2021 Semi-Finalists

After many weeks of adjudication, the six 2021 Semi-Finalists were named by a panel of internationally-recognised musicians. Learn more about them here.

Jason Henery Double Bass

Jason Henery is a 20-year old Double Bassist from Sydney. Born in Sydney, Jason commenced his musical education on the violin at age five, moving to a study of the double bass with his father in late 2010. Now at age eighteen, Jason has been principal double bass of the Australian Youth Orchestras (AYO) for several years. Additionally, he has played alongside other principal members in the AYO, performing such chamber works as Mendelssohn's Octet op. 20 and Beethoven's Septet op. 20. As a soloist, Jason has also been featured with Ensemble Nouveau, performing Bottesini’s Concerto in B minor. He has also been a finalist in the Alf and Pearl Pollard Award Competition.

Tony Lee Piano

Tony Lee is one of Australia's most highly awarded pianists, who was resident artist at the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth in Belgium (2014 to 2016), as a protege of the renowned Portuguese-Swiss pianist, Maria-João Pires.

Tony has performed across the Asia Pacific, Europe, the USA and has appeared as soloist with the Brussels Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, China Central Ballet Symphony, Shanghai Philharmonic, Chengdu Philharmonic, Guangxi Philharmonic, Queensland Symphony, Tasmanian Symphony, and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

Tony began his professional training at the Australian Institute of Music with Professor Victor Makarov and Alexey Koltakov. He furthered studies at ANAM with Rita Reichman and Timothy Young, before completing formal studies at the Central Music School of the Moscow State Conservatory under Anatoly Ryabov. He attained his BMus at the Sydney Conservatorium with Dr Paul Rickard-Ford and his MMus at the Barratt Due Institute of Music with Michael Endres in Norway.

Robbin Reza Piano

Japanese-Australian Pianist Robbin Reza (26) completed his Bachelor of Music in 2016 with First Class Honours at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, studying with Daniel Herscovitch. In 2019, Robbin completed his Master’s Degree in Cologne and is currently studying his Konzertexamen (Artists Diploma) and a Masters in Chamber Music with Claudio Martinez-Mehner and Anthony Spiri respectively at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz, Köln. Concurrently, he studies early music with Andreas Staier. Robbins studies overseas have been generously supported by the Theme and Variations Foundation, Australian Music Foundation, DAAD and the International Lieven Piano Foundation of Hamburg Scholarship.

Robbin gave his first public recital at the age of 11 for the launch of the 9th Sydney International Piano Competition and in addition to his solo career, Robbin is particularly devoted to chamber music and performs regularly in Germany and abroad with various ensembles, including notable collaborations with Ensemble Musikfabrik and saxophonist/composer, Vincent David. Recently, Robbin was selected for the Klassik Scholarship from the Werner Richard - Dr. Carl Dörken Foundation to perform several concerts around Germany.

Eliza Shephard Flute

Eliza Shephard is a vibrant performer based in Melbourne, and is quickly paving her way as an educator, improviser and collaborator. She graduated
from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Music (First Class Honours) in Flute Performance studying with Virginia Taylor, and
completed her Master of Music through Griffith University. Eliza has studied and performed in Canada and USA, and trained at the Australian
National Academy of Music. She has received many awards including the ANAM Director's Prize and the International Woodwind Player Award at the Gisborne International Music Competition. A fervent contemporary musician, Eliza has established a course on experimental flute techniques, ‘The Extended Flute’, and is a specialist on the Glissando Headjoint. She is passionate about amplifying the voices of female musicians andcomposers, and is planning her third instalment of ‘March of the Women’, a month-long project celebrating the output of women throughout musical history.

Benett Tsai Cello

Benett, 17, is currently an undergraduate at the Colburn School in Los Angeles where he learns from Clive Greensmith. In 2020, he was selected to the Verbier Festival Solo Academy and appeared in the film, The Way Forward, performing with Jean-Yves Thibaudet.

Since his solo debut at the age of 13, Benett has collaborated with orchestras such as the Canberra Symphony, Australian Chamber Orchestra Academy, Willoughby Symphony and the Sydney Youth Orchestra. He has also performed at the 2017 Musica Viva Huntington Music Festival and in recital with his pianist father, Joshua Tsai at venues including Shanghai Oriental Arts Center.

