The Freedman Fellowships are a prestigious prize awarded by the Freedman Foundation to both one jazz and classical musician each year.  Intended to assist established musicians in a career enhancing project, the $20,000 cash Fellowship must be used to undertake the creative project, submitted by each candidate and upon which they are assessed on by the judging panel

Three finalists in each genre participate in Freedman Jazz and Freedman Classical at the Sydney Opera House where the Fellows are decided by the judges following the performances. The concerts also feature a special guest performance by Freedman Fellowship alumni.

The Fellowships are funded by The Freedman Foundation, managed by The Music Trust and produced by SIMA. Our media partners are ABC Jazz and Classic FM.


The Freedman Fellowships are not for students or emerging artists. The maximum age of candidates is 35 years for jazz and 30 years for classical. The Fellowships exist for artists who are already well established and working in the top tier of their profession. Artists cannot self-nominate. Candidates are selected by distinguished musicians from each Australian state and territory.


The Fellowships for Classical Music and Jazz were conceived by Laurence Freedman and Dr Richard Letts AM. First awarded in 2001, the Fellowships have since enhanced the careers of more than thirty artists, and feature a who’s who of the Australian classical and art music scene.

FIND MORE INFORMATION on The Music Trust website

Congratulations to the 2018 Fellows

Nick Garbett, Jazz (Left) | Oliver Schermacher, Classical (Right)

Jazz Fellows

2017 Emma Stephenson, piano
2016 James McLean, drums
2015 Tal Cohen, piano
2014 Aaron Choulai, piano
2013 Marc Hannaford, piano
2012 Christopher Hale, bass guitar
2011 Matt Keegan, saxophone
2010 Ben Hauptmann, guitar
2009 No award
2008 No award
2007 Kristin Berardi, vocals
2006 Julien Wilson, saxophone
2005 Matt McMahon, piano
2004 James Muller, guitar
2003 Andrew Robson, saxophone
2002 Phil Slater, trumpet
2001 Andrea Keller, piano

Classical Fellows

2017 Matthew Kneale, bassoon
2016 Stefanie Farrands, viola
2015 Aviva Endean, clarinet
2014 Peter de Jager, piano
2013 Lina Andonovska, flute
2012 Ashley William Smith, clarinet
2011 Eugene Ughetti, percussion
2010 Kristian Winther, violin
2009 No award
2008 No award
2007 Timothy Constable, percussion
2006 Joseph Tawadros, oud
2005 Claire Edwardes, percussion
2004 Geoffrey Morris, guitar
2003 Tamara Anna Cislowska, piano
2003 William Barton, didgeridoo
2002 Karin Schaupp, guitar
2001 Genevieve Lacey, recorder