Tait Awards 2016

The Tait Memorial Trust is pleased to be assisting these fine young Australian artists in 2016.

The Tait Adopt a Performer scheme
The adopt a performer scheme allows a donor to directly support a young Australian performing artist annually for a three-year commitment. Please click here to learn how to actively involve yourself in the career development of a young performer.

The greatest return, however, would be to see your awardee fulfill their true potential and, as they graduate to a professional career, the pleasure of knowing that you played an important part in making this possible.

Royal College of Music
Tait Scholar – The Julian Baring family
The Royal College of Music
Sally Law, Violin
To learn more about Sally please click here

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Sally Law, Tait Scholar

Royal Northern College of Music
Higgins Scholar – The Higgins family
Waynne Kwon, Cello
To learn more about Waynne please click here

Waynne Kwon, cello, Higgins Family scholar
Waynne Kwon, Higgins Scholar

The Leanne Benjamin Awards 

selected by Leanne Benjamin AM OBE.

Financial assistance and support for young Australian dancers studying at major UK ballet schools

John Frost – Leanne Benjamin Award
The Royal Ballet School
Rebecca Blenkinsop

Rebecca Blenkinsop
Rebecca Blenkinsop

Leanne Benjamin Award
The English National Ballet School
Chloe Keneally

Chloe Keneally, Leanne Benjamin Awards 2016. The English National Ballet School
Chloe Keneally

Leanne Benjamin Award
The English National Ballet School
Lauren Songberg

Lauren Songberg
Lauren Songberg

Partner Award Funding

Royal Over-Seas League Tait Prize
Award funded by Chevalier Richard Gunter
Australian musician showing the most promise
Ann Beilby, Viola

annie-beilby
Ann Beilby

John Frost, Frank and Viola Tait Award
Australian International Opera Awards
Nathan Lay, Baritone

Nathan Lay
Nathan Lay

Bel Canto Awards
Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Foundation
A Concert platform for a young Australian/New Zealand singer
Emma Moore, Soprano

Emma Moore
Emma Moore

Tait & Sir Charles Mackerras Chair
A Chair in the Southbank Sinfonia for the duration of the annual programme. This award is made possible due to a generous gift from the Estate of Lady Mackerras to fund a portion of the Chair for at least the next 10 years. This year the Tait contribution to this award has been made by Stephanie McGregor & Albert Kwok.

Sujin Park
Sujin Park

John Amis Award
Dartington International Summer School
For a 1 week course of intensive study for an Australian musician
Matthew Thomson, Tenor

Matthew Thomson
Matthew Thomson

Extraordinary Awards

Margaret Rodgers Award
Selected by Margaret Rodgers personally
Cameron Campbell, Viola

Cameron Campbell
Cameron Campbell

Margaret Rodgers Award
Selected by Margaret Rodgers personally
Nick Mooney, French Horn

Nicholas Mooney
Nicholas Mooney

Whalley and Tait Gift
Special funding to assist with the purchase of a 1930 Natale Carletti (Bologna), Viola
from the Whalley family and the TMT
Lisa Bucknell, Viola

Lisa Bucknell
Lisa Bucknell

Tait General Awards

Award funded by The Thornton Foundation
To assist with continued private study
Andrey Lebedev, Guitar

Andrey Lebedev
Andrey Lebedev

Award funded by the VEC Acorn Trust
To assist with continued private study
Jo Dee-Yeoh, Cello

Jo Dee Yeoh
Jo Dee Yeoh

Award funded by The Thornton Foundation
To assist with continued private study
Vivien Conacher, Mezzo-Soprano

Vivien Conacher
Vivien Conacher

Award funded by The Hunter family
To assist with continued private study
Krystal Tunnicliffe, Piano Accompanist

Krystal Tunnicliffe
Krystal Tunnicliffe

Award funded by Louise Worthington
To assist with continued private study
Ashlyn Tymms, Mezzo Soprano

Ashlyn Skye Tymms
Ashlyn Skye Tymms

Where it all began – Interview: Liane Keegan – Classic Melbourne

Our Inaugural Concert at Australia House, 1992.
Our Inaugural Concert at Australia House, 1992

Lovely interview with our first awardee, Liane Keegan. Liane was the reason that Isla Baring created the Tait Memorial Trust in 1992.

