reward is seeing
of our MOST programmes.
And no matter what
MOST is extremely
proud to have played
an important role in their future.
Nelly Apt Scholarship
The Nelly Apt Scholarship was established from a bequest by the late Nelly Apt, who left funds to provide financial assistance for young Australian musicians to study in Israel.
Scholarships are administered and offered by MOST in four areas of achievement. these being for :
- singers, in the Australian Singing Competition
- string instrumentalists, in association with the Instrumentalist Category of the ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards (YPA)
- conductors, and
- worthy projects by individuals from any musical background
The Scholarship has forged links with other musical organisations, notably the IFAC - Australian Singing Competition (IFAC - ASC), The International Vocal Arts Institute, ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards (YPA) and Symphony Services International.
Carolyn Watson graduated with a Bachelor of Music Education (Honours) from the University of Sydney majoring in violin performance and music education before accepting a place at the Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute of Music in Hungary. While there, Carolyn also studied violin at the Liszt Academy in Budapest before furthering studies in Dresden, Germany.
On returning to Australia Carolyn was appointed to the music faculty of Sydney Grammar School and named Strings Coordinator in 2005. While there she founded the Old Sydneian’s String Orchestra, comprising Grammar alumni. In 2007 she was a Fellow of the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival and School where she studied with David Zinman and the next year she was awarded the Nelly Apt Scholarship for conducting. As a result of this scholarship, Carolyn spent time with the Israeli National Opera, where she assisted on a production of Carmen.
In 2010 Carolyn was assistant to Sir Charles Mackerras, collaborating on his two last productions at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden and Glyndebourne Festival Opera. She has recently completed residencies at the Staatsoper Berlin and at the Staatsoper Hamburg.
Carolyn is currently based in Sydney where she lectures at Sydney Conservatorium and is Conductor-in-Residence at the Conservatorium High School, while continuing to conduct on a regular basis.
After graduating with First Class Honours from Melbourne University in 2000, conductor Benjamin Northey undertook ten weeks intensive daily study with Finnish maestro Jorma Panula in Sydney as part of the Symphony Australia Conductor Development Program. He was subsequently awarded multiple prizes, including the 2001 Nelly Apt Scholarship and the 2002 Brian Stacey Memorial Trust Prize for Australian conductors.
In 2002 he was accepted as the highest placed applicant to the prestigious Sibelius Academy conducting class in Helsinki where he studied with Leif Segerstam. His 2005 diploma concert with the Sibelius Academy Symphony Orchestra was awarded the international jury’s highest possible mark. In 2006 he completed his formal studies as a guest student under Jorma Panula at the Stockholm Royal Academy of Music.
Northey made his critically acclaimed professional debut in 2003 conducting Beethoven Symphony No 6 with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. In 2005 he appeared in Austria with the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg and assisted Leif Segerstam in Latvia with the Liepaja Symphony Orchestra. Since returning to Melbourne in 2006, Northey has become a leading figure in orchestral music, performing with orchestras throughout Australia, as well as highly regarded international orchestras such as the London Philharmonic. He won the 2010 Melbourne Prize Trust Outstanding Musician Award and in 2011 was appointed to the Patricia Riordan Associate Conductor Chair of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Benjamin conducted the Australian Opera & Ballet Orchestra at the 2011 IFAC Australian Singing Competition’s Finals Concert.
Max Xinyu was born in China and initially studied piano under Professors Xiao Wei-Liu and Xiaojian-Zhou at Hebei University. He furthered his studies in piano and conducting at Beijing’s Central Conservatory, completing a Master of Music degree in both disciplines. From 1989 to 1994, he was assistant conductor at Hebei Theatre Symphony Orchestra, moving to Singapore and then Australia in 1997.
In 1999, Max won the Nelly Apt Scholarship in the Westfield Young Conductor of the Year competition and was subsequently selected as a Junior Fellow with the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK. Max has more recently attended masterclasses in Vassa, Finland, and Verona at the invitation of Jorma Panula.
Max has worked with many orchestras in Europe, Australia and Asia including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Verona Opera Orchestra, the Vaasa Symphony Orchestra, and the Hong Kong Symphony Orchestra. He has also worked with the Sydney New Philharmonic Choir as Artistic Director and Conductor.
Luke Dollman began his musical life as a violinist, performing with many Australian orchestras on both modern and baroque violin. After deciding to focus on conducting, he furthered his studies at the renowned Sibelius Academy in Helsinki where he was awarded a Masters of Music. Luke has also studied with Kurt Masur as part of the Allianz Foundations program, rehearsing and performing with the London Philharmonic in the process.
In 1998, Luke received the Nelly Apt Scholarship for a conductor and went on to win First Prize in the Symphony Australia Westfield Conducting Competition in 2000.
