The finalists for The Music Trust’s 2022 Freedman Classical Fellowship 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 carries a $21,000 prize. The prestigious Fellowship has previously been won by highly regarded musicians including Genevieve Lacey, William Barton, Joseph Tawadros, Claire Edwardes and Eugene Ughetti, with Victorian violinist Kyla Matsuura-Miller securing the prize in 2021.
The 2022 finalists were selected from 16 entrants, after being proposed by leading classical musicians from around the country.
This year’s judging panel includes Professor Kim Cunio (Head of ANU School of Music), Kirsty McCahon (Australia’s leading practitioner of Historical Performance Practice, Contra Bass) and Dr Stephen Mould (Senior Lecturer at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and Artistic Director of the Conservatorium Opera).
In a combined statement, the judges said: “The selected finalists are a wonderful reflection of the depth and diversity of music making in Australia today. Never before has Australian music had such an important role in helping to define who and what Australia is. With that in mind, these outstanding and highly creative young artists signal that the future of Australian classical music is in very good hands.”
The winner of the 2022 Fellowship will be chosen at a final decision to take place in the Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House on 30 July in front of a public audience and the panel of judges.
Emily Granger is an American-Australian harpist who straddles the worlds of classical, popular and art music. She has appeared as Guest Principal Harpist with the Chicago, Sydney and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, and has given chamber performances with Ensemble Offspring, Omega Ensemble and Nexas Quartet.
For her proposed Freedman project, she would commission and premiere a new harp concerto from long-time collaborator, composer Tristan Coelho. The three-movement work will be premiered in Sydney with Ensemble Apex and in Houston, Texas with Rice University Contemporary Ensemble as an Artist-in-Residence.
Born in Brisbane, Henry Justo is now based 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 the Sydney Chamber Opera, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Offspring, Inventi Ensemble and Ensemble Apex.
His proposed Fellowship project would explore the often tortuous interactions between the individual and the tech-laden world. Working 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 performs in both modern and historically-informed ensembles including the Australian World Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Van Diemen’s Band and Academy of Ancient Music, UK. A great lover of chamber music, she is Artistic Director of Wattleseed Ensemble and the 3MBS Women In Music Festival – ella She Wrote, and a founding member of the Chrysalis Harp Trio and prog-baroque quartet Croissants & Whiskey. In her own projects, she explores the connections between folk, baroque and new music styles, and is fascinated with improvisation.
Her Freedman project Crowds 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 a residence at Tempo Rubato.
The Classical Freedman Fellowship will be presented after a final concert, in front of a public audience, at the Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House on 30 July at 3pm. The Fellowship is managed by The Music Trust and administered by the Sydney Improvised Music Association. More information can be found here.