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Germanic Cello

by Suzanne Yanko

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra cellist Rohan de Korte and Team of Pianists partner Darryl Coote, present the next Twilight Concert in the elegant Rippon Lea ballroom. Respected and experienced exponents of the German tradition, both refined their craft through studies in Germany: Rohan de Korte in Cologne and Darryl Coote in Hanover.  Audiences have enjoyed their collaborations over several years, including two recitals in 2015 encompassing all of the works for cello and piano by Beethoven – five Sonatas and three sets of Variations.

On this occasion the program comprises:

Schumann – Adagio & Allegro Op 70
Schumann – Fantasiestücke, Op 73
Brahms – Sonata in E minor, Op 38
Brahms – Sonata in F major, Op 99

Darryl Coote comments: “Robert Schumann, musical mentor to Brahms, worked his usual lyrical fantasy in the wondrous Adagio and Allegro Op. 70, as well as in the Fantasiestucke Op. 73, the latter sometimes played on clarinet, though presented just as excitingly in this concert on cello.

“The E minor and F major Sonatas by Brahms for cello and piano, both staples of the cello repertoire, exemplify the majesty and energy so typical of Brahms’ chamber works.  The three-movement E minor Sonata displays Brahms’ usual lyrical elegance and structural balance, whilst the four-movement F major Sonata of more than 20 years later has passionate grandeur and a slow movement of great intensity. 


Darryl Coote is a partner of the Team of Pianists, Artists-in-Residence at Glenfern for the National Trust of Australia (Victoria). His professional life encompasses activity as solo pianist, chamber musician, concerto soloist, teacher, adjudicator and administrator. His studies included a year with Kurt Bauer at the Musikhochschule, Hanover (Germany). He was the first winner of the national Hephzibah Menuhin Memorial Scholarship, as well as Victorian State winner of the ABC’s Instrumental and Vocal Competition.

Coote has appeared in concert throughout Australia. During the past twenty-one seasons, he has performed frequently in the Team of Pianists’ respected and long-running concert series, Twilight Chamber Music at Rippon Lea. An all-round ensemble performer, often he performs piano duets with Max Cooke, as well as major two-piano works with Robert Chamberlain. He is a sought-after chamber musician and accompanist, having worked with many artists of note, with performances including all three violin sonatas of Brahms, as well as Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time.

A fluent German-speaker, Coote enjoys presenting German art-song/Lieder, having performed Schubert’s major cycles, Die Schöne Müllerin (with Timothy Reynolds) and Winterreise (with Brian Hansford and Timothy Reynolds). He is a member of the Australian-German-Association but also values his Australian and Irish heritage, holding citizenship of both countries.

The pianist has recorded and broadcast extensively on Australian radio networks, including ABC Classic FM and 3MBS FM. He features prominently on all nine CDs produced by the Team of Pianists, having recorded Bruch’s Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra with Robert Chamberlain and the New Monash Orchestra, conducted by André de Quadros.

Coote is an experienced teacher, examiner and adjudicator, including as member of the piano faculty at Monash University. He has adjudicated major Eisteddfods in Victoria as well as interstate and has given masterclasses in Malaysia, in Germany, in China, in various universities around Australia, as well as at Boston University (USA), at the Eastman School of Music (USA) and at the Kunitachi Academy in Tokyo (Japan). In 2012, he taught in the Summer Piano School at Chethams School (Manchester, UK).

He has held administrative and leadership roles in music administration also, and, together with Max Cooke, is one of the co-founders and a past adjudicator of the Australian National Piano Award (ANPA).


Rohan de Korte chose to play the cello at the age of five simply because it was bigger than a violin. He was fortunate to have teachers like Henry Wenig and Nelson Cooke and now he has a position with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

After studying in Melbourne de Korte claims he would actually have preferred to play basketball for Australia, or at least the Chicago Bulls, but decided instead to pursue the cello to Croatia for lessons with Valter Despalj. This was followed by five years of study at the Cologne Hochschule for Music with Claus Kanngeisser, including chamber music lessons with the Alban Berg Quartett.

De Korte completed his performance diploma in 2000 with distinction and returned to Australia spending the next three years freelancing with the Sydney Symphony before being appointed as the Associate Principal cellist with Orchestra Victoria.

Aside from now playing with the MSO, Rohan de Korte teaches at Melbourne University and has tutored at the Australian Youth Orchestra National Music Camp. He plays a lot of chamber music with friends and has even tried composing. His debut piece The Haunted House is extremely popular with younger audiences. He has been a regular guest artist at chamber music festivals and plays in a crossover jazz/classical group called Shakin’ not stirred.

De Korte’s favourite composer is Beethoven, although Mahler’s Ninth Symphony wins as his favourite piece. His cello is a beautiful German instrument from 1720. He has three very rowdy sons who, he says, think that playing the cello is very funny yet interesting and, after suffering a broken neck, he has vowed never to try surfing again!


Venue: Rippon Lea Ballroom, 192 Hotham Street,
Elsternwick, VIC, 3185.

Sunday May 15, 6.30pm

For information, contact Team of Pianists:

Tel: (03) 9527 2851 Email: info@teamofpianists.com.au


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