On Tuesday March 18th the Trust invited our Friends to the home of the Australian High Commissioner, Stoke Lodge. The evening was hosted by Sasha Carruozzo, wife of Mike Rann CNZM the Australian High Commissioner, and by Tait Memorial Trust Chairman, Isla Baring OAM. The Trust are terribly grateful to Mike and Sasha and want to publicly thank them for their generosity in allowing us to use their home to entertain our guests.
We were delighted to welcome many of our most valued and generous supporters, the Deputy Australian High Commissioner, Mr Andrew Todd and his wife, and the Agents’ General of Western Australia, Queensland and Western Australia.
Awardees present included: Greta Bradman, Soprano; Benjamin Mellefont, Clarinet; Xenia Deviatkina-Loh, Violin; Sophie Moffatt, Ballet; Kevin Penkin, Composition (2013/14 Tait Scholar); Calvin Richardson, Ballet and Adam Szabo, Cello.
Joining us was Sam Sakker, a young Australian tenor who is to sing at the Royal Opera House in their Jette Parker Young Artist Programme from September 2014, who sang Lehar’s classic, Dein is mein ganzes Herz and the Australian National Anthem all a capella. He has the most thrilling voice with the richest/warmest tone. Adam Szabo, Tait Awardee 2013, played some selections from JS Bach’s cello suites…incredibly beautifully.
We launched our new Friends scheme which includes a new initiative called, Adopt a Performer. The scheme would link a donor, or a group of donors, to one awardee for three years ( the length of the typical undergraduate degree or course) For a minimum subscription of £75 Tait Friends receive discounts to Tait events and an invitation to an annual reception. The greatest benefit to all donors is the knowledge that they are making a tangible difference to the life of a young Australian performing artist. More information about our new Friends scheme can be found here
Julian Gavin, new Tait Patron
Our new Patron, Australian international tenor, Julian Gavin was introduced to our Friends and has agreed to join our Music Board (the selection process for the 2014/15 awards begins soon. Applications for music awards close on Monday 31st March. More info here
The Leanne Benjamin Awards
An honoured guest was Australian principal ballerina, Leanne Benjamin OBE. Recently retired from The Royal Ballet after a 21 year first class career with the company, Miss Benjamin has agreed to join us to create a new award(s) in her name which will help fund the studies of young Australian dancers in the UK. Called The Leanne Benjamin Awards the Trust are producing a gala reception with a masterclass taken by Miss Benjamin and Australian senior teacher at the school, Mark Annear, at The Royal Ballet School, Floral Street, Covent Garden. This fundraising event will be held in the Linden Studio at The Royal Ballet School on Thursday 12th June. We are very grateful to the staff and students at the school for allowing us to use this excellent venue for our event.
Tickets to this special Tait event are available here