MOST Grants & Scholarships

MOST believes that our most important investment is supporting the arts, music, education and community by recognising and fostering talent and providing life-changing experiences. MOST has primarily realised this vision through scholarships, prizes, grants, competitions, awards and opportunities.

Burger Foundation Scholarship

FOR STUDENTS AT TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY
The Burger Foundation was established by Celia Burger during her lifetime. Mrs Burger wished to assist students who were studying at Tel Aviv University (she was a member of its Board of Governors). She assigned the University a discretion in the allocation of funds to eligible students.
The Burger Foundation provides scholarships for students studying music-related courses at Tel Aviv University.

Chaim Kopilovicius Memorial Scholarship 

FOR STUDENTS AT MORIAH AND MASADA COLLEGES
The Chaim Kopilovicius Memorial Scholarship was established in 1986 from a bequest in the Will of the late Chaim Kopilovicius ‘to financially assist students attending Moriah War Memorial College, or Masada College‘.
As of 2020, over $165,000 has been distributed and in excess of 350 children assisted.

Chaim Kopilovicus (1892-1982) emigrated from Lithuania to Australia via Shanghai in 1936 having established a handbag and leather factory. He lived a very reclusive life having never married nor having his own family. In his last few years he was very unwell with poor eyesight.
At the time of his death his signed Will could not be located and the Public Trustee attempted to take ownership of his Estate. Eventually his last Will was discovered by tapping on the walls of his house. It was hidden in a secret panel.
His home at 34 Ormond Street, Paddington later became known as Beit Chaim and was converted into a home for young Jewish adults with intellectual disabilities to live independently under the supervision of JewishCare, and has continued as a program that provides flexible support for Jewish adults with a disability.
The Chaim Kopilovicus Memorial Scholarship was established in 1986 to financially assist students attending Moriah College and Masada College and, to date, more than 350 Jewish children have benefited. In 2015, Chaim’s generosity extended to supporting two students attendance
at Moriah College Music Camp under the guidance of the Music and Opera Singers Trust and The Moriah Foundation.

It is a remarkable testament to his generosity that thirty years after his passing, there are students in our community that continue to benefit from his 30-year legacy.

Haas Family Trust Scholarship 

FOR SINGERS, CELLISTS, PIANISTS
Kitty Fischer created the Trust to honour the memory of her parents, Paul and Helene Haas. During her lifetime, on the recommendations of MOST®, the Haas Family Trust supported a wide variety of cultural activities.
The Trust has offered scholarships for singers in the Australian Singing Competition and the Opera Awards, for a cellist in association with the ABC Young Performers Awards (YPA) and the Australian Cello Awards, and a pianist in association with the Sydney International Piano Competition.

Kitty Fischer Scholarship

FOR SINGERS, CELLISTS, PIANISTS
Kitty Fischer established the Kitty Fischer Foundation during her lifetime to support the arts. The Foundation has provided scholarships and grants to a number of young performers in support of the Australian Singing Competition, the Opera Awards and the Australian Cello Awards.

Obituary

Nelly Apt Scholarship

FOR SINGERS, INSTRUMENTALISTS, CONDUCTORS
The Nelly Apt Scholarship was established from a bequest by the late Nelly Apt, who left funds to provide financial assistance for young Australian musicians to study in Israel. Scholarships are administered and offered by MOST® and have been awarded in four different areas of achievement: singers, string instrumentalists, conductors and worthy individual projects.

Archives
Past Recipients of the Nelly Apt Scholarship for Conductors
2008

Carolyn Watson, NSW

Carolyn Watson graduated with a Bachelor of Music Education (Honours) from the University of Sydney majoring in violin performance and music education before accepting a place at the Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute of Music in Hungary. While there, Carolyn also studied violin at the Liszt Academy in Budapest before furthering studies in Dresden, Germany.

On returning to Australia Carolyn was appointed to the music faculty of Sydney Grammar School and named Strings Coordinator in 2005. While there she founded the Old Sydneian’s String Orchestra, comprising Grammar alumni. In 2007 she was a Fellow of the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival and School where she studied with David Zinman and the next year she was awarded the Nelly Apt Scholarship for conducting. As a result of this scholarship, Carolyn spent time with the Israeli National Opera, where she assisted on a production of Carmen.

In 2010 Carolyn was assistant to Sir Charles Mackerras, collaborating on his two last productions at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden and Glyndebourne Festival Opera. She has recently completed residencies at the Staatsoper Berlin and at the Staatsoper Hamburg.

Carolyn is currently based in Sydney where she lectures at Sydney Conservatorium and is Conductor-in-Residence at the Conservatorium High School, while continuing to conduct on a regular basis.

2001

Benjamin Northey, VIC

After graduating with First Class Honours from Melbourne University in 2000, conductor Benjamin Northey undertook ten weeks intensive daily study with Finnish maestro Jorma Panula in Sydney as part of the Symphony Australia Conductor Development Program. He was subsequently awarded multiple prizes, including the 2001 Nelly Apt Scholarship and the 2002 Brian Stacey Memorial Trust Prize for Australian conductors.

In 2002 he was accepted as the highest placed applicant to the prestigious Sibelius Academy conducting class in Helsinki where he studied with Leif Segerstam. His 2005 diploma concert with the Sibelius Academy Symphony Orchestra was awarded the international jury’s highest possible mark. In 2006 he completed his formal studies as a guest student under Jorma Panula at the Stockholm Royal Academy of Music.

Northey made his critically acclaimed professional debut in 2003 conducting Beethoven Symphony No 6 with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. In 2005 he appeared in Austria with the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg and assisted Leif Segerstam in Latvia with the Liepaja Symphony Orchestra. Since returning to Melbourne in 2006, Northey has become a leading figure in orchestral music, performing with orchestras throughout Australia, as well as highly regarded international orchestras such as the London Philharmonic. He won the 2010 Melbourne Prize Trust Outstanding Musician Award and in 2011 was appointed to the Patricia Riordan Associate Conductor Chair of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Benjamin conducted the Australian Opera & Ballet Orchestra at the 2011 IFAC Australian Singing Competition’s Finals Concert.

1998

Luke Dollman

Luke Dollman began his musical life as a violinist, performing with many Australian orchestras on both modern and baroque violin. After deciding to focus on conducting, he furthered his studies at the renowned Sibelius Academy in Helsinki where he was awarded a Masters of Music. Luke has also studied with Kurt Masur as part of the Allianz Foundations program, rehearsing and performing with the London Philharmonic in the process.

In 1998, Luke received the Nelly Apt Scholarship for a conductor and went on to win First Prize in the Symphony Australia Westfield Conducting Competition in 2000.

Luke was Assistant Conductor to Edo de Waart at the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic from 2001 to 2003. In 2005 Luke made his UK debut with BBC National Orchestra of Wales in a main series concert that was broadcast on BBC Radio 3, and has since returned to them many times for concerts and recordings. In 2009 he made a highly successful French debut, conducting the Monte Carlo Philharmonic for the opening concert of the Besançon Festival. He has conducted regularly for the Sydney Symphony and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Opera Australia and the Finnish National Opera and been a guest conductor at the Guildhall School of Music, Royal Conservatorium of The Hague, Sydney Conservatorium, the University of Auckland, and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.

1997

Jude Mete, WA

1996

Kynan Johns, SA

Since winning the Nelly Apt Scholarship for a Conductor in 1997, Kynan Johns has forged an international reputation and won numerous prizes including Young Australian of the Year in 1999 and first place in the prestigious Dimitris Mitropoulos International Conducting Competition in 2002.

Kynan Johns completed a BMus (composition) at the Elder Conservatorium, Adelaide, and Masters (conducting) at the Sydney Conservatorium, making his professional debut in 1997 with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. He has since conducted for over 60 orchestras and opera companies throughout the world including the Israel Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Sydney Symphony, Orchestra of St Luke’s and the Vienna Chamber Orchestra.

As a regular assistant conductor to Maestro Lorin Maazel, Johns assisted on Maazel’s 1984 at Covent Garden in 2005, was engaged to conduct performances of Britten’s Turn of the Screw in 2006 and in December of the same year, stepped in for Maazel at late notice, to conduct Don Giovanni in Valencia, Spain. He is now Resident Conductor to Maazel and Maestro Zubin Mehta.

Recent highlights have included Verdi’s Luisa Miller and Don Carlos in Spain, Brahms’ Requiem in the Netherlands and Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony with the Israel Philharmonic. Kynan also serves as Director of Orchestras at Rutgers University, New Jersey.

1999

Max Xinyu, China

Max Xinyu was born in China and initially studied piano under Professors Xiao Wei-Liu and Xiaojian-Zhou at Hebei University. He furthered his studies in piano and conducting at Beijing’s Central Conservatory, completing a Master of Music degree in both disciplines. From 1989 to 1994, he was assistant conductor at Hebei Theatre Symphony Orchestra, moving to Singapore and then Australia in 1997.

In 1999, Max won the Nelly Apt Scholarship in the Westfield Young Conductor of the Year competition and was subsequently selected as a Junior Fellow with the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK. Max has more recently attended masterclasses in Vassa, Finland, and Verona at the invitation of Jorma Panula.

Max has worked with many orchestras in Europe, Australia and Asia including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Verona Opera Orchestra, the Vaasa Symphony Orchestra, and the Hong Kong Symphony Orchestra. He has also worked with the Sydney New Philharmonic Choir as Artistic Director and Conductor.

