Awards for young musicians

We are delighted to announce that the Awards for Young Musicians annual awards programme for talented young musicians is open for applications. We would be really grateful if this could be shared so this opportunity can reach as many young people as possible. It is a wonderful, inspiring organisation. All contact details below.

The information below is from the Awards for Young Musicians website

Annual Awards Programme

If you are aged between five and seventeen you can apply to our Annual Awards programme. We give awards of between £200 and £2,000, totalling a minimum of £70,000 per year; last year we supported 132 talented young musicians. We help with all the major costs of a young musician’s training, such as lessons, buying an instrument, travel and specialist courses.


Our key criteria

We support instrumentalists making music in any genre, and our key criteria are:
– Financial need (all applications are means-tested)
– Exceptional musical talent and potential

Awards can help with costs including:

  • Buying or hiring a musical instrument
  • Music lessons
  • Weekend music schools
  • Music courses
  • Orchestra fees
  • Travel

Applicants will need to:

  • Show evidence of financial need
  • Have ideally achieved a distinction in your last music exam – or, if you haven’t taken exams, show evidence of this level of ability
  • Be recommended by your music teacher and an organisation, orchestra or group where you play or practise.


How to apply

First of all please read our guidance notes.

Complete the 2014 application form: once you have done this, email it to us.

You also need to send to us some other documents. These are

Your three references, as listed below:
•    Music Teacher
•    Head Teacher
•    Recommending organisation’s form

The HEAD TEACHER reference should be sent with your proof of income to Awards for Young Musicians. The MUSIC TEACHER and RECOMMENDING ORGANISATION completed forms should be sent directly to Awards for Young Musicians.


During this process, we use income thresholds similar to those of the Music and Dance Scheme( Ultimately, however, our adjudication panel makes decisions based on which applicants are most talented and most in need of help.

If you have any questions or need help to complete the form, please call Jane Ordaz Stubbs on 01234 750 738 or email

Download the documents you need here:

The deadline for 2014 applications is Friday 21 March 2014.

For information about other possible funders, please visit FAQs/Funding.

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Review of Joan Sutherland tour recording 1965 – Opera News 2003

Joan Sutherland “LIVE IN AUSTRALIA 1965

Joan Sutherland - I Puritani
Joan Sutherland – I Puritani

Excerpts from Semiramide, Faust, La Traviata, La Sonnambula. Harwood, Sinclair, Elms; Pavarotti, J. Alexander, Opthof, Rouleau, Cross, others. Sutherland-Williamson Grand Opera Company Orchestra and Chorus, Bonynge/Weibel. Desirée Records CD 2965 (Norbeck, Peters & Ford, dist., 802-868-9300)

On July 17, 1951, Joan Sutherland left Sydney, Australia, with a purse full of prize money and the dream of singing at Covent Garden. Fourteen years later, she returned, the centerpiece of an old-fashioned, rigorous tour presented by J. C. Williamson Ltd. and organized by Sir Frank Tait, who had arranged legendary Nellie Melba tours for the same company in 1911, 1924 and 1928. In the space of fourteen weeks, Sutherland sang forty-three performances in four Australian cities — twelve Violettas, eleven Lucias, eight Semiramides, six Sonnambula Aminas, and six Faust Marguerites.

The arduous task of artistic director was given to Richard Bonynge, who cast the other principals, oversaw everything and, of course, conducted. After some rather spiky moments upon arrival, when the local press attempted to create controversy about Sutherland’s lengthy absence from her homeland, the tour was a phenomenal success, creating an interest in opera that ultimately resulted in the establishment of several resident companies. Sutherland was in spectacular form for the tour, establishing herself as a national heroine through the glory of her singing. Conductor and Sutherland-chronicler Brian Castles-Onion has painstakingly assembled tapes, chosen excerpts from various “pirate” sources and released this two-CD set with the blessing of the diva.

