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Meet the Aussie musicians making a big noise overseas

Illustration: The Aussie musicians making a big noise overseas

ABC: Illustration by Julie Ramsden

From classical to K-pop, Australia punches well above its weight when it comes to making music. Just ask these Australian musicians who are making a big noise overseas - and are often better known internationally than they are at home.

Lisa Moore: Pianist

Australian pianist Lisa Moore on stage.
Australian pianist Lisa Moore on stage.


When The New Yorker magazine calls you the "queen of avant-garde piano" and a "visionary" you must be doing something right.

Born in Canberra, Lisa Moore now lives in New York and travels the world playing some of the most intricate, elaborate and challenging piano music ever composed.

She has performed with the New York City Ballet, Steve Reich Ensemble and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Centre; and graced the stages of La Scala, the Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall and the Royal Albert Hall.

Along with live performances, Lisa has released nine solo CDs and performed on more than 30 collaborative recordings for labels like Sony and BMG.

Despite no longer living in Australia, she did return in 2008 to curate the Canberra International Music Festival.

Nervo: DJs and producers

Australian duo Nervo play at the Electric Love Festival
Australian duo Nervo DJ at the Electric Love Festival in Austria.

Arne Mueseler, Wiki Creative Commons

Sister act Nervo have written and produced hits for pop stars like Kylie Minogue, Ke$ha, The Pussycat Dolls and they even won a Grammy Award for writing When Love Takes Over for David Guetta and Kelly Rowland.

When they're not writing catchy songs behind the scenes, the duo from Melbourne also DJ around the world and have played at huge festivals like Tomorrowland, Amsterdam Music Festival and Creamfields.

They even have DJ residencies in Las Vegas and party hotspot Ibiza, and are ranked in the Top 100 DJs in the world by DJ Magazine.

Known as Miriam and Olivia to their parents, it's safe to say the Nervo sisters are having fun both making music for artists and playing music to punters.

And they're interested in more than partying - the duo have also collaborated with the University of NSW to encourage more women to study engineering.

Thanh Bui: Singer, songwriter and producer

Vietnamese-Australian pop star Thanh Bui
Thanh Bui, a former Australian Idol finalist, now writes hits and runs a performing arts academy in Ho Chi Minh City.

Supplied: Thanh Bui

Many people remember Thanh from his run in Australian Idol, but he was already a music business veteran having sung in the boy band North who had top ten singles in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and India.

Since leaving Idol he's been busy, acting as an Asian representative for the United Nations, collaborating with K-pop band BTS, opening a music school in Ho Chi Minh City and also acting as a judge on Vietnam Idol.

Proud of his Australian heritage, Thanh was a special guest performer for an Australia Day event at the Hanoi Opera House in 2011.

Peter Hyun: Singer, songwriter and producer

Peter Hyun of One Way in the studio.
Peter Hyun of One Way in the studio.

Supplied: One Way Sound

Growing up in Sydney, Peter Hyun took to singing and dancing from a young age, winning dance competitions and even performing in The Lion King musical.

But not even Simba could keep Peter away from the dazzling lights of K-pop, so he debuted in 2008 as Peter, a solo act, before joining artists Chance and Young Sky in the trio One Way.
Since finding success with One Way, Peter has also expanded into writing songs for other K-pop artists and producing them under the name Team One Sound.

Their 2011 song for D and E, Oppa Oppa became a smash hit in Korea and Japan.

Tommy Emmanuel: Guitarist

Tommy Emmanuel playing his Australian made Maton guitar
Australian guitar legend Tommy Emmanuel.

Supplied: Maton Guitars

Guitarist Tommy Emmanuel was born in the small town of Muswellbrook outside of Sydney, but these days he's in demand across the world as a performer and teacher.

No stranger to the life of a professional musician, Tommy has toured since the age of six when his father started a family band with his older brother Phil and hit the road.

Along with being recognised for his talent by other famous guitarists like Chet Atkins, the two-time Grammy Award nominee is also a member of the Order of Australia (AM).

Tommy plays around 300 concerts a year, regularly touring North America, Europe and Asia, whilst budding strummers hoping to glean some tips from one of the world's best fingerstyle players travel from around the world to attend his guitar camps in both the USA and Australia.

In case all that wasn't enough, Tommy's also had his music featured in the popular American Dad cartoon, when loudmouthed alien Roger plays Tommy Emmanuel's version of Classical Gas in a guitar battle.

The ABC is celebrating Australian music in all its forms during November 2016.  To find out more about #ausmusicmonth go here:

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