The Australian Chamber Orchestra has announced the participants in its prestigious Emerging Artists program for 2019. The eight talented young musicians, selected through a competitive audition process, will work alongside the ACO’s musicians in rehearsals and performances as members of ACO Collective, the orchestra’s education and regional touring ensemble, which is directed by Pekka Kuusisto.

Australian Chamber Orchestra, Emerging Artists, ACOThe Australian Chamber Orchestra’s 2019 Emerging Artists. Photo © Zan Wimberley

This year’s participants are violinists William Huxtable (WA), Gemma Lee (NSW), Mana Ohashi (VIC), Harry Ward (NSW), violists Molly Collier-O’Boyle (QLD), Mariette Reefman (NSW), cellist James Morley (SA) and double bassist Jaan Pallandi (NSW).

“We are delighted to announce our eight Emerging Artists for 2019 – the largest ever cohort in the program’s 12-year history,” said the ACO’s Managing Director, Richard Evans. “We are immensely proud of the ongoing success of this program, which has seen Emerging Artist alumni go on to work with professional orchestras around the world, including six graduating to become members of the ACO.”

Australian Chamber Orchestra, Emerging Artists, ACOACO violinist Glenn Christensen and Emerging Artist William Huxtable. Photo © Zan Wimberley

Each of the Emerging Artists will be paired with a mentor from the orchestra. Violinist William Huxtable, who is 22 years old, will be paired with Glenn Christensen, himself an alumni of the program. “One of the most riveting and joyous experiences I’ve had was participating on a side by side tour with the ACO in early 2018, as an Australian National Academy of Music student,” said Huxtable. “So to have the opportunity to perform and rehearse with ACO musicians throughout 2019 is incredibly exciting. They are insightful, innovative and inspiring people who are very fun to work and perform with and I also have the wonderful opportunity to be mentored by ACO violinist Glenn Christensen.”

“One of my passions in music is chamber music and I can’t wait to spend the year surrounded by some of the best in the world at it,” Huxtable said.

While the eight Emerging Artists are all 25 or under, they have some serious runs on the board already, professionally and in other emerging artist programs. Violist Molly Collier-O’Boyle, for example, performed under Riccardo Muti last year as the 2018 Australian World Orchestra Academy Musician, while Jaan Pallandi already has a position in the double bass section of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

Glenn Christensen isn’t the only Emerging Artist to have found a permanent home in the orchestra, with violinists Liisa Pallandi, and Thibaud Pavlovic-Hobba, and violist Elizabeth Woolnough all having ’emerged’ from the program and into the ACO’s ranks.