Although sound quality is variable (only the Sonnambula excerpts are in really poor sound, however), the vocalism is of such prodigious quality that these documents are a must for Sutherland fans and for students of singing. Reservations held by some about the lack of clarity in the soprano’s diction, her sometimes-muddy middle register, her “cool” temperament, will surely be diminished — if not obliterated — by evidence to the contrary on these discs. And her trademark assets — supreme agility, exquisite high E-flats and that amazing trill, are represented in abundance. Here you’ll find Sutherland at her peak. Castles-Onion has omitted selections from Lucia altogether, feeling that the role is well represented elsewhere. He has chosen not to include “Bel raggio” in the Semiramide group for the same reason. But what is included constitutes a feast of virtuoso singing that confirms memories of the soprano one sometimes doubts as too good to be true.

Both Semiramide-Arsace duets are here, the first with the impressive Australian mezzo Lauris Elms, the second with the vocally fearless Monica Sinclair. Sutherland is an imperious, authoritative Semiramide in ensembles, melting vocally in the amorous moments, blending perfectly with both her duet partners. The florid Rossini singing is the kind that makes you press the “repeat” button repeatedly. Even more fascinating for its rarity is Sutherland’s “live” Marguerite, beautifully partnered by John Alexander, a fine Met Faust at that time. The jewel song is peerless, capped by a long trill and even longer B-natural, all in one breath. The love duet and final prison scene and trio are impassioned and beautifully phrased, and the French language brings Sutherland’s voice forward to a lighter, more youthful place, befitting the character. Richard Cross is the excellent Méphistophélès.

Luciano Pavarotti enjoying a game of Tennis in 1965. Photo Isla Baring
Luciano Pavarotti enjoying a game of Tennis in 1965. Photo Isla Baring

In some Traviata selections, we encounter the great “find” of the tour, the young Luciano Pavarotti, who also partnered the diva in La Sonnambula. The Traviata excerpts, which include all the Violetta-Alfredo duets (including the denunciation at Flora’s party, with Alexander as Alfredo), Violetta’s arias, the great duet with Germont and the finale of the opera, are miked closely, to thrilling effect. The textures of Pavarotti’s youthful instrument and Sutherland’s in its prime provide ample goose bumps, and Cornelius Opthof is a superb elder Germont. Violetta was Sutherland’s favorite role, and as it was not always her most successful, she worked extra hard to be convincing in it. In Australia, she succeeded. Finally, La Sonnambula is represented by two excerpts: the gorgeous “D’un pensiero … non è questa, ingrato core” ensemble of Act II, and Amina’s final cabaletta, “Ah, non giunge.” Some may argue with Sutherland and Bonynge’s breakneck speed, but it expresses perfectly both Amina’s joy in awakening to love and Sutherland’s sheer joy in singing. The inclusion of this piece, always a heart-stopping Sutherland moment in the theater, is most welcome, despite the poor sound quality. The discs conclude with a short curtain speech in Melbourne by the overwhelmed prima donna. Bonynge’s conducting is stylish and spirited; he seems to be, along with everyone involved, swept away by the occasion. The Faust selections are also handled very well, by alternate conductor William Weibel.

IRA SIFF, Opera News. April 2003


To buy this recording and other rare discs of Dame Joan please click here

Rare recording of Joan Sutherland from the 1965 tour of Australia

 Joan Sutherland 1965 tour
Joan Sutherland 1965 tour

A recording of Dame Joan Sutherland, live in Australia 1965 (Vol. 2) Desiree Records is available via this link

Volume 1 sold out (let’s hope they press some more CDs). These recordings have particular significance for the Trust as Isla Baring’s father, Sir Frank Tait, produced this tour as part of the JC Williamson/ Sutherland Opera Company. It was Sir Frank’s ambition to present Dame Joan Sutherland to the Australian public after her international acclaim. The Sutherland Williamson Opera Company was formed in 1963. Richard Bonynge as Artistic Director engaged a team of world renowned principals and internationally successful Australian artists. One of the principals was Luciano Pavarotti, a young tenor from Modena. The chorus was all Australian. There was no government subsidy and the fate of Williamson’s future rested on the success of the venture.

