Accompanists’ Guild of SA Media Release

Adelaide: Tuesday 25 September 2012

for immediate release


The Accompanists’ Guild of SA’s 28 year old competition, The Geoffrey Parsons Award, named in honour of Australia’s legendary vocal accompanist, is one of the major events of the 2012 Festival of Accompanists.

In keeping with the Guild’s acknowledgement of the professional aspirations of their competitors, the cash-pool is a significant $6,000, supported by The Royal Commonwealth Society.

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, the set work for bass clarinet and piano is Scherzo Capriccioso by Austrian composer, Alfred Uhl. Each competitor will perform it with Adelaide clarinettist, Peter Handsworth.

Peter Handsworth was awarded a first class Honours degree in 1987 after the completion of four years study at the Elder Conservatorium with David Shephard. Further postgraduate studies in Germany with Wolfgang Meyer saw the beginning of an extensive international career as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player throughout Europe, Japan, Australia, South America and South East Asia. He has received invitations to perform at numerous International Music Festivals including Lochenhaus and Schleswig-Holstein, numerous Radio and Television broadcasts in Europe and Australia, CD recordings and performances with such eminent artists as Sabine Meyer, Eddie Daniels, Isabelle van Keulen, Michael Ponti and the Wihan Quartet have been some of his career highlights. He is presently Lecturer in Clarinet at the Elder Conservatorium of Music.

Peter and his colleagues, well-known musicians and educators, Associate Professor, Elizabeth Koch OAM, Head of Performance, Elder Conservatorium of Music and freelance accompanist and Co*Opera repetiteur, Julie Sargeant judged the competitors’ performances in terms of style, technique, presentation and ensemble skills.

Guild Founder and President, Diana Harris remarked, “We thank the Royal Commonwealth Society for their support which allows the Guild to offer a first prize of $5000 which is much more in keeping with the value of the Geoffrey Parsons Award now the most prestigious award in Australia for the accompanist/associate artist.”

The three Finalists performing in the Final on Saturday evening, who will be competing for cash-prizes totalling $6,000, are:

• Penelope Cashman

• Yuh Tsun Wu

• Patrick Keith

The Jury for the Final of the Geoffrey Parsons Award will be chaired by the Guild’s pianist in residence for the 2012 Festival of Accompanists, Timothy Young. Australian National Academy of Music Artist in Residence in Adelaide for recitals with British wind virtuosos Michael Collins- clarinet and Celia Craig- oboe.

Timothy will be joined by Associate Professor Elizabeth Koch OAM and Julie Sargeant. The Finalists will perform a 25 to 30 minute recital with their own associate artist(s) as well as including the set work with Peter Handsworth. ENDS

Who, What, When & Where?

WHO & WHAT Accompanists’ Guild of SA in association with the Elder Conservatorium of Music presents The 2012 Geoffrey Parsons Award

WHEN Saturday September 29, 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 2012 Festival of Accompanists is proudly supported by: Arts SA, The University of Adelaide, Marigaux Paris, Richard Craig, The Royal Commonwealth Society and numerous private donors.

—  Chris Wainwright

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