Pianoforte

Convenor

Ann Nuygen Nikiten

Saturday 14 September, Sunday 15 September and
Saturday 21 September 2024

We hope to see you there!

Adjudicator

Isaac Mouskovias

​Venue

The Pianoforte Section of the Eisteddfod is held over two weekends in September at the Kingston Arts Centre in Moorabbin. You will perform in an intimate theatre, which is used  regularly for professional performances and also for V.C.E. performance examinations.

The Kingston Arts Centre has its own Kawai Grand Piano.

NEW REGULATION: COMPETITORS will be required to complete an entrants copyright form. Without  a completed form, which will be kept by the eisteddfod, the entrant cannot perform.

History

​The Pianoforte Eisteddfod aims to provide a friendly and caring environment where our  young pianists can gain confidence in their performance skills and develop their talents.

It is run by a small committee assisted by some wonderful volunteers who are dedicated to the promotion of the performing arts in our community. They want you to enjoy your  experience, so if you have any queries they will be happy to help you.

A highly qualified adjudicator will provide you with a personal critique of your performance. The adjudicator will give you helpful comments that will help you to continue to develop your performance skills. Our adjudicators are themselves professional  performers, teachers and examiners and most competed in eisteddfods themselves when  they were young.

​You will notice on the Pianoforte pages, and elsewhere, the wonderful support we receive  from our sponsors, who show such generous interest in our youthful performers.

We hope you will also support them when you have the opportunity.

​The Committee, our volunteers and our sponsors hope you will enjoy your performance.

​Main Awards

The Margaret Green Pianoforte Scholarship

Sponsored by Graham and Janice Henry

​1st Prize $350, 2nd Prize $100, 3rd Prize $50 medals & certificates

The Reg and Lil Lewis Memorial Romantic Era Trophy

​1st Prize $200, 2nd Prize $75,3rd Prize $25 & medals & certificates

Pianoforte Section Rules:
PERFORMANCE CRITS   and music books can be collected from the registration table at the end of the section at the registration table following the session.  If you are unable to wait until the end of the section, you may leave $1 or a stamped self-addressed envelope at the desk and your crit. will be posted to you.

A.M.E.B. OR EQUIVALENT SECTIONS – entrants must currently be studying this level or lower as at entry closing date.

V.C.E. PIANOFORTE SOLO

  • Entrants must be currently studying a V.C.E. music subject 
  • Music must be chosen from the V.C.E. Prescribed List for Pianoforte in the current year.

A piece of music may only be performed once and is not to be repeated in another section of the Pianoforte Eisteddfod.

Previous winning competitors are encouraged to perform material not presented by them in past performances at the Eisteddfod by the Bay.

Adjudicators

2023 – Kenna George

Kenna George studied piano with Ronald Farren-Price at the University of Melbourne, graduating with a Bachelor of Music in Performance. Later, she completed a Master of Education as well as a Graduate Diploma in Adolescent Health and Welfare.

She worked in music education for over 40 years in Australia, the UK and China, much of the time at administrative level including Director of Music and Fine Arts at Lauriston, Campus Head of Music at Caulfield Grammar School and Head of Performing Arts at the International School of Beijing. She has also worked in the tertiary sector and was coordinator of Studio Teaching for the Master of Music Performance Teaching degree at the University of Melbourne.

Kenna has been an examiner for both Australian and international qualifications. She was involved for over thirty years in the development and management of VCE Music subjects, holding positions including that of Chief Examiner, and State Reviewer of Music Performance. She was also a senior examiner for International Baccalaureate Music.

At present, Kenna pursues a more flexible lifestyle through her work as a music coach, accompanist, and director of an adult choir. She regularly adjudicates at eisteddfods and enjoys playing chamber music with friends.

2022 – Kenna George

Kenna George studied piano with Ronald Farren-Price at the University of Melbourne, graduating with a Bachelor of Music in Performance. Later, she completed a Master of Education as well as a Graduate Diploma in Adolescent Health and Welfare.