Sir Frank lived to see his ambition fulfilled. The triumphant Melbourne opening heralded the return of Dame Joan to her homeland. It was a season never to be forgotten. In Richard Bonynge’s words: “Sir Frank Tait has done the greatest service to Australian Theatre and to the arts of anyone we know.”

Sir Frank died at the age of 81 after the Melbourne season finished and while the company were in Adelaide. It was the end of an era in the history of Australian theatre.

Final night of La Sonnambula. Sutherland/ Williamson tour 1965
Final night of La Sonnambula. Sutherland/ Williamson tour 1965

Following the enormous response to the initial Joan Sutherland Live In Australia 1965 (unfortunately no longer available), Desiree Records brings us a sequel which includes Sutherland performing the entire role of Lucia di Lammermoor, plus other rare and unknown recordings including alternate casts.

NOTE: These historical recordings derive mainly from old reel-to-reel quarter-inch tape, recorded with, sometimes, primitive methods. Studio efforts have been made to keep any unnecessary surface noise to a minimum without harming the clarity of sound reproduction.

Also available from Desiree Records are these two collections of Robert Allman and Nance Grant.

Robert Allman 


Nance Grant


Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti):

– Introduction

– Ancor non giunse!

– Regnava nel silenzio

– Quando, rapito in estasi

– Egli s’avanza…La vicina soglia

– Sulla tomba che rinserra

– Qui di sposa eterna fede

– Verranno a te sull’aure

– Il pallor funesto, orrendo

– Soffriva nel pianto

– Se tradirmi tu potrai

– Ebben? Di tua speranza

– Ah! Cedi, cedi, o più sciagure

– Al ben de’ tuoi qual vittima

– Dov’ è Lucia?

– Piange la madre estinta…

– Chi mi frena in tal momento?

– T’allontana, sciagurato

– Il dolce suono

– Ardon gli incensi

– S’avanza Enrico!

– Spargi d’amoro pianto.

Joan Sutherland (Lucia), John Alexander (Edgardo), Cornelis Opthof (Enrico), Clifford Grant (Raimondo), Dorothy Cole (Alisa), Sergei Baigildin (Arturo) – Richard Bonynge – Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne, July 10th 1965.


Semiramide (Rossini):

– Bel raggio lusinghier

– Se la vita ancor t’è cara

– Ebben, a te: ferisci.

Joan Sutherland (Semiramide), Spiro Malas (Azzur), Lauris Elms (Arsace) – August 1965 exact date unknown.

La Traviata (Verdi):

– Libiamo ne’ lieti calici

– Che è ciò?

– Un di felice.

Joan Sutherland (Violetta), Alberto Remedios (Alfredo) Andrè Montal (Gastone) – exact date unknown.

Faust (Gounod):

– Seigneur, daignez permettre à votre humble servante.

Joan Sutherland (Marguerite), Richard Cross (Méphistophélès) – cond. William Weibel – August 10th 1965.

La Sonnambula (Bellini):

– Care compagne….Come per me sereno

– Sovra il sen la man mi posa

– Prendi: l’anel ti dono.

Joan Sutherland (Amina), Luciano Pavarotti (Elvino) – Richard Bonynge – Her Majesty’s Theatre, Sydney – October 9th 1965. Encore: Home Sweet Home. Richard Bonynge (Pianoforte), Closing Night – Melbourne.

Bonus Tracks: The Alternate Sopranos

Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti):

– Sulla tomba che rinserra

– Qui di sposa eterna fede

– Verranno a te sull’aure.

Elizabeth Harwood (Lucia), Luciano Pavarotti (Edgardo).
Faust (Gounod):

– Alerte, ou vous ètes perdus!

Doris Yarick (Marguerite), Alberto Remedios (Faust), Joseph Rouleau (Méphistophélès)


Andrew Sinclair – Australian international opera director with San Diego Opera | Pagliacci

Andrew Sinclair – D i r e c t o r


Andrew Sinclair was born in Melbourne and has directed productions for all the major Australian opera companies. Following engagements with Welsh National Opera, English National Opera (then Sadler’s Wells) and a London season of the Bolshoi Ballet, he was appointed Deputy Stage Manager for the Royal Opera, Covent Garden and is currently a Resident Director with the company. Today he began rehearsing a production of Pagliacci in San Diego, USA. More about the production here San Diego Opera | Pagliacci.

