How were you involved in AYO?
I’ve been participating in AYO since 2004, since I was 14. I started with the Young Symphonists, and then a heap of National Music Camps – I think 8! I also played with the actual AYO orchestra from 2007 through to 2013 and undertook a Fellowship with the MSO. I was concertmaster in 2012, and part of 2013.
I think all of the programs are very useful, but to be able to work with musicians like Christoph Eschenbach and Joshua Bell, that was pretty special. Also, just those International Tours – playing at those venues for the first time, was pretty amazing.
How did you find the experience of joining AYO for an International Tour?
I did two tours – the first we went to Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin. It was completely eye-opening to see a totally different culture… on that tour we went to Europe as well… in Copenhagen we played at the Tivoli theatre, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam – I’ve done that a few times now, which is always the best experience.
What were some of the most important opportunities that you were exposed to at AYO?
Being concertmaster really helped my career because I got a principal job at the QSO. I was one of the leaders at the QSO, so the training I had from AYO really helped – at AYO I learnt how to lead an orchestra, to communicate, and to try and help other people if they’re having problems.
As a Richard Pollett Memorial Award recipient, how were you able to make use of AYO’s financial assistance to further your musical education?
I was fortunate enough to receive a lot of financial assistance. I mainly used this for travel lessons after tours, which was fantastic. It helped me focus on improving my skills as a musician. I learnt with David Takeno in London, and Boris Kuschnir in Vienna. I had lessons in Berlin and Hamburg as well. It really opens your eyes to see what is out there in terms of teachers and other musicians.
How did you get to play with the ACO?
I was in QSO for two years, and I saw the ACO job vacancy and thought “Why not give it a go?” as I had done their emerging artists program. I started at the end of September doing a European tour, spent two months in Sydney, then did some training with David Takeno in London before moving down to Sydney.
What is some advice that you would give to a young musician?
Some of the best advice that I did get is just to practice as much as you can. I know it sounds obvious, but the time that you have at university or at school, is probably the most time you’re ever going to get. After that, if you’re in the profession or working, you don’t have as much time. Also take as many chances as you can, and do as many AYO programs as you can – they’re really valuable!
What are your goals for the next few years?
Next few years: I can see myself staying with ACO for a while. I am enjoying it there, it’s amazing, and I want to be there for a long time. Ultimately, one day, I would like to gain a role as a concertmaster somewhere – eventually! But we’ll see!
How were you involved in AYO?