UQ music students embark on international tour

Seven University of Queensland music students have been selected to tour with the Australian Youth Orchestra, where they will perform in some of the world’s most prestigious venues.

Phoebe Masel (3rd year violin), Hannah Harley (3rd year cello), Simon Svoboda (3rd year cello), Sariah Xu (Masters viola), Eleanor Hill (2nd year violin), Matilda Watkins (graduated 2015 violin), and Yena Choi (Masters violin) will spend four weeks travelling through Europe and China, before returning to Australia for concerts in Sydney and Melbourne.

Head of UQ’s School of Music Professor Margaret Barrett said being selected to perform for the Australian Youth Orchestra is a great honour.

“There’s enormous competition to get into the Australian Youth Orchestra, especially in the international tour years,” Professor Barrett said.

“To be selected is an amazing achievement and an endorsement of your practice.”

The students will work closely with a prestigious team of mentors from leading European orchestras, including French superstar piano soloist Hélène Grimaud and Viennese Maestro Manfred Honeck.

“This is a wonderful experience at any time of your career. It’s a fantastic reflection of the vibrancy of performance studies at the School of Music,” Professor Barrett said.

“This is the sort of experience where players meet future colleagues and form lifelong connections.”

UQ students ready to travel with the Australian Youth Orchestra: Matilda Watkins, Phoebe Masel, Hannah Harley, Simon Svoboda, Sariah Xu.

Third year cellist Simon Svoboda is looking forward to the tour and said there is an uplifting, positive vibe around the music building.

“This is the first international tour I’ve ever been on, so I’m really excited. There’s such a great energy between all the players,” Mr Svoboda said.

Concert Hall performances in Europe include the Max-Littmann-Saal and Wiesbaden Kurhaus in Germany, and The Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

“I’m really looking forward to playing in the Concertgebouw as it’s such a highly regarded venue,” he said.

After completing its Europe leg, the tour will continue with concerts in the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing (affectionately known as ‘The Egg’), the Shanghai Oriental Art Centre , and finish in Australia with performances at the Arts Centre Melbourne and the Sydney Opera House.

Media: Simon Svoboda, simon.svoboda@uq.net.au, 0435 143 173; Professor Margaret Barrett, m.barrett@uq.edu.au, 0407 091 911.

Last updated:
7 July 2016