The Marais Project

The Marais Project - Smörgåsbord of Swedish Music 

'We have been performing together in The Marais Project and many other ensembles for more than 25 years now.  Alongside our shared musical loves, we also share a Swedish heritage. Tommie was born and grew up in Sweden, while Jenny’s Swedish grandfather, Knut Axel Eriksson, arrived in Melbourne in the 1920s. He never returned to his homeland. If it was not for a relative from Stockholm who wrote each year to the Australian branch of the Eriksson family, we would have completely lost contact with our Scandinavian forebears.


After many years of discussion, late in 2011 we finally decided to schedule a Swedish concert as part of The Marais Project’s 2012 concert series. It was quite emotional at times getting to know the works of Roman and Bellman and some of Sweden’s beautiful folk and other music through the unique lens of period instruments. We believe we can safely claim that this repertoire has never been presented in Australia in this format.


For further information on The Marais Project visit:

Jennifer Eriksson - viola da gamba

Having completed her initial musical studies at the NSW State Conservatorium of Music studying music education and cello with Barbara Woolley, Jennifer Eriksson subsequently studied the viola da gamba with Jaap ter Linden at the Rotterdam Conservatorium for three years, where she completed postgraduate studies in baroque music.


She founded The Marais Project in 2000 and also directs the Musica Viva in Schools ensemble, Sounds Baroque — a specialist ensemble that has presented baroque operas appropriately arranged for young audiences around Australia for more than 25 years. Jennifer is widely recognised as one of Australia’s best known and most versatile viola da gambists.


She has commissioned some 20 new works for viola da gamba.  Jenny is Curator of the Macquarie University Art Gallery concert series and is believed to be the only professional Australian exponent of the electric viola da gamba.  In this guise she has appeared with a number of Australia’s top jazz musicians.

Tommie Andersson - lutes and guitars

Born in Sweden and based in Sydney since 1984, Tommie is regarded as Australia’s leading specialist in lutes and early guitars. He completed his studies at the State Conservatorium of Music in Göteborg (Gothenburg), Sweden, with a Masters Degree in Performance, studying under Josef Holecek. He was then awarded a Swiss Government Scholarship for further studies at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, where his teachers included Eugen M. Dombois and Hopkinson Smith.


He has toured extensively in Sweden and has given performances and master classes in Scandinavia, Western Europe, Malaysia, Japan and, as a continuo player, in South America and Southeast Asia.


Tommie Andersson appears on numerous discs and has released a solo compact disc of Baroque lute and guitar music on the Swedish label, Musica Rediviva.  He is a permanent member of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and appears with numerous other ensembles.

Melissa Farrow - baroque flute

is a leading specialist in early flutes and recorder in Australia and also performs on ‘modern’ flute. At the age of 17, she moved from NZ to Australia to study for a Diploma in Music in flute with Michael Scott , Louise Dellitt and Geoffrey Collins and recorder and traverso with Howard Oberg at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music . The following year she won a Nuffic scholarship for postgraduate studies at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and a special invitation to study at the prestigious Tweede Fase under the tutelage of Harrie Starreveld (flute) and Marten Root and Walter van Hauwe (recorder and traverso).


Melissa is Principal Flute with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, the Australian Haydn Ensemble and Orchestra of the Antipodes for Pinchgut Opera.  Recent performances as flute soloist include Vivaldi’s La Notte Flute Concerto, Telemann’s flute and violin concerto in e minor with Stefano Montanari and CPE Bach's Flute Concerto.  


She has played regularly with Sydney Philharmonia, Sinfonia Australis, Salut!, Ludivico’s Band, Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, and on an eight keyed flute with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. She is also the founder of original instrument ensemble, Lumiere Baroque.

Matt Bruce - Baroque violin 

Started playing violin at the age of 4 with Suzuki exponent Hiroko Primrose, wife of world renowned violist William Primrose. From 1991 Matthew studied under Janet Davies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where he rediscovered a passion for early music and period playing in studies with Paul Dyer.

He was a winner of the Sydney Conservatorium concerto competition in 1993, graduating with top marks in his senior recital the following year.  In 2000 Matthew was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to pursue further studies in period performance practices on baroque violin in Europe under the tuition of Enrico Gatti and Ryo Terakado. 


Matthew performed regularly for a number of years with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra.  Matthew is a committed educator and tutors, adjudicates, and gives masterclasses at various educational institutions including the Australian Institute of Music. He is currently the Associate Concertmaster of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra where he has been a member since 1992.

Koen van Stade - tenor

Having received his initial training as a boy soprano in the St Laurence Cathedral Choir in Alkmaar, The Netherlands, Koen van Stade went on to study Singing with Peter Kooij and Max van Egmond; Church Organ and Church Music with Jos van der Kooy; Conducting with Harold Lenselink at both theAmsterdam Conservatorium and The Royal Conservatory of The Hague. After graduating, Koen continued vocal studies with Paul Hameleers. He specialised in Gregorian Chant at the Schola Cantorum, Amsterdam. 


In 2003 Koen became a member of the vocal chamber ensemble, The Gesualdo Consort, Amsterdam (Harry van der Kamp). Koen relocated to Australia in 2009. He is a Lay Clerk and Vocal Coach for St Mary’s Cathedral Choir and an Academic Tutor at St John’s College, University of Sydney. He is also a Vocal Tutor at Sydney Conservatorium of Music and Sydney Grammar School.  He has worked with leading Australian groups including The Song Company as ensemble member and as guest director. 

Smörgåsbord is his first appearance with The Marais Project.