Jun Yi Ma
Concertmaster and Orchestra Director
“It is with great joy that I welcome Jun Yi Ma as Concertmaster and Artistic Advisor of the Opera Australia Orchestra. His demonstrated passion for the operatic art form and for this orchestra is inspiring for everyone who has the privilege of working with him. Jun’s appointment is a shining example of the extremely high standard of musicianship now being demonstrated by the Opera Australia Orchestra.” – Lyndon Terracini, Artistic Director of Opera Australia.
Jun Yi Ma was born in Shanghai in 1972 and began violin studies at the age of six with Professor Ding at the Shanghai Conservatorium. At nine he gave his first televised performance in Shanghai. Three years later he performed at the White House as ‘Little Ambassador’, representing the Chinese Government for the President of the United States, Ronald Reagan. The renowned violinist Jascha Heifetz was also present at this performance and then took Jun on as a student. In addition to playing for Ronald Reagan, Jun has also played in Australia for two other US Presidents, George H. Bush and Bill Clinton, as well as three Australian Prime Ministers, Bob Hawke AC, GCL, Paul Keating and John Howard OM, AC.
In 1990 he was appointed inaugural Concertmaster of the Asian Youth Orchestra and then Concertmaster and soloist with the Australian Virtuoso Chamber Orchestra in 1992. He pursued further studies at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music with Professor Jan Sedivka, and at the Sydney Conservatorium with Charmian Gadd. He has also studied with Jascha Heifetz and participated in a masterclass with celebrated teacher Dorothy DeLay who also taught Nigel Kennedy.
In 1997 Jun successfully auditioned for the position of Violin for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, a position he held until 2002 when he was appointed Concertmaster of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Jun was also contracted as Concertmaster of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra from 2002–2005. Since these appointments he has appeared regularly as Guest Concertmaster with the Opera Australia Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta and Philharmonic, as well as appearing as Guest Concertmaster with the Queensland Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, Orchestra Victoria and San Antonio (USA) Symphony Orchestras.
Academically, Jun has tutored and mentored hundreds of students since becoming Associate Professor of Violin at the University of Tasmania in 2002 and then a Professor of Violin in 2006.
An active soloist and chamber musician, Jun Yi Ma has made numerous CD recordings featuring the music of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Sarasate, Bruch, Saint-Saëns and Britten. He often records solo and chamber music for broadcast on ABC Classic FM. His solo recording has also been broadcast by New York Radio. He has performed throughout Asia, Europe and North America, appeared alongside superstar violinist Nigel Kennedy in the Vivaldi Double Concerto, and performed chamber music with Lang-Lang and Robert Chan (Concertmaster of Chicago Symphony Orchestra).
His competition successes include New Zealand International Brass Woodwind and Strings Solo Competition, first prize in the solo violin section of the Prague Spring, twice finalist for the String Instrument of ABC Young Performers Award in Australia.
In recent years, Jun was featured as Concertmaster for the 2016 Melbourne Ring Cycle and in June of 2017 was appointed Concertmaster of the World Chinese Orchestra. Jun first joined the Opera Australia Orchestra as Artistic Advisor and Concertmaster in June of 2015 and in 2017 was appointed Orchestra Director and Concertmaster.