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Freedman Music Fellowships

The MCA Freedman Fellowships Program was inaugurated in 2001, a joint initiative of the Music Council of Australia and the Freedman Foundation. Two Fellowships are awarded annually, one to a classical instrumentalist, and one to a jazz musician. Each Fellowship is worth $15,000 as well as ongoing support from the Music Council of Australia.

Freedman Classical 2013: Finalist Announced

Freedman Jazz 2013: Finalists Announced

The manager for the Fellowship program is Jo Smith. Jo is an experienced manager and film producer. She is the executive of the Australian Guild of Screen Composers and has organised the Screen Music Awards, the Johnny Dennis Music Awards for nine years and the Australian Screen Directors Awards for four. Guest speakers have included Sydney Pollack, Wim Wenders and Peter Weir.

About the MCA Freedman Fellowships

The MCA Freedman Fellowships Program was inaugurated in 2001, a joint initiative of the Music Council of Australia and the Freedman Foundation.

Established in 1998 by Laurence and Kathy Freedman, The Freedman Foundation also supports visual artists, Australian youth projects, scientific and medical research.

Two Fellowships are awarded annually, one to a classical instrumentalist, and one to a jazz musician. The prize money for the Freedman Fellowship is $15,000 cash plus $5,000 contribution for career development and consultations to assist with non-musical aspects of career-building, as well as active ongoing support from Music Council personnel during the Fellowship period.

Past winners of the Classical Fellowship are recorder player, Genevieve Lacey, guitarist Karin Schaupp, pianist Tamara Anna Cislowska, didgeridoo player William Barton, guitarist Geoffrey Morris, percussionist Claire Edwardes, oud player Joseph Tawadros and percussionist Timothy Constable.

Previous Jazz Fellows are pianist Andrea Keller, trumpeter Phil Slater, saxophonist Andrew Robson, guitarist James Muller, pianist Matt McMahon, saxophonist Julien Wilson and singer Kristin Berardi.

Recipients of the MCA Freedman Fellowship receive $15,000 cash enabling them to carry out a proposal which forms part of their application. They also receive strong media coverage and access to expert advice about the non-musical aspects of their careers.

The MCA Freedman Fellowships are unique in their organisation. It is not possible to apply for one. The Music Council of Australia each year invites senior members of Australia’s musical community from around the country to nominate a total of 17 candidates in each discipline. Jazz candidates must be 35 or under in the Fellowship year, classical candidates must be 30 years or under, and an Australian citizen or resident.

Nominees for the Fellowships will already be at the top of their game in Australia. These are not Fellowships for “emerging” artists – the winners will have already well and truly emerged. The purpose of the Fellowship is to assist performers of the highest achievement in Australian music to advance their careers, often internationally, and enhance their abilities as a musician.

On accepting their nomination, candidates propose a specific project to pursue their career objectives, either overseas or within Australia. They apply with a recording, a budget, and a plan for how they will use the funds. A panel of three judges assesses applicants on this project as well as their musical ability and achievements. Up to four finalists are short listed and invited for interview.

Finalists for the Jazz Fellowship perform in Freedman Jazz, a concert in The Studio of the Sydney Opera House after which the judges decide the winner.

Read more: Jazz Fellows | Classical Fellows