Young Performers Awards are adjudicated by respected musicians, composers, educators and classical music experts. We thank each of them for their time and expertise in supporting the career development of young Australian instrumentalists.

Dene Olding AM - Artistic Advisor and Chair of Adjudication Panel

Dene Olding is recognised as one of Australia’s most outstanding violinists. He is currently first violinist for the Goldner String Quartet and the Australia Ensemble and Concertmaster Emeritus of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. As a soloist he has worked with all of the Australian Symphony and Chamber Orchestras in a range of repertoire. He has performed over forty concertos and worked with some of the world’s leading conductors including Edo de Waart, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Stuart Challender, Sir Charles Mackerras, Jorge Mester, Gunther Herbig, Werner Andreas Albert, David Porcelijn and Vladimir Ashkenazy. He gave the Australian premiere performance of Lutoslawski’s Chain 2 with the composer conducting, Elliott Carter’s Violin Concerto and the Violin Concerto of Philip Glass. In addition, he has performed world premieres of violin concertos by Carl Vine, Ross Edwards , Bozidar Kos and the Double Concerto for violin and viola by Richard Mills, written for himself and his wife, Irina Morozova.

Dene has also held the position of Leader and Director of the Australian Chamber Orchestra and is often sought after to lead/direct concerts with many other orchestras. He has also been the Artistic Director of the Mostly Mozart Festival at the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Festival Chamber Music Concert Program. He appears regularly at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music and at many festivals in Australasia and Europe. In 2010 he appeared at the Edinburgh Festival as soloist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and conductor, Vladimir Ashkenazy.

Dene attended the Juilliard School In New York from the age of fourteen as a scholarship student of Ivan Galamian and Margaret Pardee. He graduated in 1978 with the Master of Music Degree and was awarded the Morris Loeb Prize. Other studies included master classes with Nathan Milstein and further lessons with Herman Krebbers and Gyorgy Pauk. In 1985, he was awarded the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship to further his musical studies and during that year, became a Laureate of the Queen Elisabeth of Belgium International Violin Competition.

Solo recordings include a sonata disc of Brahms, Beethoven and Mozart for ABC Classics with his father, Max Olding, the CD premiere of concertos by Frank Martin and Milhaud and concertos by Samuel Barber and Ross Edwards (Maninyas) – winner of the 1994 A.R.I.A. award for “Best Classical Recording” and the prestigious Cannes award.

He has also recorded the Hindemith violin concerti with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra under Werner Andreas Albert for CPO. His numerous chamber music CD’s have also received acclaim. Recently, the recording of chamber music of Edward Elgar with the Goldner Quartet and pianist Piers Lane for the Hyperion label was selected as Gramophone magazine’s “Record of the Month” and spent time on the “Classical top 10” in the UK. His recording of the complete Beethoven string quartets with the Goldner quartet for ABC Classics was chosen Classical album of the year by Limelight magazine and a recording of rare Rachmaninov violin works with pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy also received praise from The Strad magazine.

In 2011, he gave the premiere performance of the Carl Vine violin concerto with the Australian Youth Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House.
As a member of the Goldner String Quartet and the Australia Ensemble, he regularly tours to Europe, Asia and New Zealand. He has been awarded the Centenary Medal of Australia and has received numerous awards and accolades for his performances in all spheres of music-making. Dene is passionate about the future of classical music and sees his role as Artistic Adviser and frequent jury member for the Michael Hill International Violin Competition as making an important contribution to that end. He also directs the annual Music in the Hunter Festival, a chamber music event that takes place in the Hunter Valley wine-making country near Sydney and manages to combine a passion for Aikido and sailing with his busy musical career and spending time with his wife, Irina and son, Nikolai.

In 2017 Dene was recognised as a Member of the Order of Australia for his services to music in the Queen’s Birthday honours list.






Don Bate

Don is currently the Executive Producer of Music Production, ABC Classic FM

Adjudicator for Round 1, Round 2, and Round 3

Don Bate is an acclaimed Australian music producer and performer. He is currently the Executive Producer of Music Production for ABC Classic FM. Previous to this position Don was the Principal Trombone of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra from 1990 to 2013 and before that the Associate Principal Trombone of the Opera Australia Orchestra. He has appeared as soloist with the TSO and has been a guest principal with Australian orchestra’s including the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the ASO.  An active chamber musician, he has worked with a wide range of ensembles giving concerts and radio broadcasts nationally. As an educator Don was on staff at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of music, teaching within the brass department and directing chamber ensembles. Don is a graduate of the Canberra School of Music having majored in Trombone with Michael Mulcahy, Conducting with Leonard Dommet and Composition with Donald Hollier.






