The Team

Meet the team behind Australia’s music lovin’ mag.





Stephanie Eslake won the City of Hobart Australia Day 2017 Young Citizen of the Year Award for her “community contribution by creating an online promotional and educational network for young Australian classical musicians”. She is also the inaugural 2017 Kill Your Darlings New Critic Award winner. She founded CutCommon in 2014, after attending the Australian Youth Orchestra Words About Music program. She has degrees in both media and music and has been published in The Mercury, TasWeekend, Limelight Magazine, The Music, Aphra Magazine, The Courier Mail, The Daily Telegraph and RendezView, Adelaide Now, Young Opportunities Australia, Perth Now, The Herald Sun, and Warp Magazine – the latter of which she also works as subeditor. The award-winning writer co-founded and ran Upbeat Monthly News for the University of Tasmania’s Conservatorium of Music, has written program notes for the Queensland and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, hosted features on Edge Radio 99.3 and ABC Classic FM, and worked in live broadcast production. In 2015 she worked for a few weeks as acting editor and lead writer for The Mercury‘s weekly music publication Pulse. In 2016 she was named a semi-finalist in the Tasmanian Young Achiever of the Year Awards. The classical saxophonist tutors woodwind, workshops feature writing with youth writers through the Hobart City Council’s Platform youth arts and culture magazine, and also loves working as Marketing and Communications Manager at the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre. This year she is part of the Making Waves’ Making Conversation interview team. Check out her other features at




Lucy is a musician, writer, and community arts advocate; a lover of all things collaborative, creative, and aesthetically pleasing. Following her formative training in Art History, Sociology and Musicology, Lucy worked at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music managing community partnerships between the University of Melbourne, the Smith Family, and regional Victorian schools before joining the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s administration team in 2012. Lucy is currently employed as Education Manager at the MSO where she is responsible for the programming, development, and management of the orchestra’s work with schools, families, and life-long learners. An experienced multi-instrumentalist, Lucy maintains an active role in the Australian music scene. She is a classically trained violinist, a session player for many of Melbourne’s top bands, a member of indie three-piece, Forest Falls, and her written work has bolstered many a band’s press kit. Lucy regularly presents pre- and post-concert talks for the MSO and, most recently, for the Australian Chamber Orchestra. When she’s not doing any of the above, Lucy is likely hanging out with her “perfect, silky soft” three-year-old whippet, Turbo.




Madeline Roycroft is a Melbourne based oboist and writer. She holds a Bachelor of Music (Hons) and Diploma of Languages (French) from the University of Melbourne. Madeline recently completed her thesis on the Reception of Shostakovich in France, which draws upon archival research from the National Library of France and the International Association for Shostakovich Studies in Paris. Her other interests include feminist musicology, historical music criticism, finding the best brunch in Melbourne, and binge-watching Law and Order: SVU.




Leah Blankendaal is a writer, composer and flute player. Having completed a Bachelor of Music (Hons) and a Master of Communication Studies at the University of Western Australia, she packed up bags and moved to Melbourne in 2015, where she continued composition lessons with the enviable Johanna Selleck. She enjoys making sound and installation art, presenting papers at musicological conferences and discussing film music theory. Like many CutCommon contributors, Leah is an alumnus of the AYO Words About Music program. Leah presents Australian Sounds and produces Music in Melbourne on 3MBS FM. Her non-musical interests include binge watching Parks & Recreation, listening to Annabel Crabb/Leigh Sales podcasts, reading feminist blogs and baking cakes with a criminally high sugar content.




Tasmanian composer and music producer Christopher Leon graduated in 2013 with a major in Music Technology from the University of Tasmania. In 2011, he worked on a team to produce the score for American feature film Christmas With The Dead, and in 2013 was responsible for scoring three TV commercials for the state government. Since picking up the guitar at age 12, Christopher has performed his own classical and Flamenco influenced guitar compositions across Tasmania and has swept through multiple genres on his way to electronic and orchestral music production. He now holds the position of production assistant with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.