Luke was Assistant Conductor to Edo de Waart at the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic from 2001 to 2003. In 2005 Luke made his UK debut with BBC National Orchestra of Wales in a main series concert that was broadcast on BBC Radio 3, and has since returned to them many times for concerts and recordings. In 2009 he made a highly successful French debut, conducting the Monte Carlo Philharmonic for the opening concert of the Besançon Festival. He has conducted regularly for the Sydney Symphony and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Opera Australia and the Finnish National Opera and been a guest conductor at the Guildhall School of Music, Royal Conservatorium of The Hague, Sydney Conservatorium, the University of Auckland, and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.
Since winning the Nelly Apt Scholarship for a Conductor in 1997, Kynan Johns has forged an international reputation and won numerous prizes including Young Australian of the Year in 1999 and first place in the prestigious Dimitris Mitropoulos International Conducting Competition in 2002.
Kynan Johns completed a BMus (composition) at the Elder Conservatorium, Adelaide, and Masters (conducting) at the Sydney Conservatorium, making his professional debut in 1997 with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. He has since conducted for over 60 orchestras and opera companies throughout the world including the Israel Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Sydney Symphony, Orchestra of St Luke’s and the Vienna Chamber Orchestra.
As a regular assistant conductor to Maestro Lorin Maazel, Johns assisted on Maazel’s 1984 at Covent Garden in 2005, was engaged to conduct performances of Britten’s Turn of the Screw in 2006 and in December of the same year, stepped in for Maazel at late notice, to conduct Don Giovanni in Valencia, Spain. He is now Resident Conductor to Maazel and Maestro Zubin Mehta.
Recent highlights have included Verdi’s Luisa Miller and Don Carlos in Spain, Brahms’ Requiem in the Netherlands and Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony with the Israel Philharmonic. Kynan also serves as Director of Orchestras at Rutgers University, New Jersey.
Zvi Teichtahl was awarded the Nelly Apt Grant in 1999 for his cantorial studies. He began singing as a child in Melbourne and has studied in both Australia and Israel.
As Chazan at the North Shore Synagogue, a role he took up in 2008, Zvi leads services, sings with the choir and teaches Barmitvah students.
Zvi shares his time between the synagogue, his work as a Finanical Planner and his family life with wife Mirah, and their four children.
A Masters graduate from the Victorian College of the Arts, cellist Imogen Manins has become known for her improvisational music performances; her exploration of new musical ground for cello.
Imogen has collaborated with many of Australia’s best improvisational musicians including pianist Tony Gould, percussionist David Jones, drummer Tony Floyd and guitarist Stella Skinner. She has performed at Australia's international jazz festival at Wangaratta, and at Melbourne's Stonnington Jazz Festival and in 2008 she gave a concert with outstanding Finnish musicians Verneri Pohjola (trumpet) and Olavi Louhivuori (drums).
Imogen has appeared as guest musician on a number of recent, milestone recordings. Her 2008 recording Under the Tall Trees with David Jones and Tony Gould was received with critical acclaim and the track ‘The River Meets the Sea’ won the prestigious 'Instrumental work of the year' at the AMC/APRA Classical Music Awards. A second recording with the trio is in progress, as are several other projects including a recording for the Children's Hospital 'Hush' collection, and performances around Australia and overseas.
French Horn, Israel
French horn player Gavriella Goldman is a key member of the Goldman Ensemble, known for breathing new life into well-loved works as well as performing original pieces.
Music was part of Gavriella’s life from infancy; her mother is a musician and music educationalist. Born in Israel, Gavriella emigrated to Sydney with her mother and sisters Ortal and Tirzah in 1987, which is when she began to learn French horn. Ortal took up violin, and Tirzah the cello. In 1991 Gavriella became a member of the Sydney Youth Philharmonic Orchestra and, in 1995 was awarded the Nelly Apt Grant at the age of 17. The following year she joined the celebrated SBS Radio and Television Youth Orchestra.
Gavriella returned to Israel where she joined the Young Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and completed a B.Mus (Hons) degree at the Rubin Academy of Music. Later she studied at the University of York where she received the Sir Jack and Lady Lyons Millennium Scholarship.
In 2004 the three sisters established the Goldman Ensemble and the following year they released a debut CD. In 2006 they were chosen to perform a memorial concert for victims of the London bombings at St Martin-in-the-Fields on the first anniversary of the tragedy and were subsequently selected for the City Showcase, London's premier showcasing festival. Though Tirzah left the group in 2011, the Ensemble continues to perform, now with tuba player Ola Ness and percussionist Matthew Green.
Emily Sun began playing violin at a young age, after being introduced to the instrument by her father who was a composer, violinist and conductor. Tragically, her father was killed in a car accident when Emily was only five years old.
2011 was a big year for 20-year-old Emily. In January the second-year Sydney Conservatorium of Music student was awarded a scholarship to study at Royal College of Music, London. She won the Strings category at the ABC Sydney Symphony Young Performer of the Year competition and was awarded the Nelly Apt Scholarship for an Instrumentalist. And she won hearts across Australia playing the central role in the critically acclaimed documentary Mrs Carey's Concert, which screened in cinemas across the country.
