Performance Students at the Top of their Class

Top classical performance students from the Elder Conservatorium compete for $1500 worth of prizes in the Friday 21 October lunchtime concert, supported by the Peter Brooker prize for musical excellence. Join us in Elder Hall at 1:10pm Friday for one of the highlights of our concert calendar.

Top Class

From L-R, Jack Overall (cello), Maria Zhdanovic (flute), Connor Whyte (guitar), Shawn Hui (piano), Amelia Price (voice)

Shawn Hui is currently an honours-year piano student at the Elder Conservatorium studying under Dr Anna Goldsworthy and Eleonora Sivan. In his undergraduate study, Shawn was the recipient of multiple scholarships, including the Muriel Perry Scholarship, and the Patrick Cecil Greenland Scholarship for Pianoforte.  Some notable concert appearances include performing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Op. 23, with the Elder Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra in 2021, as well as being a finalist in the 2021 Geoffrey Parsons Award and the 2022 Collaborative Pianist Award.

Amelia Price is currently in her final year of a Bachelor of Music (Classical Voice) at the Elder Conservatorium of Music under the tutelage of Rosalind Martin. During her studies, Amelia has been awarded the Lucy Josephine Bagot Prize, Guli Magarey Prize, Robert Whinham Prize and Adelaide Choral Society Prize. Amelia performed with the Adelaide Festival Chorus in A Child of our Time (2020). Amelia is a regular performer with the Elder Conservatorium Chorale, she has performed works such as Carmina Burana (2021) and Beethoven 9 (2022). In 2021, Amelia performed Belinda (Dido and Aeneas) and in the following year, Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte) as part of the Elder Conservatorium Opera Scenes. Amelia recently performed the role of Suor Dolcina in Mopoke Theatre Company’s 2022 production of Suor Angelica.

Jack Overall began learning the cello with Ruth Saffir, and later attended Marryatville High School Special Interest Music Centre. He is currently completing his studies at the Elder Conservatorium under the tutelage of Simon Cobcroft. Jack has played principal cello with the Elder Conservatorium Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, and the Adelaide Youth Orchestra. He has performed as part of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Baroque, Nexus Arts Orchestra and the Adelaide Concert Orchestra.

Jack is also an avid chamber musician, having performed as part of the Coriole Music Festival (2022) and Chamber Music Adelaide’s On The Terrace (2021). He was a member of the Adelaide Youth Orchestra String Quartet from 2017-2019 under the guidance of Keith Crellin OAM, and is currently a founding member of Raindance Trio. Recent performance highlights: concertos with the Elder Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra (2021) and Adelaide Youth Orchestra (2022); solo recitals for Flinders University, Flinders Street Baptist Church, and Recitals Australia Emerging Artist lunchtime series (2021/2022); and the Australian premiere of Lucas Debargue’s Piano Trio (2019).

Jack has received numerous accolades, including the Eugene Alderman Scholarship, James Whitehead Scholarship and Peter Brooker Prize from the University of Adelaide. He has participated in the Adelaide Eisteddfod since 2015, where he was awarded the most promising cellist (2015 and 2016); most outstanding string player (2018); 5MBS Young Virtuoso Finalist (2019); and won first place in the senior concerto competition (2021). Also a devoted choral singer, Jack has performed with the Adelaide Chamber Singers and is currently a member of the Elder Conservatorium Chorale.

Connor Whyte, 19, is in the final year of his Bachelor of Music Advanced at the Elder Conservatorium under the tuition of Dr. Oliver Fartach Naini. Connor’s love for the guitar began at the age of 8 with lessons on electric guitar playing and improvisation. Later, his focus turned towards the Classical Guitar when, at the age of 10, he joined the state Primary Schools Guitar Ensemble and began adapting to Classical techniques.

His focus on Classical Guitar grew and he commenced private lessons with Andras Tuske in 2016 and started undertaking AMEB graded exams. In his first year with Andras, he completed a Grade 7 practical exam with a B+ grade. The year after, Connor completed the AMEB Grade 8 exam with an A+ and subsequently had the privilege of being invited to play a solo piece at the South Australian AMEB awards ceremony after receiving the Grade 8 classical Guitar Prize for demonstrating outstanding ability. He was again invited back to perform for the AMEB awards after he completed his LMusA at the age of 16. In furtherance of his studies, he has also participated in master classes with Slava Grigoryian, Timothy Kain, Rachael Beesley, Andrew Blanch, Martha Masters, Matthew Withers and Andras Csaki for his solo work and with the Bejing Guitar Duo (Su Meng and Wang Yameng) for his ensemble work.

