2021 Geoffrey Parsons Award

Conquers COVID Lockdown with Technology
And a Victorian Musician Wins $7000 Prize!

On Sunday 19 September in Adelaide, Melbourne musician Yasmin Rowe won the $7000 Geoffrey Parsons Award, the Accompanists’ Guild of South Australia’s national competition for piano accompanists.Judging panel Chairperson, acclaimed collaborative pianist Leigh Harrold, praised all the contestants on the high standard of their performances saying that it was absolutely inspiring –and indicative of the tenacity and resilience of a new generation of artists.  He also congratulated all finalists on their choice of works saying that they were “at the pinnacle” in terms of the complexity that this genre can offer.

“But,” he said “there was one finalist in particular where all these elements were in near-perfect balance. This pianist was assertive and supportive, she allowed herself to be inspired by her partner, and in turn often inspired her partner. And yet, one wasn’t really aware of any of these machinations, because everything was subsumed towards the end goal of conveying the true essence of the music. For these reasons, the panel decided unanimously to give the 2021 Geoffrey Parsons Award to Yasmin Rowe.”

Yasmin 22, won the award despite being in lockdown in Melbourne. She and her associate artist, cellist Yelian He, performed via a pre-recording which was screened to a live audience here in Adelaide.

For the first time in this award’s long history, Interstate entries were accepted in digital format: USB’s, Video, YouTube or DVD.

Yasmin’s program was:

1. Ludwig van Beethoven – ‘Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen’ Variations in E Flat
2. Claude Debussy – Sonata for Cello and Piano mvt.1
3. The Set Work – Robert Schumann – Fantasiestücke nos.1 and 3
4. Kapustin ‘Nearly Waltz’

Yasmin Rowe attended the Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester, UK) completing the Masters Degree with distinction and the International Artist diploma in solo performance. She has received many British music awards and has released two albums. Concerto highlights include performing Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto in the Ian Roach Hall at Scotch College in 2016, Schumann’s Piano Concerto at Chichester Cathedral (UK) in 2017 and Mozart’s K141 Concerto with Pro Musica Orchestra in 2018.

Throughout 2020, Yasmin performed as a soloist, a Q&A session for Monash University’s Sound Gallery, two Beethoven Sonatas with violinist Wilma Smith and a Mendelssohn and Rachmaninov programme for the Melbourne DigitalConcert Hall with her trio Rock Paper Scissors. She is also the pianist with Collide-a-Trio and has recorded for the ABC for publication on the Classics label.

The Chair, Leigh Harrold, was also interstate and Zoomed with the other judges (AGSA President Leonie Hempton OAM and Dr David Lockett AM) in selecting the winner.

The four finalists were chosen by audition, which comprised of a ‘quick study’ i.e. preparation of an unknown work in limited time and a very brief rehearsal plus performance of a Set Work, which this year was Robert Schumann’s Fantasiestücke Nos 1 and 3.

The Geoffrey Parsons Award, offered by the Accompanists’ Guild of South Australia, has, for almost three decades, invited interested pianists to compete for one of Australia’s most important prizes for accompanists.

The 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 Schwarzkopf, Victoria de los Angeles, Dame Janet Baker, Olaf Bär, Yvonne Kenny and Jessye Norman.

For more information please contact: Monika Laczofy OAM, Convenor Geoffrey Parsons Award
Phone: 0411 271 215 email: mlaczofy1@bigpond.com

Media enquiries: Sheila Bryce: Phone 0416 154 061 email: sbrycepublicity@gmail.com

21 September 2021

Geoffrey Parsons Award Winner 2021