The documentary, directed by Bob Connelly (Rats in the Ranks) and Sophie Raymond, chronicles the journey of a group of gifted but not-always-obedient teenage musicians at MLC, a private Sydney girls' school in Burwood, as they prepare for the biennial end-of-year concert at the Opera House. Emily's performance of Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 in the Sydney Opera House is featured in the film.
Violinist Richard Pollett was born in Adelaide and studied with Michele Walsh at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, where he received the University Medal. He also completed postgraduate studies with Massimo Quarta at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana. On returning to Australia, Richeard studied at the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne with Paul Wright.
Richard won the Queensland Orchestra Young Instrumentalist Competition in 2002. He was a finalist in the ABC Symphony Australia Young Performer Awards in 2006 and 2007 before winning the Strings division and the Nelly Apt Scholarship for an Instrumentalist in 2010.
As a soloist Richard has appeared with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra as well as the Orchestra of Lugarno in Switzerland. He has participated in music festivals in Europe and the UK with cellist Robert Cohen, toured Europe with the Australian Youth Orchestra and participated in the AYO Young Australian Concert Artists program. He has participated in masterclasses with Ivry Gitlis, Adelina Oprean, Howard Davis, Rudolf Koelman, Oleh Krysa, Charles Castleman and the Henschel Quartet.
Richard was a finalist for the 2011 Dorcas McLean Travelling Scholarship for Violinist.
Richard tragically passed away in Queensland as a result of an accident in September 2011.
Ji Won Kim
Violinist Ji Won Kim began her musical studies at the age of four. At 16 she entered the Vienna Musik Hochschule, graduating with high distinction in 2004. She then completed a Master of Music degree at the University of Melbourne, studying with Nelli Shkolnikova, and most recently has been a student of Alice Waten at the Sydney Conservatorium.
Ji Won Kim received a number of scholarships during her studies, including the Nelly Apt Scholarship in 2009. She has won several national and international awards including the?Hephzibah Menuhin Memorial Award in 2007) and the Australian Concerto and Vocal Competition in 2008.
Ji Won Kim has performed as soloist with the Sydney, Adelaide and Queensland symphony orchestras, as well as the Seoul Prime Orchestra, Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra, Anton Bruckner University Orchestra and Swietokrzyska Philharmonic Orchestra. She has performed in international music festivals in Salzburg, New York, Tokyo, Sion and Tel Aviv.
In 2009, she was named the ABC Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year following a performance of the Sibelius Violin Concerto. In 2010, she received standing ovations at consecutive performances with Sydney Symphony at the Sydney Opera House. She is a member of the recently formed Melbourne Piano Trio and winner of the 2011 Sydney Symphony Fellowship. Her debut CD was released in 2011.
Melbourne-born violinist Rebecca Chan has been performing since the age of four. At 15, she began studying at the Melbourne University Conservatorium with William Hennessy while completing degrees in Medicine and Arts and went on to win the University’s JS Bach Prize. In 2004 she began studying with Alice Waten at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM).
In 2008, Rebecca won the strings section of the ABC Young Performers Awards and was awarded the Nelly Apt Scholarship. Other prizes and awards include winning the Australian National Academy of Music’s Concerto Competition twice (2005 and 2007) and the Mikkeli Prize at the International Citta di Brescia Violin Competition in 2010. She was subsequently invited to perform with the Mikkeli City Orchestra in Finland in 2011.
As a soloist Rebecca has performed to critical acclaim with many of Australia’s major orchestras under the baton of a renowned conductors including Oleg Caetani, Sebastian Lang-Lessing and Arvo Volmer.
Rebecca was a founding member of the Hamer Quartet, winners of the first prize, the audience prize and the major Musica Viva award for best Australian ensemble in the 2009 Asia Pacific Chamber Music Competition and also voted ‘Best Newcomer’ in the 2009 ABC Limelight Magazine awards. Rebecca was a member of the ACO's Emerging Artists Program in 2008 and joined the ACO in 2010.
Shanghai-born Chen Gu began playing the violin at the age of four. He won first prize in the junior section of the Shanghai Music Competition in 1986 and gave his first public appearance shortly afterwards. In 1993 he was a prizewinner at China’s National Violin Competition and went on to perform in recitals and with major orchestras in Shanghai and throughout China.
Chen Gu moved to Sydney in 1996, and enrolled in the Bachelor of Music degree at the Australian Institute of Music, the only full scholarship student at the time. Over the next few years he won prizes in the National Chopin and Wieniawski Competition in Townsville, the Wieniawski-Lipinski Competition in Lublin, Poland, and the Novosibirsk International Violin Competition in Russia.
In 1999 Chen Gu was a finalist in the Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards and won several competitions and scholarships. In 2000, he was a prizewinner at the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition for Young Violinists in England. In 2004 he was again a finalist in the Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards, winning the Nelly Apt Scholarship for an instrumentalist.
