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20 September 2012

Ashley Smith wins the Freedman Fellowship for Classical Music

Ashley Smith Image: Ashley Smith  

Perth-born clarinet player Ashley Smith is the winner of the 2012 Freedman Fellowship for Classical Music, presented by the Music Council of Australia. Smith, who is currently a post-graduate student at Yale University, USA, took part in the award ceremony through a videolink.

A passionate exponent of new music, Smith plans to use some of his $15,000 fellowship by workshopping new clarinet works with composers, as well as touring Australia, the USA and Finland.

'My Fellowship is for new music, new audiences and new composers. It means so much to me - I wish to contribute to contemporary music that is living and breathing,' Smith said.

The judges were impressed by his commitment to extending the repertoire imaginatively. 'He has an impressive international network and will be a terrific ambassador for new Australian music', said Roland Peelman, artistic director of the Song Company. The other two judges were the new Dean of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Karl Kramer, and the violinist and educator Goetz Richter.

Ashley Smith was the 2010 ABC Symphony Australia Young Performer Award winner and recently won the Yale University Chamber Music Competition. The runner-up for the fellowship was Sydney-based saxophonist Nick Russoniello.

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The Australian Music Centre connects people around the world to Australian composers and sound artists. By facilitating the performance, awareness and appreciation of music by these creative artists, it aims to increase their profile and the sustainability of their art form. Established in 1974, the AMC is now the leading provider of information, resources, materials and products relating to Australian new music.


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