Australia’s richest violin prize brings out the best

April 14 / 134

The 2014 Dorcas McClean Violin Travelling Scholarship Finalists, (L-R) Anne-Marie Johnson, Doretta Balkisas and Emily Sun. Image by John O’Rourke.
The 2014 Dorcas McClean Violin Travelling Scholarship Finalists, (L-R) Anne-Marie Johnson, Doretta Balkisas and Emily Sun. Image by John O’Rourke.

Anne-Marie Johnson has been awarded the 2014 Dorcas McClean Travelling Scholarship, Australia’s richest prize for violinists.

The $40,000 scholarship presented by the University’s Melbourne Conservatorium of Music was awarded at the Dorcas McClean Gala Concert on Thursday 17 April.

Established in 1981, the Scholarship seeks to support the musical education of outstanding young violinists across the country aged 25 years and under. 

The Melbourne Conservatorium of Music’s Head of Strings, and Head Adjudicator of the competition, Curt Thompson said the Scholarship offered valuable opportunities for young violinists.

“The importance of the Dorcas McClean to young Australian violinists is profound, particularly this year as the winner will have the unique opportunity to perform and record with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.” 

“While I’m still new to Australia, in my career overseas I have performed and competed with past winners of this significant national competition,” he said.  

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Conductor Benjamin Northey congratulated the finalists.

“I congratulate Anne-Marie on being awarded the 2014 Dorcas McClean Travelling Scholarship for Violinists. It has been wonderful to work with the three talented finalists, they have risen to the challenge of these three very demanding concerti and all of them will benefit immensely from this experience,” he said.

The prize enables the winner to undertake further study overseas, and the opportunity to record and perform with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra during the tenure of their scholarship.

A panel of three prominent Australian violinists including the Concertmaster of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Wilma Smith, former First Violin of the Australian String Quartet Sophie Rowell alongside Curt Thompson judged the final round at the gala performance.

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