Chen Gu joined the Sydney Symphony as a permanent member in 2001 and has since forged a career as a concertmaster, first with the Sydney Symphony and later with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and Macao Orchestra.
Nicole Vasilakis commenced her violin studies in Adelaide at the age of four, completing a BMus Hons (Performance) at the Australian Institute of Music (2000-2004) during which time she was musician in residence at St Andrew’s Cathedral School. In 2003 she won the Strings category of Symphony Australia’s Young Performer of the Year Awards, and was awarded the Nelly Apt Scholarship for an instrumentalist. Other awards include the Elder Conservatorium Concerto Prize and the Perry Hart Memorial Prize, which she won twice.
In Australia, Niki has performed with the Melbourne, Tasmanian, Symphony Orchestras, Orchestra Victoria, as well as the Queensland Orchestra. She has also performed with the Wellington Symphony Orchestra, Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra and the Prague Symphony Orchestra. Her debut self-titled album with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra was nominated for an ARIA award.
Niki was nominated for Young Australian of the Year in 2003 and 2004 in recognition of her outstanding achievements in music and commitment to community work, and was named Young South Australian of the Year in 2008. From 2007 to 2011, she performed with Kathryn Selby (piano) and Emma-Jane Murphy (cello) as TRIOZ. Niki has frequently appeared on television, including the SBS series Classical Destinations.
Niki plays an Antonio Guadagnini Violin 1872.
Born in Canberra in 1984, Kristian Winther studied violin with Josette Esquedin-Morgan, and conducting with John Curro, with whom he also made his concerto debut, performing the Sibelius Violin Concerto in 2000. In 2002, Kristian was a finalist in the Sydney Symphony Young Performer of the Year Awards, where he won the Nelly Apt Scholarship for an instrumentalist.
As a soloist he has performed with the Melbourne, Sydney and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, the Auckland Philharmonic, Orchestra Victoria, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and Melbourne Youth Orchestra, and has been Guest Assistant Concertmaster of the Adelaide and Western Australian Symphony Orchestras and the Hong Kong Philharmonic.
From 2007-2008 Kristian was violinist with the TinAlley String Quartet, winning the 2007 Banff International String Quartet Competition, which was followed by critically acclaimed tours of the USA and Europe. Also with the Quartet, Kristian premiered his composition for string quartet “...etude” at the Sydney Opera House in 2008. He has played chamber music with Richard Tognetti and Brett Dean, among others, and appeared as soloist, conductor and leader of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra. Kristian won the 2010 Music Council of Australia Freedman Fellowship for Classical Music.
Cellist Pei-Jee Ng was born in Sydney and grew up in Adelaide, where he studied at the Elder Conservatorium with Janis Laurs and Barbara Yelland. In 2001 he was Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year, and won the Nelly Apt Scholarship for an instrumentalist. Two years later, in 2003, he entered the Royal Northern College of Music on a full scholarship where he studied with Ralph Kirshbaum, graduating with distinction. He was selected for representation by Young Concert Artists Trust (YCAT) in 2008 and won the ‘Libero Lana’ Prize at the 12th Trieste International Chamber Music Competition with his duo partner, pianist Chiao-Ying Chang.
Pei-Jee Ng has performed widely in Australia, Asia and Europe, including appearances with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, all the major Australian orchestras, Sinfonia ViVA and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra at the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur. He has worked with conductors including Arvo Volmer, Rumon Gamba, Paul Mann, Frederico Cortese and Christian Vasquez. His recital work has included concerts at the Lincoln Centre New York, Purcell Room, Wigmore Hall, the Newbury Spring and Gower Festivals, tours of Germany and Australia. In 2008 Melba Recordings released his debut CD, featuring works by Chopin and Kats-Chernin.
Pei-Jee Ng plays a Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume cello of 1844.
Born in Adelaide, Sophie Rowell studied at the Australian Institute of Music in Sydney with Alice Waten before undertaking an Artist’s Diploma at the Cologne Hochschule for Musik with the Alban Berg Quartet. She has also participated in masterclasses with renowned violinists and chamber musicians, including Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Walter Levin (LaSalle Quartet) and Norbert Brainin (Amadeus Quartet).
In 1999 Sophie was awarded Second Prize in the International Mozart Competition in Salzburg and in 2000 won the Symphony Australia Young Performer’s Award and the Nelly Apt Scholarship for an instrumentalist. She has also won New Zealand's Gisborne Music Competition, the Dorothy Fraser Scholarship, the Richard Goldner Scholarship and the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship.
As the first violinist of the Australian String Quartet, which has won more chamber music contests internationally than any other from Australia, Sophie has given concerts and been broadcast throughout Australia, Europe, North America, Japan and New Zealand. Sophie has had solo engagements with all the major Australian orchestras, and in France and been Guest Concertmaster with the Adelaide, Melbourne, and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras and in Jena, Germany. She is a member of the Elder Trio with Lucinda Collins (piano) and Janis Laurs (cello) at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, University of Adelaide where she is a member of the string faculty.
