22-year-old ANAM violinist Harry Bennetts has become the first musician from ANAM to win a place at the prestigious Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Academy.
“I didn’t know how to react…the opportunity is so huge.” Harry Bennetts
Bennetts, who began playing the violin at age four, was selected following an intense audition process at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) in Melbourne this month led by Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra violinist and Australian World Orchestra conductor Stanley Dodds and ANAM Artistic Director Nick Deutsch.
“Harry is an exceptional young musician,” said Nick Deutsch. “In addition to his outstanding musicianship we believe that he has all the attributes that will enable him to excel in Berlin: he is very smart, a wonderful colleague, an excellent chamber musician and an authoritative concertmaster. He now has the opportunity to refine and develop his music making by sitting in one of the world’s great orchestras, with a collection of the world’s finest musicians as colleagues and mentors”.
Bennetts has been awarded a two-year residency in the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Academy commencing on 1st September, which includes a significant number of performances with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra each year. He will return to Australia in late November to perform the Brahms Violin Concerto as a finalist in ANAM’s Concerto Competition, with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra under Johannes Fritzsch.
Bennetts, who was informed of his win today, could not have envisaged this latest milestone in what has been a hectic career trajectory over the last two years: “I didn’t know how to react” he said, “I was super excited, because the opportunity is so huge, but it’s also just so terrifying. I’ve always known about the BPO Academy and thought it would be amazing to do, but dismissed it as this unreachable thing.” Bennetts is absolutely clear about the reason he is doing so well: “Learning with Robin Wilson; I owe him everything. His level of commitment is so big that you can never return it. Also, unlike other institutions, I don’t feel like I’ve had any boundaries or been restricted in what I can do at ANAM. Being financially supported – you can literally spend a whole day doing practice. You have the support of everyone in the building.”
The prestigious award is made possible by an inaugural gift to the ANAM International Academy Program by arts benefactors Naomi Milgrom AO and Peter Weiss AO.