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Francois Rabbath and Kate Neal

Contemporary Musicians in Conversation Series

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Francois Rabbath and Kate Neal


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Francois Rabbath - Contrabass virtuoso
Francois Rabbath Born in Aleppo, Syria into a musical family of six boys and three girls, Francois discovered the double bass at the age of thirteen when one of his brothers brought an instrument home and allowed him to experiment with it. When the family moved to Beirut, Lebanon he found an old copy of Edouard Nanny's Contrabass Method in a tailor shop and with some difficulty, since he read neither music nor French, began to teach himself.

After nine years of work in Beirut, Francois saved enough money to move to Paris.  While in Paris he began to earn his living as an accompanist for Jacque Brel, Charles Aznavour, Gilbert Becaud, Michel Legrand and others. In 1963 he made his first of many solo record albums. Although never advertised or promoted, the Phillips album Bass Ball became one of the most sought after recordings of its time. From 1964 he became active composing much music for movies and the theater. At the same time he started to play solo recitals, first in France, then throughout Europe. His American debut was in Carnegie Hall in 1975.
Kate Neal -Composer Artist
Kate studied Early Music (Recorder) and Composition at the Victorian College of the Arts with Mary Finsterer, Mark Pollard and Brenton Broadstock, graduating in 1996. Kate received a NUFFIC scholarship from the Dutch Government in 1998 and moved to The Netherlands to study composition with Martijn Padding, Louis Andrieson and Gilius van Bergeijk at the Koninklijk Conservatory, and Carnatic (Sth Indian) music studies with Rafael Rainer at the Sweelink Conservatory, Amsterdam.
In 2000 Kate was awarded equal first prize in the International Young Composers meeting and a special mention in the Henriette Bosmans prize. She returned to Melbourne, Australia, in 2003, establishing her events company 'Dead Horse Productions'.
She received a scholarship from the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, Siena, Italty and studied under Maestro Corghi and Ensemble. In 2006 Kate is the recipient of the Hephzibah Tintner Fellowship, working with the Australian Ballet, Sydney Dance Compnay, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Opera.

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