This year’s finalists are bassoonist Matthew Kneale, flautist Tamara Kohler, and pianist Alex Raineri.

Three finalists are up for the 2017 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. The finalists selected from an impressive eight nominees are bassoonist Matthew Kneale, flautist Tamara Kohler, and pianist Alex Raineri (a finalist last year). The winner will be chosen at a finalists’ concert on September 9. 

“Our partnership with ABC Classic FM brings three passionate music makers with outstanding talent and musical vision to audiences around the country. This will be an evening of spectacular performances,” said Dr Richard Letts, Director of the Music Trust, which manages the Freedman Fellowship. “The finalists’ proposed projects demonstrate clear strategic benefits for their future careers, and will bring the talents of a number of Australian composers and performers to much greater audiences.”

Matthew Kneale hopes to undertake an international concert tour to highlight the solo and chamber possibilities of the bassoon, performing repertoire written for him by Australian composer Holly Harrison and Katy Abbott.  

Tamara Kohler’s proposal, on the other hand, involves the release of her first solo EP through a series of music videos. She also hopes to give the world premieres of three new solo commissions accompanied by visual media from composers Jakob Bragg, Holly Harrison, and a work for her ensemble Rubiks Collective.

Alex Raineri also proposes to tour newly commissioned Australia works for solo piano across Europe and New Zealand, introducing an international audience to the work of Australian composers James Ledge, Samantha Wolf, Liam Flenady, Samuel Smith, Corrina Bonshek and Chris Dench.

This year’s winner will be chosen by judges Dr Stephen Mould (Senior Lecturer in Conducting and Opera Studies at the NSW Conservatorium of Music); Elaine Chia (CEO of City Recital Hall); and Kirsten Williams (Associate Concertmaster of the SSO). 


The finalists’ concert will be held on September 9 at the Eugene Goossens Hall, broadcast live by ABC Classic FM.

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