24 September 2014
Freedman Fellows 2014: de Jager and Choulai
Pianist and composer Peter de Jager has been named the 2014 Freedman Classical Fellow. The annual Fellowship awards a classical instrumentalist less than 30 years of age with a $15,000 scholarship to undertake a career-enhancing creative project. The other three finalists were harpist Jessica Fotinos, baroque violinist Matthew Greco and saxophonist Joshua Hyde.
De Jager is a graduate of both the Melbourne Conservatory and the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM), where he studied piano, harpsichord and composition. His prize money will go towards a solo recital and a tour, as well as a new commission from Chris Dench.
The 2014 Freedman Jazz Fellowship, as announced in late August, went to another pianist-composer: Aaron Choulai, who performed in the Freedman Jazz Final concert in Sydney with four other shortlisted musicians (trombonist Shannon Barnett, vocalist Gian Slater and pianist Matthew Sheens), took home the $15,000 cash prize.
The Freedman Jazz Fellowship recognises excellence in the field of jazz and is awarded to a candidate under the age of 35 years who demonstrates exceptional artistic achievement. Choulai, who has been living and working in Japan since winning the Japanese Ministry of Education 'Mombushu' Scholarship to study at the Tokyo College of the Arts, will use his Fellowship prize to invest in quality equipment enabling him to record and disseminate his music independently online.
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