After being accepted into the Ignite program at the Heights School in Modbury, Connor completed an accelerated and advanced educational program and finished Year 12 in 2019 at the age of 16. Whilst he excelled at Maths and computer graphics programming, his real passion was for the classical guitar so he decided to pursue further studies at the Adelaide Conservatorium of Music and in 2021 Connor had the privilege of performing his debut concert with the Elder Conservatorium Chamber Orchestra.

Connor has also participated in classical music competitions such as the Adelaide Eisteddfod Society competitions as a soloist as well as a duo and quartet. He has won the 17 years and under section, 1st prize twice as well as first place in the Open-Age Division in both 2021 and 2022. Connor and his duo partner Marcus Kha were invited to play at the Eisteddfod showcase after winning the Orchestral ensemble Year 12 and Under division. In 2020 Connor won the Open-Age SAYGE Classical guitar competition. In 2021, Connor was invited to play in the 5mbs Young Virtuoso competition as well as participating in a radio interview on the 5mbs radio channel. This year, Connor received first-place at the Adelaide International Guitar Competition, the most prestigious guitar competition in the southern hemisphere, earning him a cash prize of $10,000, a guitar valued at $23,000 and a concert invitation at the next festival.

Connor is the recipient of the inaugural “Domenic Roscioli Guitar Scholarship” and plays Domenic Roscioli guitars.

Maria Zhdanovich began learning to play the flute at the age of 6 in her home town of Saint Petersburg. After moving to Australia at the age of 8, and in 2010 Maria began her studies with Alison Rosser. During her time with Alison, Maria achieved highly throughout Adelaide, including playing principal with the Adelaide Youth Symphony Orchestra, being a Member of the Flutes of Flureu, countless competitions like the Eisteddfods and Norman-Sellick Memorial Competition, earning AMEB grades with top marks, and studying passionately at Marryatville High School as part of their special interest music program.

After a fruitful 5 years, Maria began to learn with Elizabeth Koch AM at the beginning of 2016. At the end of 2017, Maria graduated from Marryatville Highschool with a SACE merit in Solo Performance, with a high distinction and prize for AMEB grade 8, being a Member of the Adelaide Youth Orchestra, and a multifaceted career at Marryatville, spanning from Jazz choir to Classical Improvisation, and everything in between.

The following year, Maria entered the Bachelor of Classical Performance Degree (Advanced) at the University of Adelaide, continuing to work with Ms Koch AM. During her time there, she has won numerous competitions such as the Eisteddfodd Concerto Competition, the Miriam Hyde Open competition and the David Cubbin Memorial Competition, has been awarded the Elizabeth Mathews Prize for Woodwind by the UoA, performed at the Elder Conservatorium Top Class End of Year Concert twice, participated at the Australian Youth Orchestra National Camp as a player, as well as beginning her teaching career, composing, and other performances as a soloist and as principle of the Elder Symphony Orchestra.

Going into 2020 and the final year of her degree, Maria was excited to go to London for the second time with the UoA for an intensive two weeks of music studies, to work with Michael Cox for the second time as a participant of his Adelaide Symposium, but unfortunately due to covid restrictions, anything involving international or interstate travel was indefinitely canceled. However, despite the losses that 2020 brought, Maria still found ways of developing musically. She performed the Lukas Foss Renaissance Concerto with the Elder Symphony Orchestra, was the principle flute of the Adelaide Youth Symphony Orchestra and of the Elder Conservatorium Orchestra. And wrote and produced an EP encompassing the time of the South Australian Lockdown.

In 2021 Maria returned to her passion of teaching, now being an educator of flute at Loretto College and Stirling East Primary School as well as continuing teaching privately. She has been nominated for the Freedman Fellowship. Graduated from the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor in Classical Performance Advanced. She has won the Sonata Section, Open Age section and Recital Section at the Adelaide Eisteddfods, and won the 5MBS Young Virtuoso First Prize. Maria is also the composer on a Carclew funded film project.

Maria is currently studying with Julia Grenfell whilst completing her Honours Degree of Bachelor of Music. She has had the privilege to work as a teaching artist on projects like The Nest: Connecting the Dots in Music and When we Speak: A Room of Her Own, whilst exploring her passion for improvisatory based music making and performance.

Tagged in Lunchtime Concert, Concert Series