shoestring orchestra
We are a group of artists running a festival in Jakarta, a large city with a population of over 18 million people and presently without

Opera house, concert halls, international musea, etc. This is why we are focusing our festival this year on the real issues concerning the lack of infra structure and funding for the arts. This year’s edition is an art piece and a statement. This is why we have initiated the shoestring orchestra.

An orchestra set up only with shoes and strings, 1 conductor, 1 violin and /or 1 cellist and 2 members of the choir performing part of the 9th of Beethoven. (45 min). The performance will be accompanied with a lightshow to fill some of the empty space.
A unique event and maybe an eye opener for the local government.

conducted by George Ellis  ( Australia)
Christophoros Stamboglis  - bass (Greece)
Cherie Valaray – soprano (Hungary)
Lathika Vithanage – violin (Australia)
Asep Hidayat – cello (Indonesia)
Ade Simbolon – piano (Indonesia)
concept: Mikhail David

George Ellis

George Ellis has conducted some of Australia’s best symphony orchestras, choirs, opera and musical theatre productions. He conducted at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Sydney Olympic Games for an international television audience of 3.8 billion people and conducted for Queen Elizabeth II on live national television and has performed with international artists including Lou Reed.

He has conducted the Sydney Symphony, The Queensland Orchestra, the Tasmanian Symphony and the West Australian Symphony Orchestras - the latter in conjunction with popular band Augie March. He has conducted popular music and symphony orchestras in combination with artists including David Campbell, Simon Burke, Jenny Morris, Deborah Conway, GangGagang, Human Nature, Doug Parkinson, Marcia Hines, Peter Cousens, Jimmy Little, Todd McKenney, Guy Sebastian, Anthony Callea, Georgie Parker and John Paul Young. Soloists for his classical music performances include Simon Tedeschi, Diana Doherty, David Hobson, Jane Rutter, Joan Carden and Deborah Riedel.

He was Musical Director for stage productions such as Snugglepot and Cuddlepie for Belvoir Street Theatre, Associate Musical Director for Man of La Mancha for John Frost Productions starring Anthony Warlow and Caroline O’Connor and Assistant Conductor to Simone Young for Opera Australia’s production of La Traviata.

He has been Musical Director, Conductor and stage presenter for special events around Australia for many years. Highlights include the Athens Olympic Torch Relay concerts at the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Olympic Park, the Sydney Festival including presentations at the Famous Spiegeltent and Darling Harbour, the NSW Premier’s Department of Protocol and Special Event and the Music by Moonlight concerts series in Brisbane.

He was presenter and musical director of the popular Babies Proms series at the Sydney Opera House from 2002 to 2007 and has presented orchestral concerts for children around Australia with orchestras including the Sydney Sinfonia, Orchestra Victoria and The Queensland Orchestra. He has lectured at prestigious music institutions including the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the Canberra School of Music and presented workshops in music theatre, conducting and singing for NIDA and the Australian Society for Music Education. He is the Musical Director of the Sydney University Symphony Orchestra.

He has appeared on ABC TV, Channel 9 and Channel 7 with his orchestral work for children and has conducted orchestras for the ARIA Awards on Network 10. He has also been orchestrator and musical arranger for artists such as Alex Lloyd and for the Copenhagen National Radio Orchestra, Copenhagen. His concerts have been broadcast on ABC Classic FM, including the world premiere of Matthew Hindson’s Violin Concerto, and he received first prize in orchestral composition at the Sydney Eisteddfod.

International work has included work for the Athens Olympic Games as musical director of the Millennium Choir. He has also been guest conductor with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Kuala Lumpur.

His portrait was hung at the NSW Art Gallery as finalist in the 2007 Archibald Prize and won the People’s Choice award in Sydney and Melbourne for that year.

So far in 2008, George Ellis has conducted for the movie Mao’s Last Dancer directed by Bruce Beresford. He has also conducted a season of Peter and the Wolf for The Queensland Orchestra in Brisbane. He was Musical Director for the Kids First Night Concert featuring Jade MacRae and the Sydney Youth Orchestra for the Sydney Festival for which he also presented an education concert for the Sydney Symphony at the Famous Speigeltent. He recorded the Eminence Symphony Orchestra for the soundtrack to the Japanese movie The Tower of Druaga at Sydney’s Fox Studios. He conducted and presented Animal Tracks, an original musical theatre work for new children’s entertainment company Big G Conducts. He appeared on Channel 7’s Sunrise program conducting the Big G Orchestra. He also conducted the Australian Youth Choir on board the Young Endeavour at the Australia Day Spectacular, Darling Harbour. This year, he is also guest conductor with the University of New South Wales Symphony Orchestra.