She worked in music education for over 40 years in Australia, the UK and China, much of the time at administrative level including Director of Music and Fine Arts at Lauriston, Campus Head of Music at Caulfield Grammar School and Head of Performing Arts at the International School of Beijing. She has also worked in the tertiary sector and was coordinator of Studio Teaching for the Master of Music Performance Teaching degree at the University of Melbourne.

Kenna has been an examiner for both Australian and international qualifications. She was involved for over thirty years in the development and management of VCE Music subjects, holding positions including that of Chief Examiner, and State Reviewer of Music Performance. She was also a senior examiner for International Baccalaureate Music.

At present, Kenna pursues a more flexible lifestyle through her work as a music coach, accompanist, and director of an adult choir. She regularly adjudicates at eisteddfods and enjoys playing chamber music with friends.

2021 – Kenna George

Kenna George studied piano with Ronald Farren-Price at the University of Melbourne, graduating with a Bachelor of Music in Performance. Later, she completed a Master of Education as well as a Graduate Diploma in Adolescent Health and Welfare.

She worked in music education for over 40 years in Australia, the UK and China, much of the time at administrative level including Director of Music and Fine Arts at Lauriston, Campus Head of Music at Caulfield Grammar School and Head of Performing Arts at the International School of Beijing. She has also worked in the tertiary sector and was coordinator of Studio Teaching for the Master of Music Performance Teaching degree at the University of Melbourne.

Kenna has been an examiner for both Australian and international qualifications. She was involved for over thirty years in the development and management of VCE Music subjects, holding positions including that of Chief Examiner, and State Reviewer of Music Performance. She was also a senior examiner for International Baccalaureate Music.

At present, Kenna pursues a more flexible lifestyle through her work as a music coach, accompanist, and director of an adult choir. She regularly adjudicates at eisteddfods and enjoys playing chamber music with friends.

2020 – Mr Lewis Plumridge

B.Mus., B. Ed. (Melb.)

Lewis Plumridge was born in Melbourne. He attended Mentone and Trinity Grammar Schools and the Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne, where, as part of his degree, he studied piano with the late Roy Shepherd.

As a National Serviceman he played clarinet for two years in the Band of the Royal Military College, Duntroon, Canberra and was Organist in the Chapel, frequently playing for the funerals of servicemen killed in Vietnam.

Upon completion of Military Service, Lewis became Director of Music at Trinity Grammar School, Kew, for 4 years.

He has been pianist for his wife, soprano Carole McKenzie and together they moved to London where they lived and worked for five years. Lewis became Head of Music at Whitmore High School in Harrow, teaching music, putting on musicals and conducting the Choir, Orchestra and a fine Brass Band. He toured Southern England and Denmark with the band, playing a memorable concert at Legoland in Denmark. He was also Organist and Choirmaster at St. Gabriel’s Church of England, Cricklewood.

Upon returning to Australia in 1982 Lewis became Director of Music at Mentone Grammar School, where he remained for 27 years. He ran a large Music Department of Instrumental Staff, taught Music to VCE level, trained the Choir, Orchestra and various ensembles and put on many musicals, concerts and Carols Services (at St. Paul’s Cathedral).

Concurrently, he was (and is) a Piano Examiner for the AMEB and Organist and Choirmaster at St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Box Hill.

Since retiring from MGS he has adjudicated many Eisteddfods and Piano Competitions and examines in Metropolitan and Country areas for the AMEB.

He is often invited to adjudicate schools’ Scholarship candidates and music competitions.

Lewis loves hearing and encouraging young people who share with him the joy of music.

2019 – Helen Kasztelan Chapman

MMus (Melb), GradDipPerf (VCA), BMus (VCA), LMusA, AMusA, MVMTA

Helen has studied piano with Gordon McKeown, Roy Shepherd, Stephen McIntyre, Alexander Semetsky and Ronald Farren-Price. She is a senior piano examiner with the Australian Music Examinations Board and has extensive adjudicating experience. Following undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the VCA, Helen gained a Masters in Performance from The University of Melbourne. She has tutored and lectured in Harmony, History and Analysis at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) and the University of Melbourne. Helen has also conducted workshops for the AMEB, VMTA and Suzuki Music in Melbourne as well as presented scholarly academic papers at national and international conferences in the fields of musicology, instrumental performance and music education. Currently Helen is enrolled as a PhD candidate at Charles Darwin University in Australia, investigating new approaches to analysing the works of Béla Bartók under the supervision of Drs Sharon Lierse, Yoshi Budd and Professor Malcolm Gillies.

