Darren Anthony Postema

1966 -

Darren Postema, conductor and trumpet performer with a specialty in Baroque music on authentic instruments, has been professionally active for 25 years. He has served as a music educator at all levels for nearly twenty years.

Postema was born in Australia and has traveled extensively in Europe, the U.S., Asia, and South Africa as a conductor, performer, and educator. He completed a B.Mus.Ed. at the Canberra Institute of the Arts in Australia in 1988, with a primary performance area in trumpet. While at CIA, he was assistant conductor of its brass ensemble for three years.

After he graduated he was director of the senior band program at Lyneham High School in Canberra for a year before accepting a position in 1989 as Director of the Helderberg College Choir and Chamber Orchestra in South Africa, where he taught for four years as a lecturer and Director of Communications and Media Centre. While there he began a guest conducting relationship with the New England Youth Ensemble when they toured there in 1991 that continued in subsequent tours through 2001.

During his time at HC, Postema completed an M.Mus. in trumpet performance in 1992 at the University of Cape Town and started work on a postgraduate Certificate in Baroque Studies, which he completed in 1995 at the Royal Conservatorium of Music and Dance in the Netherlands. He has played trumpet with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, the University of Cape Town Symphony Orchestra, the Netherlands Baroque Orchestra, the Sibelius Academy Baroque Orchestra, and the Swedish University Akademiska Orckestern of Turku where he was principal trumpet from 2003-2005.

Postema’s conducting studies started in 1987 under Leonard Dommett, then a well-known director of Australian professional orchestras.  From 1999 to 2001 he studied conducting privately with George Ellis at the Wesley Institute of Performing Arts in Sydney, Australia, and from 2003 to 2005 with Professor Jorma Panula at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland.

In 1996-1997 he worked part-time as the conductor of the Metsänkävijat Concert Band of Turku in Finland, and then served as Assistant Conductor of the Sydney Male Choir from 1998 to 2000.  From 2003 to the present he has been a guest conductor with a number of orchestras, including three times in successive years with the Maldova Philharmonic Orchestra, and other appearances with orchestras in Bulgaria, Finland, the Ukraine, and Japan. 

Highlights for Postema as a conductor have included leading a rarely performed octet by Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara in 2003;  a 2004 performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the orchestra in Chișinău, Moldova; and the 2005 Finnish premier performance of Beethoven’s Battle Symphony, Opus 91, with original instruments and five cannons,  recorded live for Finnish national family television.  He conducted another performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the State Academic Orchestra in Kiev, Ukraine, in 2009 and two years later, when he was invited to return, he conducted a program that included Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 3 and Beethoven’s Egmont Overture.

After leaving Helderberg College, he held other academic positions, including classroom teaching and librarianship at Mountain View Adventist College in Sydney, 1998-2002;  music teaching in Australia, Vietnam, Qatar, and Singapore, 2006- ; and private lessons on trumpet and in theory, 1999 -.

In 2008 Postema completed a doctorate in education (Ed.D.) at the University of Tasmania in Australia, his research being in orchestral pedagogy. The title of his dissertation was Orchestral Conducting Pedagogy: A case study of participants’ perceptions of teaching and learning in the Symphony Australia conductor development programme.


Sources: Curriculum Vitae for Darren Anthony Postema; biography at his website and other online sources.