Danielle Bentley BMus MCI PhD | Cellist









Dr Danielle Bentley
Danielle Bentley is a classically-trained award-winning cellist, festival curator and researcher specialising in Australian art music. In 2018, Danielle was the Australian Arts Fellow at Omi Music Residency, New York, where she worked for three weeks with 14 improvisers, composers and performers selected from across the globe. She was the recipient of the 2014 APRA-AMCOS Art Music Award for Excellence by an Individual for her dedication and commitment to Australian art music and chamber music.

Orchestral experience includes contractual work with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra (8 years), Camerata of St John’s (5 years), Opera Australia, Paris Opera Ballet, Opera Queensland, Australian Ballet, and Cologne Philharmonic. She is Principal Cello in Queensland for Philharmonia Australia (12 years) and was a Director of critically-acclaimed art music ensemble Collusion (2011-2017). Bentley Strings performed for Queen Elizabeth II & the Duke of Edinburgh during their Brisbane visit in 2011.

Danielle has a Bachelor of Music (cello), Masters in Creative Industries (Creative Enterprise and Entrepreneurship) and completed her PhD in 2011 on the Restrung New Chamber Festival: an exploration of contemporary string practice. Danielle was nominated for an Outstanding Thesis Award. The 2nd and 3rd editions of Restrung took place at the Powerhouse in 2012 and 2017.

Danielle has managed and co-curated three events at Queensland Conservatorium: in 2013, the International Music Council’s 5th World Forum on Music (WFM5) which was host to over 150 panels and performances, 12 satellite conferences, a music bazaar and several other major events; and in 2012 and 2014, she managed and curated Crossbows small ensembles festival. She was a Queensland Conservatorium Research Fellow in 2014.

Grants and scholarships include: Institute for Creative Industries & Innovation (iCi) scholarship; QUT Postgraduate Research Award; QUT Grant-in-Aid to fund a 6-week European festival research trip; Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre grants for Restrung (2012) and for participation in the European Festival Association’s Atelier for Young Festival Managers (Edinburgh 2014); five Australia Council grants and a Creative Sparks grant for Restrung.

Performances as a soloist include: Vivaldi’s Double Cello Concerto with Louise King and Collusion Chamber Orchestra, (Holy Trinity Church, Brisbane, and Eudlo Town Hall, 2015); Ibert’s Ghirlazhana for solo cello — in the critically-acclaimed chamber ballet DesireLines (Brisbane Festival 2-5 September 2015; Hawthorne Theatre Melbourne, 26-27 July 2017); Susan Hawkins’ Rain Shadow (QLD Conservatorium 2015, 2016; and sound track to Ward of State: Australian Dance Award winning film); and Popper’s Requiem for 3 Celli and Orchestra (QLD Conservatorium Theatre with Julian Smiles, Kathryn Philp and Camerata, 2013).

With Collusion, Danielle has recorded three CDs: Flashpoint – featuring Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time and Hindemith’s clarinet and piano trio (2012); I Read the Old Dream Slowly —a collection of Australian works (2012); and Transient Beauty — sound track to the chamber ballet (2014). Collusion also performed the sound track for Ward of State (2015). Danielle played a starring role in Collusion’s three chamber ballets: Transient Beauty (2012 and 2014); DesireLines (2015, shortlisted for an Australian Dance Award); and the Collusion/QLD Ballet production Muscle Memory (Judith Wright Centre, 2016).

2020 recorded releases include Stephen Adams’ Sunset Inside the Listening Room (on vinyl); Alistair Noble’s Tiangong for Cello & Piano Mill (Bandcamp); & Lisa Cheney’s Owl & the Pussycat (CD). 2020 saw Danielle develop a strong teaching portfolio and commence the Bentley + Scott project with fellow cellist Oliver Scott.

In 2021, amongst many other projects, Danielle will stage the fourth edition of Restrung, October 14-16, at its new home at Metro Arts, West End; curate a chamber music series at St Mary's on the Cliffs; and perform with the Bentley + Scott cello duo.


Rain Shadow - Cello & String Trio

By Susan Hawkins for Danielle Bentley & Collusion

Sunset inside the Listening Room

By Stephen Adams, with Hannah Rheardon-Smith

Tiangong - Cello & Piano Mill

By Alistair Noble

DesireLines  - Collusion

Ghirlazhana by Ibert (5:07-6:44)

Transient Beauty

Collusion chamber ballet - Finale

Danielle on Vimeo