Thanks to the support of 2MBS donors and supporters, the Fine Music Young Virtuoso Award is an annual feature of the Fine Music Emerging Artists program. We are proud to present the outstanding finalists, their accompanists, and the awesome team of adjudicators.
Congratulations to pianist Joshua Han, our 2022 Young Virtuoso Award recipient!
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for a details of the program, the finalists, and their playlists.
Markers indicate the start of each finalist’s performance.
Roger Benedict, Viola soloist and Conductor, Emerging Artist Patron
Christina Wilson, Mezzo Soprano and Educator
Dr Steven Hillinger, Conductor
Ching Pong (Dono) Ng piano accompanist for David Carreon
Cheryl Oxley accompanist for Olivia Oxley
Katherine Shin piano accompanist for Anna Chung
About the Award
For over 30 years aspiring musicians and singers have competed for the Young Virtuoso Award which brings with it career-boosting broadcast opportunities and cash prizes. The opportunities on offer include ongoing broadcast and performance opportunities for Alumni of YVA, a valuable learning experience and excellent preparation for those aspiring to a music career.
Finalists for the Young Virtuoso Award are selected in partnership with the Sydney Eisteddfod.
- A performance opportunity with the North Sydney Symphony Orchestra
- The first prize is $3000 cash, there is a second prize of $1000, and an Encouragement Award of $500.
The NSW Young Virtuoso Award winner will qualify to represent NSW in the National Fine Music Young Virtuoso Award Final to be held in Melbourne on 20 November 2022.
The North Sydney Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1947 and continues to flourish as one of the leading community orchestras in New South Wales.
The orchestra has featured on numerous special occasions including the celebrations marking the opening of the Sydney Opera House.
The NSSO performs five concerts each year venues including The Concourse, Chatswood and the Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Recipient of an annual grant from North Sydney Council, the NSW provides the opportunity for talented local soloists to perform with an orchestra and to further the appreciation of fine orchestral music within the community through presenting concerts at affordable prices.
Sydney Eisteddfod’s activities revolve around the presentation of the annual Sydney Eisteddfod, a competitive performing arts festival that runs from May to September and attracts around 35,000 entrants with a program of just under 350 classical and contemporary events. During this period, it provides performance opportunities for singers, dancers, actors, musicians, composers, bands, choirs, and orchestras in seventeen venues across the Sydney area
2022 YVA FINALISTS
Olivia Oxley, Soprano
Coming from a family of singers, Olivia’s passion for music has grown exponentially and led to a broader love of the arts and performing.
In her childhood, she enjoyed performing in a multitude of capacities, which all led to solo performance opportunities at the Sydney Opera House, Chatswood Concourse and Sydney Town Hall. From 2015 onwards, Olivia has been involved with Opera New England in their productions of Susannah and La Traviata, Blush Opera’s How To Build A Billy and working with Operantics in Mansfield Park, the St Matthew Passion and concert series. Olivia has also enjoyed featuring in Cantata’s and Christmas services at St Andrew’s Cathedral and Grace City Church’s Carols In The Park.
At the end of 2019, Olivia completed her BMus at AIM in Classical Performance studying under the tutelage of Arax Mansourian. She has taught singing since 2016 and loves teaching at the GoBravo Studio. She plans to continue pursuing her love of singing in further education, performing, and teaching.
Listen to Olivia’s performance:
David Carreon, Violin
David began playing the violin at the age of four and is now completing his final year of a Bachelor of Performance degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He is studying with Dr. Goetz Richter under the Ted and Susan Meller Memorial Scholarship.
As a soloist, David made his concerto debut in December 2015, performing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E Minor with the Sydney Youth Orchestra Philharmonic.
He has since performed in a variety of competitions and eisteddfods around Australia.
Most notably, he was the winner of both the 2021 Sydney Conservatorium String Concerto Competition and 2022 Marcus Edwards Prize as well as recipient of the second prize in the 2021 Kendall National Violin Competition. David also finished as one of six semi-finalists in the 2022 Dorcas McClean Scholarship and one of five finalists in the 2022 Sydney Eisteddfod Doctors Scholarship. David has participated in masterclasses with Hilary Hahn, Midori Goto, Benjamin Beilman, Nicola Benedetti, and Maestro Ola Rudner.
He has featured prominently in a variety of orchestral programs such as Sydney Youth Orchestras, The Orchestra Project, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Symphony Orchestra and String Ensemble, Australian Youth Orchestra, Ensemble Apex, and Willoughby Symphony Orchestra. David is also an avid player of chamber music, Most recently, his current string quartet was awarded the George Henderson Travellers Scholarship which will enable the group to travel to Europe for intensive tutoring and the chance to participate in world-renowned music festivals.