Christophoros Stamboglis was born in Athens, where he was also schooled. He started his musical education by studying cello and later singing at the Athens Conservatory. In 1983 he won the “Maria Callas” Scholarship that brought him to London to study under the guidance of Vera Rozsa, at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. After his graduation he also spent a year in New York, studying privately with A. Boyajian. He has also participated in Master classes given by Sena Jurinac and Sheril Milnes at the Royal Festival Hall in London. In 1994 he meets the great Greek baritone Kostas Paskalis with whom he studied his voice until the sudden death of this great artist, in February 2007.

He made his debut on 1987 – still a student of the GSMD – by singing Figaro in “Le Nozze di Figaro” with the Pimlico Opera in London. He remained with this company for 2 more year as a principal bass singing the great Da Ponte – Mozart parts (Alfonso and Leporello) In 1989 he also made his Athens debut singing Leporello, next to the renowned Don of Kostas Paskalis, at the Greek National Opera, and he becomes a member of the ensemble. There he sung many major bass parts such as Basilio in Barbiere di Sivigla, Silva in Ernani, Fiesco in Simone Boccanegra, Maometto II in L’Assedio di Corinto, Enrico VIII in Anna Bolena, Attila etc.

In 1991 he participated at the opening concert of the Athens State Orchestra, at the “Megaron – The Athens Concert Hall” and since he has collaborated with this world famous theatre in more than 25 productions including mainly operas and concerts of sacred music. There he had the opportunity to meet many great conductors, directors and fellow singers such as Weikert, Plasson, Bonynge, Viotti, Kuhn, Pizzi, Baltsa, Bumbry, Cura, Meritt, Anderson etc.

In 1996 he joined the “Accademia Rossiniana” where he studied interpretation of the Rossini operas under the guidance of the great Rossinian expert musicologist and conductor Maestro Alberto Zedda. After that he started singing in the Italian theaters the big Coloratura bass repertory (Lord Sydney – Il Viaggio a Reims, Alidoro – La Cenerentola etc) as well as the buffo repertory (Magnifico, Don Pasquale, Socrate Immaginario etc).

In 2002 he joined the ensemble of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein where he remiained for 5 seasons as principal bass, singing Oroveso, Alidoro, Mustafa, Don Pasquale, Leporello, Dpn Alfonso, Raimondo, Sparafucile, Crespel, Don Magnifico and Claudius.

In 2006 he sung his fist Filippo II at the new “Alexandra Trianti Hall” of the Megaron in Athens, where the 1965 Visconti production was revived.

In 2008 he sung his first Gouvereneur (Le Compte Ory) at the National Greek Opera, with great success

He has also sung many concerts all over the world; his repertory contains more than 70 roles and has recorded for LYRA, EMI Classics, Bongiovanni records and the “Fondazione Rossini”


Cherie Valaray performs at the courtesy of and on behalf of The Sydney International Cultural Centre and 72 Erskine – Events & Exhibitions.

Cherie Valaray, born in Hungary, graduate of the Budapest Studio of the Hungarian Society of Musicians & Dancers, later studied in New York with renowned Metropolitain Opera tenor, Gabor Corelli.

Cherie toured Europe as solist in operettas, operas and musicals – and Australia and Europe in duos and groups. Her triumphant solo debut singing 23 coloratura and lyric arias at Goethe Haus in Jakarta received rare reviews and was attended by 500 cognoscenti including government ministers, several ambassadors – Hungarian, Australian, among them.
“A pure, clear, strong and very high soprano, Great musical dexterity… Truly inspiring… Impeccable” – a few of the praises from The Jakarta Post and the influetial daily, Kompas.
Cherie is part of the Sydney International Cultural Centre, and her concerts all benefit social welfare projects of Susila Dharma International in Australia, Indonesia and around the world. Cherie is preparing for one-woman tours of several Asian and American capitals.


Lathika Vithanage began studying violin at the age of 5 in Brisbane, Queensland. Over the years she has had lessons with some of Australia's top violin pedagogues including Elizabeth Morgan and Alice Waten. She has toured Europe, North America and Asia with various youth orchestras and has played as a guest with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. She is currently a free-lance violinist in Sydney and plans to further pursue her interest in baroque music in Europe in 2009.

Adelaide Simbolon, piano

Adelaide Simbolon started her piano lessons with Flora Khouw. When her father was posted as the principal of the Indonesian School in Moscow, she took lessons from Edmon Euhim, a Russian teacher. She studied at the YPM Music School in Jakarta under the guidance of Laura Himawan., Oerip S. Santoso and Iravati M. Sudiarso. She continued her musical studies in the United States at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music with Carolyn McCraken Forough and at the University of Wisconsin with Jeffry Peterson. She was a member of the piano faculty of the YPM Music School, and has accompanied various musicians from Indonesia and abroad. She is now a faculty member of The Jakarta Conservatory of Music.

