Courtney Cleary and Friends – May 5th


Tait Tuesdays at Home 
Courtenay Cleary, violin | Phillipa Robinson, clarinet | Kathy Sander, piano

In support of the Tait Emergency Relief Fund for Australian & New Zealand Artists.

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Bach Adagio and Fugue from Sonata No. 1 in G Minor, BWV1001
Mozart Sonata for Violin and Piano in B flat Major, KV454
Arthur Benjamin Sonatina for Violin and Piano


Courtenay Cleary

Courtenay is currently on scholarship at The Juilliard School in New York where she is completing her Master of Music degree with violin professor Naoko Tanaka. She recently received her Bachelor of Music degree with first-class honours from the Royal Academy of Music in London where she studied with professor Maureen Smith. In 2017 Courtenay performed as a soloist for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and other distinguished guests at Westminster Abbey for the Royal Commonwealth Service. This was broadcast live on BBC television. In 2018 Courtenay again performed for the HM the Queen at Buckingham Palace for the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. She has also performed as a soloist at prestigious venues including the Wigmore Hall, St James’ Piccadilly, the Regent Hall, Colston Hall and the Lincoln Centre. She recently performed Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra in Sydney and gave the Australian premiere of David Lang’s Mystery Sonatas. She is a Tait Memorial Trust and ABRSM scholar, and was recently awarded second prize at the Australian Concerto and Vocal Competition as well as the Dame Joan Sutherland Award from the American Australian Association and the Guy Parsons Award from the Portland House and Australian Music Foundations. She was also a finalist in the 2018 Freedman Fellowship awards.

She is a member of the Patronus Quartet who in 2015 progressed to the semi-final of the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition. She has performed at many international festivals including Tallinn Music Week and the Melbourne Festival. She has performed in many masterclasses for esteemed artists including Julian Rachlin, Daniel Hope, the St Lawrence String Quartet, and the Borodin Quartet, from whom her own quartet received a letter of recommendation for the MICMC.

Courtenay is a core member of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and also plays casually with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria. She studied at the Australian National Academy of Music from 2012-2014 with William Hennessy. During her time at the academy she played alongside many visiting artists including the Brodsky Quartet, Brett Dean, Michael Collins, The Australian Chamber Orchestra, The Aurora Orchestra, Anthony Marwood, Dale Barltrop and was concertmaster of the ANAM orchestra under the direction of Simone Young, James Judd and Nicholas Carter.

In 2011 Courtenay studied under the direction of Associate Professor Patricia Pollett at the University of Queensland. During this time, she was concertmaster of the University of Queensland Chamber and Symphony Orchestras and was finalist in the university’s Bach Prize and The Howard and Gladys Sleath Prize for Strings. She was the recipient of the Sleath String Scholarship for outstanding students and was a winner of the Sid Paige & Musica Viva/4MBS Chamber Music Prize.

Kathy Sander

Keen on the Piano and Organ from age 4 – Kathy’s first memory was performing on TV on a Yamaha organ, age 5 with a rendition of “Raindrops keep falling on your head” and “Tico Tico” – still playing these tunes today, although the repertoire has grown somewhat. A fulfilling life as a classical pianist, with a penchant for jazz and rock has led Kathy to be a versatile and entertaining pianist. Repertoire embraces different genres; classical, jazz standards, pop ballads, evergreens, Latin music, easy listening pieces and well-chosen contemporary songs adapted to her unique style. Please click here to listen

Kathy grew up in Toowoomba, playing piano at an early age – studied with Brachi Tilles, originally from Tel Aviv, who arrived in Queensland in the late seventies – straight from studies in Vienna. Kathy also learned the violin, her second instrument from Spiros Rantos. Then, a move to Melbourne under the guiding hand of Stephen McIntyre and Roy Shepherd at the Victorian College of the Arts, completing a degree with a Chamber Music and Accompaniment major.

A love of all styles of music was evident in teen years in Queensland, Kathys’ first solo piano gigs in Restaurants and Clubs began whilst still at high school with a Friday residency at “Brandy’s Restaurant” in her home town of Toowoomba – and then continued with two residencies when moving to Victoria – playing for High Tea at the Windsor Hotel and three afternoons a week at Menzies at Rialto in the courtyard Portego Bar, whilst a student at the VCA. Over thirty years professional piano work has led to many interesting and varied jobs over the years, performing for royalty, government officials and dignitaries, and a very appreciative audience wherever she plays.

Currently working as a freelance pianist & keyboardist in Brisbane – associate artist at the Queensland Conservatorium, accompaniment and private teaching of piano and theory at The Stuartholme School, Brisbane Grammar School and the Brisbane Girl’s Grammar School.

Memorable performances have been on the Vatican Organ, on tour with the Stuartholme Vocal Ensemble and as pianist for a master class with legendary violinist Maxim Vengerov.

CONCERTS coming up