MusiciansHelena Burns

Helena Burns is a Brisbane-born violist who will undertake her first year at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) in 2024 under the tutelage of Caroline Henbest. She graduated with her Bachelor of Music and First Class Honours from the University of Queensland (UQ) in 2021 and will graduate with her Master of Philosophy from UQ in early 2024. Throughout her time at UQ, Helena had the privilege and joy of studying with the wonderful Professor Patricia Pollett.

Helena is an avid orchestral musician who frequently performs in her hometown of Brisbane and throughout Australia. Helena performed with Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra on several occasions throughout 2023 as an Upbeat Artist. As part this program, she performed in the Heartstrings, From My Homeland and Viva Violin subscription series concerts at QPAC and Toowoomba’s Armitage Theatre, the Orange Chamber Music Festival, and Queensland Ballet’s Trilogy. Helena was delighted to share her passion for chamber orchestra with regional audiences on Camerata’s annual Tour of North Queensland and by delivering school workshops with the group in Toowoomba. She will also feature on Camerata’s studio recording of Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings released in late 2023 and on Channel 9’s Lord Mayor’s Christmas Carols.

Helena has also held principal positions with the UQ Pulse Chamber Orchestra, the UQ Symphony Orchestra and the Curro Chamber Orchestra at the Australian Youth Orchestra’s (AYO) National Music Camp in 2020. She has also been a member of the AYO flagship ensemble over the past two years, with highlights including the 2022 National Tour under the baton of Sir Mark Elder, and Ngapa William Cooper with Nigel Westlake, Lior and Dr Lou Bennett.

In addition to orchestral performance, Helena also enjoys performing as a chamber musician. She is a founding member of Amiti String Quartet, an ensemble which has been increasingly active on the Australian music scene in recent years. Since their debut at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music’s Winterschool in 2021, Amiti has focused on bringing chamber music to regional areas of Australia. In 2023, Amiti participated in the AYO Momentum Ensemble Quartet Residency at the Coffs Harbour Regional Conservatorium for the annual String Camp. This opportunity enabled Amiti to share their passion for chamber music with students through recital, Q&A sessions, personal and group tutoring, collaboration throughout the rehearsal process and performing alongside them in the final concert.

In 2024, Amiti String Quartet will bring chamber music to Goulburn and receive tutoring from the Orava Quartet at the AYO Chamber Players program. Amiti will also record a piece written for the quartet by Brisbane-based composer, Abigail Lui, as a part of ABC Classic’s 2024 composer commissioning fund. The piece is inspired by poetry which highlights aspects of life around the Brisbane River, and the way its residents change as time passes.

Helena is excited to commence her studies at ANAM in Melbourne due to its vibrant arts scene, creative community, and limitless opportunities to collaborate with other musicians. Helena hopes to explore all Melbourne has to offer with her friends, learn as much as possible about being a musician and find Melbourne’s best tiramisu!

Helena is supported by ANAM Syndicate donors Mick and Margaret Toller, George and Kathy Deutsch

Photo by Pia Johnson

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