About Us

Ballarat Wind Orchestra

The 35 piece Orchestral ensemble comprises of music teachers, university students and enthusiastic and talented amateurs who rehearse in Ballarat.  Many of these active and passionate musicians perform in other musical groups including Ballarat Symphony Orchestra and local symphonic and brass bands.  Some have also performed in elite professional groups such as the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Military bands.


The Orchestra’s purpose is to take Australian music to the world stage and perform in unique environments.  To achieve this, they have performed a diverse selection of Australian Wind Band music, as well as major orchestral numbers, and taken this music to varied national and international locations.  The repertoire is selected carefully and highlights Australian Orchestral Wind music as well as showcasing the work of emerging and established Australian composers (both traditional and avant-garde).





Ballarat Wind Orchestra Austria Tour 2011.  Photo Courtesy of Roy Rhoderick.


Conductor: Mario Dobernig

Austrian conductor Mario Dobernig is Conductor in Chief and Artistic director for the Preston Symphony Orchestra and the Ballarat Wind Orchestra. He is also guest conductor for the Barrier Reef Orchestra in Townsville and Music Director for the Victoria Chorale and Melbourne’s ‘Music in the City’.

Mario studied conducting at the University of Melbourne under British Maestro, John Hopkins OBE, where he graduated with a PhD of Music (Conducting). 


In addition to his PhD Mario Dobernig holds an astonishing array of awards and qualifications including Masters degrees in Conducting, Percussion and Musicology from the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, University of Helsinki and the Kunstuniversität Graz, Austria.


His scholarships and awards include the Melbourne International Research Scholarship and Melbourne International Postgraduate Research Scholarship from the University of Melbourne, and from Kunstuniversität Graz, the “Leistungsstipendium” and the “Förderstipendium”, which enabled Mario to work with the Nexus-Percussion Ensemble in Toronto.


He conducted the inaugural concert of the Youth Philharmonic Melbourne, performing Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto,  Strauss’ Fledermaus Overture and Gustav Mahler’s First Symphony, to a sold-out hall.


Mario’s recent engagements included:

  • Händel’s Coronation Anthems,
  • Beethoven’ Symphony No. 1,
  • Rutter’s Magnificat,
  • Schumann’s Symphony No. 1,
  • Schubert’s “Great”,
  • Carl Vine’s Percussion Symphony,
  • Debussy’s L’apres midi d’une faune
  • Orff’s Carmina Burana
  • Broadcasts for 3MBS, SBS and ABC Classic FM.
  • Assistant conductor to Sir Andrew Davis and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra for the Percy Grainger Project which has recently been released on CD with ABC Classics,


Mario Dobernig is a specialist in avant-garde music and has enjoyed much success with works by Carl Vine, Andrian Pertout, Magnus Lindberg, Steve Reich, Barry Mc Kimm and Alfred Schnittke.


As a professional percussionist Mario Dobernig has performed in China, Austria, Germany, Finland, Estonia, Croatia, Italy, Australia and Canada for organisations such as Graz Opera, Finnish Radio Symphony, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Avanti! Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonia Jyväskylä and Kuopio Symphony Orchestra, ORF (Österreichischer Rundfunk) and the Finnish YLE.


Other highlights include a much acclaimed production of Stravinsky's Histoire du Soldat for the Woodend Winter Arts Festival which was also recorded by ABC Classic FM, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto, Dvorak’s New World Symphony in Townsville, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with pianist Raymond Yong, Poulenc Gloria with soprano Rosamund Illing, Mahler Symphony No. 1 with the Youth Philharmonic Melbourne and performances with Monash University Choral Society, Ballarat Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra 21, Kooyong Chamber Players, VCA Symphony Orchestra and a highly successful tour of Austria with the Ballarat Wind Orchestra.


Mario is founder of the Ballarat Wind Orchestra and has lead their successful tour to Austria in 2010 and standing ovation performances of Orf’s Carmina Burana in 2012. 


Mario Dobernig conducting Ballarat Wind Orchestra Rehearsal

Ballarat Wind orchestra