Liane Keegan with Isla Baring
Liane Keegan with Isla Baring

Liane wanted to further her studies in the UK but needed financial assistance to allow her to continue. Isla offered to produce a concert at Australia House, invited her friends,  and due to their generosity raised a great deal of money and the Trust was born…well it wasn’t quite that simple but that is how we started. 

Now 24 years later the Trust has helped over 300 young Australians and has raised more than £600,000 to assist young Australian performing artists to complete their studies in the United Kingdom. And it all began with a young contralto from Victoria.

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Derek Nimmo with Isla Baring at the first Tait Event 1992

Now we are thrilled to see Liane is at the very top of her chosen profession and is singing Erda in the Neil Armfield production of Wagner’s epic Ring at Melbourne’s State Theatre, with Opera Australia.

Below is her interview with fellow Australian, Deborah Humble that was published in Classic Melbourne


Deborah Humble talks with dramatic contralto Liane Keegan about her musical life in Melbourne and recreating the role of Erda in the 2016 Melbourne Ring.

What motivated your return to Australia in 2012 and what is your perception of the cultural and artistic life here by comparison?

I no longer enjoyed working in opera in Germany. I had been living overseas for 20 years by this stage and felt it was time to come home.

The fest system stifles individual development if you are an ensemble member as I was at the Deutsche Opera. Without being able to supplement my monthly stipend with guest contracts it was also no longer financially viable to remain in Germany.

Since my return to Melbourne my life has been extremely happy and fulfilled. I have had some wonderful opportunities with my singing and my teaching studio was very quickly established and I now have many talented young singers working with me on a weekly basis. I also established XLArts.org, a not for profit group, with conductor Patrick Burns and we work to provide performance opportunities for developing singers of all ages and stages, to help them further develop their craft and skill set as burgeoning opera singers.

The opera and arts scene here in Australia is very different to Europe. In Australia we don’t have the commitment to the arts that the Europeans do either financially or culturally. In Europe very young children are taken to the opera not as a special treat but as a part of their daily life. Here the companies are working hard on this next generation of opera lover and there is some very fine work being done by these companies in Australia. However, I do not feel that more funding to the Arts is the answer but better education. The lack of music education in schools here now means that exposure for the young to art and culture is just not there in their foundation years and that is vitally important to the future of our artistic culture.

Melbourne is fabulously cultural and creative and certainly has the most going on in the field of opera of all our capital cities. I was amazed and rather overwhelmed by the choice of entertainment available and could not get over how much the arts scene had “exploded” in Melbourne since my departure in 1992. It is fabulous to see that there are companies and groups catering to the needs of performers at all levels and to suit all musical tastes. I was thrilled that we still have a Victorian opera company as I was overseas during the demise of its predecessor and that made me very sad indeed.

The orchestras in Melbourne are also world class and I have been most fortunate to work with the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra as well as the many and varied community and council sponsored orchestras. We now have the Melbourne Recital Centre and the vast amount of performances offered there are of an extremely high standard. As an audience member all my needs are catered for and I am more often than not, spoilt for choice! My needs as a performer are also met here in Melbourne and I am busier than I ever was in Europe….

Read More

Source: Interview: Liane Keegan – Classic Melbourne

Article details:Interview: Liane Keegan
Published: 14th November, 2016 Author: Deborah Humble

Herald Sun Aria winner Panayiota Kalatzis sweeps all before her | Herald Sun

We are thrilled to report that Tait Awardee, Panayiota Kalatzis, won the coveted 2016 Herald Sun Aria in Melbourne’s, Hamer Hall a few days ago. Panayiota was the 2014 recipient of the Australian International Opera Awards which gave her the funds to study at the Wales International Academy of Voice with Dennis O’Neill.