2018 – Julie Haskell

Julie Haskell is a sought-after piano teacher, specialising in working with talented children and remedial teaching. She is currently the Coordinator for Instrumental Studies and Chamber Music at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School. Previously, Julie taught for many years at the University of Melbourne and worked as an associate artist at the Australian National Academy of Music. She is frequently invited to adjudicate competitions throughout Australia and has been an examiner for the Australian Music Examination Board for over 20 years. She is regularly invited to present masterclasses, workshops and lectures to students, teachers, examiners and at conferences, schools and tertiary institutions in Australia and South East Asia.

After gaining an associate diploma at the age of 13, Julie went on to gain LTCL & FTCL diplomas, a BMus, GradDipEd and PhD. She has worked as an orchestral pianist with the Melbourne Symphony and various European orchestras. As a pianist and fortepianist she has presented numerous solo, duo and chamber music recitals, performed as a concerto soloist with various orchestras, and made many broadcasts and recordings.

Julie is deeply involved in the musical life of the community. She is the immediate past-president of the VMTA and has served on the council member for many years. She is also the deputy chair of the Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference Association and was the organising chair of the successful APPC2015 Melbourne conference.

Through her doctoral studies, Julie developed an interest in fortepiano performance and specialised in historical performance practice. Her current position at the VCASS has recently led to further research in the area of gifted and talented education and she is a committee member of the Association for Gifted and talented education of Victoria.

2017 – Mr Len Vorster

Len Vorster left South Africa for Australia in 1983 after completing postgraduate piano studies with the eminent pianist Lamar Crowson at the University of Cape Town. He made his concerto debut with the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra in Mozart’s Piano Concerto K456 in 1976. As a concerto soloist he has recorded Michael Easton’s Concerto on Australian Themes with the State Orchestra of Victoria for Naxos (conducted by Brett Kelly), and gave first performances of the work in Italy, Hungary, Germany, and with the Royal Academy Orchestra in London in 2001. He has performed with the Melbourne Musicians conducted by Frank Pam, the Heidelberg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Chris Kopke, and with the Geelong Chamber Orchestra conducted by Stephen Roth. His Naxos recording of Holst’s The Planets (two-piano version with Robert Chamberlain) has received a Gramophone Magazine award.

With Merlyn Quaife, he has been nominated for an Aria award for his Naxos recording of music by Manuel de Falla. Len Vorster has recorded with Ian Partridge the complete songs and solo piano music of Lord Berners for Marco Polo.

In 2003 he released a solo CD Summer Waves, and ABC Classics released two CDs of Brahms Clarinet Chamber Music with Len Vorster, Deborah de Graaff and Georg Pedersen. In 2005 Naxos released his CD of solo piano and chamber music of Lennox Berkeley. A further Naxos CD of music of Samuel Barber was released in August 2006. In 2009 Move Records released Burns and Beyond with soprano Vivien Hamilton, and 2010 saw a Tall Poppies release of a Barber and Debussy with David Berlin and Len Vorster. In 2017 he is recording his second CD with Vivien Hamilton.

In 2001 he formed a duo with David Berlin, Principal Cellist of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. The Berlin Vorster Duo toured Taiwan in 2003 and their CD Reflections was re-released for the Taiwan market. Len Vorster regularly performs with La Prima (directed by Alison Rae Jones) and with Promac Productions (directed by Chris McKenna). He is the founding Artistic Director of Port Fairy Spring Music Festival, and is currently on the piano staff at Monash University, the University of Melbourne, and Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School.
From 1980 – 1982 Len Vorster was on the piano staff and official accompanist at the Faculty of Music, University of Cape Town, South Africa. He is also a regular examiner in Taiwan for the International Piano Performance Committee, and is chairman of IPPEC. Most recently he has adjudicated the Hobart Eisteddfod and the Eisteddfod by the Bay, Melbourne.

