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2024 National finalists

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Liam Freisberg is a 22 year-old violinist currently in his third year at ANAM in Melbourne, under the tutelage of the acclaimed violinist Adam Chalabi. Liam was selected as a 2024 Australian Chamber Orchestra Emerging Artist after touring Australia with them earlier this year. He has also performed alongside the Tasmanian and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras, and Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra. Liam participated as a finalist in the Great Romantics Competition in the Elizabeth Murdoch Hall in the Melbourne Recital Centre, and has performed in ensembles as part of Opera Australia and the Victorian Opera. During his time at ANAM, Liam was awarded the 2023 Úrsula Hoff Chamber Music Prize and performed alongside the Australian String Quartet, Philadelphia Orchestra Concertmaster David Kim, and Paavali Jumppanen, and has been mentored by the Flinders Quartet as part of the Melbourne-based Eureka Quartet. Liam has also been thrilled to have performed with the Australian Youth Orchestra for a decade and be the concertmaster of the Queensland Youth Symphony Orchestra for 2 years. 


Liam played - Bach: Violin partita No.3 in  E major BWV 1006 - Gavotte en Rondeau, Henze: Serenade for Violin, KreislerRecitative and Scherzo-Caprice Op.6


Anna Gao is currently studying a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music under renowned pedagogue Glenn Riddle and after completing her Masters aspires to travel abroad to Europe in order to further her studies. Anna has had success in numerous national competitions including winning the prestigious 2022 MBS National Fine Music Young Virtuoso Award, as well as the Margaret Schofield Chopin Prize in both 2019 and 2022. Other awards include winning the 3MBS Young Performer of the Year, Runner-up in the 3MBS ‘The Talent’, finalist in the MRC Great Romantics Competition, and 3rd Prize in the MYO Virtuosity Concerto Competition. Anna has performed concertos by Grieg and Beethoven with the Preston Symphony Orchestra, the Zelman Symphony Orchestra, the Melbourne Youth Orchestra and the Camerata Orchestra. Anna is an experienced recitalist and has been invited to present recitals for 3MBS, St Paul’s Lunchtime Concert Series and for the Austral Salon.

Anna played - C.P.E. Bach: Sonata in A major Wq.55 No.4, Chopin: Mes Joies Op.74 arr. F. Liszt, Liebermann: Gargoyles - I, III, IV


Michael Liu is currently studying his Bachelor’s degree in oboe performance in Leipzig, Germany at the Hochschule Für Musik und Theater “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” with Nick Deutsch and Qing Lin, along with Jeffrey Crellin during his time in Melbourne. Acting as assistant principal oboe and solo English horn, Michael has toured Europe with Junge Deutsche Philharmonie and Leipzig Philharmonie playing in the Berliner Philharmonie, Tonhalle Düsseldorf, Wiener Konzerthaus and Gewandhaus. In previous years, Michael was awarded first prize in the Hephzibah Memorial Awards woodwind section, Young Bach Scholar Award in the Bach Competition, third prize and audience prize in the Australian Youth Classical Music Competition and was a finalist in the 3MBS Performer of the Year. Michael has worked with ANAM as a guest artist with cellist Howard Penny, as well as featuring as a guest soloist later this year in July with the Melbourne String Ensemble, directed by Fintan Murphy.

Michael - played MozartAria ‘Ah se in ciel, benigne stelle’ K.538, Telemann: Fantasia No.3 from Twelve Fantasias for Transverse Flute, Pasculli: Fantasia sull’opera ‘Poliuto’ di Donizetti, Edwards: Two Pieces for Solo Oboe - No.2 ‘Ulpirra’

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Brian Luo (piano) embarked on his musical journey at the age of six, commencing piano lessons under the tutelage of Prof. David Lockett AM at the age of eight. Demonstrating remarkable passion and talent, he swiftly garnered acclaim, earning numerous accolades and awards in Adelaide, including a coveted Single Studies Scholarship at the Elder Conservatorium from 2012 to 2015. In 2015, Brian was granted a full scholarship to the esteemed Purcell School in London, where he refined his craft under the guidance of Patsy Toh. His dedication and skill were further recognised with a British Government scholarship, which supported his musical pursuits. During his tenure at Purcell, Brian flourished, seizing various performance opportunities. Following a triumph in an internal school competition, he was granted the privilege to perform at Milton Court. Currently based in Melbourne, Brian is pursuing his Master of Music (Performance) degree at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, under the mentorship of Glenn Riddle.