Past Recipients of the Nelly Apt Scholarship for String Players
2015

Lily Higson-Spence, violin

Lily Higson-Spence (17), was a finalist in the 2015 ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards, and received awards for Audience Choice, Best Recital, and the Nelly Apt Scholarship. She also won the 2015 NSW Doctor’s Orchestra Scholarship for Instrumentalists, the Melbourne Recital Centre Bach Competition, and received third prize at the Australian Youth Classical Music Competition.

In 2014 Lily was awarded first prize at the prestigious Alf and Pearl Pollard Memorial Awards, was a semi-finalist at the Gisborne International Music Competition and won third prize in the Australian Open Concerto and Vocal Competition. Lily currently studies at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM).

2014

Anna Da Silva Chen, violin

2014

Edward King, cello, NZ

Awarded at the 2014 Australian Cello Awards.

2012

Katerina Nazarova, violin, TAS

Born in Tasmania, Katerina Nazarova began playing the violin and piano at a very early age, first learning from her mother and then from Barbara Jane Gilby. Her solo debut at age 11 with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra was broadcast nationally on ABC Television. She has attended chamber music courses at the Australian National Academy of Music and has also participated in the Australian Youth Orchestra Young Symphonists program. She studied with Berent Korfker at the Royal College of Music in London, where she won the RCM Concerto Competition and participated in the Rising Stars series, and has taken master classes and lessons with Glenn Dicterow, Pierre Amoyal, Victor Danchenko, György Pauk and Tibor Varga, among others.

Katerina performs regularly with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, the Hallé and the Philharmonia Orchestra, and leads various other orchestras and ensembles including the Cosima Piano Quintet. She has given recitals at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, the Elgar Room at the Royal Albert Hall, Cadogan Hall, LSO St Luke’s, and in Italy, Germany and the United States, where she has appeared at the Kennedy Center and worked with Lorin Maazel on Britten’s Albert Herring and The Turn of the Screw. Forthcoming projects include recitals in Portugal as violinist and pianist with cellist Tim Hugh.

2011

Emily Sun, violin, NSW

Emily Sun began playing violin at a young age, after being introduced to the instrument by her father who was a composer, violinist and conductor. Tragically, her father was killed in a car accident when Emily was only five years old.

2011 was a big year for 20-year-old Emily. In January the second-year Sydney Conservatorium of Music student was awarded a scholarship to study at Royal College of Music, London. She won the Strings category at the ABC Sydney Symphony Young Performer of the Year competition and was awarded the Nelly Apt Scholarship for an Instrumentalist. And she won hearts across Australia playing the central role in the critically acclaimed documentary Mrs Carey's Concert, which screened in cinemas across the country.

The documentary, directed by Bob Connelly (Rats in the Ranks) and Sophie Raymond, chronicles the journey of a group of gifted but not-always-obedient teenage musicians at MLC, a private Sydney girls' school in Burwood, as they prepare for the biennial end-of-year concert at the Opera House. Emily's performance of Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 in the Sydney Opera House is featured in the film.

2010

Richard Pollett, violin, SA

Violinist Richard Pollett was born in Adelaide and studied with Michele Walsh at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, where he received the University Medal. He also completed postgraduate studies with Massimo Quarta at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana. On returning to Australia, Richeard studied at the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne with Paul Wright.

Richard won the Queensland Orchestra Young Instrumentalist Competition in 2002. He was a finalist in the ABC Symphony Australia Young Performer Awards in 2006 and 2007 before winning the Strings division and the Nelly Apt Scholarship for an Instrumentalist in 2010.

As a soloist Richard has appeared with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra as well as the Orchestra of Lugarno in Switzerland. He has participated in music festivals in Europe and the UK with cellist Robert Cohen, toured Europe with the Australian Youth Orchestra and participated in the AYO Young Australian Concert Artists program. He has participated in masterclasses with Ivry Gitlis, Adelina Oprean, Howard Davis, Rudolf Koelman, Oleh Krysa, Charles Castleman and the Henschel Quartet.

Richard was a finalist for the 2011 Dorcas McLean Travelling Scholarship for Violinist.

Richard tragically passed away in Queensland as a result of an accident in September 2011.

2009

Ji Won Kim, violin, VIC

Violinist Ji Won Kim began her musical studies at the age of four. At 16 she entered the Vienna Musik Hochschule, graduating with high distinction in 2004. She then completed a Master of Music degree at the University of Melbourne, studying with Nelli Shkolnikova, and most recently has been a student of Alice Waten at the Sydney Conservatorium.

Ji Won Kim received a number of scholarships during her studies, including the Nelly Apt Scholarship in 2009. She has won several national and international awards including the?Hephzibah Menuhin Memorial Award in 2007) and the Australian Concerto and Vocal Competition in 2008.

Ji Won Kim has performed as soloist with the Sydney, Adelaide and Queensland symphony orchestras, as well as the Seoul Prime Orchestra, Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra, Anton Bruckner University Orchestra and Swietokrzyska Philharmonic Orchestra. She has performed in international music festivals in Salzburg, New York, Tokyo, Sion and Tel Aviv.

In 2009, she was named the ABC Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year following a performance of the Sibelius Violin Concerto. In 2010, she received standing ovations at consecutive performances with Sydney Symphony at the Sydney Opera House. She is a member of the recently formed Melbourne Piano Trio and winner of the 2011 Sydney Symphony Fellowship. Her debut CD was released in 2011.

2008

Rebecca Chan, violin, VIC

Melbourne-born violinist Rebecca Chan has been performing since the age of four. At 15, she began studying at the Melbourne University Conservatorium with William Hennessy while completing degrees in Medicine and Arts and went on to win the University’s JS Bach Prize. In 2004 she began studying with Alice Waten at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM).

In 2008, Rebecca won the strings section of the ABC Young Performers Awards and was awarded the Nelly Apt Scholarship. Other prizes and awards include winning the Australian National Academy of Music’s Concerto Competition twice (2005 and 2007) and the Mikkeli Prize at the International Citta di Brescia Violin Competition in 2010. She was subsequently invited to perform with the Mikkeli City Orchestra in Finland in 2011.

As a soloist Rebecca has performed to critical acclaim with many of Australia’s major orchestras under the baton of a renowned conductors including Oleg Caetani, Sebastian Lang-Lessing and Arvo Volmer.

Rebecca was a founding member of the Hamer Quartet, winners of the first prize, the audience prize and the major Musica Viva award for best Australian ensemble in the 2009 Asia Pacific Chamber Music Competition and also voted ‘Best Newcomer’ in the 2009 ABC Limelight Magazine awards. Rebecca was a member of the ACO's Emerging Artists Program in 2008 and joined the ACO in 2010.

2004

Chen Gu, violin, China

Shanghai-born Chen Gu began playing the violin at the age of four. He won first prize in the junior section of the Shanghai Music Competition in 1986 and gave his first public appearance shortly afterwards. In 1993 he was a prizewinner at China’s National Violin Competition and went on to perform in recitals and with major orchestras in Shanghai and throughout China.

Chen Gu moved to Sydney in 1996, and enrolled in the Bachelor of Music degree at the Australian Institute of Music, the only full scholarship student at the time. Over the next few years he won prizes in the National Chopin and Wieniawski Competition in Townsville, the Wieniawski-Lipinski Competition in Lublin, Poland, and the Novosibirsk International Violin Competition in Russia.

In 1999 Chen Gu was a finalist in the Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards and won several competitions and scholarships. In 2000, he was a prizewinner at the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition for Young Violinists in England. In 2004 he was again a finalist in the Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards, winning the Nelly Apt Scholarship for an instrumentalist.

Chen Gu joined the Sydney Symphony as a permanent member in 2001 and has since forged a career as a concertmaster, first with the Sydney Symphony and later with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and Macao Orchestra.

2003

Niki Vasilakis, violin, SA

Nicole Vasilakis commenced her violin studies in Adelaide at the age of four, completing a BMus Hons (Performance) at the Australian Institute of Music (2000-2004) during which time she was musician in residence at St Andrew’s Cathedral School. In 2003 she won the Strings category of Symphony Australia’s Young Performer of the Year Awards, and was awarded the Nelly Apt Scholarship for an instrumentalist. Other awards include the Elder Conservatorium Concerto Prize and the Perry Hart Memorial Prize, which she won twice.

In Australia, Niki has performed with the Melbourne, Tasmanian, Symphony Orchestras, Orchestra Victoria, as well as the Queensland Orchestra. She has also performed with the Wellington Symphony Orchestra, Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra and the Prague Symphony Orchestra. Her debut self-titled album with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra was nominated for an ARIA award.

Niki was nominated for Young Australian of the Year in 2003 and 2004 in recognition of her outstanding achievements in music and commitment to community work, and was named Young South Australian of the Year in 2008. From 2007 to 2011, she performed with Kathryn Selby (piano) and Emma-Jane Murphy (cello) as TRIOZ. Niki has frequently appeared on television, including the SBS series Classical Destinations.

Niki plays an Antonio Guadagnini Violin 1872.

2002

Kristian Winther, violin, ACT

Born in Canberra in 1984, Kristian Winther studied violin with Josette Esquedin-Morgan, and conducting with John Curro, with whom he also made his concerto debut, performing the Sibelius Violin Concerto in 2000. In 2002, Kristian was a finalist in the Sydney Symphony Young Performer of the Year Awards, where he won the Nelly Apt Scholarship for an instrumentalist.

As a soloist he has performed with the Melbourne, Sydney and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, the Auckland Philharmonic, Orchestra Victoria, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and Melbourne Youth Orchestra, and has been Guest Assistant Concertmaster of the Adelaide and Western Australian Symphony Orchestras and the Hong Kong Philharmonic.

