AMF Spring Showcase, 14th March 2018

Many thanks to all who attended the AMF Spring Showcase on Wednesday 14th March in the Downer Room at Australia House, and to our awardees Samantha Clarke (soprano), Eilidh Young (snare drum), Victoria Wong (violin), Oscar Jiang (piano) and Waynne Kwon (cello) for their wonderful performances. We are also very grateful to our sponsors McGuigan Wines, and to the office of the Agent General for Western Australia for providing Little Creatures pale ale. Catering was by Standby Chef.

Photo by Matthew Murphy shows AMF Life President Richard Bonynge with AMF Awardees after the performance. 

Alumnus Chris Williams wins Composition Prize of the Australian International Chopin Competition

Composer Chris Williams is an AMF Alumnus from 2011 and recently moved back to London. In 2017 he composed the music for the critically acclaimed Sydney Theatre Company production of 'Cloud Nine' and won the Composition Prize of the Australian International Chopin Competition with his piece 'Toccare'. Chris has also recently been invited to write a new work for the Gaudeamus Music Week in the Netherlands. 
Photo credit: Hayden Shepherd


Bass baritone Paull-Anthony Keightley to take up contract in Berlin

Bass-baritone, Paull-Anthony Keightley, one of our 2013 Awardees, completed his studies at Manhattan School of Music and then returned to Perth to take up a Young Artists position at West Australian Opera. He has recently been named the winner of the Opera Foundation for Young Australians Deutsche Oper Berlin Award, and will take up a 12 month contract in Berlin in August this year. In 2017 he was awarded the Royal Over-Seas League Arts scholarship in the finals of the IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition, which will enable him to travel to the UK to present recitals and take voice lessons and coaching. CLICK for video

Victoria Wong wins the 25th Gyarfas Violin Competition

It is good to be able to start 2018 by congratulating one of our recent awardees, Victoria Wong, who has won first prize in the 25th Gyarfas Violin Competition, and was featured in the prize winners concert at the Joseph-Joachim Concert Hall in Berlin in December. Victoria, who is from Darlinghurst, NSW, is studying for a BMus at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler, Berlin.



The Australian Charity Art Auction, 28.02.17

Many thanks to Michael Whalley, Karen Goldie-Morrison and all who helped to make the Australian Charity Art Auction such  a wonderful success. More than 60 Australian artworks were auctioned by a Christie’s auctioneer at Australia House in aid of a number of much loved UK-based charities with Australian connections, including the AMF. We are most grateful to Michael Whalley for this generous and inspiring initiative, and to all who donated artworks for the auction. Several AMF musicians performed in a short concert to showcase the wonderful Australian talent being supported by the auction. AMF Alumna, soprano Lauren Fagan and current Awardees, pianist James Guan and mezzo-soprano Jade Moffat were accompanied by AMF Trustee, Linnhe Robertson. 

Photo shows Linnhe Robertson, Jade Moffat and Lauren Fagan

2017 AMF Awardees Announced

Following the Finals at Wigmore Hall on 4th October, the AMF is delighted to announce the names of the new Awardees:
Samantha Clarke, soprano, Perth - Opera Artist Diploma, GSMD
Connor D’Netto, composer, Queensland - Masters, RCM
Matan Franco, composer, Melbourne - Masters in Film Scoring, Pulse College, Dublin
Phoebe Gardner, violin, Sydney - BMus, Juilliard
Oscar Jiang, piano, Carlton - BMus, Juilliard (current awardee)
Waynne Kwon, cello, Sydney - BMusHONS, RNCM (current awardee)
Victoria Wong, violin, Darlinghurst - BMus, Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler, Berlin
Edith Yam, organ, Sydney - Masters, Conservatory of Amsterdam
Eilidh Young, snare drum, Gosford NSW - BMus, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

None of this would be possible without the generosity of our prize donors, particularly Mrs Nora Goodridge in Sydney, and the Portland House Foundation, to whom we are most grateful.

Many thanks also, to the distinguished panel of judges for devoting their time and expertise to this difficult task. Guest judges this year included Australian musicians Leslie Howard (international pianist and recording artist), mezzo-soprano Caitlin Hulcup (Wiener Staatsoper, ROH London, WNO) and violinist Jennifer Nickson (Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden).

Samantha Crawford Wins NSW Wagner Society Award

The New South Wales Wagner Society have granted an Emerging Wagner Singers award to AMF Alumna, soprano Samantha Crawford. This will help provide German coaching and audition support, all valuable steps in helping Samantha to prepare for Wagner roles such as Eva and Elsa. 

Samantha will be appearing at St. Botolph's Church Hall on 5th October, in a concert for the Wagner Society, London, featuring works by Strauss and Wagner, and talk about her experiences at the Bayreuther Festspiele.

Photo shows Samantha at the Bayreuth Wagner Festival this summer

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