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!

Tait Friends renewals 2015

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Principal Partner

Dear Friends,

I was so pleased to see some of our Friends at the “Rising Australian Stars” concert at the ROSL last week where no fewer than four previous recipients of Tait awards played to a very appreciative audience. The music was simply glorious and I hope that you feel, as I do, the warm glow of satisfaction at being part of the nurturing of such wonderful young talent and how, with your generosity, The Tait Memorial Trust has played no small part in moving them along their musical path. With your help we have been able to help them gain the very best musical tuition and to expose them to the challenging and vibrant musical scene of the UK. What their natural talent and hard work, their families and their initial musical education in Australia began we have been able to continue. Apart from their exceptional musical talent one cannot help but be impressed with their enthusiasm, their energy, their strong sense of purpose and their total commitment to the pursuit of excellence. I so enjoyed speaking with Som, Chad, Yelian and Emily, as well as the other performers, after the concert and I am sure you will join me in wishing them all well.

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What we have achieved in the past we are to continue. We have received 30 applications for this year’s awards and the standard is, as usual, exceptionally high. Our dedicated team is busy considering all those who are auditioning and we expect to be able to help a new group of very talented and committed young musicians and dancers towards a professional career such as that about to be enjoyed by the recipient of our Leanne Benjamin award for Ballet, Josephine Frick, as she shortly begins her contract with the ENB.

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This leads me to the actual purpose of this letter. It is time to renew your Tait Friends membership with The Tait Memorial Trust. It is no exaggeration to write that you, our Friends, are the vital component of our commitment to our young Australian performing artists who come to study here in the UK and we trust you will be able to continue your generous support. In addition, if you know anyone else who would like to be part of this very satisfying activity in nurturing the talent of these wonderful young people please encourage them to do so and ask them to contact me on using the contact form below. I shall be very pleased to welcome them as a Tait Friend.

We have a busy calendar of events in the coming month as you will read below and I look forward to seeing you at one of these events or elsewhere.

Your donation will enable us to continue our important work.

With thanks and warmest wishes

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Mrs. Isla Baring OAM
Chairman







AusNZ_Flyer_2015

Australian & New Zealand Festival at King’s College, May 28 – 31.

Some highlights include:

May 30th The Story of the Kelly Gang directed by Charlie Tait (1906)

May 30th Tait Concert, Double Bill, Jayson Gillham & The Australia Piano Quartet
Tait/ Australia & New Zealand Festival of Literature & Arts joint concert

May 31st Tait Young Musicians Showcase
Tait/ Australia & New Zealand Festival of Literature & Arts joint concert

July 2nd The Leanne Benjamin Awards
Leanne Benjamin AM OBE speaking with Ross Alley about her career at the English National Ballet Studios at Jays Mews, London.

It is thanks to donations such as yours that we are in a position to offer our awardees such first class opportunities.

Tait Winter Prom 2014 at St John's Smith Square

The 2014 Tait Winter Prom was a landmark event for the Tait Memorial Trust at St John’s Smith Square, proudly supported by Australia’s largest bank, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. To see and hear our talented Awardees performing at one of London’s most prestigious concert platforms was thrilling…truly a great night for the Trust and for our young Australians we support.

Tait Memorial Trust Winter Prom 2014

Now in our 23rd year Awards have increased by 30% from 2013  largely due to the more than three fold rise in Tait Friends subscriptions in 2014 and our loyal audience who come to our events and generously give towards our scholarship fund.

Thank you.

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We are very grateful for the
support that we receive
from the following organisations:

Principal Partner:
Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Partners:
Australian Business
The Australia Day Foundation
Bailey Nelson UK
The Britain-Australia Society
Cubitt House
Minter Ellison
Oliveto & Olivo Ltd
Qantas
Royal Over-Seas League
The Thornton Foundation
Treasury Wine Estates

2014 Tait Winter Prom at St John’s Smith Square
London Tuesday 9th December 2014
St John’s Smith Square,
Showcasing Australian Talent — An evening of Music and Ballet
Supported by Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Conducted by Kelly Lovelady
Tait Chamber Orchestra
Presented by former Miss Australia, Kimberley Busteed
Directed by Greg Eldridge

Jayson Gillham, Piano
Elena Xanthoudakis, Soprano
Xenia Deviatkina-Loh, Violin
Sophie Moffatt, Dancer
Calvin Richardson, Choreographer
Matthew Ball, Dancer
Marlena Devoe, Soprano
Chad Vindin, Piano
Adam Szabo, Cello
Yelian He, Cello
Nicola Crowe, Flute
Gerard Schneider, Tenor

Concert Programme

Percy Grainger (1882-1961)
Handel in the Strand
Jayson Gillham, Piano

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Piano Concerto: No. 14 in E flat , K. 449
Jayson Gillham, Piano

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)
The Lark Ascending
Xenia Deviatkina-Loh, Violin

