Our Artistic Directors, Anna Zeltzer and Rob Oetomo, have been friends for a decade. They have rather different musical backgrounds: Anna began her classical training at a relatively young age, starting percussion lessons at age thirteen with Alison Pratt. Throughout high school she was heavily involved in various NSW Public Schools Arts Unit ensembles and music camps, and the Sydney Youth Orchestras. Rob, by contrast, came to classical percussion relatively late, already eighteen years old when he started lessons with Gary Wain. Rob wasted absolutely no time catching up to his peers in the area of performance, while also developing his skills in composition.
Anna and Rob met while studying at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, one of Australia’s finest tertiary institutions for music. After graduating they each set off on their own overseas adventures, both eventually landing – by chance – in Germany. Initially just keen to connect with other Australians, Anna and Rob began collaborating professionally more and more. Although they share much musical common ground, they also discovered in one another just as many complimentary skills and musical differences. This proved a fruitful combination and in 2012 they formed their ensemble “Askill Percussion Duo”. They have continued to work closely together on a number of different projects ever since.
Upon returning to Sydney in 2014, Rob felt inspired to encourage and increase interest in classical percussion, particularly the marimba, amongst school-aged percussionists in Sydney. He invited Anna to join him as co-artistic director and, drawing upon their experiences of festivals and masterclasses overseas, together they formulated the “Sydney Marimba Weekend”.
While they love the marimba, Anna and Rob are both versatile percussionists and are active in many different areas of music. For their individual biographies please click here.