The Freedman Fellowship Awards | The Music Trust

The Freedman Music Fellowships are among the most prestigious offered to Australian musicians. They are awarded annually to a classical music instrumentalist and a jazz musician.

Hilary Geddes

Hilary Geddes

Australian guitarist Hilary Geddes has been announced winner of The Music Trust’s 2021 Freedman Jazz Fellowship.

Esteemed Freedman Jazz judges trumpeter Nadje Noordhuis, saxophonist Loretta Palmeiro, pianist Stu Hunter and guitarist Ben Hauptmann commented: 

“Hilary is an intelligent and highly imaginative musician and a sophisticated composer with an effortless flair for story-telling and the communicating of place through her music. Her distinctive voice, her extensive vocabulary as a jazz guitarist and her ability to communicate brilliantly across diverse styles is world class.” Keep Reading


Kyla Matsuura-Miller

Melbourne violinist Kyla Matsuura-Miller has been announced winner of The Music Trust’s 2021 Freedman Classical Fellowship.

“Tonight’s concert saw another outstanding display of innovating young classical artists who proved their commitment to new Australian work, and dedication to their crafts using an refreshing array of new ideas” esteemed judging panel Penny Lomax, Tamara-Anna Cislowska and Véronique Serret .

“In the end, it was Kyla Matsuura-Miller whose inspired approach to her instrument and insight to her choice of repertoire, that spoke to each of the Judges. We are excited to see music used to illustrate stories around Australian identity, and a greater level of inclusivity represented in both artists and audiences to be profiled though Kyla’s project”. Keep Reading



James McLean, Freedman Jazz Fellow for 2016, photo by Karen Steains

The Freedman Fellowships are not for students or emerging artists. The maximum age of candidates is 35 years for jazz and 30 years for classical and they are for artists who are already very well established and at the top of the profession. The Fellowships are intended to assist them in taking their next important career steps.

Artists cannot self-nominate. Distinguished musicians from each Australian state and territory are invited to nominate candidates and the maximum number of candidates for either Fellowship is 17. To be nominated is already an honour.

Matthew Kneale, Winner of the 2017 Freedman Classical Fellowship, photo by Frank Crews

Candidates apply with a sound recording and a description of a career-advancing project they would undertake with the award funds. Finalists are chosen, interviewed and auditioned by panels of three judges, again drawn from the upper ranks of the profession. The jazz audition takes the form of a concert, Freedman Jazz, held at the Studio of the Sydney Opera house.

The Fellowships are funded by the Freedman Foundation and were conceived by Laurence Freedman and Richard Letts. The first Fellowships were awarded in 2001 and until 2013 have been managed by the Music Council of Australia. In 2014, management passed to The Music Trust and administration to SIMA (Sydney Improvised Music Association).

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