Over the course of the last week of August, nine musicians on the verge of their own orchestral careers will immerse themselves in the world of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra as part of the 2022 MSO String Fellowship. This program is one of two exciting Orchestral Career Development programs AYO has on offer, the other being the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra Fellowship which took place in May this year…

In contrast to the large-scale ensemble programs within the AYO organisation, these fellowships offer participants a specialised experience with one-on-one lessons and workshops with a mentor from the orchestra. The intensive week of coaching culminates in an audition for a place on the orchestra’s casual list.  

Hayasa Tanaka, a participant of the 2019 AYO Orchestral Development Program poses with members of the MSO Viola section.
Hayasa Tanaka (second from right), a participant of the 2019 MSO String Fellowship, pictured with members of the viola section of the orchestra. From left to right: Chris Cartlidge, Lauren Brigden, Gabrielle Halloran, Anthony Chataway, Trevor Jones, William Clarke.

Melbourne-based violist Aidan Filshie is eager to benefit from the wisdom of professional orchestral musicians at the top of their game: “As a young musician trying to find my feet in the profession, opportunities to learn from those with years of experience in the industry are highly valuable. The MSO String Fellowship provides such a forum, and I am looking forward to receiving guidance and insight to further my musical abilities.”

Hayasa Tanaka, a violist who took part in the last MSO String Fellowship in 2019, notes the workshops tackled a range of topics relating to instrumental technique and overall well-being: “The Alexander Technique one-on-one sessions were very helpful. There are so many simple things that we don’t do in an ergonomic fashion (like sitting down on a chair!) and it was eye-opening to receive personalised tuition about it.

It was meaningful to learn that music-making isn’t just about ‘hitting the dots’ and there is a lot of physical and mental/ psychological self-care that one must pay attention to in order to have a sustainable and healthy career in music.”

Nine participants of the 2022 AYO Orchestral Development Program with Adelaide Symphony Orchestra stand together for a photo.
Participants of the 2022 Adelaide Symphony Orchestra Fellowship. Top row, left to right: Tasman Compton, Charlotte Miles, Shana Hoshino, Jessica Walther, Clare Fox. Bottom row, left to right: Marlena Stanhope, Julia Hill, Alexandra Elvin, Claudia Leggett.

Violinist Daniel Shao, the Principle Second Violin in the Australian Youth Orchestra’s recent three-state tour under the baton of Sir Mark Elder CH CBE, is eager to observe the inner workings of a professional orchestra.

“It is an enormous privilege to participate in AYO’s MSO Fellowship program since it brings forth a plethora of learning opportunities. I’m looking forward to going behind the scenes of a professional orchestra to learn how the musicians rehearse and play, which will enhance the artistry of my own orchestral playing.”