Tag Archives: Tamara Anna Cislowska


On Thursday November 25 from 7:30pm, four trail-blazing young instrumentalists will battle it out to win The Music Trust’s coveted $21,000 Freedman Classical Fellowship, before a live streamed audience, filmed by the Melbourne Digital Concert Hall.

Each year, the competition promises spectacular creativity, and energy as finalists vie for the prestigious Fellowship in this thrilling deciding concert.

This year three Victorian finalists Molly Collier-O’Boyle (viola) Kyla Matsuura-Miller (violin) Eliza Shephard (flute) and Will Hansen (double bass) from NSW, will compete to win the career-changing prize before esteemed judges Penny Lomax, Tamara-Anna Cislowska and Véronique Serret.

Each of the Victorian finalists have all graduated from ANAM (Australian National Academy of Music). A Melbourne icon, ANAM is one of the few professional performance training institutes in the world, and continues to produce exceptional young musicians from its programs each year. NSW finalist, Will Hanson, studied at the prestigious Sydney Conservatorium of Music. 

Conceived by Laurence Freedman AM and Dr Richard Letts AM, the Freedman Classical Fellowship is a life-changing award offered annually to Australian classical musicians aged up to 30 years. Each nominee must submit recordings of their musical performance and a description of a career-building project which they will carry out with the support of the prize.

The Freedman Classical Fellowshipsbegan 2001, and has since helped to establish the careers of some of Australia’s most distinguished classical artists. Past Fellows include luminaries Genevieve Lacey, William Barton, Joseph Tawadros, Claire Edwardes and Eugene Ughetti.

Live streamed finals concert 

The 2021 Freedman Classical Fellowship

Thursday November 25 – 730pm 

Live stream Digital Ticket: $20 (direct to artist) plus $4 credit card fees & streaming

 MDCH Helpline: 1300 994 208


Live stream program / information / ticket purchase


Molly Collier-O’Boyle (27) is Acting Assistant Principal Viola with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra as well as the violist in Rathdowne Quartet. Molly’s project Ephemerality is a curated concept album which will feature ten new works. An immersive concert experience will launch the album in the Old Richmond Power Station, with a guest performer and live reactive visuals projected through the space.

Will Hansen (24) is a prodigious young double bass player whose enthusiasm for contemporary classical music is as ambitious as it is intoxicating. He has performed alongside Ensemble Offspring, Ensemble Apex and the Australian String Quartet. Will’s project is to commission five new works for solo double bass by local composerswhich will be released alongside unrecorded recent commissions and modern works for solo double bass. A bespoke concert and masterclass tour across Australia will be undertaken to support the album release.

Kyla Matsuura-Miller (28) is Tokyo-born and Melbourne-raised. She is a powerhouse violinist who is currently working with Inventi Ensemble, Trio Clara and Duo Piaggio and Adam McMillan. In 2017 Kyla was an Emerging Artist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. She has won numerous awards, and in 2022 will be the recipient of the Homophonic Pride Prize.  “My project aims to express and evoke elements of the collective cultural memory of being raised non-white in Australia.” says Kyla. Three composers will be commissioned to write new works for solo violin, with optional electronics which will culminate in a live performance co-presented by Play On via YouTube..

Eliza Shephard (28) is aWagga Wagga-born Melbourne-based flautist who strives to push the boundaries of her instrument.  She was selected for an ABC Young Performers Award semi-finalist in 2021.  Eliza has toured nationally with Opera Australia’s regional touring program. She proposes to commission five flute duets from Australian composers for her project, “Each duet will pay homage to the relationships and training that I received from teachers that I have studied with.” says Eliza.” A book will be released, along with a YouTube video and a performance.” 


The Classical Fellowship is funded by the Freedman Foundation, a philanthropic foundation chaired by Laurence Freedman to assist young Australians in music and visual arts, as well as providing support to medical and scientific programs. Laurence and Kathy Freedman were made Members of the Order of Australia for service to the community, to medical research, the arts, and to business and investment in Australia. The Fellowships are managed by The Music Trust and administered by the Sydney Improvised Music Association.

Sydney Arts Guide has three double passes to give away to watch this event.  

Email: editor.sydneyartsguide@gmail.com with Freedman Classical Fellowship Concert 2021 Promotion in the subject heading. Please provide your mobile phone in the body of your email. 





A rare feat –experience six of Australia’s best pianists playing six grand pianos in a virtuosic kaleidoscope of music. 

Beginning with the genius of Bach, the program also features past and present Australian composers and a generous helping of Latin dance rhythms.