Herald Sun Aria winner Panayiota Kalatzis. Photo: Stuart Walmsley

SCINTILLATING soprano Panayiota Kalatzis swept all before her last night to win the 2016 Herald Sun Aria.The 30-year-old Brisbane vocalist, trailing an elegant train, won the coveted prize in its 92nd year ahead of four other outstanding classical singers.“I never thought it would happen,’’ she said after accepting the prestigious award from Herald Sun editor Damon Johnston. “You work hard and enter competitions and then someone, ‘Yes’. Winning this changes everything.’’Kalatzis, of Greek background, captivated a 1500-strong audience at Hamer Hall with thrilling performances of Massenet and Verdi. A huge ovation greeted her win which carries $15,000 cash and a $22,500 scholarship for overseas tuition.“The plan is to go back to the UK, make some connections there, and then go to America,’’ she said. “Winning this makes all that possible.’’Jessica Harper, a 26-year-old soprano from Sydney, was runner up while the encouragement award went to Douglas Kelly, a Victorian-based tenor.Judges Richard Mills, Margaret Haggart and John Bolton-Wood praised the high standard of competition and Penny Fowler, Chairman of the Herald and Weekly Times, paid special tribute to Richard Divall — the Aria’s long serving maestro and chief adjudicator.

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Source: Herald Sun Aria winner Panayiota Kalatzis sweeps all before her | Herald Sun

Jo Dee Yeoh, Cello – Tait Awardee 2016

We are delighted to introduce you to Jo Dee-Yeoh. Jo is one of our musical awardees this year, and is continuing her Masters Degree in Performance at the Royal College of Music. Jo is to play with the Tait Chamber Orchestra in our Tait Winter Prom at St John’s Smith Square on Wednesday 30th November.

Jo Dee Yeoh
Jo Dee Yeoh

A review of Jo Dee Yeoh’s performance at the 2015 Open Instrumental Finals Concert

acvclogo-300x141Townsville Civic Theatre
7.30pm   28 July 2015
Review by Katy Frewen-Lord, Townsville

The Open Instrumental Finals Concert gave Townsville a chance to hear some of Australia’s finest up-and-coming musicians. Adjudicator Carl Pini had his work cut out for him, given that the standard of this year’s entrants were very high.

Jo Dee Yeoh, Sydney | Accompanist: Rhodri Clarke
Jo Dee Yeoh, Sydney | Accompanist: Rhodri Clarke

Hailing from Melbourne, Cellist Jo Dee Yeoh opened the night with Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B minor. Immediately, Yeoh proved herself to have complete control over the character and strength of her sound. The second movement provided an opportunity for Yeoh to bewitch the audience with her beautiful, lush low notes and song like phrasing. The third and final movement erased any doubt that the audience could possibly have about Yeoh’s technical prowess, as her fingers flew across all four strings with precision and vigour.

To read more about the Australian Concerto and Vocal Competition please click here

Vivien Conacher in recital – Moonstruck at the Bloomsbury Festival

A recital of English song, German lieder, and French mélodie selected and performed by Australian mezzo-soprano Vivien Conacher.

Vivien is a 2016 Tait Awardee.

moonstricken-300x250

Date: October 20, 2016 6:30 pm
Venue: Lumen URC

moon·strick·en (-strĭk′ən)

adj.
1. Dazed or distracted with romantic sentiment.
2. Mentally deranged; crazy.

