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The ANU School of Music has announced that leading conductor, harpsichordist and fortepianist Dr Erin Helyard is to join the staff as a Lecturer in Music from July 2014.
Helyard, who is best known in Australia for his pioneering work with Pinchgut Opera and as Artistic Director of Hobart Baroque, is at the forefront of the rising generation of young musicians who combine the latest in musicological and historical enquiry with a passion for promoting live music in contemporary culture.
“I am delighted to be returning to Australia,” said Helyard, “and also to be joining an institution which not only gives me access to a world-class faculty and an extraordinary collection of historic keyboard instruments but also shares my passionate commitment to the highest values of scholarship, performance, and outreach. I look forward very much to contributing to the vibrant musical life of Canberra and beyond.”
Helyard is currently a Lecturer in Historical Performance at the New Zealand School of Music but has found time over the past year to direct an acclaimed production of Cavalli’s Il Giasone for Pinchgut and the outstanding staging of Handel’s Orlando that was the centrepiece of this year’s Hobart Baroque festival. He was to have been paying a flying visit to Australia to conduct Salieri’s The Chimneysweep for Pinchgut in July. Now it looks as if Australian audiences can, in addition to that outing, look forward to more of his insightful music making over the next few years.
A rapidly rising star, Helyard studied harpsichord at Sydney Conservatorium before completing a Masters in fortepiano and a PhD in musicology at the Schulich School of Music, McGill University, Montréal in 2011. He is a former member of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, a part of the award-winning Ensemble Caprice and a central founding member of the Orchestra of the Antipodes.
Making the announcement, Head of the School of Music, Professor Peter Tregear praised his latest recruit saying, “Erin is internationally regarded as one of the finest virtuoso-scholars of his generation, a musician with an already outstanding reputation as an expert in historically informed performance”.