From 2007-2008 Kristian was violinist with the TinAlley String Quartet, winning the 2007 Banff International String Quartet Competition, which was followed by critically acclaimed tours of the USA and Europe. Also with the Quartet, Kristian premiered his composition for string quartet “...etude” at the Sydney Opera House in 2008. He has played chamber music with Richard Tognetti and Brett Dean, among others, and appeared as soloist, conductor and leader of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra. Kristian won the 2010 Music Council of Australia Freedman Fellowship for Classical Music.

2001

Pei-Jee Ng, cello, NSW

Cellist Pei-Jee Ng was born in Sydney and grew up in Adelaide, where he studied at the Elder Conservatorium with Janis Laurs and Barbara Yelland. In 2001 he was Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year, and won the Nelly Apt Scholarship for an instrumentalist. Two years later, in 2003, he entered the Royal Northern College of Music on a full scholarship where he studied with Ralph Kirshbaum, graduating with distinction. He was selected for representation by Young Concert Artists Trust (YCAT) in 2008 and won the ‘Libero Lana’ Prize at the 12th Trieste International Chamber Music Competition with his duo partner, pianist Chiao-Ying Chang.

Pei-Jee Ng has performed widely in Australia, Asia and Europe, including appearances with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, all the major Australian orchestras, Sinfonia ViVA and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra at the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur. He has worked with conductors including Arvo Volmer, Rumon Gamba, Paul Mann, Frederico Cortese and Christian Vasquez. His recital work has included concerts at the Lincoln Centre New York, Purcell Room, Wigmore Hall, the Newbury Spring and Gower Festivals, tours of Germany and Australia. In 2008 Melba Recordings released his debut CD, featuring works by Chopin and Kats-Chernin.

Pei-Jee Ng plays a Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume cello of 1844.

2000

Sophie Rowell, violin, SA

Born in Adelaide, Sophie Rowell studied at the Australian Institute of Music in Sydney with Alice Waten before undertaking an Artist’s Diploma at the Cologne Hochschule for Musik with the Alban Berg Quartet. She has also participated in masterclasses with renowned violinists and chamber musicians, including Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Walter Levin (LaSalle Quartet) and Norbert Brainin (Amadeus Quartet).

In 1999 Sophie was awarded Second Prize in the International Mozart Competition in Salzburg and in 2000 won the Symphony Australia Young Performer’s Award and the Nelly Apt Scholarship for an instrumentalist. She has also won New Zealand's Gisborne Music Competition, the Dorothy Fraser Scholarship, the Richard Goldner Scholarship and the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship.

As the first violinist of the Australian String Quartet, which has won more chamber music contests internationally than any other from Australia, Sophie has given concerts and been broadcast throughout Australia, Europe, North America, Japan and New Zealand. Sophie has had solo engagements with all the major Australian orchestras, and in France and been Guest Concertmaster with the Adelaide, Melbourne, and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras and in Jena, Germany. She is a member of the Elder Trio with Lucinda Collins (piano) and Janis Laurs (cello) at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, University of Adelaide where she is a member of the string faculty.

1999

Alexandra Osborne, violin, NSW

Violinist Alexandra Osborne began musical studies at the age of four and made her debut at eight at the Sydney Opera House. She has since appeared in concert with all major Australian orchestras, the Auckland Philharmonia, the SBS Radio & Television Orchestra and the South Bend Symphony, with whom she made her US solo debut in 2004.

Alexandra was a finalist in the 1999 Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards, where she was awarded the Nelly Apt Scholarship for an Instrumentalist. In 2001, she moved to the US and in 2006 graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia after studying with Pamela Frank, Aaron Rosand and Joseph Silverstein.

In 2005 she won a substitute position with The Philadelphia Orchestra and has performed regularly with them ever since. She also performs in the New York-based Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players, The Philly Pops and the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.In 2009 she was appointed to the National Symphony Orchestra by Christoph Eschenbach.

She has performed with numerous international artists including Yehudi Menuhin, Pinchas Zukerman and Midori. She is currently completing a Master of Music at The Juilliard School with Ronald Copes.

1998

Dr Sarita Kwok, violin, NSW

Violinist Sarita Kwok has been featured on stages in Australia and New Zealand, UK and Europe, Israel, Japan and the United States, both as a soloist and with the award-winning Alianza String Quartet.

After being named the James Fairfax Sydney Symphony Orchestra Young Artist she made her debut with the Sydney Symphony at 15 and went on to win the Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year (Strings) award in 1998, where she also received the Nelly Apt Scholarship for an instrumentalist.

As a founding member and first violinist of the Alianza String Quartet (ASQ), Sarita has given debut performances at Japan’s Pacific Music festival, the Aldeburgh Festival in the UK, the Aixen-Provence Festival in France, and at the French Academy in Rome. In October 2007, the ASQ made their Carnegie Hall debut and in the same year won the Plowman Chamber Music Competition.

Sarita Kwok received both the Doctoral and Masters of Musical Arts degrees from the Yale School of Music as a student of Professor Syoko Aki and currently serves on the faculty of the Yale Department of Music.

1997

Kirsten le Strange, violin, NSW

Growing up, Violinist Kirsten Le Strange performed with the Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic Orchestra for a number of years, and with the Australian Youth Orchestra in 1990. In 1992, she was a finalist in the Ku-ring-gai Secondary Schools Concerto Competition and in 1997 she was a finalist in the Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards where she was awarded the Nelly Apt Scholarship for an instrumentalist.

Kirsten moved to London in 1998 to do postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music studying with Lydia Mordkovich, for which she received a DipRAM.

Kirsten has performed as a soloist with Sydney and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras, Baden Baden Philharmonie, Oxford Sinfonia and the orchestras of the Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Royal Academy music schools. She has been guest concert master of the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Concert Orchestra and as Principal Second of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

In 2000, Kirsten formed the Benaud Duo with English pianist Roderick Chadwick. Kirsten has also performed extensively with the IXION and Plus Minus new music ensembles, including recordings for BBC Radio 3, and BBC 2 and Channel 4 television. In 2005, Kirsten recorded with Scott Davie and Trish O’Brien at Sydney Conservatorium of Music and since 2006 she has been a member of the Royal Covent Garden Opera and Ballet Orchestra.

1996

Susie Park, violin, NSW

Sydney-born violinist Susie Park has gained worldwide recognition for her searing emotive range and dynamic stage presence, and plays in the Grammy-nominated Eroica Trio.

Susie first picked up the violin at age three, and made her solo recital debut at the age of five. At 13, she began training under Peter Zhang and the following year, in 1996, she won the Nelly Apt scholarship for an instrumentalist and first prize in the Under 19 division of the Krakow Violin Competition in Poland. In 1997 she was guest soloist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Under the Stars in the Domain and went on become the youngest performer to win the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition for Young Violinists in Boulogne. She was 16.

Susie earned her Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and an Artist Diploma at the New England Conservatory.

She has appeared as soloist with orchestras in the US, South Korea and the Lille National Orchestra in France under the direction of Menuhin. She has played at Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, where The Washington Post hailed her as "prodigiously talented". Susie is currently based in New York City.

Past Recipients of the Nelly Apt Scholarship for Moriah College
2017

Zac Rose

2016

Adam Clennar

2015

Sarit Michael

Past Recipients of the Nelly Apt Scholarship for Any Instrument
1999

Zvi Teichtahl, Cantor

Zvi Teichtahl was awarded the Nelly Apt Grant in 1999 for his cantorial studies. He began singing as a child in Melbourne and has studied in both Australia and Israel.

As Chazan at the North Shore Synagogue, a role he took up in 2008, Zvi leads services, sings with the choir and teaches Barmitvah students.

Zvi shares his time between the synagogue, his work as a Finanical Planner and his family life with wife Mirah, and their four children.

1998

Myra Lowe, Singer

Myra Lowe, a singer, received her grant in 1998 and studied with Professor Tamar Rachum and many other coaches at the University of Tel Aviv.

1996

Imogen Manins, Cellist

Imogen Manins, a cellist who received her grant in 1996, went to Israel for studies in 1997.
A Masters graduate from the Victorian College of the Arts, cellist Imogen Manins has become known for her improvisational music performances; her exploration of new musical ground for cello.

Imogen has collaborated with many of Australia’s best improvisational musicians including pianist Tony Gould, percussionist David Jones, drummer Tony Floyd and guitarist Stella Skinner. She has performed at Australia's international jazz festival at Wangaratta, and at Melbourne's Stonnington Jazz Festival and in 2008 she gave a concert with outstanding Finnish musicians Verneri Pohjola (trumpet) and Olavi Louhivuori (drums).

Imogen has appeared as guest musician on a number of recent, milestone recordings. Her 2008 recording Under the Tall Trees with David Jones and Tony Gould was received with critical acclaim and the track ‘The River Meets the Sea’ won the prestigious 'Instrumental work of the year' at the AMC/APRA Classical Music Awards. A second recording with the trio is in progress, as are several other projects including a recording for the Children's Hospital 'Hush' collection, and performances around Australia and overseas.

1995

Gavriella Goldman, French Horn, Israel

French horn player Gavriella Goldman is a key member of the Goldman Ensemble, known for breathing new life into well-loved works as well as performing original pieces.

Music was part of Gavriella’s life from infancy; her mother is a musician and music educationalist. Born in Israel, Gavriella emigrated to Sydney with her mother and sisters Ortal and Tirzah in 1987, which is when she began to learn French horn. Ortal took up violin, and Tirzah the cello. In 1991 Gavriella became a member of the Sydney Youth Philharmonic Orchestra and, in 1995 was awarded the Nelly Apt Grant at the age of 17. The following year she joined the celebrated SBS Radio and Television Youth Orchestra.

