John O'Donnell

Currently Director of Ensemble Gombert John O'Donnell studied at the New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music in Sydney and the University of Durham. Since performing the complete organ works of Bach in 1974 he has enjoyed an international reputation as an organist and harpsichordist.

John O'Donnell was born in Sydney and studied at the New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music in Sydney and the University of Durham. Since performing the complete organ works of Bach in 1974 he has enjoyed an international reputation as an organist and harpsichordist, and with the performance of the complete harpsichord works of Bach in 1985 followed by the first Australian performance of the newly discovered Neumeister Chorales he became the first person ever to perform Bach's total keyboard output (twenty-nine recitals in all). In 1985 he was appointed Music Director of the Tudor Choristers of Melbourne, and in 1990 founded Ensemble Gombert, a choir of sixteen voices devoted primarily to the music of the High Renaissance. Whilst a senior lecturer in musicology at the University of Melbourne, he published a number of articles on performance practice and has recently prepared an edition of the complete keyboard works of Johann Caspar Kerll and has completed a monograph on High Renaissance musica ficta. His performances abroad have included several recitals in Europe and ten tours of North America. He has also served on the jury of national and international competitions in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Germany.

Performing as Capella Corelli

Capella Corelli, one of Australia's foremost baroque chamber ensembles, was formed 21 years ago. The violin works of the great Italian virtuoso Arcangelo Corelli and of his Italian predecessors were the initial inspiration for the group.

La Prima Stravaganza

Sonatas of 17th century Italy performed by Capella Corelli. A glimpse into the rich world of instrumental music in seventeenth-century Italy from the experimental works of Cima, Castello, Montalbano, Fontana, Frescobaldi, Marini and Uccellini to Corelli.


Capella Corelli Plays Handel and Telemann

Capella Corelli has long been one of Australia's foremost baroque chamber ensembles. In this recording they present a collection of sonatas by Handel and Telemann written for various combinations of the baroque violin, recorder, violin da gamba and harpsichord.

Performer: Harpsichord

John O'Donnell also appears on

Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields

15 historic organs in the Ballarat region can be heard on this CD released to coincide with the 2005 festival. There is a fully illustrated 16 page booklet which surveys the organ builders, churches and their organs, the music, and the performers.

Performer: Organ

Josquin to Martin

This recording consists of a miscellany - works from the High and Late Renaissance as well as the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, representing a selection of the music performed by Ensemble Gombert in 2004 during its first European tour. The selection was made to complement the program of another reording, Hommage a Gombert, currently in production, including works by Gombert, Lassus and Monteverdi.


The Litanies of St. Francis Xavier

Explore some of this exquisite choral music on this generous 2-CD set featuring the Schola Cantorum: the Litaniae Xaverianae, five psalms, the Magnificat in D, the Alma Redemptoris Mater composed by Jan Dismas Zelenka.

Performer: Organ

Other credits

La Follia

"La Follia" variations by Corelli, Vitali, Vivaldi, Scarlatti, with stunning performances by German recorder virtuoso Susanne Ehrhardt accompanied by the acclaimed Australian harpsichordist Jacqueline Ogeil.


Buxtehude at the Harpsichord

Acclaimed harpsichordist Jacqueline Ogeil performs a selection of rarely heard Buxtehude harpsichord pieces. Most of Buxtehude's harpsichord works were only found in the 20th century. They are light and entertaining pieces of a secular nature.


The Virtuoso Harpsichord

Vibrant young Melbourne-based harpsichordist, Jacqueline Ogeil showcases the virtuosic, dramatic and passionate sides of the harpsichord.



Calvin Bowman presents an expert reading of J.S Bach's 'Little Organ Book' - a microcosm of Bach's compositional and improvisational genius.


John O'Donnell is a member of

Elysium Ensemble

The Elysium Ensemble has been acclaimed by critics for its exciting performances, fine musicianship and authoritative interpretations of music from the Baroque and Classical repertoire.