Benett was the winner of the 2016 Australian National Young Virtuoso Award. His other awards include the Grand Prize at the 2017 ENKOR International Music Competition and First Prize at the 2020 Manhattan International Competition. He was introduced to the cello by his uncle and teacher, Thomas Tsai. Previously, he also studied with Susan Blake and Li Wei Qin.

Edward Walton Violin

Edward was born in Sydney in 2006, and studies with Dr Robin Wilson, Head of Violin at the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne. Edward has been successful in many international competitions, most recently being selected to participate in the 2021 Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition. In 2019, Edward was awarded first prize and the audience prize at the Il Piccolo Violino Magico competition, first prize in the Medallion International Concerto Competition in the USA, 1st Grand Prix at the
Jeunes Artistes Musicals du Centre in France and First Prize in the International London Grand Prize Virtuoso Competition culminating in an invitation to perform at the Royal Albert Hall. In 2018 he was awarded the top prizes at the 9th International Young Musicians Competition in Legnago, Italy, including the Premio Magnani Young Prize, the Premio Virtuosite Prize and was the joint winner of the Premio Salieri Young Prize. He was also awarded the Hans Reiner Storz Memorial Award at the 2018 Melbourne International Violin Competition.

Archives
2018 Semi Finalists
Kevin Chow

Piano

Perth-born 21 year-old Kevin Chow began piano studies at age five. He has just completed his Bachelor of Music (Hons) degree at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music in Australia where he studied piano with Glenn Riddle. Prizes in Australia include the Hephzibah Menuhin Memorial Award, 3 MBS Young Performer of the Year, John Allison Scholarship, and MCM Concerto Prize. Internationally Kevin has been a finalist in the Thailand International Piano Competition and semi-finalist in both the Virginia Waring and Suzhou Jinji Lake International Piano Competitions. Kevin has given recitals in the USA, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, New Zealand and Indonesia, and performed for HRH Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwell. He has performed concertos by Beethoven, Liszt, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev with orchestras that include the Thailand Philharmonic, Fremantle Symphony, Zelman Symphony, Frankston Symphony, Preston Symphony, Maroondah Symphony and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music Symphony Orchestras.

Stefanie Farrands

Viola

Violist Stefanie Farrands has been Principal Violist with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra since 2015. She studied with Tabea Zimmermann in Berlin, and prior to Berlin she was the recipient of the Georgina Grosvenor Scholarship at ANAM studying with Roger Bennedict and Alice Waten in Melbourne.

Stefanie has performed extensively throughout Europe, America, Asia and Australia both as a chamber musician and orchestral player, including playing with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Camerata Salzburg. She is a regular guest of the Berlin Philharmonic and has also been Guest Principal with the Strasbourg Philharmonic and Amsterdam Sinfonietta. In Australia she has been guest principal Viola with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, guest Principal Viola of the Australian World Orchestra, and has been a regular guest with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Melbourne Chamber Orchestra.

Waynne (Woo Seok) Kwon

Cello

Waynne currently studies under Hannah Roberts with a full bursary at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK, generously supported by the Haworth Trust and the Dorothea Stone Award. He is also supported by The Tait Memorial Trust as a Higgins Family Scholar, and is the recipient of the 2017 Guy Parsons Award from the Australian Music Foundation (donated by the Portland House Foundation). He is the winner of the 2018 Muriel Taylor Cello Scholarship, Finalist of the 2017 Bromsgrove International Music competition, winner of the 2017 RNCM Concerto Competition and the 2016 Sir John Barbirolli Cello Prize. Waynne has had masterclasses with Miklos Perenyi, Heinrich Schiff, Ralph Kirshbaum, Frans Helmerson, Karine Georgian, David Geringas and Claudius Popp. Waynne currently performs on a cello made by Francesco Ruggieri in 1694, generously on loan from the RNCM.

Andrey Lebedev

Classical Guitar

Andrey Lebedev is an acclaimed classical guitarist with an insatiable curiosity. He is the laureate of top international competitions including the 2017 ARD and GFA Competitions. In 2014, he was the first young guitarist invited by Julian Bream to perform for Julian Bream Trust, premiering commissions by Harrison Birtwistle and Leo Brouwer in London. Acclaimed interpreter of contemporary music, he has had new works written for him by Brett Dean, Leo Brouwer and Peter Sculthorpe. Equally at home with early repertoire, he was awarded First Prize and special Bach Prize at the Gisborne International Music Competition for his transcription of J.S. Bach’s D Minor Violin Partita.