Gavriella returned to Israel where she joined the Young Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and completed a B.Mus (Hons) degree at the Rubin Academy of Music. Later she studied at the University of York where she received the Sir Jack and Lady Lyons Millennium Scholarship.

In 2004 the three sisters established the Goldman Ensemble and the following year they released a debut CD. In 2006 they were chosen to perform a memorial concert for victims of the London bombings at St Martin-in-the-Fields on the first anniversary of the tragedy and were subsequently selected for the City Showcase, London's premier showcasing festival. Though Tirzah left the group in 2011, the Ensemble continues to perform, now with tuba player Ola Ness and percussionist Matthew Green.

Past Recipients of the Nelly Apt Scholarship for Singers
2019

Rebecca Hart, Mezzo, NSW

Rebecca Hart is a young French/Australian mezzo-soprano, currently a Young Artist with Pacific Opera. She holds a Bachelor of Music and a Graduate Diploma in Music (Opera Performance) from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where she received the Dr. Harris Philip Greenberg and Olav Gurney-Jensen Scholarship, and the Patricia Lucas Music Achievement Scholarship.

Roles include Radamisto in Handel’s Radamisto, Prince Orlofsky in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, Ramiro in Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera, Apollo in Mozart’s Apollo and Hyacinthus, Third Spirit in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Endimione in Cavalli’s La Calisto and Lady Jane in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience. Concert repertoire includes Bach’s St Matthew Passion, Bach’s Missa Brevis in A Major, Handel’s Messiah, Jenkins’ The Armed Man, Mozart’s Requiem, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio and Vivaldi’s Gloria.

2018

Katherine McIndoe

Katherine is a soprano from New Zealand, studying for a Masters in Vocal Studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, under Yvonne Kenny. She holds a Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours from the New Zealand School of Music, and was a Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist with New Zealand Opera for 2015/16. She has been selected for development programmes with the Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation and the Dame Malvina Major Foundation, was a Britten-Pears Young Artist at the Aldeburgh Festival, and won the Wellington Aria Competition in 2015.
She recently made her Barbican debut with the small role of Sister Catherine in the UK première of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Her roles include the Governess in The Turn of the Screw, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, Giulietta in I Capuleti e I Montecchi, and Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro.

2017

Shikara Ringdahl, Mezzo, QLD

Mezzo-soprano Shikara Ringdahl is a recent graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University and holds a Bachelor of Music. During her time, there she performed in a range of operatic roles, the most notable being Mrs Herring in Britten’s Albert Herring, directed by Bruce Beresford in 2016.
Last year Shikara was selected to participate in the Lisa Gasteen National Opera School on the Cathryn Mittleheuser Full Scholarship. During this time, she was able to work with coaches and conductors from the Metropolitan Opera and Royal Opera House, as well as perform with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.
Shikara also co-founded the Revival House Project, an art song meets contemporary film project that fully crowd funded a tour to Vienna, Berlin, and Munich, to work with esteemed coaches from opera houses such as the Wiener Staatsoper. She will be performing Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder later this year as part of this project.

2016

Sarah Wang, Soprano, NSW

Sarah has a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, The University of Sydney.

Sarah was a Young Artist with Pacific Opera in 2015 and also attended the 2015 ESTIVO European Chamber Music Summer School. In 2014 Sarah was the winner of the Sydney Eisteddfod Joan Sutherland Memorial Senior Vocal Scholarship (21-25). Sarah has performed roles such as “Fox” in The Cunning Little Vixen and “Papagena” in The Magic Flute both for Pacific Opera and was “Barbarina” in The Marriage of Figaro for Opera New England.

At the end of 2016, Sarah plans to conduct a study, coaching and audition tour in Europe before commencing her Masters degree either here or overseas.

2015

Damian Arnold, Tenor, NSW

Damian has a Bachelor of Music Performance (Voice) from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

In 2014, he was specially selected to represent the Conservatorium at the inaugural Estivo Summer School in Verona, Italy. That same year Damian was the winner of the Male Voices (21-25 years) in the McDonald’s Sydney Eisteddfod.

In 2013, he was a Pacific Opera Young Artist and has gone on to gain extensive performance experience. Damian has frequently appeared as a soloist for various organisations including the Penrith Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Philharmonia Choir and the Sydney Schubert Society.

In 2015, Damian secured his first role with Opera Australia as ‘Rolan’ in their schools-touring production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola. Other recent roles include Don Basilio in The Marriage of Figaro, Mozart in Mozart and Salieri by Rimsky-Korsakov, Hugo in Offenbach's Love By Lanternlight, The Tenor Lover in Puccini's Il Tabarro and Edward in Trial by Jury. Damian hopes to pursue a Masters in Opera Performance in Europe in 2016.

2014

Samantha Clarke, Soprano, WA

Samantha has a Bachelor of Music degree in Classical Performance (Voice) from WAAPA and is now in the process of completing a PostGraduate Diploma in Classical Voice (Opera Studies), also at WAAPA. She has also studied piano for some years. She would like to study for a Masters degree either in the UK or the US, and to apply for various Young Artist Programmes.

Samantha has participated in the Perth International Art Song Festival with Deborah Birnbaum and Graham Johnson as well as in several masterclasses, including with Lisa Gasteen.

At WAAPA Samantha’s chorus work has included Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Vierne’s Les Angelus, and Elgar’s The Music Makers. Solo operatic and theatrical roles include Beth (Little Women), Hansel in (Hansel and Gretel), and Miranda in The Tempest.

Samantha enjoys comedy and her own talents include vocal impressions of singers such as Celine Dion and Britney Spears!

2013

Alexander Knight, Baritone, NSW

With a Bachelor of Music Performance behind him, Alexander Knight is currently completing the second year of an Advanced Diploma of Opera and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. This course of study has given him the opportunity to improve technique, artistic interpretation, theatre skills and choreography. His recent performances include the role of Aeneas in Dido & Aeneas and the role of Uberto in La Serva Padrona.

Once completing his current qualification in Sydney Alexander plans to relocate to Berlin, where he hopes to study a Post-graduate Masters course at the Universität der Künst, before applying to the Young Artist Programmes in Berlin, Munich and Dresden.

2012

Tabatha McFadyen, Soprano, QLD

Tabatha moved from NSW to Queensland in 2009 and completed a Bachelor of Music (Advanced Performance) with Honours at Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University under the tutelage of Prof. Janet Delpratt.

Currently studying with Prof. Lisa Gasteen, Tabatha continues to improve her skills. This has been accompanied by many performances at the university including the role of Zerlina in Mozart’s Excerpts from Don Giovanni and Suor Genovieffa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica.

Tabatha plans to attend the Lisa Gasteen National Opera Summer School later this year before enrolling in a Master of Music (Research) at Griffith University in 2013. During this time she will continue her language studies and hopes to travel to Europe to immerse herself in the cultures and languages that have given rise to the art that she loves.

2011

Naomi Johns, Soprano, NSW

Naomi studied Music Theatre at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), Edith Cowan University, before moving to Sydney in 2004.

Naomi's concert performances include Haydn's Die Schöpfung, broadcast on ABC Classic FM, Mozart's Requiem, J.S. Bach's Magnificat and Haydn's Missa in tempore belli. In 2010 Naomi was a guest soloist for Christmas at St Mary’s Cathedral, broadcast on ABC1. In 2011 she performed with Opera Australia in Macbeth, Lakme, La Boheme, The Pearl Fishers.

2010

Kang Wang, Tenor, NT

Kang Wang, a graduate of Charles Darwin University, where he majored in IT and Music.

He is currently studying at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in Brisbane Kang Wang is a tenor who was born in Harbin, China to parents who are both opera singers. He is currently doing a Graduate Diploma of Opera Performance at the Queensland Conservatorium under Mr Joseph Ward OBE.

Kang won 2010 Nelly Apt Scholarship in the Australian Singing Competition at age 22. The scholarship enables him to travel to Israel to continue his studies in voice at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv which he will take up in 2012. He was also awarded the mentoring Prize with conductor , Giovanni Reggioili which took him to Washington.

Kang was the "People's Choice" of the Dame Joan Sutherland National Vocal Award 2010.

2009

Jade Moffatt, Mezzo, QLD

A mezzo soprano from Toowoomba, Queensland, Jade studied for her Bachelor of Music in Advanced Performance at the Queensland Conservatorium under the tutelage of Professor Janet Delpratt. In 2009, at the age of 19, she was a finalist in the Australian Singing Competition – one of the youngest ever. She won both the prestigious Foster Award and the Nelly Apt Scholarship, which enabled her to travel to Israel to continue her studies in voice at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv. Jade also won the David Harper Award, with prizes including 10 lessons with world-famous opera coach David Harper.

In 2010 Jade travelled to Tokyo to perform the role of Fenena in the International Foundation for Arts and Culture's production of Verdi's Nabucco. In 2011, Jade is completing her final year at the Queensland Conservatorium, where she recently performed as Principessa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica.

2008

Sitiveni Talei

Born in Australia but raised in Fiji, Sitiveni began studying voice at the Australian National University in 2001. He also studied singing in the UK at the Yorke Trust Summer Opera Company in Norfolk and with teachers and coaches at the Royal Northern College of Music. Sitiveni moved to Perth in 2005 and became a member of the West Australian Opera chorus, performing roles in Madama Butterfly and The Love of the Nightingale.

In 2008, Sitiveni won the Australian Singing Competition’s Marianne Mathy Scholarship, the Nelly Apt Schoalrship as well as the audience-voted Foster Award. The Nelly Apt Scholarship enabled him to participate in the Summer School at the International Vocal Arts Institute, Tel Aviv, Israel, in 2009. During his four-week stay he performed the roles of Baron Duphol and Papa Germont in a production of Verdi’s La Traviata, as well as in concert, recitals and master classes.