Brian played - Bach: The Well Tempered Klavier Book II - Prelude and Fugue No.5 in D major BWV 874, Art of Fugue BWV 1080 - Contrapunctus 1, 4, Scriabin: Valse Op.38, Ravel: Gaspard de la nuit - Scarbo


Natalie Mavridis, a Sydney-born violinist, was immersed in music from a young age through her family's cabaret act. A 2020 graduate from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music under Associate Professor Goetz Richter, Natalie was a recipient of the Henderson Traveller’s Scholarship which led her quartet on a musical trip to Italy in 2019. She also led the SCM Modern Music Ensemble’s 2019 tour to China, and is a member of Ensemble Apex (2018-present). Natalie is currently in her third year at ANAM, learning from Zoë Black and Adam Chalabi. While at ANAM, Natalie performed with the Australian Chamber Orchestra on their National Tour of Mozart in 2023, and also in smaller ACO chamber ensembles including a duet with Timo-Veikko Valve. She has performed alongside Laurence Power in a string trio, and also the Melbourne and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras. In 2023, Natalie performed as a soloist with the MSO for their Ears Wide Open series. As a passionate chamber musician, Natalie is a proud member of the Rosina Quartet, formed with her close friends. In 2024, Natalie is excited to be an Emerging Artist with the ACO.

Natalie played - Bach: Violin partita No.2 in D minor BWV 1004 - Gigue, Beethoven: Violin sonata No.8 in G major Op.30 No.3 - Allegro assai

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Violinist Donica Tran is a graduate of the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) and the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University (QCGU). Here she was the recipient of several major awards and scholarships including the prestigious Ena Williams Award, Joyce Campbell Lloyd Scholarship, QCGU International Travel Bursary, Vada Jefferies Bach Prize, Griffith Award for Academic Excellence and the ANAM Obbligato Chamber Music Prize. A passionate chamber musician, Donica is a founding member of the prize-winning Artamidae Quartet, who were selected to appear in the 2023 ANAM Quartetthaus Season in Melbourne, as well as the Peninsula Summer Music Festival, and Bendigo Chamber Music Festival. The quartet also had the pleasure of presenting the Australian String Quartet’s Project Ludwig, touring throughout Victoria performing Beethoven’s Op.18 Quartets. Donica has also enjoyed playing with the Australian Chamber Orchestra Collective as an emerging artist in 2023, and is thrilled to be a part of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Academy for 2024.

Donica played - Bach: Violin sonata No.3 in C major  BWV 1005 - Largo, Mozart: Violin sonata No.3 in E flat major K.302 - Allegro, Rondo, Bruch: Violin concerto No.1 in G minor Op.26 - Adagio

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Ariel Volovelsky was born in Sydney and began learning the cello at age six with Boris Suraev. He continued his studies with Umberto Clerici from age 15 until he commenced his studies in 2018 at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester NY under the guidance of Steven Doane and Rosemary Elliott, returning to Australia in March 2020 due to the pandemic. He completed his BMus at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music studying cello with Julian Smiles. He is currently attending the Australian National Academy of Music as a student of Howard Penny. In 2023 Ari performed in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra as the cello fellow, and he is currently an Emerging Artist in the Australian Chamber Orchestra Collective.

Ari played - Bach: Partita in A minor BWV 1013 - Allemande, Corrente, Sarabande, Bourée angloise, Franck: Violin sonata in A major - Allegretto ben moderato (transcribed: Jules Delsart)


Victorian born pianist Meng (David) Xia, found his passion for music at the age of 7. He was admitted into the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School under the guidance of Glenn Riddle, before winning an entrance scholarship to study with Ian Fountain at the Royal Academy of Music in 2023. In 2018, Meng performed for the former first lady of Malaysia in the semi-final stage at the 7th ASEAN International Chopin Competition in Malaysia. The following year, Meng

was the only oceanic competitor selected to compete in the 2nd International Chopin Competition in Beijing and performed Liszt’s Piano Concerto No.2 with the Maroondah Symphony Orchestra under the baton of William van der Vis. In the most recent edition of the Sydney International Piano Competition, Meng was featured as an Australian Showcase pianist, performing for the International Jury and audience. Recently in 2023, Meng was additionally offered places in various institutions including the Manhattan School of music and Royal College of Music.

David played - Mozart: Piano sonata No.3 in B flat major K.281 - Andante amoroso, Rondo (allegro), Bach: Toccata No.5 in E minor BWV 914, Messiaen: Quatre Etudes de Rhythme -  ‘Ile de feu 1’, Chopin: Barcarolle in F sharp major Op.60

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