2016 – Helen O’Brien

Helen is a Geelong-based teacher and performer of piano, harpsichord and fortepiano. As a young student she studied piano with Margaret Hair and the late Roy Shepherd MBE. After graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts she studied Fortepiano (early music) and was awarded a Netherlands Government Scholarship to further her studies in Den Haag. As well as being a performer and teacher, she has Masters’ degrees in Film Studies, Creative Writing and Musicology and is a published writer in both academic and creative fields.

Helen has taught piano at Geelong Grammar School, Geelong College and Ballarat Grammar School and has tutored and lectured in both Music and Writing disciplines at tertiary level at Swinburne University and the former Victorian College of the Arts. She is the current Editor of the Victorian Music Teachers’ Association and maintains an active interest in all facets of piano pedagogy through her work with the VMTA and also as a member (Editor) of the Organising Committee of the upcoming Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference in July 2015.

Helen’s adjudications have included the Royal South Street Competitions, the Music Society of Victoria, Mt. Gambier Eisteddfod and this year the prestigious Regional Competition of the Australian Youth Classical Music Competition, Burnie Tasmania and several Victorian Eisteddfods.

2016 – Len Vorster

Len Vorster left South Africa for Australia in 1983 after completing postgraduate studies with the eminent American pianist Lamar Crowson at the University of Cape Town. In 1976 he made his concerto début with the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra and has since performed in the USA, Italy, Hungary, Germany, Taiwan, in London with the Royal Academy Orchestra and in all capital cities of Australia.

Len has recorded some 30 albums as a solo artist and accompanist. As a concerto soloist he recorded Michael Easton’s ‘Concerto on Australian Themes’ with the State Orchestra of Victoria for Naxos. Len received a Gramophone Magazine award for his Naxos CD of the two-piano version of Holst’s ‘The Planets’ with Robert Chamberlain and with Merlyn Quaife he was nominated for an Aria award for his Naxos CD of piano music and songs by Manuel de Falla. Further releases include the complete songs and solo piano music of Lord Berners for Marco Polo with British tenor Ian Partridge, Brahms clarinet chamber music with Deborah de Graaff and Georg Pedersen for ABC Classics, the solo piano and chamber music of Lennox Berkeley and the music of Samuel Barber, both for Naxos and a solo CD Summer Waves.

In 2001 Len formed a duo with David Berlin, Principal Cellist of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. The Berlin Vorster Duo toured Taiwan in 2003 and their CD ‘Reflections’ was re-released for the Taiwan market. In 2010 they released a ‘Barber and Debussy’ for Tall Poppies. Len regularly performs with La Prima directed by Alison Rae Jones and with Promac Productions directed by Chris McKenna. He has performed with the Melbourne Musicians conducted by Frank Pam, the Heidelberg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Chris Kopke and with the Geelong Chamber Orchestra conducted by Stephen Roth.

Len Vorster is currently on the piano staff at the University of Melbourne, Monash University and Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School. Teaching is an important part of his life and he enjoys sharing his knowledge and experience. He is often invited to be on judging panels for music competitions and conduct masterclasses. In addition to his busy performance and recording schedule, Len is the founding Artistic Director of the popular Port Fairy Spring Music Festival.

2015 – Helen O’Brien

Helen is a Geelong-based teacher and performer of piano, harpsichord and fortepiano. As a young student she studied piano with Margaret Hair and the late Roy Shepherd MBE. After graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts she studied Fortepiano (early music) and was awarded a Netherlands Government Scholarship to further her studies in Den Haag. As well as being a performer and teacher, she has Masters’ degrees in Film Studies, Creative Writing and Musicology and is a published writer in both academic and creative fields.

Helen has taught piano at Geelong Grammar School, Geelong College and Ballarat Grammar School and has tutored and lectured in both Music and Writing disciplines at tertiary level at Swinburne University and the former Victorian College of the Arts. She is the current Editor of the Victorian Music Teachers’ Association and maintains an active interest in all facets of piano pedagogy through her work with the VMTA and also as a member (Editor) of the Organising Committee of the upcoming Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference in July 2015.