For a concert pianist isolation is the norm: practising alone and performing solo –so what happens when six of them come together in Sydney’s Town Hall?

In 12 Hands 6 Grands, the Sydney International Piano Competition’s Artistic Director, Piers Lane, has invited six of Australia’s best female pianists to join in a rare collaboration. Some are laureates of the competition, all are luminaries of the piano.  Continue reading SYDNEY FESTIVAL PREVIEW: 12 HANDS 6 GRANDS @ SYDNEY TOWN HALL


Above: Piano soloist Tamara-anna Cislovska gave a stunning performance of Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No 2 with TMO.                                                                                                                                        Featured image: Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of TMO, Sarah-Grace Williams

The audience at the ABC Centre’s Eugene Goossens Hall were treated to an all-Russian programme from TMO for its Met Concert #4. Titled ‘Fever’, It presented works from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries by three giants of the Russian music scene . From the evening’s striking opening chord, it was clear that the Russian music would be celebrated with focussed energy, interpretative skill and frisson by the Australian artists.

Joining this busy Australian orchestra as soloist was pianist Tamara-Anna Cislowska. Through her recording, broadcasting, editing and concert work , Tamara-Anna has proved herself over and over to be one of this country’s great musical humans. Who better to join the joyous musical souls of the large-format TMO to clearly  present the heat and diverse complexities of the programmed Russian music. Continue reading THE METROPOLITAN ORCHESTRA : MET CONCERT 4 @ THE ABC CENTRE


Elena Kats-Chernin
Photo: Bruria-Hammer

A fairy-tale beginning inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s famous fairy tale, WILD SWANS IN CONCERT this Saturday will star Elena Kats-Chernin, Tamara-Anna Cislowska and Jane Sheldon.

The breathtaking music of WILD SWANS IN CONCERT is inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s The Wild Swans. A young girl Eliza is driven from her home by her wicked stepmother who turns her eleven brothers into wild swans.  To break the spell, Eliza must knit eleven coats out of stinging nettles, find the swans and dress them in their jackets – all while keeping silent.

Elena Kats- Chernin found her voice in music at a young age and has been captivating audiences for decades. Even if you don’t know her name, you’re bound to have heard her music, whether on the radio, online, at the Olympics or in the Sydney Opera House.  Recently celebrating her 60th birthday, both stage and auditorium were packed for this much loved performer’s birthday concert. So if you weren’t at the birthday party now is your chance to hear her work.

On Saturday, The Joan proudly presents Kats-Chernin’s breath-taking piano and vocal score in concert format, with two of Australia’s most outstanding pianists – Tamara-Anna Cislowska and Elena Kats-Chernin – playing live on stage, joined by New York based Australian soprano Jane Sheldon, who is described by the Sydney Morning Herald as ‘superb, with a voice of penetrating beauty, precision and variegated colours’.

Elena Kats-Chernin’s haunting and evocative music to Meryl Tankard’s ballet Wild Swans captivated audiences around Australia when it was first performed by The Australian Ballet and broadcast on ABC TV.

This incredible piano score will be played by four hands on one piano with Sheldon’s spectacular soprano voice rising above the music, and will be accompanied by photographic images created and curated by the extraordinary photographer and visual designer Regis Lansac.

Elena Kats-Chernin is one of the most cosmopolitan composers working today and her love of extreme and dramatically vivid music – from joy to thunder; whimsy to roar – takes audiences on a journey of exquisite beauty in Wild Swans.

WILD SWANS IN CONCERT, Saturday 11 November 7.30pm, is a must for all lovers of fine music – finishing The Joan’s 2017 Fine Music series on a high note, in the hands of a musical dream team.

Tickets (Adult $65 Concession $60) available at the Box Office 47237600 or online



This event, a collaboration between the ACO and Jennifer Peeedom , will leave you overawed and breathless at the savage beauty of nature and music. It is in a similar vein to the ACO’s 2012 multimedia project The Reef it is full of stunning visuals (the film is directed by Peeedom with Renan Ozturk as principal photographer) and also features bravura playing by the ACO in dazzling form as led by Tognetti, who has some dramatic , shimmering and fiery solos.

The work is an epic exploration of the often fraught relationship between humans and mountains which really began with the Romantics. The film is narrated by Willem Dafoe, with text written by Robert Macfarlane – whose book Mountains of the Mind inspired Peedom’s approach to this project.

