Cameron Hill, Associate Concertmaster

Cultural Heart

Meet our dedicated city creatives, and learn how they are navigating and finding ways to stay creative and connected in the wake of COVID-19.

Cameron hill aso Cameron hill virtual concert hall

"I am the Associate Concertmaster of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (ASO) and have been in the position for the past five years.

My career as a violinist was inevitable after I chose the violin after seeing one of my older brothers playing it."

I’m the youngest of six kids, and we were all given the chance to learn an instrument. When I was four, I’d come home from kindergarten and pester my folks to find me a violin teacher. After a year, they gave in, and found me an incredible teacher in the local trading post. I was unusually driven from a young age, and I’m not really sure what that was all about!

What has been your experience over the last few months?

I’ve largely been practising to try and keep my fingers in shape, but with months of isolation, it has been hard to stay motivated, I’m not gonna lie! I’ve been getting back into reading and running, and also catching up on some video game speed runs online. I made an effort to sample nearly all of the new Easter egg products that came out this year, because that’s kinda my thing. I spent six weeks trying to locate some hand sanitiser, so, that was enjoyable. Three months has felt like nine. I’ve just really missed the feeling you get from sitting right in the middle of a symphony orchestra. There’s nothing else like it.

What inspires you?

Musicians that can take centuries-old compositions and make them seem fresh, like you’re listening to it for the first time. Patricia Kopatchinskaja and her recording of the Beethoven Violin Concerto, for example. Pretty breathtaking. Works that inspire me: Bach’s entire output. Messiaen’s Visions de l’Amen for two pianos. Andriessen’s De Stijl, which is one of the greatest compositions of the 20th century. It has a bi-tonal funk fugue, boogie woogie elements, synths, a spoken word section recalling what Piet Mondrian was like on the dance floor, and is described as “Stravinsky meets James Brown in Amsterdam and they smoke a joint”. It’s bonkers, in the best possible way. INSPIRING.

What do you hope to see happen next in the City of Adelaide?

Obviously there’s a major development taking place around the Adelaide Festival Centre precinct, which will be great. I wish the city would embrace the river considerably more. There are so many opportunities for some great cafes, restaurants and bars to add some atmosphere. And... a concert hall. C’mon, Adelaide. It’s time!

Where can we see more of your work?

Whilst you can’t see me performing right now I’m practising to ensure I’m ready to go when our concerts resume. If you miss seeing the orchestra be sure to check out some of our ASO musicians in our Virtual Concert Hall, with a new virtual performance being aired each week.