Hailing from New Zealand, Isaac Shieh is a Cardiff-based young musician. Through his diverse, elegant and sensitive performances as a period and modern hornist, he captivates audiences into enthralling and delicate musical narrations.
As a soloist, Isaac is emerging as one of his generation’s most exciting natural hornist and is developing into a versatile period performer; regularly performing on various period instruments. In particular, his interpretation of the Mozart Horn concertos have been highly praised and have performed them with the Australian New Goldberg Orchestra and the Royal Welsh College Chamber Orchestra. Isaac was also a soloist in the 2018 British Horn Society Festival in Cardiff, performing a selection of Gallay’s Grand Caprices and Schubert’s Nachtgesang. However, his activities are not confined to period horn playing. He performs a diverse repertoire, and often combines starkly contrasting works. Isaac is also passionate about rediscovering and performing rarely performed works. Isaac also collaborates closely with emerging Australian and international composers, premiering new solo and chamber works regularly, many of which are written specifically for him.
For many years Isaac has had a keen interest in chamber music, which led him to become a founding member of Maverick Brass Quintet. He has performed on radio, appeared as a guest with the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM), and delighted audiences in the Australian Festival of Chamber Music (AFCM). Isaac also performed in the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival with the Maverick Brass Quintet, as part of a six-week residency; and have guested with Blackweir Brass for a private concert for the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall and distinguished guests. Isaac had been on trial with Le Concert Impromptu in 2018, who is regarded by the Washington Times as '“the finest French Wind Quintet”. He also collaborates regularly with various soloists and chamber musicians to give "scintillating performances"; ranging from sonatas and trios to un-conducted chamber orchestral works.
Isaac has also been in demand with numerous orchestras around the world. He has played with period orchestras around Europe and Australia and had been Principal Horn with Les Goûts Réunis, 3MBS Radio Chamber Orchestra and The Melbourne Sinfonia. He is also a casual musician with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, and has appeared with the Australian Youth Orchestra, I Fagiolini, Juene Orchestre Européen Hector Berlioz and Theresia Youth Orchestra. Future engagements include Ensemble Cordia, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Ex Cathedra and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Experience Academy.
Born in Hong Kong, Isaac began his musical journey with Shum Hing-Cheung after seeing the attractive band uniform in his primary school. Since moving to Melbourne, Australia, Isaac studied with Spiros Kessaris, whom played a crucial role in his development as a musician. He also received his A.Mus.A at the age of 15. During his time at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, He continued his studies with Spiros Kessaris and received tutelage from Roman Ponomariov, Saul Lewis, Dr Erin Helyard and Dr David Irving; the later two focusing on aspects of historical performance practice. He relocated to Cardiff, Wales to pursue further studies with renowned period hornist Anneke Scott. He has received multiple scholarships and awards from The University of Melbourne and Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and is the winner of the 2016 Melbourne Conservatorium of Music Brass Concerto Competition as well as becoming the first historical performer in the college's history to win the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama Concerto Competition in 2018.
Headshot: Samuel Middleton Photography