Freedman Classical Fellowship 2016 Winner Announced
The winner of the 2016 Freedman Classical Fellowship is violist Stefanie Farrands.
The winner was announced at the inaugural ABC Classic FM Finalists Concert and live broadcast on Saturday 17 September, Eugene Goossens Hall, ABC Ultimo.
The prestigious annual Fellowship awards a classical instrumentalist under 30 years of age with a $20,000 scholarship to undertake a career-enhancing creative project.
2016 winner, Stefanie Farrands is the Principal Violist with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. A graduate of the Australian National Academy of Music, she recently concluded studies in Berlin, where she was a guest player with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and a foundation member of the Essenz Quartet. In Australia, she performed as soloist with the ACO2 on a tour throughout Western Australia. She later toured to Japan with Richard Tognetti and Emmanuel Pahu (Berliner Philharmoniker) and to Europe with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. With the MSO she also performed the Australian premiere of Olga Neuwirth’s Viola Concerto. Stefanie is a member of the Hamer Quartet, a former winner of the Asia Pacific Chamber Music Competition.
The judges for the 2016 Classical Fellowship were Prof. Matthew Hindson AM, Head of School, Associate Dean, Sydney Conservatorium, composer and educator; Claire Edwardes, Artistic Director Ensemble Offspring and percussionist and Timothy Matthies, Director Artist Development, Musica Viva Australia.
When announcing this prestigious Fellowship on behalf of the judges, Prof. Matthew Hindson said, “Stefanie’s performance was natural, confident and utterly convincing. She showed depth of musicality and an ability to convey extreme technical facility to the audience. Stefanie will be a very effective champion for her instrument. She believes there is a shortage of solo viola repertoire and is very committed to a project to commission new Australian repertoire and to promote it internationally. In Brett Dean, perhaps Australia’s most famous living composer and himself a violist of international distinction, she has chosen a mentor of the highest possible calibre”.
All three finalists presented ambitious projects to the judging panel should they win the Fellowship, demonstrating their commitment to Australian music and their musical strengths.
The winner of the Freedman Classical Fellowship is selected from a group of 15 nominees each year, selected by distinguished figures in classical music from each state and ACT, then three finalists who audition for the judging panel.
Unlike most competitions for classical performers, The Freedman Fellowship makes no requirement that candidates perform particular works or composers or even classical genres. Nominees are invited to program the music that best shows their ability and musical interests.
Previous winners of the Freedman Classical Fellowship include some of Australia’s leading soloists; percussionists Timothy Constable, Claire Edwardes and Eugene Ughetti; oud player Joseph Tawadros; guitarists Geoffrey Morris and Karin Schaupp,;recorder player Genevieve Lacey, didgeridoo player William Barton, violinist Kristian Winther, flautist Lina Andonovska, clarinettist Ashley Smith, pianist Tamara Anna Cislowska, and most recently pianist/composer Peter de Jager. 2015 winner was clarinettist and bass clarinettist Aviva Endian
The Freedman Classical Fellowship is funded by the Freedman Foundation, which assists highly talented young Australians in the arts and supports important medical and scientific research. The Fellowship is managed by The Music Trust and administered by Sydney Improvised Music Association (SIMA). At the concert Dr Richard Letts AM, The Music Trust said, “Laurence Freedman and I are delighted to welcome ABC Classic FM as a partner in presenting this year’s Freedman Classical Fellowship. Through a concert of finalists and a national broadcast, the public is able to directly experience the extraordinary talents of these fine Australian musicians.”