Two Faculty violinists among Dorcas McClean award semi-finalists

Hand holding violin. Photo by Giulia McGauran.
The Dorcas McClean prize finalists have been announced for 2022. Photo by Giulia McGauran.

Seven semi-finalists and four jurors have been announced for the prestigious triennial Dorcas McClean Travelling Scholarship for young violinists.

Representing the Australian National Academy of Music, Colburn Conservatory of Music (Los Angeles), Hochschule für Musik und Theater (Munich), Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music at the University of Melbourne, competitors include: David Carreon, Leanne McGowan, Mana Ohashi, Emily Su, Jackie Wong, Grace Wu and Amy You.

Adjudicators include Curt Thompson, Head of Strings at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, and world-renowned violinists Adele Anthony, Cho-Liang ‘Jimmy’ Lin and Robert Davidovici.

Hosted by the University of Melbourne, the Dorcas McClean scholarship is the most prestigious violin competition in Australia, attracting Australia’s most talented young players (17-25) who come from far and wide to compete. It offers a first prize of $40,000, a second prize of $10,000 and a third prize of $5,000 supporting overseas training at the world’s top conservatories.

Each of the seven contestants will present a full-length recital in Hanson Dyer Auditorium at the Ian Potter Southbank Centre at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music on 10 and 11 February 2022. Three finalists will be selected to perform a complete Mozart violin concerto on 13 February, accompanied by the Melbourne Conservatorium’s Camerata Orchestra with conductor Richard Davis. The event will also feature a guest artist recital on 12 February.

Alongside the competition, the Melbourne Conservatorium will present the inaugural Australian National Violin Conference (ANVC). The ANVC will present performances, masterclasses, lectures and interviews exploring the rich heritage of Australian violin playing and teaching.

Dorcas McClean was a gifted Australian violinist whose generous donation makes this scholarship possible. Dorcas made her solo debut at age four and began concertising professionally at eight. Along with her two siblings, she had an illustrious performing career, with an array of national and international appearances. She performed as a recitalist, chamber musician and soloist with prominent orchestras in Europe and Australia.

A supremely talented violinist, she is also remembered for her generosity and radiant spirit. When Dorcas died in 1981, she bequeathed the whole of her residuary estate to the University of Melbourne ‘for the advancement of the musical education of young violinists’. The funds are kept in a trust managed by the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music.

Originally scheduled for October 2021, the Dorcas McClean competition and the ANVC will be held from 10-13 February 2022, where plans are in place to welcome live audiences once lockdown restrictions have eased. The Dorcas McClean concerts and conference offer a unique opportunity for lovers of music to explore the rich, living history of the violin in Australia.

To find out more about the Dorcas McClean scholarship, and secure your tickets for the February concerts and conference, visit the website.