The Accompanists’ Guild of SA Media Release

Adelaide: 17 February 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Accompanists’ Guild of South Australia invites interested pianists to enter one of Australia’s most prestigious prizes for Accompanists, The Geoffrey Parsons Award.

The Geoffrey Parsons Award is named in memory of the Guild’s founding international patron, Australian accompanist Geoffrey Parsons, who died in 1995. For 45 years Geoffrey lived in London where he was an acclaimed accompanist particularly for singers. He regularly accompanied Elizabeth Schwarkzopf, Victoria de los Angeles, Dame Janet Baker, Olaf Bär, Yvonne Kenny and Barbara Bonney.

The competition occurs in two parts, an audition in which competitors perform works of their own choice with their own soloist, followed by a set song and sight reading with the Guild soloist. Three competitors from the auditions will be selected to perform in the Final.

Founder and Secretary of the Guild, Diana Harris says, “The set work chosen for the 2008 Geoffrey Parsons Award is Schubert’s Heimliches Lieben op. 106, no. 1. This song has been selected to assist the jury in testing several aspects of the accompanist’s art including technical proficiency, interpretative command, and above all, skills in vocal accompanying.”

Competitors will perform the set work with tenor Patrick Power, Lecturer in Voice at the University of Adelaide’s Elder Conservatorium of Music, who has sung most of the major lyric-tenor roles with opera companies in Europe and the USA. He has also been a regular guest with Opera Australia.

Chairing the jury will be the British pianist, vocal coach and opera expert Anthony Legge, who was a colleague and pupil of Geoffrey Parsons. In late 2008 Legge migrated to Sydney to fill the role of Associate Music Director with Opera Australia, following a distinguished career with English National Opera and the Royal Academy of Music, London. As a recitalist he has performed with singers including Dame Janet Baker, Dame Anne Evans, Sir Thomas Allen, Håken Hagegård and Robert Tear.

Joining Anthony Legge will be Adelaide pianist, composer, music educator and critic Stephen Whittington and Berenice Harrison, respected pianist, educator and administrator. 

Recent winners of The Geoffrey Parsons Award include: Mark Sandon (2009), Amanda Hodder (2008), Amir Farid (2007) and Anthony Hunt (2006). Since receiving their awards they have all achieved many successes and have become respected and “in demand” ensemble pianists, accompanists and repetiteurs.

The Geoffrey Parsons Award is presented in association with the Elder Conservatorium of Music, University of Adelaide.

Entry forms for The 2010 Geoffrey Parsons Award are now available from the Guild’s website: For further info, ring: (08) 8431 6030 or (08) 8266 4936.



Entries Close

Friday 4 June 2010


Monday 28 & Tuesday 29 June 2010, Bishop Hall, Elder Conservatorium of Music


Saturday 3 July, 7pm, Hartley Concert Room, Elder Conservatorium of Music

Media Contact: Christopher Wainwright 0438 829 728,

2010 The Geoffrey Parsons Award Announcement
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