Louise McKay held the position of Associate Principal Cello of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO) from July 2011 to March 2019. She has always been a passionate and active chamber musician, performing regularly as a recitalist and collaboratively with other prominent musicians. Louise has enjoyed numerous opportunities to shine as soloist, and is now exploring the performance possibilities in Leipzig, Germany.
As a guest principal, Louise has been invited to perform with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia, and she also regularly enjoyed leading the WASO cello section, including throughout their 2017 China and Abu Dhabi tour with their current Principal Conductor, Asher Fisch.
As a soloist, Louise featured at the Adelaide International Cello Festivals, performing with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and conductor Arvo Volmer. She also performed the West Australian premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage's cello concerto "Kai" with WASO and their former Principal Conductor Paul Daniel for the inaugural Latitude series in 2012. The concert was dubbed "provocative, fun and world class" by The West Australian newspaper.
Louise’s numerous accolades include the 2016 WASO Patrons and Friends $10,000 Scholarship and the Grand Prize at the Geelong Advertiser Music Competition. She claimed Silver in the Australian Concerto Competition 2005 and was a semi-finalist in the Australian Cello Awards 2015. Her performances were honoured with the title "Best Recital" by Recitals Australia in 2005 and 2007 and she gratefully accepted the inaugural Kamala Khurana scholarship from Adelaide University to attend the 2006 Prague Spring International Cello Competition.
Louise has previously appeared as soloist with The Australian Doctors Orchestra, Fremantle Symphony Orchestra, Allegri Chamber Orchestra, at the Adelaide International Cello Festival, and with several community and university ensembles in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Los Angeles. She has also been a guest artist for Playmakers at the Perth International Arts Festival.
Louise graduated with an Artist Diploma from the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, where she studied with Ronald Leonard during 2008-2011. She held positions in the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra and the Monterey Symphony Orchestra (both in California, USA) for their 2010-2011 seasons, and was also the founding Principal Cellist of the Los Angeles-based contemporary music collective wild Up.
Louise received her Bachelor of Music degree from the Elder Conservatorium of Music at Adelaide University (2007) where she studied with Janis Laurs and she was a member of the Australian National Academy of Music during 2004 and 2008. Louise held the prestigious title of Emerging Artist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra in 2007 and toured the East coast of Australia with ACO2 that year.
In 2008, Louise performed two consecutive seasons with the Australian Ballet Company as part of "Jerome Robbins - a Celebration". The piece "A Suite of Dances" was choreographed by Jerome Robbins to music from JS Bach's Solo Cello Suites for a single male dancer and female onstage cellist. ArtsHub Australia described the performances as "simply beautiful" and "truly captivating".
In 2005, Louise was invited to the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, Queensland and has since attended Blackmore's Musikzimmer (Berlin, 2016), Ferme de Villefavard Masterclasses (France, 2007), Aurora Chamber Music (Sweden, 2015) and The International Holland Music Sessions (The Netherlands, 2009) where she was a featured recitalist. In September 2010, Louise travelled to Sofia, Bulgaria to perform chamber music at Fortissimo Fest with members of the Colburn Orchestra.
Louise plays a Jerome Thibouville Lamy cello with a bow by Hippolyte Camille Lamy (fils), both crafted in Mirecourt, France in the early 1900's; and currently rides a Canyon Aeroroad road bike.