In 2010 Sitiveni played three major roles with West Australian Opera: Pooh-Bah in The Mikado, Morales in Carmen and Alessio in La Sonnambula. Sitiveni also sang in the inaugural Australian Shakespeare Festival in 2010, both in concert and in the opera Sir John in Love. Recent concert appearances include bass soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Bach's St John Passion, and St Matthew Passion, Faure’s Requiem, and Vaughan Williams’s Five Sacred Songs.

2007

Natalie Aroyan, Soprano, NSW

Natalie Aroyan had a passion for singing from a young age, but it wasn’t until she was 23 that she discovered opera. After graduating with a degree in Business, Natalie completed her Postgraduate Diploma of Opera at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where she undertook the major role of Rosalinde in Strauss’s Die Fledermaus. Other performances during her time at the Conservatorium included The Goddess Diana in the Haydn’s La Fedelta Premiata, Lady Dunmow in Berkeley’s A Dinner Engagement and Lisetta in Haydn’s Il Mondo della Luna.

In 2007, in addition to winning the Foster Award, Natalie was also awarded the Nelly Apt Scholarship. This enabled her to travel to the to the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv where she made connections with the industry professionals from New York and the Metropolitan Opera. In 2008 Natalie won the Opera Foundation New York and the Herald Sun Aria Award.

Natalie is now pursuing her dream of an international performance career, studying in Europe under full scholarship, and at the Mannes College in the New School for Music in New York.

2006

Andrew Finden, Baritone, QLD

Originally from Warwick in South-East Queensland, Andrew completed studies at the University of Southern Queensland and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. In 2006 he was a finalist in the 2006 Australian Singing Competition, where he was awarded the Nelly Apt Scholarship. As a result, Andrew performed the role of Mr Brooke in the Israeli premiere of Mark Adamo’s opera Little Women for Tel Aviv’s International Vocal Arts Institute under the supervision of the composer.

Andrew has completed the prestigious Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under the tutelage of Robert Dean and was awarded the Harold Rosenthal Prize. He has been a semi-finalist in the Fancisco Viñas International Singing Contest, and a finalist in the Stuart Burrows International Voice Award. His repertoire includes the role of Steward in Jonathan Dove's opera Flight for British Youth Opera, Schaunard in La Bohéme for Longborough Festival Opera, Yamadori in Madama Butterfly and Morales in Carmen for the Internationales Opernstudio des Staatstheater in Nuremberg. He has performed as a soloist at the Barbican with the London Symphony Orchestra, with the All Souls Orchestra at the Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, and with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Richard Bonynge.

2005

Anita Watson, Soprano, NSW

After completing a Bachelor of Music from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Australian soprano Anita Watson graduated from the Australian Opera Studio and Cologne Opera Studio as well as the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Anita has won prizes in many prestigious competitions, such as the Australian Singing Competition’s Marianne Mathy Scholarship, Nelly Apt Scholarship and Foster Award, the Queen Sonja International Music Competition in Oslo, Neue Stimmen in Germany and the Placido Domingo Operalia Competition. At the 2009 ARD Music Competition in Munich she first prize as well as the audience prize.

Anita's performed roles at the Royal Opera House included the Flowergirl in Parsifal, First Lady in The Magic Flute, Naiad in Ariadne auf Naxos as well as Gretel and Dewfairy in Hänsel and Gretel. Her other roles have included the title role in Handel's Xerxes, Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare, Lucia in The Rape of Lucretia, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro and Micaela in Carmen for the Australian Opera Studio and Barena in Jenufa for Cologne Opera.

2004

Andrew Goodwin, Tenor, NSW

Andrew Goodwin was born in Sydney, Australia, and began learning the violin at the age of five. He continued to learn the violin, piano and the organ and began singing in St Andrew’s Cathedral choir. In 1999, at age 20, he left Australia to study singing in St Petersburg. In 2004 he was a finalist in the Australian Singing Competition and won the Nelly Apt Scholarship to attend the International Vocal Art’s Institute at Tel Aviv in Israel. The same year he won the Amber Nightingale singing competition at Kaliningrad in Russia. In 2006 successfully auditioned for the Royal Academy of Music.

Andrew Goodwin’s Opera Australia debut was in January 2006 performing the role of Fenton in Falstaff. His repertoire now includes Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and Tamino in The Magic Flute for Opera Australia, Dante in Francesca di Rimini at the St Petersburg Conservatoire, Lensky in Eugene Onegin for the Bolshoi Opera in Moscow, at St Petersburg’s Mikhailovsky Theatre, Milan’s La Scala, and in Japan and Madrid. In 2010 he performed Orpheus in Pinchgut Opera’s production of Haydn’s l’Anima del Filosofo: Orpheus and Eurydice and continues to be a regular soloist with the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra.

2003

Jessica Pratt, Soprano, NSW

Jessica Pratt hails from a musical family – her father is a tenor and director of music at Trinity Grammar School, her brother Daniel is in the rock band Glasshouse and sister Gemma writes folk songs. In addition to the Nelly Apt Scholarship, she has won numerous competitions including the Australian Singing Competition’s Marianne Mathy Scholarship and the Foster Award, The Vienna State Opera Award and the Rome Opera Award. In 2005 she was invited to train at the Rome Opera under the guidance of Gianluigi Gelmetti and later undertook a series of masterclasses with Renata Scotto.

Currently based in Italy, where she studies with Lella Cuberli, Jessica performed in many of the most important European theaters including The Vienna Staatsoper, Teatro alla Scala Milan, Opernhaus Zurich, Teatro dell'Opera di Roma and Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, collaborating with conductors such as Daniel Oren, Kent Nagano, Ralf Weikart, Donato Renzetti, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Christian Thielemann, David Parry and Nello Santi.

Her debut with Teatro alla Scala in Milan as La Prima Donna in Le Convenienze ed Inconvenienze Teatrali, conducted by Marco Guidarini and directed by Antonio Albanese, was televised live throughout Europe and later shown in cinemas and released on DVD. In early 2010 Jessica performed the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor at Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova under the baton of Daniel Oren and subsequently she debuted in the roles of Eudoxie in La Juive with the New Israeli Opera and Juliette in Romeo et Juliette with Teatro Verdi di Salerno.

Recent highlights include Amina in La Sonnambula, the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor at Teatro La Fenice in Venice and her debut with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in the role of The Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute under the baton of Sir Colin Davis.

In 2012, Jessica will make her Opera Australia debut singing the lead role of Leila in The Pearlfishers.

2002

Gillian Ramm, Soprano, WA

After completing her undergraduate training at the West Australian Conservatorium of Music, Gillian joined the Young Artist Program with the West Australian Opera. She was a finalist in the Australian Singing Competition in 2002, where she was awarded the Nelly Apt Scholarship, and other prizes.

She received a scholarship to the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, where she was generously supported by the Peter Moores Foundation, the Tait Foundation and the Ian Potter Foundation of Australia. Here she was also awarded the Ricordi Prize for Opera and the John Cameron Award for Lieder.

She has performed with companies including the English Touring Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the Budapest Festival Orchestra and the West Australian Opera in operas such as Peter Grimes, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Mikado and The Merry Widow. Gillian has performed solo recitals at the London Handel Festival and St James’ Piccadilly and her song repertoire ranges from Grieg and Debussy to Schumann, Wolf and Rachmaninov. Concert appearances include Bach’s St John Passion for Teatro Comunale di Bologna.

2001

Rejieli Shepherd-Paulo, Soprano, VIC

As a child, Rejieli Paulo was encouraged and supported by Churchill Fellow, Jean Heriot, to pursue a career in singing, and joined the Berwick Children’s Choir when she was eight. She trained at the Melba Conservatorium of Music in Melbourne under Lynette Casey-Brereton, graduating with a BMus (Hons) in 1997.

In 1999, Rejieli joined the Chorus of Opera Australia and over the next few years performed in operas such as Don Giovanni, The Pearl Fishers, Tosca and the world premiere of Richard Mills’ Batavia.

In 2001, the same year Rejieli was awarded the Nelly Apt Scholarship, she won the Herald-Sun Aria competition and the Marianne Mathy Schoalrship at the Australian Singing Competition. As a result of her Nelly Apt Scholarship she received an additional scholarship to study at the Manhattan School of Music.

As well as her work with Opera Australia, Rejieli has also performed with the Melbourne City Opera, the Australian National Youth Performing Arts Group, was a guest soloist for ABC Young Performer Awards with the Sydney Symphony, and was engaged as a recitalist in the Temple Square concert series, Utah, USA.

2000

Rachelle Durkin, Soprano, WA

After graduating from Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in 1997, soprano Rachelle Durkin studied at London's Guildhall School of Music under a Ralph Thompson Memorial Scholarship. She made her solo debut in 1999 as Polly Peachum in Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera for the Festival of Perth and in 2000 she won the Marianne Mathy Scholarship and Nelly Apt Scholarship at the finals of the Australian Singing Competition.

In 2001 she won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and joined the Lindeman Young Artists Development Program. She debuted with the Metropolitan Opera as the First Handmaiden in Sly and has been a frequent guest ever since, in roles including Clorinda in La Cenerentola and Frasquita in Carmen. She played Tytania in Baz Luhrmann's groundbreaking production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, has performed at Carnegie Hall, with Opera Australia, Opera Queensland and the West Australian Opera, as well as every major Australian Symphony Orchestra and recitals across the USA and Australia.