Violinist Alexandra Osborne began musical studies at the age of four and made her debut at eight at the Sydney Opera House. She has since appeared in concert with all major Australian orchestras, the Auckland Philharmonia, the SBS Radio & Television Orchestra and the South Bend Symphony, with whom she made her US solo debut in 2004.
Alexandra was a finalist in the 1999 Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards, where she was awarded the Nelly Apt Scholarship for an Instrumentalist. In 2001, she moved to the US and in 2006 graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia after studying with Pamela Frank, Aaron Rosand and Joseph Silverstein.
In 2005 she won a substitute position with The Philadelphia Orchestra and has performed regularly with them ever since. She also performs in the New York-based Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players, The Philly Pops and the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.?In 2009 she was appointed to the National Symphony Orchestra by Christoph Eschenbach.
She has performed with numerous international artists including Yehudi Menuhin, Pinchas Zukerman and Midori. She is currently completing a Master of Music at The Juilliard School with Ronald Copes.
Dr Sarita Kwok
Violinist Sarita Kwok has been featured on stages in Australia and New Zealand, UK and Europe, Israel, Japan and the United States, both as a soloist and with the award-winning Alianza String Quartet.
After being named the James Fairfax Sydney Symphony Orchestra Young Artist she made her debut with the Sydney Symphony at 15 and went on to win the Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year (Strings) award in 1998, where she also received the Nelly Apt Scholarship for an instrumentalist.
As a founding member and first violinist of the Alianza String Quartet (ASQ), Sarita has given debut performances at Japan’s Pacific Music festival, the Aldeburgh Festival in the UK, the Aixen-Provence Festival in France, and at the French Academy in Rome. In October 2007, the ASQ made their Carnegie Hall debut and in the same year won the Plowman Chamber Music Competition.
Sarita Kwok received both the Doctoral and Masters of Musical Arts degrees from the Yale School of Music as a student of Professor Syoko Aki and currently serves on the faculty of the Yale Department of Music.
Kirsten Le Strange
Growing up, Violinist Kirsten Le Strange performed with the Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic Orchestra for a number of years, and with the Australian Youth Orchestra in 1990. In 1992, she was a finalist in the Ku-ring-gai Secondary Schools Concerto Competition and in 1997 she was a finalist in the Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards where she was awarded the Nelly Apt Scholarship for an instrumentalist.
Kirsten moved to London in 1998 to do postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music studying with Lydia Mordkovich, for which she received a DipRAM.
Kirsten has performed as a soloist with Sydney and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras, Baden Baden Philharmonie, Oxford Sinfonia and the orchestras of the Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Royal Academy music schools. She has been guest concert master of the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Concert Orchestra and as Principal Second of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 2000, Kirsten formed the Benaud Duo with English pianist Roderick Chadwick. Kirsten has also performed extensively with the IXION and Plus Minus new music ensembles, including recordings for BBC Radio 3, and BBC 2 and Channel 4 television. In 2005, Kirsten recorded with Scott Davie and Trish O’Brien at Sydney Conservatorium of Music and since 2006 she has been a member of the Royal Covent Garden Opera and Ballet Orchestra.
Sydney-born violinist Susie Park has gained worldwide recognition for her searing emotive range and dynamic stage presence, and plays in the Grammy-nominated Eroica Trio.
Susie first picked up the violin at age three, and made her solo recital debut at the age of five. At 13, she began training under Peter Zhang and the following year, in 1996, she won the Nelly Apt scholarship for an instrumentalist and first prize in the Under 19 division of the Krakow Violin Competition in Poland. In 1997 she was guest soloist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Under the Stars in the Domain and went on become the youngest performer to win the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition for Young Violinists in Boulogne. She was 16.
Susie earned her Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and an Artist Diploma at the New England Conservatory.
She has appeared as soloist with orchestras in the US, South Korea and the Lille National Orchestra in France under the direction of Menuhin. She has played at Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, where The Washington Post hailed her as "prodigiously talented". Susie is currently based in New York City.
Kang Wang, a graduate of Charles Darwin University, where he majored in IT and Music.
He is currently studying at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in Brisbane Kang Wang is a tenor who was born in Harbin, China to parents who are both opera singers. He is currently doing a Graduate Diploma of Opera Performance at the Queensland Conservatorium under Mr Joseph Ward OBE.
Kang won 2010 Nelly Apt Scholarship in the Australian Singing Competition at age 22. The scholarship enables him to travel to Israel to continue his studies in voice at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv which he will take up in 2012. He was also awarded the mentoring Prize with conductor , Giovanni Reggioili which took him to Washington.
Kang was the "People's Choice" of the Dame Joan Sutherland National Vocal Award 2010.