Tickets: £6

book-now-purple-button

Vivien Conacher
Vivien Conacher is an operatic mezzo-soprano from Sydney, Australia. She now holds a Tier 1 UK Exceptional Talent Visa and currently based in London where she studies under the tutelage of Yvonne Kenny. Vivien trained at the Royal College of Music, where she achieved a Distinction in her Masters degree in Vocal Performance. She then completed the Opera Works training scheme at English National Opera. Vivien is also an alumna of the Oxford Lieder Festival Mastercourse with Roger Vignoles and has participated twice in the prestigious Britten Pears Young Artist Programme.

vivien_conacher_compressed

Vivien has performed for Opera Australia, Grange Park Opera, the BBC Proms, Wexford Festival Opera, Iford Arts Festival, British Youth Opera, and Bloomsbury Opera. On the concert platform in Sydney, she has appeared as a soloist for Pacific Opera, Opera & Arts Support Group, and The Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Foundation. In the UK, Vivien has performed in concert at the historical St-Martin-in-the-Fields, the Foundling Museum, and her new solo show entitled ‘Moonstricken’ will be performed at this year’s Bloomsbury Festival on 20 October. Vivien wishes to express her sincere gratitude to the Tait Memorial Trust for their support of her continued study and training.

Les Chemins de l’amour by Poulenc
Vivien Conacher (mezzo soprano) & Simon Kenway (piano)
copyright Puresonics Media for Pacific Opera.

Links: Vivien’s website

Moonstricken event information here

Tait Awardee, Benjamin Mellefont to play Mozart's Clarinet Concerto with ROYAL LIVERPOOL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA

We are delighted to share the news that Tait Awardee, Benjamin Mellefont is to play Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto on Thursday 13 October 2016 7:30pm & Friday 14 October 2016 7:30pm at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall with the ROYAL LIVERPOOL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA.

Benjamin Mellefont
Benjamin Mellefont

Benjamin was appointed Principal Clarinet of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in October 2015. He has also performed as Guest Principal of the Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, English National Opera, London Chamber Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Sydney Symphony and Sinfonia Cymru, as well as performing with the London Sinfonietta. He has played at the Salzburg, Edinburgh and Aldeburgh Festivals.

Tait Winter Prom 2016

Benjamin joins us at the Tait Winter Prom at St John’s Smith Square, 30th November, to play Copland’s Clarinet Concerto with the Tait Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Jessica Cottis.

More about the Prom

Tait Winter Prom
Tait Winter Prom

Benjamin’s next performances

ROYAL LIVERPOOL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA

Thursday 13 October 2016 7:30pm
Friday 14 October 2016 7:30pm

Book Tickets

Berlioz  Overture, Béatrice et Bénédict

Mozart  Clarinet Concerto

Shostakovich  Symphony No.5
Nicholas Collon, conductor
Benjamin Mellefont, clarinet

“Post-concert Question Time (Thursday 13 October) – starts 15 minutes after the concert in the Music Room. Join conductor Nicholas Collon and Principal Clarinet Benjamin Mellefont, in the Music Room after the concert.

Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony isn’t just a matter of life and death – it’s more important than that. Written as an answer to Stalin at a time when one wrong note would have landed Shostakovich in the Gulag, it’s one of 20th-century music’s true epics, told in music of raw feeling.

It’ll make a powerful Liverpool debut for one of the UK’s most talked-about young conductors – and a striking contrast to Mozart’s beloved Clarinet Concerto, played by our own Principal Clarinet Benjamin Mellefont. Berlioz’s comedy overture kicks things off with a wink.”

Form the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s website

To learn more about Benjamin please go to his website

John Amis Award at Dartington International Summer School

We are delighted to announce The Tait Memorial Trust, ‘John Amis Award’ at the Dartington International Summer School. The Award, valued at £1,700, will fund the studies of a young Australian for two weeks intensive work at next year’s School. This will be an annual award available to an Australian citizen who wishes to further their musical studies in the UK. Please apply directly to Dartington  to register your interest.

Melbourne born Tenor Matthew Thomson was the John Amis Award’s first recipient at the 2016 Dartington International Summer School and Festival. Speaking of Matthew as the first recipient of the award, Isla Baring says,

“John loved singing, he loved Australia, and he loved Dartington – these three elements have come together perfectly in Matthew receiving the first of these annual awards in celebration of John’s legacy at Dartington.”

John Amis
Writer, broadcaster, narrator, mimic, wit, raconteur, visionary, bon vivant, and an excellent organizer, John Amis’ life was a remarkable one, through which music, and the joy of it, ran as a rich golden vein.