Shuan Hern Lee

Piano

15 year old Shuan Hern Lee started piano lessons at 2 and half with his dad, Yoon Sen Lee. At the age of 14, he obtained the Fellowship of Music of Australia diploma (AMEB) and was accepted into the University of Western Australia. Shuan Hern is also a student of International Piano Academy of Imola, Italy, studying with Yoon Sen Lee and Ingrid Fliter.

Shuan Hern has won many top prizes at international piano competitions including International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians in Russia, International Piano Competition for Young Musicians in The Netherlands, International Junior E-Piano Competition in USA and many others. Shuan Hern has performed with various orchestras including the National Symphonic Orchestra of Ukraine, the State Symphony Orchestra of Moscow, WA Symphony Orchestra and the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra.

Tony Lee

Piano

Sydney born pianist, Tony Lee, has gained a reputation as one of Australia's finest young pianists, who seeks to transmit the essence of music and his understanding of it through his playing. Tony was soloist in residence at the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth in Belgium from 2014 to 2016 and continues to work with the renowned pianist, Maria-João Pires.

Tony has performed across the Asia Pacific, Europe, the USA and has appeared as soloist with the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, Samara Philharmonic Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

Robbin Reza

Piano

Australian Pianist Robbin Reza (23 Years) completed his Bachelor of Music in 2016 with First Class Honours at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, studying with Daniel Herscovitch. From 2017, Robbin commenced a Masters Degree with Claudio Martinez-Mehner at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln in Germany. Robbin gave his first public recital at the age of 11 for the launch of the 9th Sydney International Piano Competition and has been awarded prizes in the Ku-Ring-Gai Philharmonic Orchestra’s Secondary Schools Concerto Competition, Sydney Conservatorium Concerto Competition, Allison and Henderson Scholarship Sydney Eisteddfod and the ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards.

Oliver Shermacher

Clarinet

Oliver Shermacher completed his Bachelor of Music at the Sydney Conservatorium in 2017 studying under Francesco Celata, having also studied at the Freiburg Hochschule für Musik in Germany. Oliver plays regularly with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. He placed 2nd in the Gisborne International Music Competition in 2017, won the Sydney Conservatorium Clarinet Concerto Competition and was recipient of the Sydney Conservatorium Association Clarinet Award. Oliver regularly composes and arranges, plays chalumeau and period clarinet, and is the Co-Founder of the social media page: “The Clari Boys” which produces light hearted and entertaining videos and media about classical music.

Riley Skevington

Violin

Riley is an Alumnus of the Advanced Performance Program at the Australian National Academy of Music and continues to study under Dr Robin Wilson. He performs as a member of the ACO Collective and last year shared the first desk with Daniel Dodds in the 2017 Australian World Orchestra season. Recent solo performances have include a performance of the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with the Melbourne International Film Festival and 'Spring' from Vivaldi's Four Seasons with the Australian Chamber Orchestra Collective. Other more recent awards include National Winner of the Australian Youth Classical Music Competition (2017) and the Kendall National Violin Competition (2017). His trio (Clarendon Trio) is the sole Australian-based group selected to compete in the 2018 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition held in July. Riley has achieved a position as a scholar of the Karajan Akademie, Berliner Philharmoniker, commencing later this year.
Riley plays an 1849 Pressenda made available to ANAM through the generosity of Janet Holmes à Court AC.

Victoria Wong

Violin

Victoria is undergoing her Bachelor’s degree at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin with Prof. Ulf Wallin. She started learning the violin with Rachel Miller and continued under Prof. Goetz Richter until she moved to Germany in 2013, where she attended the Landesgymnasium für Musik in Dresden and studied under Jörg Fassmann. She has participated in masterclasses with Nora Chastain, Cheng Shen, Donald Weilerstein, Silvia Simionescu, Louise Hopkins, and Tim Kliphuis. Victoria is a current recipient of the Australian Music Foundation Award. She is the winner of the 25thGyarfas Competition Berlin and a prizewinner at the International Max Rostal Competition and the International Arthur Grumiaux Competition. She has appeared as a soloist with the JSO Dresden, JSO Berlin and the Youth Classics Orchestra.