COntra Guitar Duo

Opposing yet complementary performers can create thrilling artistry – this is the basis on which Contra Guitar Duo was formed by Hamish Strathdee and Emma-Shay Gallenti- Guilfoyle.

The pair met at their university auditions in 2011 and have been making music together ever since. Their contrasting musical personalities and charming personal chemistry bring a dynamic spin to the fantastic combination of two guitars.

United by their passion to bring audiences music they love, Hamish and Emma-Shay are excited to showcase in this Program the varied and rich expressive capabilities of the guitar duo as an ensemble.


SUNDAY, 10 March 3:00-4:30 PM





Sonata in E, K.380


Unruhe, Am Grabe der Geliebten, Tarantella 


Wave Radiance 


Di Primavera, arr. Contra Guitar Duo 


Emily’s Song, Djanaba  

Alexandre Tansman 1897-1986  

Variations on a theme by Scriabin, arr. Tilman Hoppstock   


Brasileirinhas: Na Corda Bamba, A Moda Antiga, Conversa de Botequim   


Classical guitarist and lutenist, Emma-Shay Gallenti-Guilfoyle, delights audiences with her charming persona. Known for her musical and sensitive playing, Emma-Shay enjoys sharing her diverse and compelling repertoire. Chamber music collaborations and new music projects are her passions; she also enjoys playing Renaissance and Baroque music on the lute. As a champion of new repertoire for guitar, Emma-Shay has premiered new works written for her by leading Australian composers as part of her Green Guitar project, bringing together female forces in Australian composition to create new works for guitar inspired by the theme of ‘green’ in response to the climate crisis. She has recently worked on multiple interdisciplinary projects with the Elbphilharmonie, Hamburger Gitarrenforum and the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg.

Emma-Shay has consistently been selected as a finalist in international guitar competitions, including New York, Melbourne and Adelaide. She has received numerous awards and scholarships including an HfMT scholarship for especially dedicated students, and the ANU School of Music Ken & Vera Fowler Honours Scholarship awarded for “outstanding level of musical accomplishment and potential to make an outstanding contribution to music.”

Emma-Shay holds a Masters of Music from the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg, an Artist Diploma (Künstlerisches Aufbaustudium) from the Akademie für Tonkunst, Darmstadt and a Bachelor of Music with First-Class Honours from the Australian National University.


Classical guitarist, Hamish Strathdee, is regarded as an “excellent young Australian performer” (Limelight Magazine). Hamish’s debut recording, Impressions of Spain, has received critical acclaim, hailed as “an excellent debut” (Classical Guitar Magazine) and his playing has been described as being of “the highest standard” (Soundboard Magazine) and with a “gloriously warm and rich” sound (Classical Guitar Magazine).

Hamish has received numerous prizes in both national and international competitions including; 2nd Prize in the London International Guitar Competition, 3rd Prize both in the Stuttgart International Guitar Competition and the Aalborg International Guitar Competition. Hamish has also received a number of scholarships and grants to help further his artistic studies including; the prestigious Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) Stipendium for musicians, the Peter and Lena Karmel Honours Scholarship awarded to “the most outstanding student in music commencing an Honours year at the ANU School of Music” and awards from the PPCA Performers’ Trust Foundation.

Hamish holds a Master of Music from the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg, an Artist Diploma (Künstlerisches Aufbaustudium) from the Akademie für Tonkunst Darmstadt and a Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours from the Australian National University, where he studied with Minh Le Hoang and Timothy Kain.