • Membership Manager – Eva Lau