Freedman Classical Fellowship finalists announced for 2022

Three finalists have been selected to compete for the Music Trust’s Freedman Classical Fellowship 2022, after an extensive search for Australia’s most creative classical musicians aged 35 and under.

The finalists for the 2022 Freedman Classical Fellowship are NSW harpist Emily Granger and violists Henry Justo from Queensland and Katie Yap from Victoria, chosen from among 16 national nominees vying for the coveted $21,000 prize.

The outstanding young musicians have studied at leading music schools including ANAM (Australian National Academy of Music), University of Queensland, Sydney Conservatory of Music, Jacobs School of Music at the University of Indiana and the Chicago College of Performing Arts.

The 2022 finalists were nominated by leading classical musicians from across Australia. This year’s jury includes Professor Kim Cunio (Director of the ANU School of Music), Kirsty McCahon (Australia’s leading practitioner of historical performance practice, Contra Bass) and Dr Stephen Mold (Lecturer at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and artistic director of the Conservatorium Opéra). In a combined statement, the judges said:

“The shortlisted finalists are a wonderful reflection of the depth and diversity of musical creation in Australia today. Never before has Australian music played such a significant role in helping to define who and what the Australia. With this in mind, these exceptional and highly creative young artists signal that the future of Australian classical music is in very good hands.”

The winner of the 2022 scholarship will be selected and awarded in a climactic final, a live public concert in front of esteemed judges, on Saturday July 30 at 3pm, in the magnificent Utzon Hall on the Sydney Opera House‘s harbor side.

The Freedman Classical Fellowship is a life-changing award given annually to young Australian classical musicians. The Fellowship began in 2001 and has since helped establish the careers of some of Australia’s most distinguished classical artists. In 2021, Victorian violinist Kyla Matsuura-Miller won the coveted scholarship. The Tokyo-born, Melbourne-raised powerhouse violinist is a graduate of the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM). Kyla joins the ranks of the long and esteemed list of alumni, including Genevieve Lacey, William Barton, Joseph Tawadros, Claire Edwardes and Eugene Ughetti

THE FINALISTS AND THEIR PROJECTS

Emily Granger is an Australian-American harpist who effortlessly straddles the worlds of classical, popular and artistic music, including scintillating appearances with Yo-Yo Ma, Sarah Blasko and Renée Fleming. Emily has appeared as a guest principal harpist with the Chicago, Sydney and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, as well as chamber performances with the Offspring Ensemble, the Omega Ensemble and the Nexas Quartet. His debut solo album, In Transit (UK-based AVIE Records), has been featured on Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, ABC Classic and 2MBS Fine Music Sydney.

For her proposed Freedman project, Emily will commission and premiere a new harp concerto from her longtime collaborator, composer Tristan Coelho. This three-movement work will premiere in Sydney with the Apex Ensemble and in Houston, Texas with the Rice University Contemporary Ensemble as artist-in-residence.

Henry Justo is a violist originally from Brisbane, now based between Hobart and Germany. He plays with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and is a Master of Music student with Volker Jacobsen at HMTM Hannover. Justo’s ability to bring out “the rich, earthy timbres of the alto” has been described as “breathtaking” by Limelight Magazine. He has performed with Sydney Chamber Opera, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Offspring, Inventi Ensemble and Ensemble Apex, in collaboration with his mentors Michele Walsh, Roger Benedict and Caroline Henbest .

Henry’s proposed scholarship project explores the interactions between the individual and the tech-laden world we all grope through daily. A program of works for viola and electronics, including commissioned works from Cathy Milliken and Yannis Kyriakides, will be developed with media artist Mike Daly to create a seamless performance and evocative musical journey.

Katie Yap performs at the highest level in modern and historic ensembles including the Australian World Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Van Diemen’s Band, Academy of Ancient Music, UK. Her greatest love is chamber music, and she is the artistic director of the Wattleseed Ensemble and 3MBS’ Women In Music Festival – She Wrote, and a founding member of the Chrysalis Harp Trio, and the prog-baroque quartet Croissants & Whiskey. In her own projects, Katie explores the connection between folk, baroque and new music styles, and a lifelong fascination with improvisation.

Katie Yap’s Freedman Multitudes project will launch her into the realm of creation. Through collaborative composition and improvisation, she and her collaborators (Emily Sheppard, Donald Nicolson, Bowerbird Collective and Mindy Meng Wang) will create four new works based on Judith Wright’s bird poems, which they will film, then perform in residency at Tempo Rubato.

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