REPORT FOR 2016 YAS
by Gina Macri, Convenor
The Young Accompanists’ Showcase was a huge success in 2016 due to the fact that for the first time ever there were eight young pianists involved in learning about the art of piano accompaniment. A wide variety of repertoire was chosen for the accompanists to work with and they met the objectives of the program in achieving a very high standard of performance.
Valuable support was provided by the professional soloists. They were:
Lachlan Bramble (violin), Sherri Handley (cello), Samantha Hennessy (flute) and Charise Penrose (clarinet). The pianists were Sophie Haselgrove, Marcus Kha, Alexander Protheroe, Jenny Su, Wesley Tang, Nathan Van der Hoek, Kimberly Wong and Haowei Yang.
In preparation for performance, a masterclass was conducted by Penelope Cashman, in which pianists were given helpful advice to improve their interpretation and performing skills. In conclusion, the pianists gave a final concert which was presented as part of the AGSA’s Annual Conference with a focus on the theme “Piano in Chamber Music”.
Here are a few comments made by some of the participants:
Participating in the Young Accompanists’ Showcase this year has been a very enjoyable and informative experience for me. Being able to rehearse and perform with a professional soloist was an excellent way to improve both my solo playing and ensemble skills. I learned ways to develop my technique and musicality, as well as important methods in ensemble playing such as communication and complementing each other’s dynamics. Being able to listen to the other participants was also very useful, as I could hear how they were playing and working together and where they could improve. The masterclass was especially informative for this reason. In addition, the chosen repertoire was very enjoyable and exposed me to some excellent composers and music that I otherwise would not have discovered.
Overall, the YAS program has been very valuable, as I frequently play both solo and in ensembles. I would highly recommend it to any young pianist looking into accompanying.
– Marcus Kha
Participating in YAS gave me a great opportunity to experience what it’s like being an accompanist. As I haven’t had much experience with accompanying before, it was all quite new to me and I have learnt many things during this event. As a solo player, learning how to follow a performer and how the music works together not only benefited my ensemble skills, but also my solo playing. Being able to understand how the music is structured and analysing both parts in the piece is a vital skill that is easily transferable. This showcase has also inspired me to start looking into more chamber music and accompanying as there is so much more you can do with the piano and not just solo playing. I will definitely apply for YAS again next year if possible as it is a valuable opportunity to work with other musicians and learn about the art of accompanying.