Australian Music Foundation

The Australian Music Foundation UK is a charitable organisation based in London, which aims to promote and celebrate Australian musical life, by offering scholarships, performing opportunities and mentoring to young musicians who wish to pursue their post-graduate studies overseas. Since 1975 the AMF has helped over180 awardees. Violinist Emily Sun (2015 awardee) has gone on to win the 2018 ABC Young Performers Award in Sydney, and soprano Lauren Fagan has recently appeared in Wagner’s Ring Cycle at the ROH, Covent Garden. She will be representing Australia in the 2019 Cardiff Singer of the World. Other distinguished Alumni include baritone Peter Coleman-Wright, pianist Jayson Gillham and guitarist Craig Ogden.
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Applications for 2019 have now closed. Click here for more information about the AMF Awards.
 
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AMF Awardee Samantha Clarke wins GSMD Gold Medal

Many congratulations to AMF awardee soprano Samatha Clarke who is this year's winner of the GSMD Gold Medal, the School’s most prestigious prize for outstanding soloists. Samatha has been supported by the AMF Nora Goodridge Emerging Artist Award during the two years of her Artist Diploma in Opera Studies.

The Finals took place at the Barbican last Friday evening with the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Richard Farnes.

Afterwards, Samantha said "I felt very privileged to be performing on the Barbican stage and the support from the audience was so encouraging. It was lovely to have my tutor Yvonne Kenny watching my performance and I can’t thank her and my wonderful accompanist Michael Pandya enough for their help and guidance.”

The distinguished panel of judges included bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel, GSMD alumnus and winner of the 1989 Gold Medal; Kevin Murphy, Director of Coaching and Music Administration for Indiana University Opera Theater; mezzo-soprano Ann Murray DBE; and Jonathan Vaughan, Vice-Principal and Director of Music at Guildhall School.

The Gold Medal award was founded and endowed by Sir H. Dixon Kimber in 1915. Previous winners include Jacqueline du Pré (1960), Patricia Rozario (1979), Tasmin Little (1986) and Bryn Terfel (1989).

Samantha's forthcoming engagements include the roles of Georgiana in 'Georgiana' (Buxton International Festival) and Musetta in 'La Bohème' (Opera North).

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AMF Spring Showcase

Many thanks to all who attended the AMF Spring Showcase, hosted by our Patron His Excellency the Hon George Brandis QC in the magnificent Exhibition Hall at Australia House on Wednesday 20 March. Six of our recent awardees performed a wonderful programme of music by Poulenc, Debussy, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Liszt, Brahms, Albeniz and Puccini. The drinks reception was generously sponsored by McGuigan Wines and Little Creatures Ale, who also provided prizes for the raffle, along with the office of the Agent General for South Australia.

Photo by Jari Laakso. L to R: Rohan Dasika (double bass), Samantha Clarke (soprano), Courtenay Cleary (violin), Yvonne Kenny (Chairman AMF UK), HE the Hon George Brandis QC, David Soo (piano), Victoria Wong (violin), Robbin Reza (piano).

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Australian of the Year in the UK

Many congratulations to AMF Chairman, Yvonne Kenny AM, who was named Australian of the Year in the UK at the Australia Day Foundation awards ceremony at Australia House last night. Pictured left, receiving her award from High Commissioner HE the Hon George Brandis QC.

Yvonne Kenny is one of the most distinguished sopranos of her generation. She was born in Sydney and gained a BSc in Biochemistry before moving to London to study singing. She made her operatic debut in 1975, after which she joined the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden where she remained a member of the company until 1994.
She built an enviable reputation as a dazzling interpreter of works by Handel, Mozart, Donizetti, Britten and the heroines of Richard Strauss, with international appearances at the Wiener Staatsoper, La Scala Milan, Salzburger Festspiel, Staatsoper Berlin, Opera de Paris, English National Opera, San Francisco, Glyndebourne and the Staatsoper, Munich.
Throughout her long career Yvonne has continued to return to Australia, singing major roles with Opera Australia and performing with all the major symphony orchestras. She was honoured to perform at the closing ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympics. She also has a discography of over 66 international titles including her Gold Disc Simple Gifts for ABC Classics. She was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1989 for services to music and received an Honorary Doctorate in Music from the University of Sydney in 1999.
Yvonne now devotes her time to teaching and mentoring young singers. She is a Professor of Voice at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama and a vocal coach with the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at ROH Covent Garden.

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Australia Day Gala

The AMF was delighted to be invited to partner with the Australia-UK Chamber of Commerce for their Australia Day Gala at Simpson’s at the Savoy on the Strand on 29 January 2019. There were performances by AMF awardees violinist Emily Sun from Sydney (winner of the ABC Young Performer Award 2018), soprano Samantha Clarke from Perth and pianist David Soo from Clayton, Victoria (both studying at GSMD). Many thanks to all at the Australia-UK Chamber for this wonderful initiative in support of the AMF and for their generous donation. Photos: Peter Livingstone. L to R: David Soo, Emily Sun, Samantha Clarke, Group: Elizabeth Rossiter, accompanist, Emily Sun, AMF Chairman Yvonne Kenny AM, David Soo, Samantha Clarke.

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