1999

Melinda Parsons, Soprano, NSW

Sydney born soprano, Melinda Parsons, came to singing via the French horn, which she played for ten years until she was 17. After changing to singing, she received her Bachelor of Music with a high distinction in her final recital, from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 1998. In the same year she won the Joan Sutherland Society of Sydney Scholarship and in 1999, she was awarded the Nelly Apt Scholarship and a year-long vocal scholarship to the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne.

Melinda was offered a contract with the Zurich Opera Studio in 2001 and in 2003 received a year-long contract with the Graz Opera House. Melinda has now performed in opera houses and sung concert repertoire in every German-speaking country and is currently under a full time contract with the Berlin Radio Choir. She has performed in cities in including Perth, Melbourne, Zurich, Basel, St. Moritz, Tübingen, Tel Aviv, Tokyo and Philadelphia and has sung principal and solo roles in operas including Albert Herring, The Magic Flute, Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.

1998

Blake Fischer, Tenor, VIC

Blake was born in Melbourne, Australia where he attended the Victorian College of the Arts. In 1997 he joined Opera Australia and sang in a total of 17 productions at the Sydney Opera House. In 1997, he was also awarded the Nelly Apt Scholarship for a Singer, which was followed by the Mietta’s City of Melbourne Song Recital Award in 1998. This enabled him to perform recitals all over Australia including Melbourne International Festival and Brisbane International Festival.

Blake moved to the UK where he studied at the Royal Northern College of Music as a Peter Moores Scholar, and was awarded the prestigious Gold Medal in 2003. He has performed with the Cape Town Opera, the Scottish Opera, the Berlin Philarmonic and appeared as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables for the Pimlico Opera. In 2005 he performed the tenor solos in the English Symphony Orchestra's six performances of Handel's Messiah and has appeared as Tamino in The Magic Flute, Danilo in The Merry Widow, and Rodolfo in La Boheme in both the UK and throughout Europe.

1997

Donna-Marie Dunlop, Soprano, ACT

Donna-Maree Dunlop completed her Diploma of Music (Vocal Performance) at ANU in 1992 and a Graduate Diploma of Music (Opera Performance) at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in 1993. In 1996 she performed the title role in Madama Butterfly with the Victorian State Opera, and appeared in Aida and Die Frau ohne Schatten for the 1996 Melbourne International Festival of the Arts conducted by Simone Young, and the following year won the Australian Singing Competition Armstrong-Martin and Nelly Apt Scholarships.

In 1998, Donna-Maree traveled to London to further her studies, where she performed the title role in Tosca to critical acclaim for European Chamber Opera. Donna-Maree’s repertoire includes principal roles in Carmen, Salome and Lulu for Opera Australia, Senta in the State Opera of South Australia’s production of The Flying Dutchman, touring Asia as a cast member of The Phantom of the Opera.

1996

Catherine Jago, Soprano, QLD

A graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Catherine Jago was awarded the Nelly Apt Scholarship for singers in 1996. The same year she received the Elizabeth Muir Memorial Prize in Singing, open to postgraduate students of the Queensland Conservatorium.

1995

Susan Dunn, Soprano, QLD

A graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Susan Lorette Dunn was awarded the inaugural Nelly Apt Scholarship for a singer in 1995. Other major Australian singing competition successes include the State and Commonwealth Finals of the ABC Instrumental and Vocal Competition. In 2000 she was awarded the prestigious Winston Churchill Fellowship.

Susan debuted with Opera Australia in the role of Tzietel in Fiddler On The Roof and with Opera Queensland as Frasquita in Carmen. Other roles in her repertoire have included Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte and Musetta in La Boheme. She has performed extensively both in Australia and overseas, with well-known orchestras and opera companies, as well as shows in London’s West End and on Broadway.

Susan has held positions as lecturer at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and QUT where she also devised programs in music theatre skills and is currently teaching and lecturing within the Voice and Opera Faculty of the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, Houston.

The greatest reward is seeing our participants develop and succeed, through the recognition and encouragement of our MOST programmes. And no matter what their endeavours, MOST is extremely proud to have played an important role in their future. 

ROLAND GRIDIGER OAM
CEO, MOST

Phillip & Myrtle Foster Memorial Award

First awarded in 1989, the Phillip & Myrtle Foster Award arose from a bequest of the late Colin Foster, an Australian opera lover who lived in New York, and who named the Award in memory of his parents. The capital was given to the Trustees of the Sydney Opera House, with a direction that an award be given to ’a student of opera’.

Lloyd Martin AM, General Manager of the Sydney Opera House, consulted MOST and it was agreed to create a prize to be awarded to either a singer or a repetiteur. “This valuable prize will enhance the prestige of The Mathy & Opera Awards, which since its inception has gained international acclaim for its encouragement of young Australian and New Zealand singers”, said Martin.

Between 1989-2002, Phillip & Myrtle Foster Memorial Award recipients were selected by the adjudication panel of The Mathy & Opera Awards, within the Australian Singing Competition (ASC). From 2003 and until 2011, the recipient was selected by audience vote during the Finals Concert of the ASC.

Archives
Recipients of the Foster Award
2011

Emma Moore, Soprano, NSW

Emma is currently completing her postgraduate studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney, having been awarded a Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours in 2009.

In late 2011 Emma will take up a position at the University of the Arts in Berlin in their Master of Opera Course. Her experience as a performer ranges across the Art Song, Operatic and Oratorio repertoire. Recent operatic roles include Dido in Dido & Aeneas; Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw and Eurydice in Les Malheurs d’Orphée. This September she will perform Sandrina in La Finta Giardinera for the Sydney Conservatorium Opera Studio.

2010 Winner

Rachel Bate, Soprano, NSW

Rachel Bate attributes her musical success to her family. From the age of 15, Rachel was encouraged to take part in various choirs, eisteddfods, school musicals and performances at the local church in her hometown of Wollongong.

Rachel completed her Bachelor of Music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2008 and an Advanced Diploma in Opera in 2010. While at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Rachel’s principal roles included Nancy in Britten’s Albert Herring and Frau Fluth in Nicolai’s The Merry Wives of Windsor.

2010 proved to be a very successful year for Rachel. She won the Australian Singing Competition’s Marianne Mathy Scholarship, which provided funding for further study in New York, as well as the Phillip & Myrtle Foster Memorial Award. That year she also won the Opera Foundation of Australia German Opera Scholarship, and the opportunity to join the Cologne Opera Ensemble for their 2011/2012 season.

2009 Winner

Jade Moffat, Mezzo Soprano, QLD

Jade Moffat, a mezzo soprano from Toowoomba, Queensland, studied for her Bachelor of Music in Advanced Performance at the Queensland Conservatorium under the tutelage of Professor Janet Delpratt.

In 2009, at the age of 19, Jade was a finalist in the Australian Singing Competition, where she won the prestigious Phillip & Myrtle Foster Memorial Award and the Nelly Apt Scholarship, which enabled her to travel to Israel to continue her studies in voice at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv. Jade also won the David Harper Award, with prizes including 10 lessons with world-famous opera teacher David Harper.

In 2010, Jade travelled to Tokyo to perform the role of Fenena in the International Foundation for Arts and Culture’s production of Verdi’s Nabucco. In 2011, Jade is completing her final year at the Queensland Conservatorium, where she recently performed as Principessa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica.

2008 Winner

Sitiveni Talei, Baritone, WA

Born in Australia but raised in Fiji, Sitiveni Talei began studying voice at the Australian National University in 2001. He also studied singing in the UK at the Yorke Trust Summer Opera Company in Norfolk and with teachers and coaches at the Royal Northern College of Music. Sitiveni moved to Perth in 2005 and became a member of the West Australian Opera chorus, performing roles in Madama Butterfly and The Love of the Nightingale.

In 2008, as well as winning the Phillip & Myrtle Foster Memorial Award, Sitiveni won the Marianne Mathy Scholarship as part of the Australian Singing Competition and the Nelly Apt Scholarship, which saw him participate in the 2009 Summer School at the International Vocal Arts Institute, Tel Aviv, Israel. During his four-week stay he performed the roles of Baron Duphol and Papa Germont in a production of Verdi’s La Traviata, as well as in concerts, recitals and master classes.

In 2010, Sitiveni sang three major roles with West Australian Opera: Pooh-Bah in The Mikado, Morales in Carmen and Alessio in La Sonnambula, and also sang in the inaugural Australian Shakespeare Festival, both in concert and in the opera Sir John in Love.

Recent concert appearances include bass soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Bach's St John Passion and St Matthew Passion, Faure’s Requiem, and Vaughan Williams’s Five Sacred Songs.

2007 Winner

Natalie Aroyan, Soprano, NSW

Natalie Aroyan had a passion for singing from a young age, but it wasn’t until she was 23 that she discovered opera. After graduating with a degree in Business, Natalie completed her Postgraduate Diploma of Opera at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where she undertook the major role of Rosalinde in Strauss’s Die Fledermaus. Other performances during her time at the Conservatorium included The Goddess Diana in the Haydn’s La Fedelta Premiata, Lady Dunmow in Berkeley’s A Dinner Engagement and Lisetta in Haydn’s Il Mondo della Luna.

In 2007, in addition to winning the Phillip & Myrtle Foster Memorial Award in the Australian Singing Competition, Natalie was also awarded the Nelly Apt Scholarship. This enabled her to travel to the to the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv where she made connections with the industry professionals from New York and the Metropolitan Opera. In 2008, Natalie won the Opera Foundation’s New York Scholarship and the Herald Sun Aria Award.

Natalie is now pursuing her dream of an international performance career, studying in Europe under full scholarship, and at the Mannes College in the New School for Music in New York.

