Henderson Travellers take on the world

29 June 2018
New program sees 52 students granted opportunities overseas
From performing in operas in Sicily to attending music festivals in Colorado, the Henderson Travellers program funds unforgettable musical experiences for the Con’s top students.

This year the Con is launching a new scholarship program allowing students to pursue significant international creative development opportunities. Funded by the Henderson bequest, the inaugural year of Henderson Travellers will see 52 students participate in five programs: Piano, Opera, Strings Quartet Academy and an Open Program for small ensembles. International travel is an important means for young artists to develop artistic skills, cultural competence, and an ability to channel new musical experiences into their studies. The successful applicants are destined for programs throughout Europe, the USA, Canada and the UK and many of them are heading of now, during the mid-year break.

Open Program

Open to small ensembles across musical genre, the Open Program allowed applicants to assemble their own program of international opportunities. For brass ensemble Wayward Brass, the Aspen Music Festival and School in the USA was first on their list and they are currently there now, attending the inaugural American Brass Quintet Seminar.

“Wayward Brass are really excited for the opportunity to travel abroad for the Henderson Travellers program. Our trip has already begun in Aspen where have been busy working alongside some of the world's best chamber musician's in our field, and preparing for our upcoming performances. We are also looking forward also to the Stockholm Chamber Brass Academy in July, where we will be working with the musicians of the SCB and composer Max Gibson on a new work for Brass Quintet”

The KJC Piano Trio is made up of Kartik Kunasegaran (piano), Jordy Meulenbroeks (bassoon) and Callum Hogan (oboe), fourth year students in the Bachelor of Music (Performance) program. The group aim to explore and expand the repertoire for chamber works written for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano by performing works of budding composers. The Henderson Travellers program features summer school at the Euro Music Festival & Academy (EMFA) in Halle, Germany, plus masterclasses with world class professors from two Conservatoires in France.

“The KCJ Trio is looking forward to this trip as it will provide an opportunity to perform on an international stage and work with some of Europe's best musical visionaries at the Euro Music Festival! After a recent successful performance to a full-house at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the KCJ Trio are extremely keen to immerse themselves in the land where classical music is not only celebrated as part of the culture, but also breathed as a form of life.”

2018 Henderson Travellers Open Program participants:
KJC Piano Trio (Jordy Meulenbroeks, Callum  Hogan, Kartik Kunasegaran), Delay 45 Jazz Ensemble (Roshan Kumarage, Thomas Avgenicos, David Quinn, Ashley Stoneham), Sydney Conservatorium Trumpet Quartet (Sam Thompson, Tyler Wilkinson, Indiana Williams, Alfred  Carslake), Wayward Brass (Alfred Carslake, Joshua Clark, Simon Jones, Cian Malikides, Rhys Oldham), Quintet Vivo (James Julian, Katherine Mostert, Kathryn Ramsay, Timothy (Tiger) Chou, Eve McEwen).

Piano Program

Kai Liang Ricker Chan is one of eight piano students selected to travel to the Mozarteum University, Salzburg as part of the Henderson Travellers. The group will attend the International Summer Academy with 1000 students from all over the world. This program features master-classes taught by Mozarteum University, plus symposia, workshops and concerts held over the two-week academy.  While in Europe students will also have a chance to tour the Fazioli Piano Factory in Venice and selected students from the group will also attend the Mendelssohn Academy based in Leipzig in September 2018.

“By being a part of this program, I will be able to build connections with different musicians all over the world and also gain deeper understanding of the music scene outside of Australia. Spending time with many different types of musicians, such as solo artists, chamber musicians, professors and other student musicians will provide me with different ideas in my future career options and goals.” - Kai Liang Ricker Chan

2018 Henderson Travellers Piano Program participants:
Kai Liang Ricker Chan, Sarah Guyan Li, Olivia Urbaniak, Rieko Makita, Enrico-Sergio Mainas, Akiho Suzuki, Andrei Kelly Hadap and Annie Ma.

Opera Program

Sitong Liu is in her second year of her Master of Opera Performance with the Sydney Conservatorium Opera School and is one of four opera performance students selected to pursue roles in international opera productions and programs. Sitong is currently in Sicily, attending the Mediterranean Opera Studio and Festival where she will complete six weeks of intensive study and performance. She has been cast in roles in two fully staged opera productions, Le Nozze di Figaro and L’eliser d’amore, which will be produced as fully staged opera productions as part of the Festival.

2018 Henderson Travellers Opera Program participants:
Jessica Blunt, Joseph Raso, Sitong Liu, Gabrielle Penney.

Strings Quartet Academy

Five string quartets, nineteen students in total, will complete a range of summer programs in Europe as part of Henderson Travellers. Quartets were invited to devise their own program of international opportunities. This initiative is the first step towards building a new string quartet academy program at the Conservatorium, which will integrate and enhance existing chamber music studies.

Serein Quartet is comprised of musicians Annabelle Traves on violin, Rain Liu and Tim Yu on violin and viola, and Verdy Guo on cello. Between them, the group have an accomplished biography, including performing in masterclasses with world renowned musicians such as Midori, New York Philharmonic’s concertmaster Frank Huang, and Nashville Symphony’s concertmaster Jun Iwasaki.

The Henderson Travellers schedule devised by the group includes a one-month study program in Germany, undertaking an intensive tuition program with Professor Eberhard Feltz, and then moving on to study at the Hamburg Institute.  Professor Feltz was involved with the Con’s previous four-year international mobility program, the Estivo European Chamber Music Summer School.

“Working intensively with such incredible string tutors internationally will set up crucial contacts for us, which would otherwise have been quite difficult from Australia. As we are all incredibly ambitious, this is another extremely important aspect of being granted the Henderson scholarship as it not only would benefit us immediately in terms of level of playing as a group, but also possibly aid in setting us up for future studies abroad at the world’s finest academies and institutions.”

2018 Henderson Travellers Strings Quartet Academy participants:
Serein Quartet (Annabelle Traves, Rain Liu, Tim Yu, Verdy Guo), Ecco Quartet (Amanda Chen, Marianne Liu, Olivia Bell, Christina Soobee Kim), Cumberland Quartet (Emily Beauchamp, Rachel Kwa, Phoebe Gilbert, Nicholas McManus), Poco Quartet (Eva Li, Nicole Kim, Fiona Cheng, Dana Lee), Butcherbird Quartet (Henry Justo, Gemma Lee, Gregory Macnamara, James Morley).