“Classical music is a vital, pulsing and progressive art-form, thriving in the hands of these fierce young trail-blazers” – Sonja Lifschitz, pianist

Sunday 20th October
Sydney Opera House

After a nation-wide search for the most creative classical instrumentalist 30 years and under, three finalists compete live in concert for the title of the 2019 Freedman Classical Fellowship.

These three finalists will compete live in concert at the Sydney Opera House on Sunday 20 October for the title of the 2019 Freedman Classical Fellow.


Katie Yap:
Katie Yap is a Melbourne-based freelance violist who calls many of Australia’s top modern and baroque ensembles ‘home’. She describes the last four years as one of exploration and discovery after leaving the traditional path of a classical musician. After winning an audition for Associate Principal Viola of Orchestra Victoria, Katie discovered that full time orchestral life was not for her. Instead, she found her passion in using her voice as a musician to tell stories and express ideas, particularly through early music. Katie was inspired to follow this path through her experience as a student in an AYO Baroque Style Workshop with Elizabeth Wallfisch and Dr. Neal Peres da Costa. Enchanted by the sound and energy inherent in early music, she became more and more passionate about it, hence her proposal below.

Jonathan Heilbron:
After completion of his studies at the Australian National Academy of Music Performance Program in 2012, double bassist Jonathan Heilbron has continually sought to extend himself musically. He has cultivated a diverse professional practice that includes performances as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, while also composing, recording and publishing internationally acclaimed original music. As a soloist, he has given premiere performances of solo bass works by established and emerging composers in Australia, Austria, Singapore, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Israel. As an ensemble musician, he has worked with some of the leading ensembles for contemporary music, including performing and recording projects with Klangforum Wien (Vienna), Apartment House (London), The Münchener Kammerorkester (Munich) and Kammerensemble Neue Musik (Berlin). Through this work, he has been fortunate to work with some of the world’s best performers and composers. With these groups and others, he has presented premiere performances of major new works by composers such as Georg Friedrich Haas, Catherine Lamb, Bent Sørensen, Bernhard Lang, Klaus Lang, Christian Wolff and others, in countries as far as Argentina, Austria, Singapore and England. As a composer, his music has been performed in Australia Europe, North America and the Middle East. His 8-hour long overnight compositions have been performed by the Phonetic Orchestra in Italy and Portugal, with plans for future performances in Sydney, Melbourne and Berlin.

Rohan Dasika:
Double bassist, Rohan Dasika was born in Vancouver and raised in Melbourne. He currently enjoys a diverse career travelling between Germany and Australia. He has performed frequently with orchestras including the Frankfurter Opern-und-Museumsorchester, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Queensland Symphony Orchestra, while an association with leading accordionist James Crabb has led to engagements at chamber music festivals including the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Four Winds Festival, and the Canberra International Music Festival. Passionate about contemporary music, Rohan has also performed with the Lucerne Festival Academy, and at the Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music. Rohan is a graduate of the Australian National University School of Music, Australian National Academy of Music, and has taken study trips to Philadelphia and Vienna, courtesy of an Australia Council ArtStart grant.

Congratulations to the 2019 Nominees

Andrew Blanch – Guitarist,  Anna Freer – Violinist
Erin Royer – Saxophonist,  Euphina Yap – Percussionist
Freya Schack-Arnott – Violinist,  Harry Bennetts – Violinists
Jonathan Heilbron – Contrabassist,  Katie Yap – Violist
Lloyd Van’t Holf – Clarinettist,  Madeleine Jevons – Violinists
Miles Johnston – Guitarist,  Rohan Dasika – Double bassist
William Hewer – Cellist,  Callum Henshaw – Guitarist

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


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