Mezzo soprano, QLD
A mezzo soprano from Toowoomba, Queensland, Jade studied for her Bachelor of Music in Advanced Performance at the Queensland Conservatorium under the tutelage of Professor Janet Delpratt. In 2009, at the age of 19, she was a finalist in the Australian Singing Competition – one of the youngest ever. She won both the prestigious Foster Award and the Nelly Apt Scholarship, which enabled her to travel to Israel to continue her studies in voice at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv. Jade also won the David Harper Award, with prizes including 10 lessons with world-famous opera coach David Harper.
In 2010 Jade travelled to Tokyo to perform the role of Fenena in the International Foundation for Arts and Culture's production of Verdi's Nabucco. In 2011, Jade is completing her final year at the Queensland Conservatorium, where she recently performed as Principessa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica.
Born in Australia but raised in Fiji, Sitiveni began studying voice at the Australian National University in 2001. He also studied singing in the UK at the Yorke Trust Summer Opera Company in Norfolk and with teachers and coaches at the Royal Northern College of Music. Sitiveni moved to Perth in 2005 and became a member of the West Australian Opera chorus, performing roles in Madama Butterfly and The Love of the Nightingale.
In 2008, Sitiveni won the Australian Singing Competition’s Marianne Mathy Scholarship, the Nelly Apt Schoalrship as well as the audience-voted Foster Award. The Nelly Apt Scholarship enabled him to participate in the Summer School at the International Vocal Arts Institute, Tel Aviv, Israel, in 2009. During his four-week stay he performed the roles of Baron Duphol and Papa Germont in a production of Verdi’s La Traviata, as well as in concert, recitals and master classes.
In 2010 Sitiveni played three major roles with West Australian Opera: Pooh-Bah in The Mikado, Morales in Carmen and Alessio in La Sonnambula. Sitiveni also sang in the inaugural Australian Shakespeare Festival in 2010, both in concert and in the opera Sir John in Love. Recent concert appearances include bass soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Bach's St John Passion, and St Matthew Passion, Faure’s Requiem, and Vaughan Williams’s Five Sacred Songs.
Natalie Aroyan had a passion for singing from a young age, but it wasn’t until she was 23 that she discovered opera. After graduating with a degree in Business, Natalie completed her Postgraduate Diploma of Opera at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where she undertook the major role of Rosalinde in Strauss’s Die Fledermaus. Other performances during her time at the Conservatorium included The Goddess Diana in the Haydn’s La Fedelta Premiata, Lady Dunmow in Berkeley’s A Dinner Engagement and Lisetta in Haydn’s Il Mondo della Luna.
In 2007, in addition to winning the Foster Award, Natalie was also awarded the Nelly Apt Scholarship. This enabled her to travel to the to the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv where she made connections with the industry professionals from New York and the Metropolitan Opera. In 2008 Natalie won the Opera Foundation New York and the Herald Sun Aria Award.
Natalie is now pursuing her dream of an international performance career, studying in Europe under full scholarship, and at the Mannes College in the New School for Music in New York.
Originally from Warwick in South-East Queensland, Andrew completed studies at the University of Southern Queensland and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. In 2006 he was a finalist in the 2006 Australian Singing Competition, where he was awarded the Nelly Apt Scholarship. As a result, Andrew performed the role of Mr Brooke in the Israeli premiere of Mark Adamo’s opera Little Women for Tel Aviv’s International Vocal Arts Institute under the supervision of the composer.
Andrew has completed the prestigious Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under the tutelage of Robert Dean and was awarded the Harold Rosenthal Prize. He has been a semi-finalist in the Fancisco Viñas International Singing Contest, and a finalist in the Stuart Burrows International Voice Award. His repertoire includes the role of Steward in Jonathan Dove's opera Flight for British Youth Opera, Schaunard in La Bohéme for Longborough Festival Opera, Yamadori in Madama Butterfly and Morales in Carmen for the Internationales Opernstudio des Staatstheater in Nuremberg. He has performed as a soloist at the Barbican with the London Symphony Orchestra, with the All Souls Orchestra at the Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, and with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Richard Bonynge.
After completing a Bachelor of Music from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Australian soprano Anita Watson graduated from the Australian Opera Studio and Cologne Opera Studio as well as the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Anita has won prizes in many prestigious competitions, such as the Australian Singing Competition’s Marianne Mathy Scholarship, Nelly Apt Scholarship and Foster Award, the Queen Sonja International Music Competition in Oslo, Neue Stimmen in Germany and the Placido Domingo Operalia Competition. At the 2009 ARD Music Competition in Munich she first prize as well as the audience prize.
Anita's performed roles at the Royal Opera House included the Flowergirl in Parsifal, First Lady in The Magic Flute, Naiad in Ariadne auf Naxos as well as Gretel and Dewfairy in Hänsel and Gretel. Her other roles have included the title role in Handel's Xerxes, Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare, Lucia in The Rape of Lucretia, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro and Micaela in Carmen for the Australian Opera Studio and Barena in Jenufa for Cologne Opera.
