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Young Australian violinist Courtenay Cleary, who is currently studying in London, had a right royal time on Monday when she played for a distinguished audience including Her Majesty The Queen, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and other VIP guests.
Courtenay Cleary performs for the Royal Family at Westminster Abbey. Photograph courtesy of ABRSM
Cleary, who is currently studying on a full ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) Scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music, performed at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey. Organised by The Royal Commonwealth Society, the service is Britain’s largest annual multi-faith celebration, and features a programme of testimonies, readings and musical performances.
Born in Brisbane, 23-year old Cleary played the Largo from Bach’s Sonata No. 3 in C Major. Other performers included Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman and the Choir of Westminster Abbey.
“I feel incredibly honoured to have had the opportunity to play for the Royal Family and other distinguished guests at the Commonwealth Service. It was an awe-inspiring experience to play at such a prestigious venue as Westminster Abbey and to have my performance broadcast live on the BBC is a dream come true,” said Cleary.
Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh at the Commonwealth Service. Photograph courtesy of ABRSM
ABRSM is the UK’s largest music education body, one of its largest music publishers and the world’s leading provider of music exams. Every year it provides more than 70 scholarships for talented British and international musicians to study at Britain’s four Royal Schools of Music.
“Without ABRSM, I would not be able to study at the Royal Academy of Music and I'm so grateful for all the wonderful opportunities studying in London has led to. Highlights for me include performing with the Birmingham Royal Ballet Sinfonia and a solo recital at Regent Hall,” said Cleary.
Cleary studied at the Australian National Academy of Music and at the University of Queensland, where she received the Sleath String Scholarship for being an outstanding student. She has previously performed at the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition as part of an Australian quartet.
Just last month, as reported by Limelight, another young Australian violinist – Sydney-born Emily Sun – played with Maxim Vengerov at Buckingham Palace at a Royal Gala hosted by HRH Prince Charles.