Listen to David’s performance:
Jeffey Dong, Piano
Jeffrey started playing the piano when he was 6 and playing the violin when he was 8. After several years of music learning, he has achieved the equivalent level of LMus in piano and CMus in violin.
One of four Finalists in the 2022 Sydney Eisteddfod Kawai Junior Scholarship Finals (11-16 years) and at 11 years old, Jeffrey is our youngest YVA Finalist.
Listen to Jeffrey’s performance:
Matthew Avery, Baritone
Currently in his second year as a Young Artist with Pacific Opera has also performed with Cooperative Opera and Operantics. His roles include Superintendent Bud – ALBERT HERRING, Don Alfonso – COSI FAN TUTTE, Rocco – FIDELIO, Frank – DIE FLEDERMAUS and, Angelotti – TOSCA.
In 2022 Matthew was a Finalist in the Sydney Eisteddfod Operatic Aria Scholarship, awarded The Pacific Opera Growth Scholarship, won several sections for Sydney Eisteddfod and the Rotary Scholarship at Ryde Eisteddfod for both the Lieder and Operatic Sections.
He has also performed in concert with the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra and performed for the Australia Britain Society for their Grand Platinum Dinner for this year’s Queen’s Birthday Celebrations.
In July 2022 he was invited to perform for the Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing Master Class with Mr Leslie John Flanagan.
Matthew has appeared in Musical Theatre roles including Alex/Soldier – SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE and Monsieur Reyer – PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.
Listen to Matthew’s performance:
Anna Chung, Clarinet
A 19-year-old clarinettist, Anna started playing at age seven. Currently studying at Melbourne Conservatorium of Music with a scholarship under Mr. David Griffiths, Anna previously studied with Dr Deborah De Graaff. Anna is a member of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music Symphony Orchestra and Wind Symphony.
Anna has won many solo instrumental events competitions and scholarships. In the 2022 Sydney Eisteddfod she won 2nd place in NSW Drs Orchestra Instrumental Scholarship and has been a Finalist of the Alf & Pearl Pollard Awards.
She received full marks in HSC Music Extension performance in 2020 while being awarded a full music scholarship as School Music Captain and House Choral Captain at Ravenswood School for Girls.
Anna participated in the Philadelphia International Music Festival in 2018 and was selected for masterclasses, competitions, and lessons. Since PIMF she has been under the tutelage of world class performers and mentors, Ricardo Morales (Principal clarinet, Philadelphia Orchestra) and Boris Allakhverdyan (Principal clarinet, LA Philharmonic). Anna aims to undertake postgraduate study at Julliard School, Curtis Institute of Music, Colburn School, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, or the Royal College of Music.
Listen to Anna’s performance:
Joshua Han, Piano
Australian-born pianist Joshua Han started his piano studies at the age of four. After winning his first gold in the Sydney Eisteddfod at the age of six, Joshua has achieved considerable success in the world of music.
In 2012, at 10 years old, Joshua received his LMusA and performed as soloist at the Iguazú en Concierto Festival in Argentina. The next year, he received Encouragement Prizes at both the 1st Korea International Piano Competition, and the Theme and Variations Inaugural Awards.
In 2014, Joshua won First Prize at the 14th Ettlingen International Competition for Young Pianists, achieving the highest mark at the time of 9.9/10 in the contest’s 28-year history.
The following year, Joshua received First Prize, as well as Audience Prize at the 3rd Aarhus International Piano Competition.
After winning the 2016 BlueScope/WIN Network Open Age Piano Championships (Wollongong Eisteddfod) and receiving his Fellowship Recital Diploma (FTCL) that same year, Joshua took a sojourn of several years from piano performance.
Recently returning to the piano, Joshua was awarded Second Prize and Audience Prize in the National Section of the 2022 Australian Youth Classical Music Competition. He is currently studying piano performance privately with Dr Paul Rickard-Ford, whilst undertaking a Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Medicine double degree at the University of Sydney. Joshua’s ultimate intent is to combine music and medicine to heal and inspire.
Listen to Joshua’s performance:
Roger Benedict, MBS Patron of Emerging Artists
From 1991-2000 principal viola in the Philharmonia Orchestra, London, and following that the same position in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, from 2002-2021 Roger was Artistic Director of the orchestra’s acclaimed Fellowship Program. He is currently Chief Conductor at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and also heads the viola department.
A frequent guest conductor with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Roger has conducted the orchestra in subscription concerts at the Sydney Opera House, at City Recital Hall and in regional centres. He has also been invited to appear as a conductor with other orchestras in the region including the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and in the UK with the Southbank Sinfonia. A devoted orchestral trainer, he has coached the European Union Youth Orchestra since 2000 and is a frequent conductor of Australian Youth Orchestra and National Youth Orchestra (UK) programs.
