What a year this has been for our young musicians and AYO alumni! Here are some of their impressive achievements from the past 12 months.

Woman in black and white with trumpet in black background with colour and white swirls

Jenna Smith was awarded the 2017 Accenture Scholarship. Every year, our Principal Sponsor, Accenture, offers a $10,000 cash scholarship to an outstanding musician selected for the Australian Youth Orchestra. The scholarship provides financial support for the recipient to participate in AYO programs and to pursue further study, travel, or instrument acquisition. Jenna has used the scholarship to purchase a new D flat trumpet, and to explore study opportunities in the USA.

A great number of AYO musicians received grants from the Ernest V. Llewellyn Memorial Fund for string players. These musicians include the Geist String Quartet, Jasmine Baric, Emma Martin, Yena Choi, Molly Collier-O’Boyle, Julia Doukakis, Mikhael Kharrat, Miles Mullin-Chivers and Jovan Pantelich.

AYO bassoonist Matthew Kneale received a Freedman Classical Fellowship which will allow him to embark upon a world tour. Matthew plans to “shatter preconceived notions by presenting the bassoon as a brilliant solo and chamber entity in its own right” and will present works by Australian composers Holly Harrison and Katy Abbott.

AYO cellist Andrew Leask was invited to take part in a masterclass with internationally renowned cellist Pieter Wispelwey on his recent tour to Melbourne this year.

AYO violinists Riley Skevington, Mitzi Gardner and Johnny van Gend reached the final of the Kendall National Violin Competition, with Riley going on to win first place!

AYO alumna Kyla Matsuura-Miller was presented with the Richard Pollett Memorial Award, which is made annually to provide support and encouragement to young violinists who display both outstanding personal and musical attributes. Kyla is a talented violinist and a passionate advocate of mental health awareness in the classical music community.

AYO alumnus Colin Prichard achieved first place in the International Trombone Competition of Alsace.
Double bass players Jason Henery and Kinga Janiscewski achieved second and third place in the inaugural double bass competition at Melbourne Conservatorium of Music Double Bass Day.

AYO clarinettist Oliver Shermacher came second in the Gisborne International Music Competition, winning a scholarship from the J & T Hickey Charitable Trust. Several other AYO musicians were a part of the competition, including cellist Caleb Wong, who won the Most Promising Player Award, and violinist Amanda Chen, who was awarded the Professor Jack Richards Scholarship Prize.

AYO alumnus Jennen Ngiau-Keng has established an exciting new competition for violinists. The 2018 Melbourne Violin Competition aims to encourage violin players, support the art culture of Melbourne and promote the practice and performance of solo works by J.S. Bach.