Musical Abundance in New York for Con Alumna

Annie Gard in India

Annie Gard (BMus (Perf) ’16) was recently accepted into the internationally regarded Master of Music (performance) at The Juilliard School in New York City, after initially beginning a Master of Music (research) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Annie specialises in historical performance on violin and learns from Cynthia Roberts and Elizabeth Blumenstock. She will finish her postgraduate research degree on violin music in Italy in the late 1600s when she returns in late 2018.

As part of Annie’s postgraduate program in New York, she has already had quite a number of international musical adventures, including tours to The Netherlands for a residency with the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague and India.

“What in incredible seven months it has been since I somewhat apprehensively waved goodbye to Australia on my way to New York City and The Juilliard School. And as the end of the school year rushes towards me, and I look back on this first year, I am struck by the variety of musical experiences I have had.

“The school year began with Masaaki Suzuki (founder and director of the world-famous Bach Collegium Japan) directing Juilliard415 in a concert of the high baroque centring around J.S. Bach’s Trauerode. It was certainly a new experience for me to sit on a stage in the middle of Manhattan facing the infamously eagle-eyed audience of New York, feeling a long way from home but excited to be entering into a world of some of the highest quality music making in the world.

“In contrast, just one week ago, Juilliard415 was presenting a concert at the Sir Mutha Hall in Chennai, India, wrapping up a ten-day tour of the country, having performed in Delhi and Mumbai. What a different experience, to look out into the audience and see the faces of people who, unlike in Sydney and definitely unlike New York, very rarely get the opportunity to hear Western music in performance. Somehow music making takes a completely different form in these situations, the energy is incomparable as is the reward. One of my Juilliard friends has an Instagram following and was introduced to an aspiring young violinist who had travelled more than six hours to attend the concert.”

In seven short months, Annie has the incredible opportunity to perform in some of the most exotic locations around the world and also live on WQXR radio in New York in November 2016. In late May / early June Annie will be touring with Juilliard415 to New Zealand, with a side visit home to Australia for performances in Sydney with Pinchgut Opera. We look forward to her return to the Conservatorium in 2018 to continue her postgraduate study and once again perform with our own Early Music Ensemble, under the direction of Professor Neal Peres Da Costa. Annie travelled to the United States with financial assistance from the University of Sydney’s postgraduate research scholarship program.

To find out more about our postgraduate degrees at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, please visit our website.