Freedman Fellowships in 2017 | 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.

Helen Svoboda

Australian/Finnish double bassist Helen Svoboda has been announced winner of The Music Trust’s 2020 Freedman Jazz Fellowship.

Esteemed Freedman Jazz judges Mike Nock, Chris Cody and Laurence Pike commented: 

“Helen’s proposed collaboration ‘The Odd Bunch’ with film-maker Angus Kirby was truly inspired. She communicated her vision through a well-considered and refined musical project which also spoke to a real-world issue that humanity is facing. Her energy and passion were palpable, and the excellence clearly at the fore. Helen will be a force in Australian music.”


Richard Narroway

29-year old Melbourne cellist Richard Narroway has been announced winner of The Music Trust’s 2020 Freedman Classical Fellowship.

“This is such an incredible honour and a huge boost for me during what has been a rather strange time here in Melbourne! I am so grateful to the panel for believing in my playing and my vision” says Narroway.




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).

Previous Freedman Fellowship News


Copyright The Music Trust © 2022