Three finalists will compete for the 2018 Freedman Classical Fellowship, which awards a classical instrumentalist of up to 30 years of age a $20,000 cash prize to undertake a career-enhancing creative project. Violinist Courtenay Cleary, percussionist Thea Rossen and clarinettist Oliver Shermacher will duke it out at the finalists’ concert later this month.

Cleary, Rossen and Shermacher

Courtenay Cleary hopes to undertake a series of three concerts showcasing new and existing Australian solo and chamber works, which she hopes will result in a second collaborative EP with Heim.

Thea Rossen intends to use the Fellowship to work with internationally renowned percussionist Maria Finkelmeier and her ensemble Masary Studios in Boston on a large-scale immersive performance piece that explores climate change.

Oliver Shermacher, a recent finalist in the ABC Young Performers Awards, plans to commission composer Alice Chance, in consultation with director Julia Robertson, to write a substantial work for solo clarinet featuring visual effects and spoken word. He intends to tour this work in Australia, Zealand and Germany.

This year’s winner will be selected by judges Elaine Chia, CEO of City Recital Hall, Raf Wilson, Director of Artistic Planning for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and pianist Sonya Lifschitz.

Last year’s winner was bassoonist Matthew Kneale.


The finals concert is at Eugene Goossens Hall, ABC Centre on September 29

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