Danielle Bentley BMus MCI PhD | Cellist










Rain Shadow - Cello & String Trio

By Susan Hawkins for Danielle Bentley & Collusion

Sunset inside the Listening Room

By Stephen Adams, with Hannah Rheardon-Smith

Federea & Danielle Bentley

Somewhere at South: Improvisations

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

Biography - Short

Dr Danielle Bentley, cellist, was Australian Arts Fellow at Omi Music Residency (New York, 2018), and recipient of the 2014 APRA-AMCOS Art Music Award for Excellence by an Individual. Danielle has worked across a broad range of genres, reflected in her exploratory approach to music-making. Traditional classical contexts include Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Camerata - Queensland's Chamber Orchestra. She was a Director of art music ensemble Collusion for 7 years during which they produced several critically-acclaimed chamber ballets, commissioned/performed over 40 Australian works and released 3 albums. Danielle has also worked extensively in the popular  and commercial music sectors with over 100 headliner artists including Diana Krall, Harry Connick Jnr, Jimmy Barnes and Kanye West.

Central to Danielle’s musical ethos is collaborative practice. She has commissioned 18 works, working closely with composers; co-created experimental and improvised works; and participated in numerous creative development workshops for choreographed projects (Collusion). Festivals she has curated strongly featured new and improvised music. These include Restrung (Brisbane Powerhouse 2008, 2012, 2017); and at QLD Conservatorium, the International Music Council’s 5th World Forum on Music (2013) and Crossbows (2012, 2014).

Currently, Danielle is a busy performer and teacher. Amongst many activities in 2020, she is collaborating with experimental artist Federico Valdez (Argentina) and cellist Oliver Scott; and curating a new art music concert series in collaboration with Woolloongabba Art Gallery. 

Biography - Long


Dr 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); four 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).


Danielle has recorded, performed and toured with some of Australia’s and the world’s most popular stars including Kanye West, Diana Krall, Harry Connick Jnr, De La Soul, Hugh Jackman (The Boy From Oz), Madeleine Peyroux, Pete Murray, Missy Higgins, Xavier Rudd, Kate Miller-Heidke, Megan Washington, Pavarotti, Nigel Kennedy, Jon English, Il Divo, Jerry Lewis, Sarah Blasko, Hugh Jackman, Olivia Newton-John, Amici Forever, Grace Knight, Rhonda Burchmore, Dionne Warwick, Marcia Hines, Kate Ceberano, Alfio, Aled Jones, Butterfly Effect, The Waifs, Sarah Blasko, Tommy Lee, Chrissy Amphlett, Chris Cheney, Tim Rogers, Phil Jamieson, Josh Pyke, Mark Seymour , Irwin Thomas (Jack Jones), Rai Thistlethwayte (Thirsty Merc), Jon Toogood (Shihad), Dean McGrath (Hungry Kids from Hungary) and Tim Morrison (Trial Kennedy), The Whitlams and Kristen Chenoweth. She toured nationally with Jimmy Barnes in 2015, and has toured Queensland with Glen Shorrock (Little River Band), Wendy Matthews, Doug Parkinson and Ian Cooper. In 2017 Danielle is performing for the Brisbane season of Kinky Boots at QPAC.

Currently, Danielle is a busy performer and teacher. Amongst many activities in 2020, she is collaborating with experimental artist Federico Valdez (Argentina) and cellist Oliver Scott; and curating a new art music concert series in collaboration with Woolloongabba Art Gallery. 


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© 2015 by Bentley's Agency. Photos by David Collins,  Sean Young, Hillary Green & Chris Osborne.