2006 Winner

Michael Lampard, Baritone, TAS

Since winning the Phillip & Myrtle Foster Memorial Award in 2006, Tasmanian Michael Lampard has built a strong reputation nationally and internationally, performing in opera, oratorio, recital and musical theatre with groups including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Pasdeloup, Rome Festival Orchestra, and the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra.

Michael was a quarter finalist in Placido Domingo’s Operalia competition in Paris in 2007, won the DJ Mazda Aria at the Hobart Eisteddfod, and has been a finalist in the Australian Singing Competition on two occasions. In 2010, Michael was selected as a semi-finalist in the prestigious 2011 More than Opera - German Australian Opera Grant held in Melbourne at Melba Hall, and has been a finalist in the Southern Cross Young Achievers Arts Award three times, winning the award in 2011.

In 2010, Michael graduated with a Master of Music from the University of Tasmania, following on from a Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours in 2007. He is currently studying under the tutelage of eminent baritone Konrad Jarnot at the Robert Schumann School of Music in Düsseldorf.

In March 2011, Michael initiated and organised a Concert for Queensland in aid of the Queensland Premier’s Flood Relief Fund, and featured as a soloist.

2005 Winner

Anita Watson, Soprano, NSW

After completing a Bachelor of Music from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Australian soprano Anita Watson graduated from the Australian Opera Studio and Cologne Opera Studio as well as the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

In 2005, Anita won the Australian Singing Competition’s Marianne Mathy Scholarship, the Phillip & Myrtle Foster Memorial Award and Nelly Apt Scholarship. That year she also won the Queen Sonja International Music Competition in Oslo, Neue Stimmen in Germany and the Placido Domingo Operalia Competition. At the 2009 ARD Music Competition in Munich, she won first prize as well as the audience prize.

Anita has performed roles at the Royal Opera House, including the Flowergirl in Parsifal, First Lady in The Magic Flute, Naiad in Ariadne auf Naxos and Gretel and Dewfairy in Hänsel and Gretel. Her other roles have included the title role in Handel’s Xerxes, Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare, Lucia in The Rape of Lucretia, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Micaela in Carmen for the Australian Opera Studio and Barena in Jenufa for Cologne Opera.

Anita made recently her Italian debut at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice in Turn of the screw by Britten and her Salzburg Festival debut as 5th Maid in Elektra. She was recently invited to sing Mimi in La Boheme at the National Reiseoper in Netherlands and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at Salzburg Landestheater and La Fenice, Venice.

Recently, Anita took over the part of Donna Anna in Opera Australia’s current production of Don Giovanni and will return to the Royal Opera in Covent Garden as First Lady in The Magic Flute in 2013.

2004 Winner

Paul O'Neill, Tenor, WA

Paul studied at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts where he completed a Bachelor of Performing Arts (Classical). In 2004, he was a finalist in the Australian Singing Competition, where he received several prestigious scholarships, including the Phillip & Myrtle Foster Memorial Award. He won the Opera Foundation Australia’s Covent Garden National Opera Studio Scholarship in 2005, and has since established a very successful international career.

Paul graduated from the National Opera Studio in 2006 and after studying at the Cardiff International Academy of Voice with Dennis O’Neill, he joined the ensemble and studio of the Staatsoper Berlin in November 2007.

Internationally, Paul’s roles have included Uldino in Attila and Bruno in I Puritani for the Chelsea Opera Group and Il Duca di Mantua in Rigoletto for Opera Holland Park, which he also returned to sing for West Australian Opera in 2007. He also regularly features in the special Proms concerts for Raymond Gubbay at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Paul’s roles at the Deutsche Staatsoper, Berlin, have included Kunz Vogelgesang in Die Meistersinger von Nuernberg, Italian Singer in Der Rosenkavalier, Hirt in Tristan und Isolde, Gralsritter in Parsifal, Messagero in Aida, Spoletta in Tosca, Gastone in La Traviata, and Erste Geharnischte in Die Zauberfloete.

2003 Winner

Jessica Pratt, Soprano, WA

Jessica Pratt hails from a musical family – her father is a tenor and director of music at Trinity Grammar School, her brother Daniel is in the rock band Glasshouse and sister Gemma writes folk songs. In addition to the Phillip & Myrtle Foster Memorial Award, she has won numerous competitions, including the Australian Singing Competition’s Marianne Mathy Scholarship and Nelly Apt Award, The Vienna State Opera Award and the Rome Opera Award. In 2005, Jessica was invited to train at the Rome Opera under the guidance of Gianluigi Gelmetti and later undertook a series of masterclasses with Renata Scotto.

Currently based in Italy, where she studies with Lella Cuberli, Jessica has performed in many of the most important European theaters, including The Vienna Staatsoper, Teatro alla Scala Milan, Opernhaus Zurich, Teatro dell'Opera di Roma and Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, collaborating with conductors such as Daniel Oren, Kent Nagano, Ralf Weikart, Donato Renzetti, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Christian Thielemann, David Parry and Nello Santi.

Her debut with Teatro alla Scala in Milan as La Prima Donna in Le Convenienze ed Inconvenienze Teatrali, conducted by Marco Guidarini and directed by Antonio Albanese, was televised live throughout Europe and later shown in cinemas and released on DVD. In early 2010, Jessica performed the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor at Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova under the baton of Daniel Oren and subsequently debuted in the roles of Eudoxie in La Juive with the New Israeli Opera and Juliette in Romeo et Juliette with Teatro Verdi di Salerno.

Recent highlights for Jessica include Amina in La Sonnambula, the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor at Teatro La Fenice in Venice and her debut with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in the role of The Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, under the baton of Sir Colin Davis.

2002 Winner

Hyeseoung Kwon, Soprano, QLD

After graduating from Seoul’s Han-Yang University with a Bachelor of Vocal Music in 1995, Hyeseoung Kwan moved to Italy to pursue vocal and opera performance studies at the Conservatorium of Milan and the Vercelli Academy. She performed in concert in Milan and throughout Italy in Rossini’s Petite Messe Solenelle, Poulenc’s Gloria, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and Rossini’s Stabat Mater.

In 2002, Hyeseoung moved to Australia to join Opera Queensland’s Young Artist Program. In the same year, she won the prestigious Australian Singing Competition’s Opera Award – which included the Armstrong-Martin Scholarship, the Phillip & Myrtle Foster Memorial Award, and the 4MBS Young Performers Award. In July 2003, Hyeseoung performed the role of Zerlina in Opera Queensland’s production of Don Giovanni to enthusiastic critical acclaim, returning in 2008 to sing Liú in Turandot.

Hyeseoung has performed many of the major lyric roles with Opera Australia, including Falstaff, The Magic Flute, The Marriage of Figaro, The Pearl Fishers, Carmen and Cosi Fan Tutte. She has been a soloist for Opera in the Vineyards in Stanthorpe, Queensland, performed as Mimi in OzOpera’s tour of La Boheme, and has performed in numerous concerts and recitals in Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne. She was nominated for Helpmann & Greenroom’s Awards in 2008 and 2009.

Some of Hyesong’s most recent roles are Micaela in Carmen, Mimi in La Boheme in Sydney and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni.

2001 Winner

Nicole Youl, Soprano, VIC

Nicole Youl is one of Australia’s leading sopranos. Having studied singing with Dame Joan Hammond at the Victorian College of the Arts, she won the Herald-Sun Aria in 1991, then travelled to London for further study. She was a finalist in the 1994 Placido Domingo World Operalia competition in Mexico City and won both the Metropolitan Opera Awards in 1995 and the Rome Opera Award in 1996. In 2001, she won the Australian Singing Competition’s Opera Awards, including the Armstrong-Martin Scholarship and the Phillip & Myrtle Foster Memorial Award.

Since then, Nicole has performed regularly with Opera Australia, Opera Queensland, West Australian Opera and the Victorian State Opera, particularly in the works of Verdi and Puccini. She has performed the title roles in Madama Butterfly and Tosca, Mimi in La Bohème, Leonora in Il Trovatore, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi and Liù in Turandot. Other roles include Elsa in Lohengrin, Micaela in Carmen and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni.

On the concert platform, Nicole has performed as soprano soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, Verdi’s Requiem, Rachmaninov’s The Bells, Bruckner’s Te Deum and Strauss’ Four Last Songs with the major Australian orchestras. Festival appearances include the Queensland Biennial of Music and the Coriole Festival.

2000 Winner

Han Lim, Baritone, NSW

Korean-born Han Lim commenced his studies at Myoung Ji University in Seoul. In 1995, he continued his vocal training at the Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney where he was awarded the Marsh Scholarship for male voice. During his time at the Conservatorium, he performed in Madama Butterfly, Ravel’s L’Enfant et Les Sortileges and the title role in Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse.

Between 1998 and 2000, Han was a full time member of the chorus of Opera Australia, with whom he performed and understudied several principal roles.

In 2000, Han was offered a scholarship to study at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, founded in 1991 by Leonard Bernstein. In the same year he won the Australian Singing Competition’s Opera Awards, including the Armstrong-Martin Scholarship and the Phillip & Myrtle Foster Memorial Award. He was also featured as an emerging artist in the Gala Concert for the Pacific Rim Forum held in Sydney.

Han has since performed regularly with Opera Australia and Opera Queensland and played the role of Marcello in La Bohème for the touring OzOpera production. He has also appeared as a principal artist in Rigoletto, Madama Butterfly and Carmen and completed an extensive tour of Korea as Old Deuteronomy in CATS.

1999 Winne

Adrian McEniery, Tenor, QLD

Tenor Adrian McEniery graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium in 1991 and received awards such as the 1994 Dame Mabel Brooks Award and the 1995 Britten-Pears School Scholarship & Lotus Development Award. In 1999, he won the Australian Singing Competition’s Opera Awards which included the Armstrong-Martin Scholarship and the Phillip & Myrtle Foster Memorial Award. In 2002, he received a Green Room award nomination for his role as Dr S in The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat.

