The Australian Chamber Orchestra has today announced the inaugural Virtual Academy, providing young musicians the rare opportunity to be mentored by professional musicians of the ACO in their own homes.
The acclaimed Academy, which began in 2012, is open to secondary school students advanced in violin, viola, cello or double bass. Following a competitive audition process, sixteen talented string players from across Australia have been selected to participate in the 2020 ACO Academy program, the first to be delivered by the Orchestra in a virtual format.
Led by ACO violinist Aiko Goto, the selected string players, aged between 14-17 years, will participate in an inspirational week of sessions with the talented ACO musicians. Alongside Aiko, the tutors will include Mark Ingwersen (Violin), Nicole Divall (Viola), Maja Savnik (Violin), Liisa Pallandi (Violin), Liz Woolnough (Viola), Melissa Barnard (Cello) and Maxime Bibeau (Double Bass). The program running from 6-9 July will include intensive virtual masterclasses, private one-on-one lessons, technical tutorials, workshops and specialised discussions focusing on providing career guidance for these emerging, pre-professional young musicians.
Alongside the selected students, other aspiring musicians who auditioned for the program will also have the opportunity to observe a selection of masterclasses.
The week will culminate in the recording and release of a virtual performance by the students and their ACO mentors. The performance will be part of the Australian Chamber Orchestra's popular HomeCasts series, available on the ACO website and channels.
The Academy, which is supported by Presenting Partner BNP Paribas, provides students the opportunity to develop skills in technical accuracy, ensemble playing and performance technique, as well as gain insight into the life of a professional ACO musician. The program forms part of the ACO's national Learning & Engagement program, which aims to support, inspire and provide enrichment opportunities for the next generation of Australian musicians.
Tara Smith, Director of Learning and Engagement, ACO, said: "Since its beginnings in 2012, ACO Academy has continued to grow from strength to strength. This year we will harness the opportunities technology provides to offer bespoke and inspirational learning experiences for these talented musicians. I can't wait to see the results of our ACO musicians connecting with students in this way!"
Karine Delvallée, Chief Executive Officer, BNP Paribas, Australia and New Zealand, said: "BNP Paribas has been the Presenting Partner of the ACO Academy since 2017. Through this program, we are proud to support the ACO and grow the next generation of Australian musicians. It's wonderful to see how the Academy has helped the careers of many of its students over the years."