Congratulations to violinist Kyla Matsuura-Miller who has won the The Music Trust’s 2021 Freedman Classical Fellowship. Kyla and finalists Eliza Shephard (flute), Will Hansen (double bass) and Molly Collier-O’Boyle (viola) competed for the coveted $21,000 prize in a concert final that was filmed in Sydney and Melbourne, and streamed online via the Australian Digital Concert Hall.
The 28-year-old Matsuura-Miller is a Tokyo-born, Melbourne-raised violinist who graduated from the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) in 2018. An educator as well, she has already established an important place in the Australian cultural scene, currently working with Inventi Ensemble, Trio Clara, Duo Piaggio and Adam McMillan. In 2017 Kyla was an Emerging Artist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. In 2022 she will be the recipient of the Homophonic Pride Prize.
The project she intends to carry out with her $21,000 Fellowship prize aims to evoke and express elements of the collective cultural memory of being raised non-white in Australia. Film maker Tobias Willis, composer Stéphanie Kabanyana Kandekwe and two other composers to be selected will be invited to draw upon their personal experiences as non-white Australians in newly commissioned works for solo violin and optional electronics, which will culminate in a live performance for Play On and via You Tube.
Matsuura-Miller says “I am so honoured to be named the Freedman Classical Fellow for 2021. Thank you to the Freedman Foundation and The Music Trust for granting me the opportunity to shine a light on new compositions by Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) Australian composers. It is a huge privilege and responsibility, and one that I do not take lightly. To be able to amplify new, unheard stories in classical music will hopefully leave a legacy for others to feel seen, heard and included in the Australian classical music scene”.
In a joint statement, the adjudicators Penny Lomax, Tamara-Anna Cislowska and Véronique Serret said “Tonight’s concert saw another outstanding display of innovative young classical artists who proved their commitment to new Australian work and dedication to their craft using a refreshing array of new ideas. In the end, it was Kyla Matsuura-Miller whose inspired approach to her instrument and insight into her choice of repertoire spoke to each of us. We are enthusiastic to see new music used as a vehicle to illustrate untold stories. Kyla’s project will see a greater level of inclusivity represented in both artists and audiences”.