Asep Hidayat, Cellist, was known as actively giving recitals and concerts either for solo cello or chamber music both in the motherland and in foreign countries, namely Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Australia and Japan.  Repertoires he always plays are varied, from Renaissance age to Contemporary one.  After obtaining his Master Degree in the field of Performance in 2002 in Osaka Kyoiku, he joined the Professional Orchestra in Japan “Heinrich Suitzt Ensemble” (1999 – 2002).  In the same city, he also performed in some festivals like Osaka Cassal Festival, and Osaka Music Festival.  He performed spectacularly together with 1000 Cellists from all over the world in Kobe.  Asep was elected three times to join the ASEAN Youth Music Workshop in Kuala Lumpur, Manila and Jakarta.  He was also appointed to become the Cello Tutor in the workshop in Bangkok. He performed together with the Australian Virtuoso Ensemble in Townsville Queensland Australia.

Firstly learning cello at the Musical High School of Yogyakarta (1982 – 1986) under the guidance of Yoesbar Djaelani, he continued his musical study at the Indonesian Art Institute of Yogyakarta (1986-1991) under the guidance of Rene Bermann, the cellist from the Netherlands, and he also joined the Master Class in Australia with Tess Remy Schumacher and Prof. DR. Alexander Ivaskin.  At present, Asep teaches the Major Cello at the Indonesian Art Institute of Yogyakarta and the Jakarta International Music School.

Mikhail David was born in 1960 in West Africa of Cypriot and Greek parents, grew up in Europe and studied in North America where he obtained a Bachelor’s in Athropology and Sociology (Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Since 1982 Mikhail has been living in Jakarta, Indonesia, dividing his time between Indonesia and Europe.

Mikhail’s early visual art works tended towards minimalism shown in a number of solo and collective exhibitions in various countries including Greece, Italy, Canada, Australia, Indonesia…… During the 1990’s Mikhail became interested in installation works and begun creating “atmospheric inter-discipline interactive environments” evoking all of the Five Senses. For this purpose Mikhail created a special “space”, called “The Stage” (1991-1996), which became known as “the vanguard of the avant-garde”, a landmark of the Art Scene of Jakarta hosting over 3,000 local and visiting artists. During that same period Mikhail working with his friends, acclaimed Jazz musicians Luluk Purwanto (Indonesian violinist) and Rene van Helsdingen (Dutch pianist) and Dutch visual artist Aart Marcus created a movable multi-purpose inter-disciplinary venue, “The Stage Bus”. Between 1994 and 1997 “ the Stage Bus” appeared in over 350 festivals and events all over Europe and the USA (70 concerts in 45 of the most prestigious Universities of the United States, 2002) and is currently touring Canada (100 concerts in 70 cities).

Mikhail is also known as a photographer. His works have been shown in a number of solo and collective exhibitions and have appeared in several news publications, art publications, magazines, brochures, and books. Mikhail also expresses himself through Landscape and Interior Design incorporating sculptures and other visual art works in the environment.

Mikhail is married to the internationally acclaimed Indonesian concert pianist / musician Ary Sutedja-David.

Together with his wife, Mikhail established the JakArt@ Festivals and Festival a la Carte. Two of his major recent works are “Homage to the Eternal Creativity of The Human Race” (2003) & “All the luggage we carry” (2004). In July 2003 JakArt presented at the National Museum: “Homage to the Eternal Creativity of The Human Race” This unique installation/ exposition was designed as a sketch of atmospheric impressions suggesting the scope and possibilities of Mikhail’s proposal for the creation of a traveling and fully comprehensive chronological Educational Exposition (a traveling museum) of the most important examples of art produced throughout human history around the world, from the cave dweller to the present, in the form of museum replicas in an “atmospheric” context using material from both the Tangible Heritage and Intangible Heritage from around the world. The event, was officiated by the Director General of UNESCO, Mr. Koichiro Matsuura and the Indonesian Minister for Culture and Tourism, Mr. I Gde Ardika.

