Margaret Schindler was born in Washington D.C. and moved to Brisbane with her family when she was 8 years old. Her early singing experiences were as a member of a community children’s choir, competing in local and regional eisteddfods; her soloistic ambition somewhat dampened through failing to secure a prize amongst 32 other young ladies singing She Shall Have Music in the Queensland Eisteddfod aged 12. This disappointment notwithstanding, Margaret went on to study voice at the Queensland Conservatorium where she was a pupil of Janet Delpratt and where she met Philip Mayers. It was during this period that their musical partnership and friendship was forged, a union which continues to this day.
Margaret completed a postgraduate diploma before moving to Sydney as a founding member of the Song Company. Two years later she joined Opera Australia before studying with Audrey Langford in London and Marlena Malas in New York, as the recipient of an Australia Council grant and winner of the ABC Instrumental and Vocal Competition. In 1989 Margaret moved to Germany as the winner of the German Operatic Award and was a member of the Opera Studio, attached to the Cologne State Opera. Her return to Australia in the early 1990s heralded the beginning of a more diverse performing profile, centred on chamber music as a founding member of Southern Cross Soloists. Margaret has appeared as soloist with many major orchestras and performing organizations throughout Australia, New Zealand and Germany in opera, concert, song recitals and oratorio. She has recorded for ABC Classics, Melba Records, Artworks and Tall Poppies. In the mid-1990s Margaret accepted a teaching position at her alma mater where she has been Head of Vocal Studies since 2010.
Philip Mayers began his life-long association with singers and choirs whilst still in school - the Nambour State High School Choir, under the direction of the formidable Lurline Fereday, travelled widely and successfully throughout the state, and soloists from the choir sang many of the songs on this CD in Eisteddfod competitions. Philip then went on to study piano with Max Olding at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, which is where he first met Margaret Schindler (an incident with a recalcitrant umbrella on Orientation Day was the beginning of a life-long friendship and musical partnership which has survived until today).
An ABC prize-winner and the recipient of an Australia Council scholarship, he moved to Europe, studying there with Dalton Baldwin and Phillip Moll, and later with Zelma Bodzin in New York. Philip has been living in Berlin ever since, in demand as a pianist, accompanist, vocal coach, composer, arranger and translator. He enjoys a busy concert and recording schedule, with appearances at important festivals, radio recordings and numerous CD releases, including many with prestigious choirs such as RIAS-Kammerchor, the Berlin Rundfunkchor and Cappella Amsterdam. Concerts on every continent except for Antarctica, and with a wide range of chamber-music partners and singers ranging from members of the Berlin Philharmonic to synagogue cantors and pop-stars, attest to his versatility and his inability to say "no".
Philip regularly returns to Australia, often in the company of the English cabaret singer Mary Carewe, and in recent years, as a guest coach with the Lisa Gasteen National Opera School. If he were to retire – which, as a freelance musician, is lamentably not a plausible notion – a small house on the Sunshine Coast hinterland would do nicely. If someone were to offer him one…