John Amis at Dartington International Summer School
John Amis at Dartington International Summer School

When John Amis died in 2014, Isla Baring, the “Indian Summer” of his life, and Chair of the Tait Memorial Trust, of which John too had been an active patron, invited gifts from those who loved and appreciated him to create a ‘John Amis Award.

In celebration of John Amis’ defining role in its history, The Dartington International Summer School and Festival, and the Tait Memorial Trust have now joined to offer this award to an Australian Student applying to attend the Summer School each year.

John’s role in the Summer School goes back to 1948, when as William Glock’s right hand man, he helped set up the Summer School at Bryanston, a relationship that continued when the Summer School moved to Dartington in 1951, where John was closely involved in both its artistic direction and administration. Through the close friendships John built with notable musicians, composers, and conductors, he ensured that many of them featured at Dartington, where he worked to develop the special musical atmosphere that pervades to this day. (John was also in charge of the “trogs”; the unpaid volunteers who keep the show on the road – christened “troglodytes” by George Malcolm one summer.)

Matthew Thomson, Tenor

Matthew specialises in Baroque to Classical solo and chamber repertoire, this year bringing the characters of ‘Pyramus’ and ‘Sailor’ to colourful dramatic and vocal life at Dartington in Richard Williams’ quirky, demanding ‘back to back’ productions of ‘Pyramus & Thisbe’ and ‘Dido and Aeneas’, and excelling in his solo performances in the Monteverdi Vespers and Handel’s ‘Alexander’s Feast’.

Matthew Thomson, Tenor. Recipient of the John Amis Award at Dartington International Summer School
Matthew Thomson

Matthew says of his experience on the Advanced Opera Course at this year’s Dartington International Summer School and Festival

“These two weeks at Dartington provided one of the most intensive and rewarding learning and performance experiences of my career. I am thrilled too to be the first recipient of this award.”

 

 

Matthew’s course diary

“Week 1: Emma Kirkby was amazing to work with and learn from – as well as having the opportunity to have a lesson with Jessica Cash who was fantastic!! Having so many baroque and early music instruments there and working with all the lutenists really made the experience special. Also, I think it is important to give students the opportunity to sing some solos in the major concert alongside some of the more established professionals as I did in the Monteverdi Vespers with Stile Antico. Emma said some things that really assisted me regarding vowels and how I come on to notes when I sing. This will definitely change the way I approach songs in the future. Also, I feel like Jessica Cash helped me to overcome a mental block that I have been experiencing for years regarding listening to my sound and not singing freely – a bit of a revelation really!

Week 2: It is hard to pick a highlight of this week when it was opera for every session, but I have to say, I enjoyed it so much! Working with Maggie Faultless was probably the most valuable experience for me. Also, a shout out to the staff, particularly Georgie who was very helpful and understanding. Also – I loved the music shop. So many wonderful scores and so much money I probably shouldn’t have spent but did!! I have never really considered myself as someone who was good at performing staged opera – it isn’t something I have had confidence in. Performing in Pyramus and Thisbe, the comic opera, threw me in the deep end. I had to perform lines, a death scene, learn stage movements, memorise a tonne of music and on top of all of that, it had to be funny. A massive challenge that I really feel like I rose to. My confidence in this area has increased significantly to a point where opera is something I am seriously considering pursuing further.”

Artists seeking to apply for the award should please apply to the Tait Memorial Trust info@taitmemorialtrust.org

To learn more about the Dartington International Summer School click here

To learn more about Matthew Thomson please click here

To learn more about Tait Awards please click here

 

Australia Piano Quartet to play at Wigmore Hall

AUSTRALIA PIANO QUARTET
(Rebecca Chan, violin; Daniel de Borah, piano; Thomas Rann, cello; James Wannan, viola)

Thursday 15 September 2016 at 1:00PM

Programme:
MOZART: Piano Quartet in E flat K.452 (after Quintet for piano & winds)
BRAHMS: Piano Quartet in C minor Op. 60