Since then, Adrian has performed extensively with Opera Australia, in roles including Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, First Armed Man in The Magic Flute, and Spoletta in Tosca. He has also performed at the Brisbane Biennial with the New Zealand Opera, WA Opera, Opera Queensland and Operalive in operas including Madama Butterfly, Falstaff and The Merry Widow. His concert career has taken him to St Martin in the Fields and St James’ Piccadilly and he has performed with the Queensland, Sydney and Australian Symphony Orchestras.

1998 Winner

Jamie Allen, Tenor, NSW

Australian tenor Jamie Allen grew up in the Hunter Valley, NSW, and began his musical life as a flute player. Jamie was educated at the State Conservatorium of Music (now the Sydney Conservatorium).

In 1994, Jamie successfully auditioned for a part in Opera Australia's Meistersinger, after which he started formal vocal training with David Harper. This lead to a succession of roles with Opera Australia including Benedict in Beatrice and Benedict, Malcolm in Macbeth and Rodolfo in La Boheme.

In 1998, Jamie was the major winner in the Australian Singing Competition's Opera Awards, being awarded the Handa Opera Scholarship, the Armstrong-Martin Scholarship, the Phillip & Myrtle Foster Memorial Award and the Queensland Performing Arts Trust Prize. In 1999, he was awarded the Remy Martin Scholarship, voted as the outstanding young talent at Opera Australia.

Jamie has extensive experience on the concert platform including Bruckner’s F Minor Mass and Te Deum, Verdi’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Symphony No 9 and Haydn’s Creation. He has performed tenor solos in works including Handel’s Messiah for the Christchurch City Choir, New Zealand, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor and Jonathan Mills’ Sandakan Threnody for the Sydney Symphony, and Tippett’s A Child of our Time for Sydney Philharmonia.

In the past few years he has performed leading roles with Opera Australia in operas such as La Boheme, Madama Butterfly, The Marriage of Figaro and La Traviata.

1997 Winner

Siro Baglin, Repititeur, VIC

Siro Battaglin studied at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music before going on to work with the Victoria State Opera, Melbourne Opera and Opera Australia, and at festivals such as the Port Festival and Castlemaine Festival. He won the Phillip & Myrtle Foster Memorial Award for his repetiteur work in 1997, and in 1998 was engaged as a repetiteur in Zurich, Switzerland. Siro is currently with the Köln (Cologne) Opera (2011).

1995 Winner

Phoebe Briggs, Repetiteur, VIC

Originally from Victoria, Phoebe Briggs received a Bachelor in Music (BMus) from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and also studied at the Sydney Conservatorium, where she now works as Opera and Repetiteur Coach. Phoebe received the Phillip & Myrtle Foster Memorial Award for her repetiteur work in 1995 and, since then, has frequently featured as an accompanist in concerts and recordings. Phoebe was repetiteur for OzOpera in 2001, joined inaugural Foster winner Lucas de Jong on the 2006 recording ‘A foretaste of heaven’, composed by Sarah de Jong, and worked with Jennifer Marten-Smith on the music preparation for Opera Australia’s 2009 production of Cosi fan tutte.

1994 Winner

Kate Ladner, Soprano, SA

Kate Ladner was born in Adelaide and studied singing at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. She was a principal young artist with two major Australian opera companies before receiving the Phillip & Myrtle Foster Memorial Award in 1994.

In 1995, Kate moved to London and, in 1998, made her debut with Staatstheater Stuttgart as Blonde in Die Entfuhrung Aus Dem Serail, a guest contract that continued into 2004. For this role, Kate was nominated as Best New Artist by Opern Welt Magazine.

Mozart’s operas have formed the backbone of Kate’s career. Highlights include Zerlina in Don Giovanni for Opera New Zealand, with Kiri Te Kanawa as Donna Elvira, and Contessa in Le Nozze de Figaro for Opera Holland Park. Her debut as Susanna for Opera Australia earned her a Green Room nomination.

Kate has performed at the Barbican, with the Ulster and English Chamber Orchestras for Mozart’s Requiem, in classical performances in the Albert Hall and Manchester for Raymond Gubbay and Haydn’s Creation and in Canterbury and Sussex for Camina Burana. The recording of her 2004 performance of Wagner’s Third Norn Götterdämmerung with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra has received wide critical acclaim.

In 2007, Kate performed Violetta in three different productions of La Traviata. In 2010 she performed in an arena production of Carmen in London, and debuted in the title role of Aida for the State Opera of Australia. Most recently, she played the role of Magda in La Rondine with Opera Holland Park.

Kate also gives concerts and recitals in the south of France where she now resides.

1993 Winner

Repetiteur, QLD

Chorus Master John Dingle was born in Barcaldine, Queensland, and entered the Queensland Conservatorium at Griffith University in 1987, before completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Repetiteur Studies at the NSW State Conservatorium of Music (now the Sydney Conservatorium of Music).

Despite being trained as a pianist, John was always interested in singers and singing, and joined the Music Staff at the Australian Opera (now Opera Australia) in 1991. In 1993, John won the Phillip & Myrtle Foster Memorial Award, which allowed him to undergo further language studies in Siena, Italy. Upon his return to Australia, he joined the Music Staff at the Victoria State Opera and, in 1995, was appointed Chorus Master.

In 1998, John formed the Melbourne Chorale Ensemble, a 40-voice choir that now performs regularly with the Melbourne Symphony. John also worked as Choral Conductor on the feature film Elizabeth, was the founding musical director of the Melbourne operatic ensemble Operalive!, and worked regularly as a conductor and vocal coach, adjudicating for major competitions and eisteddfods.

In 2000, John was appointed Acting Head of Music at Opera Queensland and was appointed Chorus Master for the company in 2002. His efforts made the Opera Queensland Chorus among the best in Australia, and in 2003, he was a recipient of the Centenary Medal for Services to Music.

Sadly, John passed away in 2006. Chris Mangin, Opera Queensland’s Chief Executive and Artistic Director, said, “With the passing of John we lost both a friend and a deeply respected colleague whose contribution to opera in Australia is without measure.”

1992 Winner

Timothy Patston, Bass, VIC

In 1990, Timothy was a finalist at the Australian Regional Finals of the Metropolitan Opera Auditions and in 1992 he won the Phillip & Myrtle Foster Memorial Award and was a finalist in the Armstrong Martin Opera Award. He completed a Masters in Music at the Sydney Conservatorium in 1996, and published a thesis ‘Performance anxiety in opera singers’.

From 2000-2009, Timothy Patston was the Head of Music at NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Arts) and is currently the Director of Performing Arts at the Peninsula School in Melbourne.

1990 Winner

Stephen Mould, Repetiteur, QLD

Sydney-born Stephen Mould studied piano and composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. After graduating, he spent three years at the Royal Academy of Music in London where he was active as an orchestral and choral conductor and as a freelance repetiteur. When he returned in 1988, he was appointed Head of Music at the Lyric Opera of Queensland and was also engaged for concerts with the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, and conducted opera productions with the Queensland Conservatorium of Music.

Stephen won the Phillip & Myrtle Foster Memorial Award in 1990, then returned to Europe where he was engaged as a conductor and musical assistant by a number of opera houses and festivals in Germany, Belgium, Norway and Italy. In 1996, he joined the music staff of Opera Australia, and has since undertaken engagements for the Sydney Festival, the Melbourne Festival, Symphony Australia and the Sydney Philharmonic Choirs. Stephen was Head of Music at Opera Australia between 2004 and 2008, and has regularly appeared as conductor for the company. His repertoire has included: La Bohème, Simon Boccanegra, Die Zauberflöte, Le Nozze di Figaro, La Voix Humaine, Rusalka, and Carmen.

Stephen has appeared with the Sydney and Queensland Symphony Orchestras, the SBS Youth Orchestra, and is a regular guest with Willoughby Symphony Orchestra. In 2006, he conducted for the Macau International Music Festival and, in 2008, made his American debut for Baltimore Opera conducting Madame Butterfly.

Stephen is currently Senior Lecturer in Operatic Studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, but continues to conduct performances for Opera Australia and other companies such as Opera Queensland.

1989 Winner

Lucas de Jong

Melbourne-born Lucas made his professional debut in 1974, playing the shepherd boy in Tosca with the Australian Opera. He was only 12 years old.

He trained under Bettine McCaughan in 1983 while studying for a Diploma of Music at the Melba Conservatorium, Melbourne. In 1984, he was accepted into the Victoria State Opera, performing in most of their operas between 1984 and 1991.

In 1989 Lucas began a three-year course at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) studying at the Opera Studio. That same year he won the Armstrong-Martin Scholarship and the inaugural Phillip & Myrtle Foster Memorial Award. Two years later, Lucas was a finalist in the Covent Garden Scholarship and placed second in the Metropolitan Opera Auditions.

In 1992, Lucas moved to London and over the next decade performed major roles in operas such as La Bohème, Cosi fan tutte, Carmen and Don Giovanni with companies including Court Opera, Opera Atelier and London City Opera, performing throughout the UK, Europe and Canada. He also understudied a number of roles for the English National Opera.

Since 2000, he has performed major roles in The Pearl Fishers and Madame Butterfly with Opera Australia, played Valentin in Faust for West Australian Opera, and has toured with the Melbourne Opera as Marcello in La Bohème and Germont in La Traviata. He has released a number of albums, has been the Musical Director for the Melbourne Welsh Male Choir since 2007, and teaches singing at Monash University, Victoria.