Sergei Golovko (AU)

Ukraine-born Australian marimbist Sergei Golovko is an acclaimed virtuoso soloist and performer, and a leading percussion pedagogue to countless established percussionists as well as younger generations of musicians. Sergei is currently Director of the Australian Percussion Academy in Melbourne, which since 2010 has provided high quality education in percussion, drum-set and marimba performance, for students of all ages, underpinned by Sergei’s signature teaching methods, with strong focus on technique and precision.
Sergei completed tertiary music training at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory majoring in conducting, and percussion performance at the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music under Professor Dmitry Lukyanov. Before migrating to Australia in 1996 Sergei worked as a regular soloist and musician with the Russian Orchestra of the Ostankino TV Company, Orchestra and Concert band of the Ministry of Defence of Russia, and with the ensemble ‘Theatre of Sounds’ directed by legendary Russian percussionist, professor of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory Mark Pekarsky. With the latter ensemble, Sergei performed works by pioneering 20th Century Russian-Soviet composers including Edison Denisov, Alfred Schnittke, Sofia Gubaidulina, Vyacheslav Martinov and many others.
Sergei’s colourful interpretations of famous compositions, as well as his own compositions combined with master marimba technique, have attracted tremendous public appeal. Described as “dazzling…a man with helium hands” and his performances are “…percussion pyrotechnics” by music critic Michael Easton, Sergei’s own transcriptions and arrangements have been performed across Australia, including at the Sydney Opera House, and at Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne. Some of his most virtuosic arrangements and performances include Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2, and Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, self-transcribed and performed for marimba and orchestra.
Sergei has toured throughout the world as a virtuoso soloist on xylophone and marimba, presenting solo recitals, playing as a soloist with the orchestras and wind bands at the Royal Albert Hall, London and the Wiener Musikverein, Austria, Kölner Philharmonie and Munich Philharmonic, Germany and many other major Concert venues in Europe and Asia. He is highly sought-after as a guest artist and pedagogue at esteemed Percussion Festivals throughout the world, with appearances in recent years at European festivals in Russia, Finland, France, Belgium, Germany, England, Austria and Italy; throughout China and Korea in Asia, in South America in Argentina and Colombia, as well as in his home country, Australia. Sergei is also in high demand as an adjudicator in percussion and marimba competitions throughout the world, including Colombian Percussion Competition, Australian Marimba Competition, Jeju International Percussion Competition in South Korea and others.
Sergei is also Founder and Artistic Director of the Australian Marimba Competition, which is recognised on the world stage as one of major international competitions for young marimbists. The competition is held annually in Melbourne since 2014, and adjudicators have included esteemed soloists Michael Burritt (USA), Wei-Chen Lin (Taiwan), Lynn Vartan (USA), Alejandro Ruiz (Colombia), Dr. Ludwig Albert (Belgium), Emmanuel Séjourné (France), Sylvie Reynaert (France), Filippo Lattanzi (Italy), and Australian leading soloists and percussion pedagogues Claire Edwardes, Robert Oetomo, Steve Falk, Jamie Adam and current Head of Percussion at Melbourne Conservatorium, University of Melbourne, Peter Neville.
Locally, Sergei was the Artistic Director of the Australian Drummer’s Show Band (1998-2000), who notably performed at the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney Olympics in 2000. He has been Musical Director, as well as composer and conductor for the Australia Day performances at Melbourne’s iconic Federation Square and Sidney Myer Music Bowl, with audiences up to 10,000 people. He has performed regularly as a freelance musician with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, as guest soloist on ABC radio and television, and as a percussionist for theatre productions, soundtrack and commercial advertisement recordings.
In his hometown in Melbourne, Sergei is an established percussion pedagogue and teacher, which included teaching at the Victorian College of the Arts, the University of Melbourne (1997-2006). Many of his alumni have won Australian and International accolades, prizes and competitions, and are current members of Australia’s only national taiko ensemble ‘Taikoz’, Opera Australia Orchestra, and regular orchestral members of long-running musicals such as The Lion King and Les Misérables.
Sergei’s instructional percussion and marimba literature, arrangements, transcriptions, and his own compositions for solo marimba, percussion and ensembles are published through Edition Svitzer (Denmark), and through his own publishing company Blackeye Productions. His publications and compositions with Blackeye Productions span beginner through to advance and professional level repertoire, and his compositions are listed as set works in the Victorian Certificate of Education’s Music Performance – Percussion syllabus.
For many years, Sergei was appointed as an International Master Educator and Artist Endorser by Malletech (USA), and presented workshops, master classes and percussion clinics throughout the world.
Sergei is currently International Master Educator and Adams Percussion Artist, representing the interests of Adams Company (Holland).
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