Colin Piper

Colin's first musical studies were piano lessons from the age of six.  He completed the Diploma course studying piano and percussion at the NSW State Conservatorium of Music and joined the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 1968, having graduated through the ABC's National Training Orchestra scheme.

Colin is a founding member of the Sydney based Percussion Ensemble SYNERGY, (synergypercussion.com.au) a group which has established an International reputation following appearances in Paris in 1989, at the prestigious Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in 1990, New Zealand and Hong Kong in 1994 and at the second International Percussion Convention in Taipei in 1996.  As a result of the Taipei concerts, SYNERGY received many invitations, and in the last 10 years, has regularly appeared in Europe and Asia.

The group has performed at several Adelaide Festivals, throughout Australia as part of Musica Viva's major Capital City Subscription Series, and with the Sydney Dance Company in  seasons of "Synergy with Synergy" in Sydney, Brisbane, Taipei and Tokyo.  In 2006, after 32 years, he stepped aside from SYNERGY and retired as the Chair of its Board, a position he had held for 10 years,

Colin participated in Internationally acclaimed performances of Hans Werner Henze's "El Cimarron" at the 1976 Adelaide Festival in the presence of the composer and also took part in performances with Luciano Berio in 1975, and Olivier Messiaen, during his tour to Australia in 1988

He has a great commitment to the development of young talent, and to this end he has worked extensively for the Sydney Youth Orchestra Association and tutored regularly for Australian Youth Orchestra. As part of the 1998 SYNERGY programme, Colin was coordinator of the Melbourne-based National Academy's first Percussion Programme.

As well as performing regularly as a percussionist and pianist, he has earned a reputation as a conductor.  He was musical director of Lane Cove (now Mosman) Orchestra from 1985 until 1997, and in 1989 assisted in the establishment of an Orchestra at the University of New South Wales.  At the end of 1991 he conducted a studio orchestra in a recording session with the Australian group INXS, and since 1992, regularly conducted the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in Metropolitan School's Concerts, Babies' Proms and Education kits recordings.  Since 1995 he has conducted the "Playerlink" Orchestras, a regional initiative of the SSO's Education Programme and has conducted the Tasmanian, Adelaide, Canberra and Queensland Symphony Orchestras, the Sydney University Orchestra, and the Sydney Opera House Orchestra.

Colin was a member of the first National Score Reading Panel, set up as a result of Nathan Waks' 1992  Review of ABC Music Policy, was a member of the New South Wales  Ministry for the Arts Music Committee in 1993-94 and from 1996 till 2002 he was a staff elected member of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra Board.