As a viola soloist he has appeared with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Ulster Orchestra in the UK as well as the Sydney Symphony, Canberra Symphony, New Zealand Symphony, and the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa (Japan). Roger has released several highly acclaimed solo recordings on the Melba and ABC Classics/Universal label. His latest recording, of music by Debussy and Ravel with pianist Simon Tedeschi, has just been released on ABC Classics.
is a national and international award winning mezzosoprano. She has sung in concert, opera, and oratorio throughout the UK, in Europe, Australia and in the US. She is member of Songmakers Australia performing regularly at the Melbourne Recital Hall and in ABC Classic FM broadcast. She has recorded for SOMM and ABC Classics, most recently with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.
A lecturer in Singing at the ANU (2009-12) and in Voice and Performance at the University of Canberra (2013-18), she is a Performance Tutor at UNSW and at the Open Academy of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the University of Sydney where she is currently a doctoral student in Historical Performance.
She has given masterclasses at AIM, NIDA, die Universität fur darstellende Kunst, Vienna, and adjudicated the Australian Concerto and Vocal Competition, and at the Sydney, National, Wollongong and Taree Eisteddfods and the Melbourne Liederfest.
Christina is a Director and the National Treasurer of ANATS and a member of the AVA, and ASME.
Dr Steven Hillinger
Steven is a versatile conductor and educator who is widely recognised for his work in both the orchestral and symphonic band fields.
He has guest conducted many orchestras including the Willoughby, Penrith and Mosman Symphony Orchestras, the Ku-ring-gai and East-West Philharmonic Orchestras, the Cove Chamber Orchestra, The Occasional Performing Sinfonia, the Sydney Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, the Sydney Conservatorium High School Symphony Orchestra, and the NSW Youth Orchestra. Steven has worked with the Australian Youth Orchestra and as Assistant conductor with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
Steven has held conducting positions with several schools and youth orchestras and also worked extensively with the Sydney Youth Orchestra’s Association. He was Musical Director of the University of New South Wales Wind Symphony and Associate Conductor of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s Wind Symphony.
As well as a large amount of guest conducting, at present, Steven holds the position of Chief Conductor and Musical Director of the North Sydney Symphony Orchestra, as well as conducting the Chatswood High School Wind Orchestra, North Sydney Girls High School Symphony Orchestra and Wind Orchestra. Steven is also Musical Director of the University of New South Wales Symphony Orchestra, and from 2016 to 2018, held the position of Chief Conductor of the Melbourne Youth Orchestra.
Ching Pong (Dono) Ng piano accompanist for David Carreon
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Ching Pong (Dono) Ng is an undergraduate at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Dono won 3rd prize in the 2021/2022 Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition and his performance in the recital round was awarded the Best Performance of a work by Chopin and of a Virtuoso Study, along with the Betty Byrne Henderson Encouragement Award.
Dono made his concerto debut in Rachmaninoff’s piano concerto no. 1 during the finals with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. In 2022, Dono received the George Henderson Scholarship and he used it to attend the 11th International Summer Piano Academy in Disentis, Switzerland. Dono was a finalist in the 2021 Geoffrey Parsons Award, 2022 Elizabeth Todd/Geoffrey Parsons Lieder Scholarship and 2022 David Miller Award. As a collaborative pianist, Dono is highly sought after.
Cheryl Oxley accompanist for Olivia Oxley
Cheryl is an experienced associate artist based in Sydney. She regularly accompanies AMEB and HSC exams, auditions, and eisteddfods, and plays for musicals, operas, and festivals. Career highlights include Repetiteur and MD for operas, Musical Director for London Theatre School Agent Concerts, official accompanist for the Australian State and National Band Championships, finals of the Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Scholarship and guest artist for the Sydney Piano Competition.
An accomplished soprano, conductor, coach, French hornist, and adjudicator she heads a vibrant music school in Sydney (the StandOut Music Studio) and has developed online programs for students seeking excellence in singing and music performance. Cheryl has played for thousands of singers and musicians over many years, but her greatest joy is to play for her children – the wonderful young tenor Joshua Oxley, and his younger sister, soprano, Olivia Oxley.
Katherine Shin piano accompanist for Anna Chung
Katherine won numerous local and national competitions and awards in Korea. After moving to Australia, she completed her AMusA diploma in 2013 and has accompanied for many concerts, auditions, competitions including Sydney Eisteddfod as well as international competitions, HSC and IB Music exams, and AMEB examinations. She has been the church choir pianist since she was 10 years old and continues to do so today.
Katherine has also been accompanist for her two daughters, Anna Chung (Clarinet) and Ashleigh Chung (Cello) since they started learning their instruments.
Bradley Gilchrist piano accompanist for Matthew Avery