Andrew Goodwin was born in Sydney, Australia, and began learning the violin at the age of five. He continued to learn the violin, piano and the organ and began singing in St Andrew’s Cathedral choir. In 1999, at age 20, he left Australia to study singing in St Petersburg. In 2004 he was a finalist in the Australian Singing Competition and won the Nelly Apt Scholarship to attend the International Vocal Art’s Institute at Tel Aviv in Israel. The same year he won the Amber Nightingale singing competition at Kaliningrad in Russia. In 2006 successfully auditioned for the Royal Academy of Music.
Andrew Goodwin’s Opera Australia debut was in January 2006 performing the role of Fenton in Falstaff. His repertoire now includes Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and Tamino in The Magic Flute for Opera Australia, Dante in Francesca di Rimini at the St Petersburg Conservatoire, Lensky in Eugene Onegin for the Bolshoi Opera in Moscow, at St Petersburg’s Mikhailovsky Theatre, Milan’s La Scala, and in Japan and Madrid. In 2010 he performed Orpheus in Pinchgut Opera’s production of Haydn’s l’Anima del Filosofo: Orpheus and Eurydice and continues to be a regular soloist with the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra.
Jessica Pratt hails from a musical family – her father is a tenor and director of music at Trinity Grammar School, her brother Daniel is in the rock band Glasshouse and sister Gemma writes folk songs. In addition to the Nelly Apt Scholarship, she has won numerous competitions including the Australian Singing Competition’s Marianne Mathy Scholarship and the Foster Award, The Vienna State Opera Award and the Rome Opera Award. In 2005 she was invited to train at the Rome Opera under the guidance of Gianluigi Gelmetti and later undertook a series of masterclasses with Renata Scotto.
Currently based in Italy, where she studies with Lella Cuberli, Jessica performed in many of the most important European theaters including The Vienna Staatsoper, Teatro alla Scala Milan, Opernhaus Zurich, Teatro dell'Opera di Roma and Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, collaborating with conductors such as Daniel Oren, Kent Nagano, Ralf Weikart, Donato Renzetti, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Christian Thielemann, David Parry and Nello Santi.
Her debut with Teatro alla Scala in Milan as La Prima Donna in Le Convenienze ed Inconvenienze Teatrali, conducted by Marco Guidarini and directed by Antonio Albanese, was televised live throughout Europe and later shown in cinemas and released on DVD. In early 2010 Jessica performed the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor at Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova under the baton of Daniel Oren and subsequently she debuted in the roles of Eudoxie in La Juive with the New Israeli Opera and Juliette in Romeo et Juliette with Teatro Verdi di Salerno.
Recent highlights include Amina in La Sonnambula, the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor at Teatro La Fenice in Venice and her debut with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in the role of The Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute under the baton of Sir Colin Davis.
In 2012, Jessica will make her Opera Australia debut singing the lead role of Leila in The Pearlfishers.
After completing her undergraduate training at the West Australian Conservatorium of Music, Gillian joined the Young Artist Program with the West Australian Opera. She was a finalist in the Australian Singing Competition in 2002, where she was awarded the Nelly Apt Scholarship, and other prizes.
She received a scholarship to the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, where she was generously supported by the Peter Moores Foundation, the Tait Foundation and the Ian Potter Foundation of Australia. Here she was also awarded the Ricordi Prize for Opera and the John Cameron Award for Lieder.
She has performed with companies including the English Touring Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the Budapest Festival Orchestra and the West Australian Opera in operas such as Peter Grimes, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Mikado and The Merry Widow. Gillian has performed solo recitals at the London Handel Festival and St James’ Piccadilly and her song repertoire ranges from Grieg and Debussy to Schumann, Wolf and Rachmaninov. Concert appearances include Bach’s St John Passion for Teatro Comunale di Bologna.
As a child, Rejieli Paulo was encouraged and supported by Churchill Fellow, Jean Heriot, to pursue a career in singing, and joined the Berwick Children’s Choir when she was eight. She trained at the Melba Conservatorium of Music in Melbourne under Lynette Casey-Brereton, graduating with a BMus (Hons) in 1997.
In 1999, Rejieli joined the Chorus of Opera Australia and over the next few years performed in operas such as Don Giovanni, The Pearl Fishers, Tosca and the world premiere of Richard Mills’ Batavia.
In 2001, the same year Rejieli was awarded the Nelly Apt Scholarship, she won the Herald-Sun Aria competition and the Marianne Mathy Schoalrship at the Australian Singing Competition. As a result of her Nelly Apt Scholarship she received an additional scholarship to study at the Manhattan School of Music.
As well as her work with Opera Australia, Rejieli has also performed with the Melbourne City Opera, the Australian National Youth Performing Arts Group, was a guest soloist for ABC Young Performer Awards with the Sydney Symphony, and was engaged as a recitalist in the Temple Square concert series, Utah, USA.