Symphony No. 9 (Beethoven)

Ludwig van Beethoven was almost completely deaf when he composed his ninth symphony.The Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 "Choral" is the last complete symphony composed by Ludwig van Beethoven. Completed in 1824, the choral Ninth Symphony is one of the best known works of the Western repertoire, considered both an icon and a forefather of Romantic music, and one of Beethoven's greatest masterpieces. Symphony No. 9 incorporates part of An die Freude ("Ode to Joy"), an ode by Friedrich Schiller, with text sung by soloists and a chorus in the last movement. It is the first example of a major composer using the human voice on the same level with instruments in a symphony, creating a work of a grand scope that set the tone for the Romantic symphonic form. Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 plays a prominent cultural role in the world today. In particular, the music from the fourth movement (Ode to Joy) was rearranged by Herbert von Karajan into what is now known as the official anthem of the European Union. Further testament to its prominence is that an original manuscript of this work sold in 2003 for $3.3 million USD at Sotheby's, London. The head of Sotheby's manuscripts department, Dr. Stephen Roe stated, "it is one of the highest achievements of man, ranking alongside Shakespeare's Hamlet and King Lear."

History, Composition of the symphony

The Philharmonic Society of London (later the Royal Philharmonic Society) originally commissioned the symphony in 1817. Beethoven started work on his last symphony in 1818 and finished it early in 1824. This was roughly twelve years after his eighth symphony. However, he was interested in the Ode to Joy from a much earlier time, having set it to music as early as 1793; that setting is lost. The theme for the scherzo can be traced back to a fugue written in 1815. The introduction for the vocal part of the symphony caused many difficulties for Beethoven. It was the first time he—or anyone—had used a vocal component in a symphony. Beethoven's friend, Anton Schindler, later said: "When he started working on the fourth movement the struggle began as never before. The aim was to find an appropriate way of introducing Schiller's ode. One day he [Beethoven] entered the room and shouted 'I got it, I just got it!' Then he showed me a sketchbook with the words 'let us sing the ode of the immortal Schiller'". However, that introduction did not make it into the work, and Beethoven spent a great deal of time rewriting the part until it had reached the form recognizable today.


Beethoven was eager to have his work played in Berlin as soon as possible after finishing it. He was thinking that musical taste in Vienna was dominated by Italian composers such as Rossini. When his friends and financiers heard this, they urged him to premiere the symphony in Vienna. The Ninth Symphony was premiered on May 7, 1824 in the Kärntnertortheater in Vienna, along with the overture Die Weihe des Hauses and the first three parts of the Missa Solemnis. This was the composer's first on-stage appearance in twelve years; the hall was packed. The soprano and alto parts were interpreted by two famous young singers: Henriette Sontag and Caroline Unger. Although the performance was officially directed by Michael Umlauf, the theatre's Kapellmeister, Beethoven shared the stage with him. However, two years earlier, Umlauf had watched as the composer's attempt to conduct a dress rehearsal of his opera Fidelio ended in disaster. So this time, he instructed the singers and musicians to ignore the totally deaf Beethoven. At the beginning of every part, Beethoven, who sat by the stage, gave the tempos. He was turning the pages of his score and was beating time for an orchestra he could not hear. There are a number of anecdotes about the premiere of the Ninth. Based on the testimony of the participants, there are suggestions that it was under-rehearsed (there were only two full rehearsals) and rather scrappy in execution. On the other hand, the premiere was a big success. In any case, Beethoven was not to blame, as violist Josef Bohm recalled, "Beethoven directed the piece himself; that is, he stood before the lectern and gesticulated furiously. At times he raised, at other times he shrunk to the ground, he moved as if he wanted to play all the instruments himself and sing for the whole chorus. All the musicians minded his rhythm alone while playing".When the audience applauded - testimonies differ over whether at the end of the scherzo or the whole symphony - Beethoven was several measures off and still conducting. Because of that, the contralto Caroline Unger walked over and turned Beethoven around to accept the audience's cheers and applause. According to one witness, "the public received the musical hero with the utmost respect and sympathy, listened to his wonderful, gigantic creations with the most absorbed attention and broke out in jubilant applause, often during sections, and repeatedly at the end of them." The whole audience acclaimed him through standing ovations five times; there were handkerchiefs in the air, hats, raised hands, so that Beethoven, who could not hear the applause, could at least see the ovation gestures. The theatre house had never seen such enthusiasm in applause. At that time, it was customary that the Imperial couple be greeted with three ovations when they entered the hall. The fact that five ovations were received by a private person who was not even employed by the state, and moreover, was a musician (a class of people who had been perceived as lackeys at court), was in itself considered almost indecent. Police agents present at the concert had to break off this spontaneous explosion of ovations. Beethoven left the concert deeply moved. The repeat performance on May 23 in the great hall of the Fort was, however, poorly attended.

The Shoestring Orchestra is supported by:



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Tel/ fax: + 62-21-75907687, Tel: + 62-21-70830742,