The Music Trust Freedman Classical Fellowship 2022 finalists have been announced. They are harpist Emily Granger and violists Henry Justo and Katie Yap.
Established in 2001, the Freedman Classical Fellowship is open to Australian classical musicians aged 35 and under and is endowed with a prize of $21,000. The prestigious scholarship has already been won by highly regarded musicians including Genevieve Lacey, William Barton, Joseph Tawadros, Claire Edwardes and Eugene Ughetti, with Victorian violinist Kyla Matsuura-Miller taking the award in 2021.
The 2022 finalists were selected from 16 entrants, after being nominated by leading classical musicians from across the country.
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 Australia is. 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 chosen in a deciding final which will take place in the Utzon Hall of the Sydney Opera House on July 30 in front of a public audience and the jury.
Emily Granger is an Australian-American harpist who straddles the worlds of classical, popular and art music. She has performed as a guest principal harpist with the Chicago, Sydney and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, and has given chamber performances with the Offspring Ensemble, the Omega Ensemble and the Nexas Quartet.
For her Freedman project, she commissioned and premiered a new harp concerto from her longtime collaborator, composer Tristan Coelho. The 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.
Born in Brisbane, Henry Justo now lives between Hobart and Germany. He plays with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and is a Master of Music student with Volker Jacobsen at HMTM Hannover. He has performed with Sydney Chamber Opera, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Offspring, Inventi Ensemble and Ensemble Apex.
Her proposed scholarship project would explore the often tortuous interactions between the individual and the tech-laden world. Together with media artist Mike Daly, he plans to develop a program of works for viola and electronics, including commissioned works from composers Cathy Milliken and Yannis Kyriakides.
Katie Yap has performed with modern and historic ensembles including the Australian World Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Van Diemen’s Band and the Academy of Ancient Music, UK. A great lover of chamber music, she is the artistic director of the Wattleseed Ensemble and the 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, she explores the links between folk, baroque and new music styles, and is fascinated by improvisation.
His Freedman Project Multitudes would see her collaborate with Emily Sheppard, Donald Nicolson, Bowerbird Collective and Mindy Meng Wang to create four new works based on Judith Wright’s bird poems, which they will film and then perform in residence at Tempo Rubato.
The Classical Freedman Fellowship will be presented after a final concert, before a public audience, at the Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House on 30 July at 3pm. The scholarship is managed by The Music Trust and administered by the Sydney Improvised Music Association. More information can be found here.