Melbourne Conservatorium Young Artists Academy

The Melbourne Conservatorium Young Artists Academy (MCYAA) offers a comprehensive chamber music program for Victorian students aged 13 – 18 who display talent and ambition, and are contemplating a career in the performing arts.

We believe that highly talented young musicians should be given the opportunity to study with leading teachers in an energising and supportive Conservatorium environment. At the core of our musical focus is the development of chamber music skills, and the value those skills bring to today's young musicians. The Academy aims to foster individuality of expression and internal group communication all within fully supported musical and social contexts borne of decades of pedagogical experience.

To be eligible for the Melbourne Conservatorium Young Artists Academy, students must currently be enrolled in secondary education and be aged between 13 and 18 years to participate.

Students can apply as individuals or with and existing chamber music ensemble.

Please complete and submit an application form to apply for the Melbourne Conservatorium Young Artists Academy.

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All students are required to undertake an entrance audition.


Fees are set for each semester. Students are expected to take part in all elements of the core curriculum.

Teaching Staff

Masterclass Guests

String Quartets and Piano Trios will be formed by the MCYAA staff following the auditions. Repertoire for each individual group will be selected and emailed to students. It is essential that parts are learned prior to the first rehearsal.

The chamber music groups will be assigned some of the most demanding pieces of the repertoire. In rehearsals, students will share their musical opinion and develop rehearsal and listening techniques.

Each group will be coached by a highly experienced teacher and performer who has a passion for chamber music and loves to work with young musicians, and will have the opportunity to work with our masterclass guests.

The repertoire covered in this program offers students a comprehensive performing experience through various periods and genres.

The string ensemble will work on two separate programs, each over the course of four weeks, with a final concert at the end of each phase.

Program 1: Fintan Murphy
Program 2: Odette Creanga-Kurth

The Cello Ensemble will rehearse and perform music from the Renaissance, Baroque and the Romantic period, moving into Jazz, Tangoes and other contemporary styles. Students are encouraged to participate actively and collaboratively in the rehearsal process.

Program 1: Svetlana Bogosavljevic and Edith Salzmann
Program 2 : Josephine Vains

A piano extravaganza, with repertoire for four-hand, eight-hand piano or more.

Tutor: Glenn Riddle

The Saxophone Quartets will give students the opportunity to perform in an ensemble devoted to the instruments of the entire saxophone family. The repertoire will include exciting new works by Australian composers, original works for saxophone quartet and transcriptions by major composers. Students will enjoy an energetic and fun approach to making music.

These quartets are for saxophonists of intermediate and advanced levels.

Tutor: Nessyah Gallagher
Masterclasses: Joseph Lallo

Our teachers are committed educators who are passionate about teaching the next generation of young brass players!

Ensemble experience is an integral part in becoming a well-rounded brass student. It is very exciting and empowering for a brass player to be part of an ensemble such as those being offered through this program.

MCYAA brass includes a variety of ensembles, such as Junior and Senior Brass Ensemble as well as smaller quartets and quintets. Young brass players will be given the opportunity to work on a variety of repertoire including works by Gabriele, Dukas, Bernstein, Ewald, Plog and Grainger.

MCYAA promotes high levels of musicianship, with the aim to enhance brass playing technique, develop listening skills, encourage emotional expression and address interpersonal and performance issues. These fun, energizing ensembles are open by audition to students aged 14 - studying age.

Tutor: Katrina Fillipi

The MCYAA Wind Octet is one of the Academy’s new elite ensembles. With entrance only by audition, the ensemble is made up of Melbourne’s top young wind students. The octet explores music of the classical period and beyond.

Tutor: Justin Beere

Our masterclass program, designed for students in year 11 and 12 who are seriously considering to study music at University, will add the depth and the expertise of our Faculty to the instruction you are receiving from your private teacher.

Prospective students for the Masterclass Program must be fully enrolled in MCYAA, and prepare a separate audition and interview.

The Masterclass program will provide students with four individual lessons per semester.  A unique feature of the program is that it includes the opportunity to passively participate in University Performance classes, such as instrumental classes and chamber music classes, which gives every student valuable experience and feedback from a variety of teachers.

The Concerto Competition is open to current members of the MCYAA. The finalists will perform their chosen movement with the Academy Orchestra on Sunday 23 October 2022 to a public audience.

Competition Dates:
First Round Sunday 11 September (with piano accompaniment provided by MCYAA)
Final Round: Sunday 23 October (with the Academy Orchestra)

You should choose a concerto movement of a baroque, classical romantic or contemporary concerto that can be accompanied by our Academy Orchestra (string orchestra plus a max of 2ob/2vlar/2bns/2horns). Applicants must be prepared to perform the entire movement. Concerto entries will only be accepted if the relevant orchestra material is easily obtainable (either at University of Melbourne Libraries or on IMSLP).

Schedule & Locations

The Melbourne Conservatorium Young Artists Academy will take place across various dates and times from March to June 2023.

All activities will take place at the following location:

The Ian Potter Southbank Centre
43 Sturt Street
VIC 3006

The Melbourne Conservatorium Young Artists Academy will take place across various dates and times from March to June 2023. A detailed schedule will be available soon.

All activities will take place at the Ian Potter Southbank Centre, located at 43 Sturt Street, Southbank 3006.

Acceptance into the program is by audition so you do not need a particular grade exam level to get into the MCYAA. We will listen to your audition and make a decision based on your performance and interview.

Providing performance experience is a very important element of our program. All of our ensembles will perform in a concert setting at least twice each semester, with the masterclasses providing additional performance opportunities.

For entry into the program, students must be 14 years of age, or be turning 14 before the end of the year.

You can apply to join the program as an individual and ensembles will be formed following the auditions.

However, should you already be part of a chamber music ensemble, you could consider applying as a pre-formed ensemble.

The MCYAA is an ensemble program and individual lessons are not currently offered. You should continue to take individual lessons with your current or preferred teacher.

Regular participation is of the utmost importance. Should you need to be absent due to an important school activity, please notify the Program Coordinator, Edith Salzmann, in writing as early as possible so we can try and find an alternative solution for your ensemble.

Parents are very welcome to attend the MCYAA concerts and observe the masterclasses.

An application form is available here.

Learn about the current student regulations here.

For enquiries regarding the Melbourne Conservatorium Young Artists Academy, please email