Our Soloists

Gyula CseszkoEvgeny BelenkoPeter West

Ben Bates – Double Bass.

Benjamin Bates began playing music in 1988 as a folk and jazz guitarist. In 1992 he veered away from folk and jazz and took up formal classical guitar lessons and studies with Dr Adrian Walter OA with a focus on 19th Century performance practices. In 1993 he decided to take classical music further and took up a Bachelor of Music degree at Charles Darwin University and won a scholarship to the Inaugural Darwin International Guitar Festival, then furthering his studies with 20th Century South American guitar performances. As part of the degree he took up the Double Bass and joined the Darwin Symphony Orchestra, in 1994 he became principal bass for the Darwin Symphony Orchestra. Ben has then moved around Australia: Alice Springs NT, Lismore NSW, Melbourne and Hobart playing in orchestras in every town and city finally settling in Melbourne where he has played for the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic, Corpus Medicorum, Heidelberg Symphony and many other orchestras in Melbourne. In 2007 he completed a Graduate Certificate majoring in Orchestral Studies in Hobart taking up formal double bass studies with the principal bass of the TSO.

Ben started composing music in 1993 arranging music for guitar as part of his degree. He then discovered a score manuscript at a music shop, then started writing his first symphony. In 2002, while he was working on the first movement, the score was vandalised and he had to rewrite the piece from scratch. In 2003 the score was then destroyed by water leaking into the room where the score was kept and was destroyed again. In 2007 he discovered the Sibelius music writing program and started again and actually finishing the whole piece. The USB stick that it was stored on snapped and the data was never recovered. In 2012 he started writing again being careful to back everything up and eventually finished writing with several digital copies in 2015. In 2014, finding it difficult to find an orchestra to perform his piece, he wrote a smaller classical symphony which was performed by Surrey Hills Orchestra. In 2015 he wrote something he felt should be challenging for the players and wrote Symphony No. 3. The performance for Symphony No. 3 is scheduled for a concert in April 2016 where Ben has created his own orchestra and named it Melbourne Composers’ Orchestra and is honoured to have Andrew Wailes from the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic conducting.