Sydney Symphony Orchestra Announces New 2018 Fellows

Sydney Symphony Orchestra Announces New 2018 Fellows

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra (SSO) will be joined by 13 of Australia and New Zealand's brightest young classical musicians as part of its internationally-renowned Fellowship program in 2018. Over the year, these talented young artists will be mentored by members of the orchestra through technical and practical experience, providing the training crucial to securing positions in professional orchestras around the world.

Fellowship Artistic Director, Roger Benedict, says that the program demonstrates the SSO's commitment to fostering the next generation of young musicians.

"For 17 years, the SSO Fellowship has provided young musicians with the tools they need to pursue professional careers," says Benedict. "Participating in the program ensures that these musicians will emerge job-ready, be equipped with everything they need to secure positions with orchestras worldwide, and showcase the strong talent that we have across Australia and New Zealand."

The 2018 Fellows are:
Tobias Aan, 22, violin (ACT)
Sami Butler, 23, percussion (SA)
Aidan Gabriels, 24, horn (WA)
Rachel Howie, 28, flute (TAS)
Alanna Jones, 29, double bass (NZ)
Justin Julian, 19, viola (NSW)
Magdalenna Krstevska, 23, clarinet (VIC)
Eve Osborn, 21, oboe (NSW)
Jenna Smith, 23, trumpet (NSW)
Amanda Tillett, 24, trombone (SA)
Alison Wormell, 20, bassoon (NSW)
Daniel Pini, 28, cello (NSW)
Rollin Zhao, 25, violin (ACT)

Sami Butler (percussion), Alanna Jones (double bass), Jenna Smith (trumpet) and Amanda Tillett (trombone) will return as second-year Fellows. Collectively, the Fellows will work closely with the SSO, gaining invaluable professional opportunities, including working with SSO Chief Conductor and Artistic Director David Robertson, rehearsing and performing concerts with the full orchestra at the Sydney Opera House, receiving mentorship and one-on-one lessons with SSO musicians, and participating in master classes with guest artists. The Fellows also perform together in extensive chamber music series and participate in a variety of outreach projects.

Returning double bass Fellow Alanna Jones notes that her first year with the SSO Fellowship helped to shape her approach to music, giving her "more confidence as a chamber player and in my own sound."

"Playing chamber music is so central to being an orchestral musician and double bassists don't often get the chance to play a lot of it," says Jones. "I learned a lot about working with others, when I should play more or less, and how to make musical decisions that best serve the music, rather than my own needs."

Jenna Smith, returning trumpet fellow, agrees about the benefits of program, saying "I've always loved working with musicians because they have a similar mind to me. There's nothing like playing in an orchestra with interesting people. What I loved most about being a Fellow last year was playing chamber music with my colleagues because everyone brings their own unique talents to the table. The Fellowship is such a good transition from studying to getting your foot in to the professional orchestral world."

In 2016, the SSO Fellowship program was recognised by an independent BYP Group report as offering an "in-depth program of orchestra experience not duplicated by any other Australian provider" and "addressing an unmet need" in preparing musicians for entering the profession.

The 2018 Fellows were chosen from over 200 applications across Australian and New Zealand. The Fellowship program relies on the generous support of our patrons, including the estate of the late Helen MacDonnell Morgan. Applications for the 2019 SSO Fellowship open in early March.

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