Richard Parker, Founder of RATIONALE, has enjoyed a lifelong interest and involvement in music, dance and theatre. He studied piano with Neta Maughan at the NSW Conservatorium of Music, and cello with Karan Nagase at The Suzuki Institute in Matsumoto, Japan.

Richard has performed with various ensembles and orchestras and continues to be an advocate for music education and Australian composers. His lifelong involvement in music continues to this
day, as the Artistic Director and a performer in Lux Australis.

Concert cellist, composer, and conductor, Luke Severn possesses a musical voice of great versatility and passion. Noted for his expressive performances and dynamic and engaging personality he is emerging as an artistic tour de force in the Australia musical landscape.  

A highly sought-after chamber musician, Luke has performed in festivals and chamber music series throughout Australia, Europe and North America. In recent seasons (2017, ‘18 & ‘19) he has toured North America performing alongside violinist Andrew Sordsand pianist Cheryl Duval, performing trio programs by Brahms and Beethoven. In November 2019 Luke gave his New York City debut performing alongside NYC-based composer and pianist Evan Feinas part of a recital tour of both the East and West coasts of the USA.

As a composer, Luke’s works represent a deep level of empathy towards time, place and emotions, with a particular focus on the intimacy of chamber ensembles. He is a recipient of the ABC Classic Australian Music Fund to commission and record his suite of 7 short pieces based on poems by Stephen Crane for oboe, soprano saxophone. His music has been performed throughout Australia as well as in Europe, North America and Asia.

Luke has written for many of Australia’s finest virtuosi, including pianists Yasmin Rowe and Elyane Laussade, saxophonist and conductor Joseph Lallo, oboist Briana Leaman, soprano Kelsey Cotton, all of whom have given premieres of Luke’s work throughout the world. Luke has several commissions coming seasons (202 &’21) including Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra, work for Preston Symphony Orchestra and piece of choir and piano commissioned by the Friends of the U3A Frankston.

Luke became the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Bendigo Symphony Orchestra in July 2019. As passionate educator he is also the Artistic Director of Melbourne Masterclasses, through which he is able to run a plethora of musical training initiatives both in person and online. He also teaches in his private studio in Melbourne as well as directing many community music initiatives and is currently the choirmaster of the Frankston U3A.

Born in 1957 in Tashkent (Uzbekistan), Elena Kats-Chernin received training at the Gnessin Musical College before immigrating to Australia in 1975. She graduated from the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music in 1980.

Elena Kats-Chernin has created works in nearly every genre. Among her many commissions are pieces for Ensemble Modern, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Australian World Orchestra, the Adelaide, Tasmanian, Melbourne and Sydney Symphony Orchestras, the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, Swedish Chamber Orchestra and the North Carolina Symphony.

Her colourful, energetic, and often propulsive music has been choreographed by dance-makers around the world. In 2000 she collaborated with leading Australian choreographer Meryl Tankard on Deep Sea Dreaming which was broadcast to an audience of millions worldwide as part of the opening ceremonies of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

In 2011 Kats-Chernin was appointed composer in residence with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Her first symphony, Symphonia Eluvium for organ, choir and orchestra, commemorating the devastating Queensland floods of January 2011, was premiered that year by QSO conducted by
Asher Fisch at the Brisbane Festival. In 2012, the work was voted by the readers of the Australian monthly arts magazine Limelight as the best composition of the year.

One of Elena Kats-Chernin's most recent major premieres was her adaptation of Monteverdi's three operas (Orpheus, Odysseus, Poppea) at the Komische Oper Berlin, directed by Barrie Kosky, in September 2012 - a 12-hour marathon performance with live telecast. Among her most recent
premieres was The Witching Hour, a highly acclaimed concerto for eight double basses for the Australian World Orchestra, performed at the Sydney Opera House and the Esplanade Concert Hall in Singapore.

Kats-Chernin's CD Butterflying (piano works for 4 hands, with Tamara-Anna Cislowska, ABC Classics) was at the top of ARIA Classical Core Chart for 13 weeks, reaching number 1 in September 2016. Her most recent recording Unsent love letters-meditations on Erik Satie (Tamara-Anna Cislowska, piano solo, on ABC Classics) debuted at number 1 on the ARIA Classical Chart in March 2017.

Since 2017 she has a composer in residence with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, with five performances of her work, including two premieres. She is delighted to be joining Lux Australis, exploring new contemporary expressions and collaborations.