A recent review for Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci with West Australian Opera

“Director Andrew Sinclair has done wonders in deploying his forces, not least in relation to a crowd of excited children and adults who swarm around for a performance none will ever forget..”
Neville Cohn – The West Australian, 9 August 2010

Classical Music News; Music, Arts and Culture Reviews; Classical Events Guide – Limelight Magazine

Well written piece from Limelight Magazine @LimelightEd about the success of the three young Australian singers who have been offered places in the @RoyalOperaHouse, Jette Parker Young Artist Programme. Also mentioned are Australians, Greg Eldridge (director) and Kiandra Howarth (soprano) who continue with the programme. 5 young Australians in the programme…

Classical Music News; Music, Arts and Culture Reviews; Classical Events Guide – Limelight Magazine.

Five new singers to join the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme in September 2014 < News – Royal Opera House

Lauren Fagan, Soprano

Thrilled to be able to announce that 2013 Tait Awardee, Lauren Fagan has been offered a place in the Royal Opera House, Jette Parker Young Artists Programme to begin in September 2014. The news is even sweeter as two other young Australian singers have also been offered a place; Tenor, Sam Sakker and Baritone, Samuel Johnson. Congratulations to you all


Five new singers to join the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme in September 2014 < News – Royal Opera House.

Jayson Gillham, Wigmore Hall. 27 January 2014

Dear Tait Trust friends, supporters, followers

I was very privileged to perform at John Amis’s memorial concert on 8th October.  A wonderfully colourful and lively event which was a fitting celebration for a colourful and lively man.  I met John for the first time very near the end of his life at a concert I gave at the home of Bob and Elisabeth Boas, great supporters of the Tait Trust.  I will cherish my memory of chatting to John, hearing him recount stories about Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Ravel and Britten as if he had seen them only the day before.  Above all his enthusiasm for music was infectious and inspiring.  Thank you Isla for introducing us then, and for letting me be a part of his celebration concert.  Performing Grainger’s Handel in the Strand was a fun – and at times nerve-wracking – experience, and it was wonderful to work with the great Steuart Bedford who is known for his close association with Benjamin Britten.

Jayson Gillham - Wigmore

As I look ahead to my performance schedule in 2014, I would particularly like to inform you all about a very special Wigmore Hall recital I will be giving soon on 27th January, kindly supported by the Keyboard Charitable Trust  The programme is as follows:

Beethoven Two Rondos, Op. 51
Beethoven Sonata No. 28 in A major, Op. 101
Schumann Etudes symphoniques

It is a very interesting and appealing programme because it takes us on a journey through three great structures of Classical music – the Rondo, the Sonata and the Variation.  At the same time it documents the rapid development of the piano, which in the space of a few decades in the early 1800s evolved from a light and graceful domestic instrument into an orchestral powerhouse capable of filling large halls on a symphonic scale.

Another interesting point is that I will be performing a unique version of the Schumann Symphonic Etudes.  Many of you will know that the piece is simultaneously a set of variations and a set of etudes.  Some will be aware of five variations which Schumann did not publish during his lifetime and were rediscovered and published by Brahms.  When incorporating these ‘posthumous’ variations, as I will be on 27th, it is up to the performer to decide where they should be placed.  Some play them all together in a group, and others dot them throughout the piece.  As far as I know, the order I have chosen is unlike any other.  I have various reasons behind the order which I have chosen, the main one being that I want to highlight the extreme characters of Schumann’s writing – the so-called Florestan and Eusebius which we hear so much in Kreisleriana, Carnaval and indeed most of Schumann’s early piano compositions.

I hope that whets your appetite!  I’m looking forward to seeing some friendly faces in the audience, and after the concert please come around the back to say hello!

link to Wigmore Hall website for full details and to book tickets –