Orchestra Victoria has announced the launch of the Richard Bonynge Orchestral Fellowship, which trains pre-professional musicians in the special art of opera and ballet accompaniment. Created in the legendary conductor’s name, the recipient of the Fellowship will work closely with Orchestra Victoria throughout 2020. One of Australia’s specialist pit orchestras, Orchestra Victoria is a long-established performance partner for Australia’s national ballet and opera companies.

Lady Potter, Nicolette Fraillon, Rebecca Adler and Richard Bonynge. Photo © Casey Horsfield

In addition to being mentored by a number of leading conductors as well as musicians in the orchestra, the successful candidate will also have the opportunity to participate in performances with Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet and Victorian Opera. In its inaugural year, the Fellowship is seeking tutti violinists who are 18 years or older, with the specified instrument to change every year. The Fellowship is made possible through the generosity of Lady Potter AC, CMRI.

Speaking about the specific value of the Fellowship, Bonynge said, “It’s extremely important because there are many scholarships handed out to musicians – and what do they do with them? They study with the teacher, they study at home – but this Fellowship is wonderful because they’re getting to work and the only way you really learn is to do it. They will have a whole year playing with the wonderful Orchestra Victoria, learning orchestral playing in the pit with the opera or ballet. It’s much more difficult than playing symphony. You must be so flexible, and I am very happy to be associated with this Fellowship.”

“If they have worked with Orchestra Victoria they can go anywhere, do anything,” Bonynge added.

Discussing her involvement with the Fellowship, Lady Potter commented, “I love music, I love the opera, I love ballet and I feel if you don’t support the things you like, you won’t have them.”

Applications for the Richard Bonynge Orchestral Fellowship are now open and will close on October 18

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