‘Intellectually and musically vigorous’ – Sydney Morning Herald

‘Chamber playing of the highest order’ – Limelight Magazine

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The Australia Piano Quartet, Ensemble in Residence at the University of Technology Sydney, performs concert series at the Sydney Opera House and Melbourne Recital Centre, as well as international tours throughout Europe and Asia. Following their London debut in 2015, the APQ returns to the UK, China, France and Italy in 2016.
In addition to the canonical masterpieces, the ensemble is committed to unearthing neglected works. They have commissioned piano quartets from Australian composers, including Elliott Gyger, Elena Kats-Chernin, Paul Dean and William Barton and have been broadcast on Foxtel Arts, ABC Classic FM and BBC Radio 3. In 2017, the ensemble will release their first disc, Mozart’s complete works for piano quartet.

The APQ appear in association with the Australian World Orchestra

www.australiapianoquartet.com
Concert information
Book tickets
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/602301553280325/

Facebook tag = @AustralianWorldOrchestra

Twitter hashtag = #AustWorldOrch

Yelian He plays cello concerto with the Sydney Symphony

2015 is a pretty special year for me. It’s the first year I’ve spent experiencing the 30’s, the first time my cello was swabbed and searched instead of me in an airport, and it’s the first time I’ve performed a concerto without a conductor – and with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra to boot.

 

 

Speaking of, I must mention that all of these fantastic experiences happened during the month of May as a result of winning the inaugural Australian Cello Awards Grand Prize in 2014 (ACA Website, next competition in 2017). That was a highlight not soon forgotten in itself and I’m sure I’ll be hearing even greater things from CEO Roland Gridiger and his team at MOST. But as I was trying to say, my excitement grew endlessly (so too did practice) as my debut with the Sydney Symphony drew nearer.

On the way to my first rehearsal, I was nervous about what to expect. There have been times in the past where the concerts haven’t lived up to expectations owing to insufficient rehearsal time or difficulties in communication. When I arrived I was greeted by the Concertmaster Andrew Haveron before meeting the Orchestra for some one-on-one time with the Bach Concerto; this is when general & interpretational decisions are brought up so there are fewer surprises during rehearsal. It was clear from the start Andrew was confident and accommodating – vital qualities for a good musician, and a good human being.

 

 

A Concerto without a conductor is a trust building exercise, and it’s easy to lose your nerve or get too excited. There’s bound to be more communication between the musicians, leading to more ideas being aired, but you also better know the score intimately! Not only will there be questions from the orchestra, knowing how the 1st violins bow a particular sequence of quavers or how the cellos phrase another section makes all the difference in rehearsals and performances, all the while giving a brilliant unique interpretation of the work.

It’s not difficult when you play with a wonderful orchestra, to get carried away in the passion of a running passage and/or to indulge the slow movement so much everyone else thinks it’s like watching paint dry; it’s happened many times during my earlier years and I’m embarrassed to say that wasn’t too long ago, which is why I advocate discipline and self-control! Having said that, it doesn’t mean I’m to be lifeless on stage when not playing anything either. Here’s me and the SSO taking a couple of minutes off after the rehearsals to shred the piece we just spent hours rehearsing. (It’s definitely the SSO’s good nature that I’m allowed to get away with this…but what can I say? Music’s got to be enjoyed by the ones playing and the ones listening!

 

About two weeks prior the SSO’s website had listed the concert as SOLD OUT which meant the only chance of securing a ticket was to wait and chance it at the returns desk. As a performer the adoration of your audience is key! Don’t believe me? Try playing for a hall half-empty (or half-full depending on your philosophical bend) and tell me you don’t wish you’d have given more love and attention to them more often; for a concert organizer that’s also a great reason not to see you again any time soon. I’m sure both the Australian Cello Awards and the Sydney Symphony have worked very hard to push this concert to the public, and if anybody else was involved, I thank you sincerely for making all of this a fantastically memorable event!