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Ch’io mi scordi di te? Non temer, amato bene. K.505
Elena Xanthoudakis, Soprano
Jayson Gillham, Piano

Interval 20mins

Gabriel Faure
Kenneth MacMillan 1 – choreography
Requiem, Pie Jesu solo
Sophie Moffatt, dancer 2
Coached by Leanne Benjamin OBE
Marlena Devoe, Soprano
Chad Vindin, Piano

Saint-Saëns
The Swan
The Carnival of the Animals
Calvin Richardson – choreography
The Dying Swan
Calvin Richardson, Dancer 3
Adam Szabo, Cello
Chad Vindin, Piano

Giovanni Sollima (1962- )
Violoncelles Vibrez!
Yelian He & Adam Szabo, Cellos

Kevin Penkin (1992- )
Changing Feet
Nicola Crowe, Flute

Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)
La Boheme, Act 1
Che gelida manina
Si, mi chiamano Mimi
O soave fanciulla

Marlena Devoe, Soprano
Gerard Schneider, Tenor 4

1 Performed with the kind permission from The MacMillan Estate
2 Appears with kind permission from The Royal Ballet School
3 Appears with kind permission from The Royal Ballet
4 Appears with kind permission from The National Opera Studio

Winter Prom highlights

Jayson Gillham playing Grainger’s, Handel in the Strand

Xenia Deviatkina-Loh playing Vaughan William’s,  The Lark Ascending

Elena Xanthoudakis singing Mozart’s, Ch’io mi scordi di te? K 505 with Jayson Gillham, piano

Adam Szabo & Yelian He playing Sollima’s, Violoncelles Vibrez!

Marlena Devoe & Gerard Schneider sing the Final scene from Act 1, La boheme, Puccini

Review in Limelight Magazine

Review in Seen and Head

Y-Squared | Wigmore Hall: Classical Chamber Music & Song Concerts

Y Squared

Winner of 2014 @CelloAwards #Australia @Y2_Squared Yelian He and Yasmin Rowe are to give a recital @Wigmore_Hall on Sunday 25th May at 7.30pm. A concert not to be missed. Yelian, a former Tait Awardee, will be playing with us in our 2014 Tait Young Australian Performers concert @StJohnsSmithSq on Tuesday 9th December. More details of this special Tait concert to be released shortly.

Noted for its exceptionally creative programming and electric partnership, Y-Squared performs a wide variety of repertoire ranging from Boccherini to Kapustin. Since its conception, the duo has performed all over Europe and Australasia, generating a worldwide following. Forthcoming recitals in 2014 include performances at Bridgewater Hall and St Martin-in-the-Fields, as well as tours in Wales, Scotland and Australia.Kirckman Concert Society/Sarah Gordon Concert Management. Supported by Lankelly Chase Foundation Reg. Charity

Date:
25 May 2014 – 7:30pm

Ticket Prices:
£8 £9 £11 £13

 

Buy Tickets Now

Programme

Poulenc

Cello Sonata

Beethoven

12 Variations on a Theme from Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus WoO. 45

Nikolai Kapustin

Burlesque Op. 97

Mendelssohn

Cello Sonata No. 2 in D Op. 58

Martinů

Variations on a theme by Rossini

via Y-Squared | Wigmore Hall: Classical Chamber Music & Song Concerts ::.

Yelian He wins the Australian Cello Awards Competition

We are thrilled to hear that Yelian He, Tait Awardee 2009, has been awarded the inaugural Australian Cello Awards. Congratulations Yelian. Yelian was the recipient of the Allen-Evans Scholarship, the Grand Prize of the inaugural Australian Cello Awards Competition, the Audience Prize as well as the Sydney Symphony concerto prize.

Yelian performs with Yasmin Rowe in their Cello and Piano duo Y2QUARED. Listen to them performing the Beethoven Sonata for Piano and Cello in F here

It is our great pleasure to be able to let you know that Yasmin and I performed at the finals of the inaugural Australian Cello Awards Competition on the night of 30th March 2014. We were incredibly fortunate and privileged to be selected by a jury of eminent Australian musicians as the Grand Prize winner as well as the recipient of the Audience Prize and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra Concerto Prize. (Yelian will be back in Sydney to perform a concerto with the Sydney Symphony in 2015/16)

Needless to say, we’re both over the moon – we both love Australia very much for it’s weather – people – and food. We thought you’d be interested to know as you are an important part of why we were able to achieve this, so thank you very much for your support and we look forward to being able to give you more good news as the time goes by.

 

Yelian & Yasmin, 2nd April 2014

Three of a kind: Winner Yelian He, left, Ruben Palma and Edward King at the Conservatorium. Photo: Steven Siewert
Three of a kind: Winner Yelian He, left, Ruben Palma and Edward King at the Conservatorium. Photo: Steven Siewert

 

More here from the Sydney Morning Herald

The website of the Australian Cello Awards