The film itself is a poetic rumination on humans’ relationship with mountains and explores the nature of our modern fascination with mountains – WHY are we so captivated by them? but there is little detail conveyed in the narration – Although some of the issues explored in Peedom’s 2014 film Sherpa are briefly mentioned – instead , Dafoe asserts broad ideas for which the film provides breathtaking images. Continue reading AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER ORCHESTRA : ‘MOUNTAIN’ @ THE CITY RECITAL HALL



Celloist David Pereira. Images by Steven Godbee

One hundred years after the First World War, bullets, bones and bombs are still being discovered by farmers in the fields of France. They remind us of the men of Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Germany, and France who died so painfully in the trenches in the rain and mud.

I was privileged to be at this latest Live at Lunch concert and hear this luminous, soulful performance.

The marvellous quartet of musicians consisted of Jane Rutter on flute, Tamara-Anna Cislowska on piano, David Pereira on cello and Christopher Lantham ( the director of The Flowers of War) on violin. Rutter wore a striking kimono/suit like outfit in turquoise and black the other performers were in orchestral black. Continue reading LIVE AT LUNCH : MONET : THE FLOWERS OF WAR @ THE CONCOURSE

Live At Lunch : Russian Rhapsodies – Four Hands and a Flute @ The Concourse

Jane Rutter Flautist at Elydene Gardens, Gordon NSW for ABC CD cover 2014

Above Jane Rutter. Featured photo- Elena Kats-Chernin and Tamara Anna Cislowska.

This concert was latest in the terrific series Live at Lunch, as coordinated by Jane Rutter.

Rutter’s guests this time were renowned pianist Tamara Anna Cislowska and composer Elena Kats-Chernin. Russian classic favourites arranged for four hands and flute were interspersed with works by Kats-Chernin. The majority of the works were played as a four-handed version on the shiny black Steinway gleaming lustrously on the platform as Rutter accompanied on the flute.

Rutter was in white with a red stole , Kats-Chernin wore a black outfit with bronze detail and Cislowska wore a wonderful outfit of black velvet trousers Russian in style and with gold detail and a black top. All three took turns introducing the various works to the audience.

The concert opened with the slinky, fiery Slicked Back Tango by Kats-Chernin, followed by her rippling, delicate, crystalline and sparkling Dance of the Paper Umbrellas. At one point, the piece sounded like raindrops were dancing.

We were then treated to a powerful, sultry and hypnotic version of Ravel’s Bolero with its relentless repeated rhythm. It felt a bit like Rutter was drowned out a little  towards the end with the rather overwhelming piano.

Next piece was a suite of three dances from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, – a sharp, spiky version of The Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy,  a slow, languidly flowing and pulsating Arabian dance, and a breathlessly fast tumbling and cascading Russian Dance with Rutter accompanying on piccolo and not the flute.

Next came Kats-Chernin’s shimmering, tumultuous Vocalise that surged, ebbed and flowed like the sea.

Rachmaninov’s piece, however, as played by Cislowska and Rutter, was lyrical, featuring a dialogue between the two instruments with the flute soaring.

Cislowska then talked a little about Lizst’s Hungarian Rhapsody No 6 which apparently has the largest passage of octaves in the classical repertoire, and is renowned for being fiendishly difficult to play. Cislowska gave an exceptional, powerful and passionate performance that culminated in a fiery conclusion.

Kats-Chernin’s Russian Toccatta had a quiet, contemporary sound with its rippling cascades, very fast passages and a breathless finish. Her exquisite Eliza Aria twinkled like stars and was performed with enormous heart.

The Russian Rag, also by Kats-Chernin, followed, with its striking rhythms, and a hint of a Gershwin influence.

The audience reaction was such that an encore was demanded – a very fast exuberant version of Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers, again from The Nutcracker suite. We then had to leave for lunch, and to buy  the new Kats-Chernin CD entitled Butterflying.

The Live At Lunch concert Russian Rhapsodies : Four Hands and The Flute took place at the Concourse  Chatswood on Wednesday 11th May.



The Acacia Quartet: Five Chapters Concert @ The Australian Hall


The very hip Acacia Quartet celebrated their fifth birthday with a wonderful concert. The audience serenaded the quartet with a loud and rousing vocal rendition of “Happy Birthday To You”, an old classic by Patty and Mildred J. Hill  from Warner/Chappell Music.

The evening of classical ear-candy began with “Untitled”, composed by Lyle Chan. This was its world premiere performance.

Next was Elena Kats-Chernin’s “Five Chapters” composed for piano quintet, in a new arrangement prepared for guest pianist, Tamara Anna Cislowska. This represented the longest piece of the first half- just under a half an hour long. Continue reading The Acacia Quartet: Five Chapters Concert @ The Australian Hall