Dr Di Bresciani OAM

Dr Di Bresciani, Founder of YMF Australia (sponsor of the YMF Scholarship) completed a Music Degree at the University of Melbourne and subsequently obtained a Doctor of philosophy in music and psychology undertaken with a Post Graduate Research Scholarship.

Adjudicator for Round 1 and Round 2

In the 1980’s her research achieved international recognition, with an invitation to visit the USSR by Dimitri Kabalevsky, publications in research journals and participation in Research Commissions for the International Society for Music Education. In 1988 Di founded the Youth Music Foundation of Australia Inc (YMF) which is affiliated with leading music /arts institutions in Australia, Italy, the US and the UK.

In 2003 Di was selected Woman Achiever of the Year by the Australian Brain Foundation. Di is a life member of the Melba Trust Foundation, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Music Teachers, a senior adjudicator for the Australian Music Examinations Board, a Life Governor of University College, Melbourne, Founder and Managing Director YMF and a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Di was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) of Australia in the Queen’s Honours List 2013 for her contributions to the visual arts, music and philanthropy. On April 6th, 2014 Trio Bresciani was launched at Melba Hall University of Melbourne, with three of Australia’s finest young musicians. On July 6th 2014 the Trio was launched in Brisbane Queensland. Trio Bresciani is the intersection between the hidden impulses of painting and music.

Di was previously –

• Board Member Australian Festival of Chamber Music
• Vice President Soiree Musical Inc
• Director Australian Cultural Fund
• Art Committee Member Peter MacCallum Institute
• Board Member Australian Society for Music Education
• Board Member Rose Music Pty Ltd
• Managing Director Yamaha Music Foundation of Australian Inc
• Board Member Australian Festival of Chamber Music
• Council Member University College Melbourne
• Council Member University College Past Students’ Association






Elaine Chia

Elaine is the Chief Executive Officer of the City Recital Hall.

Adjudicator for Round 1, Round 2, and Round 3

Elaine Chia, whose career spans music, theatre and visual arts, is a passionate advocate for the arts. Prior to her current role as CEO of City Recital Hall Limited, Elaine was the Director, International Signature Projects at the Australia Council for the Arts for the Australian representation at three Venice Biennales and establishing the new Australian Pavilion in Venice, Italy.

Elaine has held senior roles at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Belvoir Street Theatre and the Australian Youth Orchestra. She has worked on numerous international projects and led orchestral tours to Asia, Europe and South America.

She is currently Chair of Contemporary Asian Australian Performance, and was a judge for the 2017 Freedman Classical Fellowship.






Warwick D. Ross LLB

Warwick is currently engaged as a consultant by The Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust and holds the position of General  Manager.

Adjudicator for Round 1, Round 2, and Round 3

Admitted to practice as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria Warwick Ross has completed:

• Twenty years as a Double Bassist with major orchestras in Australia and the United Kingdom including membership of The London Mozart Players, The English Sinfonia, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra;

• Five years as audio engineer and producer of audio recordings with a Sydney recording studio; and

• Twenty two years in senior music administration and management including positions held with Arts Promotions & Management Services, London; Michael Edgley International and The Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust.






Raff Wilson

Raff Wilson is the Director of Artistic Planning for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

Adjudicator for Round 3

He began his professional life working for music publishers such as Boosey & Hawkes and Alfred Publishing Australia, and subsequently with Symphony Australia and ABC Classic FM.

For the Sydney Symphony Orchestra he produced numerous recordings, and innovative concert performances of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Vaughan Williams’ Sinfonia Antartica, and Australia’s first opera, Don John of Austria, by Isaac Nathan. Working for the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra from 2010 to 2017, he contributed to major developments in that orchestra’s artistic evolution, including the city’s acclaimed first performance of Ring cycle, conducted by Music Director Jaap van Zweden.

Raff trained as a singer, studying with Robert Gard (Australia) and Clifford Lister (England). He holds a degree in languages from the University of Sydney.

More Adjudicators to be announced...