Violinists compete for Dorcas McClean Scholarship, richest prize for violinists in Australia

Image of violin

Regarded as Australia's most important prize for violinists aged 25 years and younger, the Dorcas McClean Travelling Scholarship competition is now underway for 2022.

The first prize winner receives $40,000 to go towards overseas tuition at a leading conservatory of their choice. Second and third places receive $10,000 and $5,000 respectively.

Six contestants will compete this week in the Hanson Dyer Hall at The Ian Potter Southbank Centre at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. From 10-13 February, two semi-final concert rounds will determine the competition’s semi-finalists.

Semi-final #1, on Thursday 10 February, will see recitals from promising young violinists Leanne McGowan, Emily Su and Mana Ohashi, with works from J.S. Bach, Fritz Kreisler, Richard Strauss, Béla Bartók, and César Franck.

Semi-final #2, on Friday 11 February, will feature David Carreon, Jackie Wong and Grace Wu. Their recitals will also include performances of solo Bach, as well as works by Johannes Brahms, Carl Nielsen, and Camille Saint-Saëns.

In the Final on Sunday 13 February, each of the three semi-finalists will perform a Mozart concerto accompanied by the Conservatorium's Camerata Orchestra, under the baton of conductor Associate Professor Richard Davis.

The winner will be selected by a jury of esteemed local and international violinists including Cho-Liang Lin, previous Dorcas winner Adele Anthony, Robert Davidovici and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music Head of Strings Associate Professor Curt Thompson.

Administered by the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, this travelling scholarship is made possible by the generous bequest of Dorcas McClean, a gifted Australian violinist who passed away in 1981, donating the entirety of her estate to fund it. Previous competition winners include VC 'Young Artist' Suyeon Kang and Anne-Marie Johnson.

Tickets to attend the concerts in-person can be purchased for each day separately, and a full festival pass will grant music lovers full access to all recitals and concerto performances. Click here to purchase in-person tickets.

The full concert program is also being live-streamed by Australian Digital Concert Hall: click here to purchase digital tickets.

You can read more about the competition and the Australian National Violin Conference here.