Helen’s adjudications have included the Royal South Street Competitions, the Music Society of Victoria, Mt. Gambier Eisteddfod and this year the prestigious Regional Competition of the Australian Youth Classical Music Competition, Burnie Tasmania and several Victorian Eisteddfods.

2015 – Len Vorster

Len Vorster left South Africa for Australia in 1983 after completing postgraduate studies with the eminent American pianist Lamar Crowson at the University of Cape Town. In 1976 he made his concerto début with the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra and has since performed in the USA, Italy, Hungary, Germany, Taiwan, in London with the Royal Academy Orchestra and in all capital cities of Australia.

Len has recorded some 30 albums as a solo artist and accompanist. As a concerto soloist he recorded Michael Easton’s ‘Concerto on Australian Themes’ with the State Orchestra of Victoria for Naxos. Len received a Gramophone Magazine award for his Naxos CD of the two-piano version of Holst’s ‘The Planets’ with Robert Chamberlain and with Merlyn Quaife he was nominated for an Aria award for his Naxos CD of piano music and songs by Manuel de Falla. Further releases include the complete songs and solo piano music of Lord Berners for Marco Polo with British tenor Ian Partridge, Brahms clarinet chamber music with Deborah de Graaff and Georg Pedersen for ABC Classics, the solo piano and chamber music of Lennox Berkeley and the music of Samuel Barber, both for Naxos and a solo CD Summer Waves.

In 2001 Len formed a duo with David Berlin, Principal Cellist of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. The Berlin Vorster Duo toured Taiwan in 2003 and their CD ‘Reflections’ was re-released for the Taiwan market. In 2010 they released a ‘Barber and Debussy’ for Tall Poppies. Len regularly performs with La Prima directed by Alison Rae Jones and with Promac Productions directed by Chris McKenna. He has performed with the Melbourne Musicians conducted by Frank Pam, the Heidelberg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Chris Kopke and with the Geelong Chamber Orchestra conducted by Stephen Roth.

Len Vorster is currently on the piano staff at the University of Melbourne, Monash University and Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School. Teaching is an important part of his life and he enjoys sharing his knowledge and experience. He is often invited to be on judging panels for music competitions and conduct masterclasses. In addition to his busy performance and recording schedule, Len is the founding Artistic Director of the popular Port Fairy Spring Music Festival.

2014 – Judith Lambden

Judith was born in Creswick, Victoria and graduated from Melbourne University Conservatorium with a B.Mus(Hons) degree. She continued her study Gordon McKeown for piano and John Ingram for theory and composition. She won many prizes and made national broadcast performances for ABC radio.

Having been awarded the Clarke Scholarship for three years of study at the Royal College of Music, Judith travelled to London. In her final year there, she won the Hopkinson Gold Medal and the Norris Prize. She then studied harpsichord in Siena, Italy, with Ruggiero Gerlin, who had been a pupil and associate of Wanda Landowska for twenty years.

Judith also studied under some of the great pianists and pedagogues of our times, including Kendall Taylor, Lamar Crowson, Nadia Boulanger and Paul Badura-Skoda. Later she was awarded a grant by the Dutch Government for one year of study with Gustav Leonhardt in Amsterdam. Aided by an ability to play a substantial number of Bach’s keyboard works and other repertoire from memory, Judith has given many recitals in England, where she lived for 23 years, and throughout Europe. She broadcast for the BBC and Radio Hilversum. Recital venues included the Universities of Oxford, Durham, Colchester, Leicester, Surrey and London.

Since her return to Australia, concerts have included a performance of the Schumann Piano Concerto with the Camberwell Camerata and several solo piano recitals including two at the Castlemaine Festival.

Judith taught at the Victorian College of the Arts and at other tertiary institutions, and became an AMEB examiner in 1985 as well as being an assessor for VCAA. She has adjudicated at more than sixty eisteddfodau throughout Australia. She is a current VCE examiner and continues to perform and record.

