Pianist James Guan awarded Greta Parkinson Prize from RAM

Many congratulations to current awardee, pianist James Guan, who has been awarded the Greta Parkinson Prize by the Royal Academy of Music. This is one of the Academy’s discretionary prizes, awarded for a combination of good work, conduct, and general achievement throughout the academic year. 

Born in Sydney, James studied at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music Primary School, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music High School, and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music under Paul Rickard-Ford. He has recently completed his Masters degree at the Royal Academy of Music under Ian Fountain with the support of the Australian Music Foundation.

His prizes include 4th in the Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition and the Kerikeri International Piano Competition; the Most Outstanding Recitalist in the Emerging Artists Series, and 3rd in the International Competition Piana del Cavaliere and the Clamo International Piano Competition. He was also the recipient of the Best Australian Award at the Sydney International Piano Competition and Winner of the Great Romantics Competition in Melbourne. 

Video of James playing at the Finals of the Jaques Samuel Competition at Wigmore Hall

Soprano Lauren Fagan makes her WNO debut as Musetta in La Bohème

AMF alumna, soprano Lauren Fagan recently made her debut with Welsh National Opera, as Musetta in La Bohème. Lauren comes from Sydney and studied at the GSMD and on the Jette Parker Young Artists' Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. In June, she will sing the role of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Opera Holland Park.

Photos © Robert Workman, Lauren Fagan as Musetta

Emily Sun and Waynne Kwon win prizes at the Bromsgrove International Competition

Many congratulations to AMF Alumna, violinist Emily Sun, and current AMF Awardee, cellist Waynne Kwon, who have both won prizes at the Bromsgrove International Musicians Competition. They were selected from 108 competitors to play in the Finals on 8 April 2017, where Emily was awarded First Prize and Waynne was awarded a Finalists Prize. The AMF is proud to be supporting such talented young musicians and wishes them both continued success in their studies.

PHOTO shows: (Black Row, left to right) Dominic Degavino, Hannah Roberts, Edmond Fivet, Hayley Parkes; (front row, left to right) Wyn Chan, Emily Sun, Waynne Kwon and Andrew Zolinsky


AMF Awards 2017

The application process for the 2017 AMF Awards will open on Monday 10 April and close at midnight on Monday 8 May. The First Round will be judged via online application forms and video files. Finalists will be invited to appear live at the Wigmore Hall, London, on Wednesday, 4 October. Any finalists not able to appear, including composers, conductors, and repetiteurs, will be judged on their original or new video files.

Further information can be found on the Apply for an Award page, where a pdf sample application form can be downloaded for candidates to familiarise themselves with the requirements prior to the auditions window opening.

Emily Sun plays Double Violin Concerto with Maxim Vengerov at Buckingham Palace

Congratulations to AMF awardee Emily Sun, who was selected by violin virtuoso Maxim Vengerov to play alongside him in the Bach Double Violin Concerto at Buckingham Palace last week, accompanied by the RCM Symphony Orchestra. The event was hosted by HRH the Prince of Wales, Patron of both the RCM and the AMF. Emily was proud to be able to tell him that she was playing on an Australian instrument made by Arthur E Smith in 1946. Photos: © Paul Burns Photography. Emily and her accompanist Jennifer Hughes will also be appearing in a recital at Wigmore Hall this week.

Emily Sun plays at National Gallery

The AMF were recently invited to provide young musicians for a special event at the National Gallery on 27 January, entitled 'Australia Late', in celebration of Australia Day and the current exhibition of 'Australia's Impressionists'.

AMF awardee, violinist Emily Sun, appeared in recital with her pianist Jennifer Hughes and played a programme of Schubert, Fritz Kreisler and Richard Strauss to a large and appreciative audience. They were the first musicians to use the beautiful new Blüthner piano, which was recently donated to the gallery.

Emily and Jennifer will also be appearing at Wigmore Hall on 13 February, where they will be playing the R. Strauss Violin Sonata in E flat major, Opus 18.

Jesse Flowers purchases new instrument with AMF Guy Parsons Award

The AMF Guy Parsons Award has enabled recipient Jesse Flowers to purchase a new instrument by world-renowned guitar luthier Antonius Müller, one of the leading exponents of the ‘Double-top’ guitar design. He is well known for producing instruments with plenty of volume and fullness, without compromising their range of tone colour and beauty of sound. Since the guitar is a very intimate and quiet instrument, it is vital to have a guitar that can carry right to the back of a concert hall.
Originally from Sydney, Jesse completed his Bachelor of Music at the Australian National University in Canberra in November 2014. Since then, he has been studying with Tilman Hoppstock at the Akademie für Tonkunst Darmstadt, Germany, where he has won several competitions and will be taking part in the ‘National Concerts for Young Artists of Germany’ 2017/18 season. 
In March Jesse will give a solo recital in Sundsvall, Sweden and a concert in Mannheim, Germany with cellist Wolfgang Boettcher, who was 15 years principal cellist with the Berliner Philarmoniker (and also Jesse's great uncle).

Samantha Crawford wins Wagner Prize

Many congratulations to AMF Alumna, soprano Samantha Crawford, who has won two prizes at the 2016 Wagner Society Singing Competition: the First Prize awarded by Sir John Tomlinson and the President's Prize from Dame Gwyneth Jones. She has also been awarded a place on the Bayreuth scholarship programme from the Richard Wagner Scholarship Foundation, which will allow her to spend a week in Bayreuth as a scholar, attending Wagner operas and masterclasses.