31 August 2009
Farewell to Jan Sedivka and Geoffrey Tozer
Australian music lost two fine artists within a week in August, when news came about the death of pianist Geoffrey Tozer, and, a few days later, of violinist, Professor Jan Sedivka.
Geoffrey Tozer (1954-2009) was arguably one of Australian's most naturally gifted musicians. He started his career as a child prodigy, and by the time he had reached his teens he was playing piano concertos with symphony orchestras both in Australia and internationally. As an adult, he was one of the first recipients of the Keating fellowships, and went on to record a catalogue of recordings for the Chandos label - among these were his widely admired interpretations of Nikolai Medtner's piano works. Tozer was known for his virtuosic skills as an improviser and his wide knowledge of the repertory. He was much liked as a teacher and a colleague. Tozer died in Melbourne on 20 August at the age of 54. For a detailed obituary, see Anna Goldsworthy's article in The Australian and Ian Munro's article in The Guardian.
Jan Sedivka (1917-2009) made a career as a concert violinist and as one of Australia's most important music pedagogues. Sedivka was born in Czechoslovakia and continued his musical training in France and England. He moved to Australia in the 1960s and, after some years in Queensland, soon found his home in Tasmania. There he became the influential teacher of generations of string players who went on to take positions in orchestras all over Australia and abroad. Sedivka was also known as a performer to whom many Australian composers (Larry Sitsky, James Penberthy, Ian Cugley, Don Kay, Colin Brumby, Edward Cowie, Eric Gross) dedicated their works. Prof Sedivka was the Director of the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music from 1972 to 1982, and taught regularly at the Shanghai Conservatorium of Music in China. He held the positions of Honorary Professor both in Shanghai University and University of Tasmania, and was the Master Musician in Residence at the University of Tasmania Conservatorium from his retirement in 1983 until his death. Read University of Tasmania's tribute for Jan Sedivka.
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As a national service organisation, the Australian Music Centre is dedicated to increasing the profile and sustainability of Australian composers and other creative artists. The AMC facilitates the performance, awareness and appreciation of music by these artists through: composer and other creative artist representation and assistance; resonate – its online magazine; library and retail services; sheet music publishing; and the management, administration and publication of project-based initiatives. Its library collection holds over 30,000 items by more than 500 artists.
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