Eleanor is a writer and performer who moved from her Sydney base to London in 2017. She studied Classical Voice and Musicology at Sydney Conservatorium of Music and graduated with a Bachelor of Music Studies (Honours) and a Graduate Diploma in Pedagogy (Voice). She is a recipient of the Australia Council for the Arts Artstart Grant, and has performed in opera, cabaret and theatre in Australia and overseas. Recently, Eleanor performed with Pacific Opera, Spectrum Now Festival and the Manhattan School of Music Summer Voice Festival (New York). Eleanor also completed a law degree at University of New South Wales.



Hobart-born composer, pianist, and arranger Tom Misson’s music has been featured on ABC Classic FM and his music played by the Tasmanian Discovery Orchestra. Since 2011, he has maintained regular accompanying and performing commitments with choirs all around Hobart, exams and auditions for conservatoriums and orchestral piano work alongside his Bachelors degree in composition.



Campbell Banks is an Alice Springs-born, Hobart-raised cellist now based in Melbourne. After completing a Bachelor of Music with Honours at the Queensland Conservatorium, Campbell relocated to Europe where he remained for eight years. During this time, he completed two Masters degrees in Zürich, Switzerland, studying with Raphael Wallfisch and Roel Dieltiens; lived in London for a year; had heart surgery; and became a vegan. A recipient of an Australian Music Foundation Prize, Campbell has performed in Wigmore Hall, Konzerthaus Berlin and the Zürich Tonhalle amongst many others; at the 2014 Amsterdam Cello Biennale, the St. Moritz Festival da Jazz and in front of 15,000 people with Glen Hansard at the Moon and Stars Festival, Locarno.




Megan holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Music with Honours and a Master of Arts (Music Performance). With a PhD in Musicology underway, she has also completed a Grad. Dip in education and lectures 19th Century music history at Monash University. The violist’s areas of expertise include performance anxiety, Armenian folk music, action movies starring Harrison Ford and a ripper Lemon Delicious pudding.



Pianist and writer Dylan Henderson completed his Bachelor of Music in Perth at the University of Western Australia in 2014, where he was the winner of the Waveney Wansbrough Memorial Prize for Music in 2013, and the Flora Bunning Memorial Prize for Chamber Music in 2014. In 2016, Dylan participated in the Words About Music program at the Australian Youth Orchestra’s National Music Camp, and has since gone on to contribute to Limelight Magazine, and write program notes for Recitals Australia. He now resides in Adelaide, where he studies with Anna Goldsworthy and the esteemed Russian pedagogue Eleonora Sivan. 



Angus is a flutist based in Sydney and Hobart, and his articles on music and flute playing have appeared in magazines and blogs in Australia and overseas. He received his Bachelor and Masters degrees in Music from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and is currently completing a PhD at the University of Tasmania, where his research focuses on the work of Hungarian flutist-composer Gergely Ittzés.



Australian flutist Tamara Kohler is a soloist, chamber musician, and inter-disciplinary artist. She is an alumnus of the Australian National Academy of Music and the University of Melbourne. Tamara is a core member of Rubiks Collective and has performed with the Australian Youth Orchestra. She has held artistic residencies at The Banff Centre, Canada and in 2015 will perform at the Bang on a Can Summer Festival.



Antonia Zappia is an actor and musician recently moved to Sydney. She completed her Bachelor of Music at the Queensland University of Technology and then an Honours in Music Technology at the Queensland Conservatorium. After years of music training, she decided to reignite her passion for acting and is currently attending the Actors Studio at NIDA.




Samuel is a multi-faceted musician. He is a pianist, arranger and composer and has worked with some of the biggest names in Australian showbiz. Samuel is also a PhD candidate at Sydney Conservatorium where he writing about the life and music of Tommy Tycho. Aside from all of this, Samuel is a researcher, journalist and broadcaster who has interviewed supertstar Renee Fleming, Steven Isserlis, Maxim Vengerov, Simon Tedeschi, Katie Noonan and a plethora of other local artists, including Ensemble Offspring and Sydney Chamber Opera. Samuel recently appeared on ABC Radio’s ‘RareCollections’ as a specialist guest, talking about the life and music of Tommy Tycho. Samuel has recently been published an article in the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. You can like him on Facebook and follow his work at


And some of our well-loved former contribs include (*commence drum roll*)…

SAMUEL COTTELL (Lead Writer 2014-16)


Interested in joining our team? Email with your areas of interest.


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