Australian born pianist Bonnie Brown is an active soloist, collaborative artist and teacher.
In 2008 she relocated to Paris where she has been undertaking a mentorship with internationally renowned concert pianist Cristina Ortiz, parallel to studies under respected French pedagogue France Clidat at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris.
To assist with her studies in Europe, she was the recipient of many of Australia and France’s most prestigious grants and scholarships. These include, from Australia, a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship, the Australia Council for the Arts Project Fellowship, the Empire Theatres Towoomba Brian Boak Outstanding Performer Bursary, as well as support from the Ian Potter Cultural Trust, the University of Melbourne Nickson Traveling Scholarship, the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia, the Harold Mitchell Foundation and the Opus 50 Charitable Trust. While in Paris, she spent her first year as Australian Artist in Residence at the prestigious Cité Internationale des Arts on a residency scholarship, and was awarded the 2nd Prize Internationally from the Fondation Nadia et Lili Boulanger for 2009.
She began her musical studies at the age of three, and in 1994 was awarded a full scholarship to the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School. She graduated Dux in 1999, having received the top mark for English, Literature, French and Music Performance: Solo. During this time she was also awarded her Licentiate Diploma (piano), Associate Diploma with distinction (piano) and Associate Diploma (flute) from the Australian Music Examinations Board.
Bonnie Brown held a scholarship place at the Australian National Academy of Music in their Advanced Performance Program, from July 2006 until June 2008, under the guidance of Rita Reichman. In her capacity as Academy Musician, she collaborated with such renowned Australian musicians as William Hennessy, Brett Dean and Nigel Butterley, while participating in Masterclasses with such pedagogues as Cristina Ortiz, Dmitri Alexeev and Paul Lewis, to name a few. In addition to her work at The Academy, she was privileged to receive tuition in music analysis from Richard Gill AM (Music Director, Victorian Opera). Besides her study in Australia and France, Bonnie undertook a semester at the Universität für Music und Darstellende Kunst Graz in Austria under the late Professor Alexandr Satz, for which she was awarded a Melbourne Abroad Traveling Scholarship.
During her time at University of Melbourne, Faculty of Music from 2000-2007, Bonnie was under the supervision of renowned Australian pedagogue and concert pianist Professor Ronald Farren-Price. She has been awarded numerous prizes and scholarships, including a Melbourne Music Scholarship for her Bachelor of Music (performance) degree, which she attained with honours. For her Masters of Music (performance), she held an Australian Postgraduate Award as well as a Melbourne Research Scholarship. Other awards from the University of Melbourne include the 2003 Rosemary Kenny Prize for the “student who in the opinion of the Faculty is the best third or final year student in the Bachelor of Music course", the Ormond Exhibition – Third Year (2002) “for outstanding practical examination results”, the H.A. Owen Memorial Scholarship 2002 and the Eric and Linda Jullyan Memorial Scholarship 2001 for outstanding practical examination results. As a solo performer, Bonnie was selected for four recitals in the University of Melbourne Lunch Hour Concert series. In the same series, she directed a performance of Saint-Säens’ Carnival of the Animals (for small chamber ensemble), featuring veteran Australian actor Charles “Bud” Tingwell as narrator, to a full house. Ever versatile, she toured in 2008 in China where she performed in the capacity of Orchestral Keyboard as well as supporting concerto soloist. In 2008 she was also engaged to perform Messian’s canonical Visions de l’Amen for two pianos as part of the Messiaen 100th Birthday Celebrations.
In addition to these other collaborations, Bonnie has performed with Australian pianist Coady Green as a piano duo. The young duo took out the prize for Romantic Interpretation at the International Grieg Competition for Piano duo in Norway in 2008. As a professional ensemble for nearly a decade, the duo performed regularly in Europe and in Australia.
Bonnie performed as the featured soloist at the University of Melbourne 150th Anniversary Concert in the Melbourne Town Hall in 2003, collaborating with Maestro Marco Zuccarini for a performance of Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto, to rave reviews. She has made other concerto appearances with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, members of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, and regional Australian orchestras. She has broadcast on ABC Classics FM as well as 3MBS FM, and has been a recipient of the ABC Young Artists Award, reached the second stage of the Symphony Australia Young Performers Award, was overall winner of the Austral Salon Instrumental Scholarship, second prize winner in the Musical Society of Victoria’s Hephzibah Menuhin Memorial Award, and was finalist in the Australian National Piano Award, to name a few competition successes.
Louisa Breen was born in Melbourne, Australia, and graduated with Bachelor of Music Honours from the University of Melbourne in 1998.
In the same year she began her postgraduate studies on the piano at the Royal College of Music in London, supported by a Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Scholarship, an Associated Board International Scholarship, and the Clarke Scholarship. After gaining a Distinction for her Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Performance, Louisa completed her Masters in Musical Performance in 2001. On the completion of her studies, Louisa was awarded a 2-year residency at the RCM as the Jenny Marsh Chapman Junior Fellow.
While living in England, Louisa enjoyed much success, winning many prizes at the Royal College of Music including the highest prize for piano, the Chappell Gold Medal in 1999.
She has toured Asia and Australasia as a member of the RCM Premiere ensemble and performed regularly as a soloist and as a chamber musician in concerts throughout London and the UK, including such venues as the Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, St Martin-in-the-Fields, St James Piccadilly, Winchester Cathedral, and St John's Smith Square.
She has performed many concertos with orchestra in Australia, the United Kingdom, Europe and New Zealand, including the European Premiere of Australian composer Carl Vine's Piano Concerto in 2001 with the RCM Sinfonietta.
In February 2004, Louisa won the piano section of the prestigious Royal Overseas League Music Competition, and in the same month, she made her solo Wigmore Hall debut, performing works by Bartok, Prokofieff and Debussy.
In 2005 Louisa returned to live in Melbourne, and has been working as a freelance pianist since. She performs regularly as a soloist and chamber musician, and is a regular pianist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.