Australian dancer Joshua Price wins the 2016 Genée | Limelight

We wish to offer our warmest congratulations to the young Australian dancers who triumphed at the prestigious 2016 Genée International Ballet Competition which was held in Sydney this year. For Joshua Price, Maeve Nolan, Talia Fidra & Brayden Gallucci this is a major achievement. Bravi from us all at the Tait Memorial Trust.

We are inspired to continue with our fundraising for the 2017 Leanne Benjamin Awards as financial support, such as this is, so very important to our talented young dancers.

Limelight Magazine
by Jo Litson on December 12, 2016 (just now) filed under Dance | Comment Now 

Joshua Price wins a Gold Medal and the Margot Fonteyn Audience Choice Award. Photo © Winkipop Media, image courtesy of the Royal Academy of Dance

The final of the 2016 Genée International Ballet Competition was a night that Joshua Price isn’t likely to forget. Not only was the 16-year old Australian awarded a Gold Medal by the judges, but he also captured the audience’s heart winning the Margot Fonteyn Audience Choice Award.

The winners and judges at the 2016 Genée International Ballet Competition. Photo © Winkipop Media, image courtesy of the Royal Academy of Dance

Held at the Sydney Opera House on Sunday, the final was also live-streamed, with viewers able to vote online as well at the venue. The Genée doesn’t automatically award a Gold Medal each year, but this year Maeve Nolan, another 16-year old Australian, also won Gold. Silver Medals were awarded to 15-year old Australian Talia Fidra and 17-year old Australian Brayden Gallucci, while Bronze Medals went to Madison Ayton, a 15-year old, also from Australia, and 18-year old Hamish Scott from the UK.The Gold Medal, which comes with a $10,000 prize, is awarded when a candidate demonstrates “exceptional technical skills, an innate response to music, outstanding performance qualities and charisma”. The Silver Medal is worth $6,000 and the Bronze $4000. The judges may choose to award more than one medal in each category – as they did this year – in which case the prize money is divided between them.


Source: Australian dancer Joshua Price wins the 2016 Genée

Leanne Benjamin joins Prix de Lausanne panel 2017 | Gramilano

We are delighted to report that our Patron, Leanne Benjamin AM OBE, has been asked to join the jury of the prestigious Prix de Lausanne 2017. This is a great honour and acknowledges Leanne’s stature in the world of classical ballet.

 Leanne Benjamin in The Royal Ballet's Manon ©ROH Johan Persson, 2011
Leanne Benjamin in The Royal Ballet’s Manon ©ROH Johan Persson, 2011

This year the Tait Memorial Trust, Leanne Benjamin Awards proudly supports three young Australian dancers:

Lauren Songberg, ballet – English National Ballet School
Chloe Keneally, ballet – English National Ballet School
Rebecca Blenkinsop, ballet – Royal Ballet School

The article below was published by on the 30th November.

Jury members announced for the Prix de Lausanne 45th edition


The jury of 2017 is composed of nine major personalities from the dance world, presided over by the ’s Director, Kevin O’Hare.

O’Hare said,

The Prix de Lausanne is a wonderful opportunity for me to see the talented dancers of tomorrow. I see it as more than a competition; it is a place where our young dancers are encouraged, cared for and given the feedback that provides the foundation for their future careers.

Each of the jurors has a link with one of the competition’s partner schools and companies, or is a former prize winner. Other aspects taken into consideration in forming the panel are having a wide geographical representation, a mix of experiences, and a representation of different styles of dance.

The jury of this edition is made up of the following members:

  • Kevin O’Hare: Director, Royal Ballet London – President of the jury (England)
  • Leanne Benjamin: Prix de Lausanne Laureate 1981 (England)
  • Paola Cantalupo: Artistic and Educational Director, Ecole Supérieure de Danse Cannes-Mougins Rosella Hightower and Prix de Lausanne Laureate 1977 (France)
  • Gigi Hyatt: Director of Education and Deputy Director, Hamburg Ballet (Germany)
  • Sue Jin Kang: Artistic Director, Korean National Ballet (Korea)
  • Goyo Montero: Ballet Director and Choreographer, Staatstheater Nürnberg and Prix de Lausanne Laureate 1994 (Germany)
  • Aki Saito: Prix de Lausanne Laureate 1991 (Japan)
  • Christian Spuck: Artistic Director, Zurich Ballet (Switzerland)
  • Stanton Welch: Artistic Director. Houston Ballet (United-States)

Shelly Power, who is the Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer for the 2017 Prix de Lausanne, said,

I am honored to present the 2017 jury who collectively bring years of experience ranging from teaching, performing, directing and choreographing worldwide. Kevin O’Hare as President and his team of jury members will open doors and make dreams come true for the talented few who are about to embark on the next and perhaps most important step of their careers.


Tickets for all Prix de Lausanne 2017 events go on sale 15 December 2016


Source: Jury members announced for the Prix de Lausanne 45th edition

Lachlan Skipworth and Brett Dean take out Paul Lowin Prizes | Limelight Magazine

Skipworth has won the Orchestral Prize while Dean has taken out the Song Cycle category in the 2016 awards.In November, Limelight reported the nominations for the 2016 Paul Lowin Prizes and the winners have now been announced. Lachlan Skipworth’s Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra has won the 2016 Paul Lowin Orchestral Prize while Brett Dean’s And Once I Played Ophelia for soprano and string quartet has taken out the Paul Lowin Song Cycle Prize.

The Paul Lowin Prizes, which are run every two or three years, are among the richest in Australia for music composition and are managed by Perpetual in collaboration with the Australian Music Centre. Since the first prizes in 1991, over $440,000 has been awarded.


Source: Lachlan Skipworth and Brett Dean take out Paul Lowin Prizes

Helen Sherman makes Strauss debut in Der Rosenkavalier, Opera North

Lovely to hear from 2007 Tait Awardee, Helen Sherman. Helen had great success in the 2011 Cardiff Singer of the World as Australia’s representative in this career making competition. She won the third prize in the Wigmore Hall/Kohn Foundation International Song Competition in 2013.
As you can see from her year in review below, Helen is now singing in the very best houses and is an international singer of repute. This recording of Vivaldi’s, Bajazet by Pinchgut Opera has just been released. We look forward to hearing more about this exciting artist.
Available now from Fish Fine Music and also at
Update from Helen
2016 has been a challenging and exciting year for me. Highlights included singing Dorabella in Opera North’s revival of Tim Albery’s production of ‘Cosi fan Tutte’ and Donna Elvira for Classical Opera’s Don Giovanni at Cadogan Hall. The jewel of the year for me however, was making my Strauss debut as Octavian in David McVicar’s iconic production of ‘Der Rosenkavalier’ with Opera North. There was something quite ‘out-of-body’ about having Sarah Connolly’s name stitched into my trousers! The music in ‘Der Rosenkavalier’ is really out of this world and this production is beautiful in every way. I really learned so much from this role. We sang a show the night the divisive US election result was announced; it reminded me how truly blessed we are as musicians to be able to transcend this world and all it’s troubles through our work. It also re-emphasised to me how relevant and important music is; it proves that together we can do incredible things.

Source: Helen Sherman