Accompanists’ Guild of SA Inc Media Release

Adelaide: Wednesday 20 July 2011 for immediate release


The Accompanists’ Guild of SA’s 27 year old competition, The Geoffrey Parsons Award, named in honour of Australia’s legendary vocal accompanist, is the concluding event of the 2011 Festival of Accompanists.

In keeping with the Guild’s acknowledgement of the professional aspirations of their competitors, the cash-pool is a significant $4,000.

On Monday and Tuesday, several pianists competed in the auditions. Three were selected to take part in the Final. All competitors performed works of their own choice with soloist/s of their own choice. They then completed a sight reading test before performing, without rehearsal, the set work.

For this year’s Geoffrey Parsons Award set work Adelaide composer and music critic, Stephen Whittington has composed Acid Test for bassoon and piano. His aim is to test the ensemble skills of the competing pianists. Each competitor will perform Acid Test with Adelaide Symphony Orchestra bassoonist, Mark Gaydon.

Since he took up bassoon at the age of 18, Mark Gaydon has performed as soloist with many Australian orchestras and his awards include Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year. Mark has studied and taught in the USA and has been guest Principal Bassoonist with the Sydney, New Zealand and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras. Mark took up the position of Principal Bassoon with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in 2003. Mark is also active in the chamber music scene as co-founder of Ensemble Le Monde.

Mark and his colleagues, well-known musicians and educators, Carl Crossin OAM, Director of the Elder Conservatorium and Diana Harris OAM, founder of the Accompanists’ Guild , judged the competitors’ performances in terms of style, technique, presentation and ensemble skills.

Guild Founder and President, Diana Harris remarked, “I am thrilled that the 2011 Geoffrey Parsons Award has attracted the greatest number of applicants in its history. It is equally exciting that the 2011 Festival includes not one world première but two – Fear by Michael Kieran Harvey for Natsuko Yoshimoto and Acid Test , the Geoffrey Parsons Award set work, by Stephen Whittington. What a thrill for the 3 Finalists to be playing this with the best bassoonist in town, Mark Gaydon. It is so right that the Final Jury will be led by one of the most influential musicians in the world of new music, internationally acclaimed pianist, Michael Kieran Harvey.”

The three Finalists performing in the Final on Saturday evening, who will be competing for cash-prizes totalling $4,000, are:

Szu Yu Chen (Roseville, NSW)

  • Coady Green (London ex-pat Adelaide)
  • Michael Ierace (Kidman Park, SA)
  • The Jury for the Final of the Geoffrey Parsons Award will be chaired by the Guild’s pianist in residence for the 2011 Festival of Accompanists, Michael Kieran Harvey. He will be joined by Carl Crossin OAM and Diana Harris OAM. The Finalists will perform a 25 to 30 minute recital with their own associate artist(s) as well as including the set work with Mark Gaydon


Who, What, When & Where?

WHO & WHAT Accompanists’ Guild of SA in association with the Elder Conservatorium of Music presents

The 2011 Geoffrey Parsons Award

WHEN Saturday July 23, 7.00pm

WHERE Hartley Concert Room, The University of Adelaide, Kintore Avenue, Adelaide

TICKETS $15/$10/$5 Festival and Conference ticket holders free

BOOKINGS No pre-bookings, tickets at the door.

PUBLIC ENQUIRIES Accompanists’ Guild of SA (08) 8431 6030

MEDIA ENQUIRIES Christopher Wainwright 0438 829 728,

The 2011 Festival of Accompanists is proudly supported by: Arts SA, The University of Adelaide, Recitals Australia, State Opera of SA, Music Teachers’ Association of SA, Suzuki Music SA, AUSTA, Allans Billy Hyde and Allegro Music

This Media Release can be downloaded here

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