Viola player Henry Justo has won the 2023 Freedman Classical Fellowship and accompanying $21, 000 prize.
The 28 year-old violist from Queensland, won the final round of this contest against the other finalists, violinists Courtneay Cleary (29, Queensland) and flautist Jonty Coy (27, Western Australia). This year’s judging panel consisted of Professor Kim Cunio (Head of ANU School of Music), Lamorna Nightingale (member of Ensemble Offspring), and Simon Tedeschi (pianist and author).
Justo plays a wide range of music inspired by the infinite possibilities of human interaction with sound and creates multi-disciplinary projects with flair and passion. He is an acting musician with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and a Master of Music student with Volker Jacobsen at HMTM Hannover. Justo has performed with numerous ensembles including Sydney Chamber Opera, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne, Tasmanian and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras.
Justo’s Freedman win will enable him to pursue his proposed project Connect, a curated installation piece reflecting on how we all connect with place and ourselves. Collaborating with composer Cathy Milliken and media artist Mike Daly, the trio will together explore the human need for connection in relation to our place in the world.
The Freedman Fellowship is one of Australia’s most prestigious music awards. The selection process begins with leading figures from across the industry nominating 16 musicians under 35, who then must dream big and propose a project of significant scale to the value of $21,000. The projects, range from multidisciplinary concerts and large ensemble commissions to international professional development and innovative recording projects.
Since 2001, The Freedman Fellowship has successfully identified performers of new music and contemporary classical music. Past Fellows include Genevieve Lacey (2001), Karin Schaupp (2002), William Barton (2003), Claire Edwardes (2005), Joseph Tawadros (2006), Aviva Endean (2015), Rohan Dasika (2019) and Katie Yap (2022).