Judith has recorded the Great B flat Sonata of Schubert, Bach’s English and French Suites, the six Partitas, and is currently recording more J.S. Bach keyboard works, and other repertoire. Judith’s latest release – Six English Suites – Johann Sebastian Bach

2014 – Heather McKenzie

Heather was born and educated in Geelong, achieving her AMUSA with Margaret Hair. She later studied piano with Stephen McIntyre at the Victorian College of the Arts, and with Ronald Farren-Price at the University of Melbourne where she was awarded the LMUSA diploma and the BMUS degree. She has had numerous successes in Eisteddfods and competitions, and has performed as concerto soloist with various symphony orchestras throughout Victoria. She has also recorded for radio 3MBS.

Heather furthered her post-graduate studies in London at the Guildhall School of Music (with Joan Havill), the Royal Academy of Music (with Ruth Nye), and the Royal College of Music (where she was awarded the Associate Diploma in Piano Performance). In Europe she performed at the “International Centre for Chamber Music and Performance” in Croatia. In 2003 Heather taught piano at the “Pan Pacific Music Camp” in Sydney. Heather has given solo recitals throughout Victoria & Tasmania, and is also an active chamber musician, accompanist, teacher and adjudicator. Heather has worked as repetiteur on a variety of musical productions including The Mikado, Iolanthe, Oliver, The Sound of Music, Barnum, Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell, Thoroughly Modern Millie and The Music Man. Heather has taught Piano in many of Victoria’s major private schools, including Geelong Grammar School and Scotch College. Heather is currently working as a piano teacher and accompanist at Korowa Anglican Girls’ School, and in her private studio. She is enjoying her new role as Vice President of the VMTA.

2013 – Janine Sowden

Janine Sowden’s London debut was reviewed by The Times in London as “…a delicate mixture of poetry with virtuosity.”

“Sowden’s playing is by turns emotionally direct, sensitively voiced and fabulously powerful…BBC Music Magazine, London

Her international career has taken her to many major concert halls, including the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room and Barbican Centre in London. She has toured widely, with appearances in Poland, Germany, Russia, America, South Africa, France and Australia, where she has also recorded for the ABC.

Janine studied with Margaret Hair, Roy Shepherd and Ronald Farren-Price, graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne. She won two scholarships from the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Trust for Young Australians, which enabled her to study on the Advanced Solo Studies course with Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

During her studies at the Guildhall School, she won every major piano prize and was awarded the coveted BP Scholarship and the Concert Recital Diploma (Premier Prix). She was later appointed to the teaching staff of the Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Janine has recorded a number of CDs, including an album of Percy Grainger transcriptions. She regularly adjudicates and presents master classes and is presently a member of the teaching staff at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music at the University of Melbourne.

2013 – Benjamin Martin

Identified by The Australian as ‘the best young talent for the new millennium’, pianist/composer Benjamin Martin has become known as an artist of exceptional versatility and subtlety of expression. A graduate of the Juilliard School where he studied with the late John Browning, he has been described as ‘the consummate artist’ (The Age), and as a composer, ‘distinctive… arresting in style’ (New York Times).

He has received numerous awards including the Queen Elizabeth grant, first prize in the Hepzibah Menuhin Memorial Award, the Marten Bequest Scholarship and two scholarships to the Tanglewood Summer Festival (as pianist in 1987, and as a composer in 1988), where he participated in classes with Leon Fleisher and Leonard Bernstein.

Benjamin has featured as guest artist for most festivals and concert series in Australia. He regularly performs at the Melbourne Recital Hall and is the pianist for Firebird Trio and has performed with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. He has toured the United States, Europe and Asia performing with artists such as Alina Ibragimova, Pekka Kuusisto, Richard Tognetti, Dimitri Berlinsky, Boris Baraz, Eiji Oue, Lukasz Szyrner and Leonardo Altino. Benjamin’s own compositions have been performed in Europe and the United States.

Benjamin features in three critically acclaimed recordings for Tacet Records Stuttgart with the great German violist, Hartmut Lindemann and is a recording artist for Chandos and Melba Recordings. Benjamin is also a member of the teaching staff at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music at the University of Melbourne.