After graduating from Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in 1997, soprano Rachelle Durkin studied at London's Guildhall School of Music under a Ralph Thompson Memorial Scholarship. She made her solo debut in 1999 as Polly Peachum in Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera for the Festival of Perth and in 2000 she won the Marianne Mathy Scholarship and Nelly Apt Scholarship at the finals of the Australian Singing Competition.
In 2001 she won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and joined the Lindeman Young Artists Development Program. She debuted with the Metropolitan Opera as the First Handmaiden in Sly and has been a frequent guest ever since, in roles including Clorinda in La Cenerentola and Frasquita in Carmen. She played Tytania in Baz Luhrmann's groundbreaking production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, has performed at Carnegie Hall, with Opera Australia, Opera Queensland and the West Australian Opera, as well as every major Australian Symphony Orchestra and recitals across the USA and Australia.
Sydney born soprano, Melinda Parsons, came to singing via the French horn, which she played for ten years until she was 17. After changing to singing, she received her Bachelor of Music with a high distinction in her final recital, from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 1998. In the same year she won the Joan Sutherland Society of Sydney Scholarship and in 1999, she was awarded the Nelly Apt Scholarship and a year-long vocal scholarship to the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne.
Melinda was offered a contract with the Zurich Opera Studio in 2001 and in 2003 received a year-long contract with the Graz Opera House. Melinda has now performed in opera houses and sung concert repertoire in every German-speaking country and is currently under a full time contract with the Berlin Radio Choir. She has performed in cities in including Perth, Melbourne, Zurich, Basel, St. Moritz, Tübingen, Tel Aviv, Tokyo and Philadelphia and has sung principal and solo roles in operas including Albert Herring, The Magic Flute, Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.
Blake was born in Melbourne, Australia where he attended the Victorian College of the Arts. In 1997 he joined Opera Australia and sang in a total of 17 productions at the Sydney Opera House. In 1997, he was also awarded the Nelly Apt Scholarship for a Singer, which was followed by the Mietta’s City of Melbourne Song Recital Award in 1998. This enabled him to perform recitals all over Australia including Melbourne International Festival and Brisbane International Festival.
Blake moved to the UK where he studied at the Royal Northern College of Music as a Peter Moores Scholar, and was awarded the prestigious Gold Medal in 2003. He has performed with the Cape Town Opera, the Scottish Opera, the Berlin Philarmonic and appeared as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables for the Pimlico Opera. In 2005 he performed the tenor solos in the English Symphony Orchestra's six performances of Handel's Messiah and has appeared as Tamino in The Magic Flute, Danilo in The Merry Widow, and Rodolfo in La Boheme in both the UK and throughout Europe.
Mezzo soprano, ACT
Donna-Maree Dunlop completed her Diploma of Music (Vocal Performance) at ANU in 1992 and a Graduate Diploma of Music (Opera Performance) at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in 1993. In 1996 she performed the title role in Madama Butterfly with the Victorian State Opera, and appeared in Aida and Die Frau ohne Schatten for the 1996 Melbourne International Festival of the Arts conducted by Simone Young, and the following year won the Australian Singing Competition Armstrong-Martin and Nelly Apt Scholarships.
In 1998, Donna-Maree traveled to London to further her studies, where she performed the title role in Tosca to critical acclaim for European Chamber Opera. Donna-Maree’s repertoire includes principal roles in Carmen, Salome and Lulu for Opera Australia, Senta in the State Opera of South Australia’s production of The Flying Dutchman, touring Asia as a cast member of The Phantom of the Opera.
A graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Catherine Jago was awarded the Nelly Apt Scholarship for singers in 1996. The same year she received the Elizabeth Muir Memorial Prize in Singing, open to postgraduate students of the Queensland Conservatorium.
Susan Lorette Dunn
A graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Susan Lorette Dunn was awarded the inaugural Nelly Apt Scholarship for a singer in 1995. Other major Australian singing competition successes include the State and Commonwealth Finals of the ABC Instrumental and Vocal Competition. In 2000 she was awarded the prestigious Winston Churchill Fellowship.
Susan debuted with Opera Australia in the role of Tzietel in Fiddler On The Roof and with Opera Queensland as Frasquita in Carmen. Other roles in her repertoire have included Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte and Musetta in La Boheme. She has performed extensively both in Australia and overseas, with well-known orchestras and opera companies, as well as shows in London’s West End and on Broadway.
Susan has held positions as lecturer at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and QUT where she also devised programs in music theatre skills and is currently teaching and lecturing within the Voice and Opera Faculty of the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, Houston.
'Nelly Apt Scholarship'
French Horn, Israel
Ji Won Kim
Dr. Sarita Kwok
Kirsten Le Strange
Mezzo soprano, QLD
Mezzo soprano, ACT
Susan Lorette Dunn
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