Episode 3: cellist Jun Gardiner and bass-trombonist James Littlewood

L-R: Cellist Jun Gardiner and bass-trombonist James Littlewood. Photo credit: Daniel Spellman

Get ready to turn up the bass dial on your radio as our third episode of the season features the low frequencies of cellist Jun Gardiner and bass-trombonist James Littlewood. They will perform a range of repertoire including Benjamin Britten’s Cello Sonata and works for trombone and pre-recorded electronics before receiving on-air feedback from mentors Dean Sky Lucas and Ben Anderson. Continue reading to learn more about Jun and James.

Cellist Jun Gardiner

Cellist Jun Gardiner
Photo credit: Daniel Spellman

Jun Gardiner was born in Melbourne in 2010 and showed great interest in music from an early age. He began learning the cello with Suzuki music teacher Takao Mizushima in Sydney at the age of 5. Jun currently studies under Michael Dahlenburg, who is the cellist in the Australian String Quartet. Jun was awarded AMEB AMusA with Distinction at age 11.  

Jun has won a number of local and international competitions. Most recently he was awarded 1st Prize and Category Winner, Prize of Mayor of the city of Jihlava for the best competitor under 15years of age and Prize for the interpretation of a composition by Samuel Barber in Gustav Mahler Prize Cello Competition 2022. He also won first prize Cello Category 1 in the New Zealand International Young Talent Music Competition 2020/21 (age of 10).

In 2022 at age 12 Jun won 1st place Musical Society of Victoria String Solo 18 yrs and under (having won the ‘15 and under’ section in 2020 and the ‘12 and under’ section in 2019). He was a finalist in the Melbourne Recital Centre 2022 Bach Competition and winner of the Encouragement Award (having also been a finalist in 2021). Recently Jun won 1st place in Boroondara Eisteddfod 2022 String Solo Open section.  

Jun performed as a soloist with Melbourne Chamber Orchestra at the Melbourne Recital Centre in 2019. Jun appeared in the 2021 3MBS The Talent and received the Audience Prize.

Jun is an active member of the Scotch College Symphony Orchestra and regularly performs at Musical Society of Victoria concerts.

Jun enjoys playing Bach pieces on both the cello and piano. Aside from playing cello and piano, Jun is an avid reader and keen sportsman.

Jun will perform:

  • P.Tchaikovsky: Variations on Rococo Theme, Op.33 Theme, var 1, 2, 3 & 7
  • B.Britten: Cello Sonata Op.65, mvt.2

With associate artist Laurence Matheson.

Bass-trombonist James Littlewood

Bass-trombonist James Littlewood
Photo credit: Daniel Spellman

James Littlewood is a young bass trombonist from Melbourne with a passion for connecting people through music. His musical pursuits have taken him across the world to work with a wide range of people in Canada, Asia, and Europe. All of these formative experiences continue to inspire him to perform and use music to connect people.

In his post-graduate studies at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, James focused on the performance and history of third-stream trombone repertoire. His work as a soloist was recognised at the 31st Gisborne International Music Competition in New Zealand, where he was a semi-finalist and was awarded the International Brass and Woodwind Player Award; and at the 2021 ANAM Concerto Competition he received a commendation for his performance in the semi-finals.

Recently, James has begun to explore the world of improvisation in contemporary art music. His curiosity for finding new ways to communicate through music was piqued when he was paired with Melbourne composer Cat Hope for the 2021 ANAM Set commissioning project, and premiered her animated graphic score for bass trombone and subtone ‘The Long Now’. In September this year, he will participate in the Australian Art Orchestra’s Creative Music Intensive in Tarraleah, Tasmania.

This year James is excited to continue his training at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) under the tutelage of Scott Kinmont and Michael Mulcahy, and is looking forward to performance opportunities at ANAM and with Australia’s orchestras in 2022.

James will perform:

  • G.Wain: Prelude for trombone and piano
  • S.E.Thompson: I’ll meet you there
  • P.McNamara: Krazny

With associate artist Peter de Jager.

Tune in to The Talent every Tuesday night at 7pm to 103.5FM 3MBS Fine Music Melbourne. You can also stream the live broadcast at 3mbs.org.au or catch up later on our podcast! Just search for “The Talent 3MBS in your favourite podcast app and subscribe.


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