Burwood Beats: Rising Stars at the Con


This project, initiated by Burwood Council, brings together 9 of the finest performers from the Open Academy Rising Stars program at Sydney Conservatorium. Mostly resident in Burwood, our young musicians present a musical feast that is truly inspiring not simply by virtuosity alone, but due to the many emotions that reflect our recent time of extended lockdown and the release that followed. This program has been curated by Dr Nicholas Ng (Institute for Australian and Chinese Arts and Culture) with advice from Joy Lee, Rising Stars Artistic Advisor.

Live-streamed performance:

Burwood Beats:Rising Stars at the Con


Carnival of Venice
composed by Jean-Baptiste Arban (1825-1889)
performed by Jade Park (trumpet) with Carin Park (piano)

Baal Shem: Three Pictures of Hassidic Life—II. Niggun
composed by Ernest Bloch (1880-1959)
performed by Davin Lin (violin)

Étude de Sonorité No. 2
composed by François Morel (1926-2018)
performed by John Nguyễn (piano)

Violin Partita No.3 in E major, BWV 1006
composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
performed by Josephine Doan (violin)

Laudatio for Solo Horn by Bernhard Krol
composed by Bernhard Krol (1920-2013)
performed by Eloise Brunsdon (horn)

Sonata for Solo Cello, Op.25 No.3, II. Mäßig Schnell, Gemächlich
composed by Paul Hindemith (1895-1963)
performed by Jack Theakston

Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo
composed by Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)
performed by Kotoko Takehara

Double Concerto for Violin, Viola, and Orchestra in E minor, Op.88—I. Andante con moto
composed by Max Bruch (1838-1920)
performed by Isabella Sun (violin) and Hayley Lau (viola) with Paul Cheung (piano)

About Rising Stars

Rising Stars at the Con is a dynamic performance-based music education program. The program provides gifted school-age students with specialist tuition in a supportive environment that helps develop their musical and artistic skills.

At Rising Stars, we identify talent at an early age, laying a constructive foundation for a lifetime of musical achievement. Supported by the Sydney Conservatorium of Music faculty, the program is based on proven values of quality instrumental teaching, structured academic development, regular performance and the benefits of a strong and supportive musical peer group.

For more information, please visit: https://openacademy.sydney.edu.au/Rising+Stars


Eloise Brunsdon began her music studies at age 8 when she joined her school band on French horn. 1880657She is now 14 years old and joined the Senior Rising Stars Program last year in 2020, as a student of David Thompson. She has thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity and challenge, and is very thankful for the musical guidance she has received over the last two years. Eloise has also been a member of Gondwana Choirs for the last two years and performs with their Senior Performing Choir, in which she has been involved in some inspiring recording projects featuring recently composed choral works. This year she also joined the Sydney Youth Orchestras. Despite the impact of COVID-19 she feels lucky to have been able to continue participating in all of these ensembles during the Sydney lockdowns. Eloise is in Year 8 in the Gifted and Talented stream at her local public high school. Eloise loves music, visual arts, cooking, spending time with friends and playing competitive soccer every weekend with her team mates.

Josephine Doan is 11 years of age. She began playing the violin from the age of six and half and has been on 1880664a scholarship to study with Professor Ole Bohn at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in the Rising Stars program for the past two years. Josephine has competed at multiple violin competitions and came 3rd in the 2020 Grumiaux Violin, 1st in the Hong Kong 2020 Violin Competition and 1st in the 2019 Brussels “Grand Prize Virtuoso” International Music competitions. In Australia, she has also won multiple 1st prizes at the Sydney and St George Music Eisteddfods. Josephine lives in Burwood and attends PLC School. She also plays the piano. During the recent lockdown, Josephine was the youngest contestant (Open Age) in the St George Eisteddfod and came 1st, 2nd and 3rd in her selected categories. Josephine hopes to be an author when she grows up and would like to perform around the world in the appreciation of culture, music, history and the arts.1880658

Hayley Lau is attending Year 9 at Wenona School on a full music scholarship. She currently studies viola with Mr Fox Chan in the Rising Stars program at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and is also a scholarship recipient in this program. Hayley attained her LMusA diploma with distinction in 2020. She won the Alf & Pearl Pollard Memorial Instrumental Awards for Performance Excellence in 2018, the multiple section of the KPO Concerto Competition 2021, and was a grand-finalist of the Strike a Chord National Chamber Music Championship in 2020 and 2021. Hayley plans to study in a music college in the States and would like to pursue a career as a chamber musician as well as a soloist in the future.1880649

David Lin is a resident of Burwood and attends Ashfield Public School. He is 11 years old and first started learning music at the age of 5. Since then, he has been awarded scholarships from Trinity Grammar, Newington College and Sydney Conservatorium Open Academy. David received a Distinction from the AMEB (Australian Music Examinations Board) for his AMus (Diploma) assessment and came Highly Commended in the Sydney Eisteddfod (2017, 2018). David joined the Rising Stars Program three years ago under the tutelage of Dr Evgeny Sorkin and hopes to be an astronomer and violinist in the future.

John Nguyễn started learning piano at the age of 5 and joined the Rising Stars1880662 Program when he was 9 years of age, studying with Dr Paul Rickard-Ford. John has participated in Sydney Eisteddfod and been awarded a number of prizes. In 2019, John performed at the Endeavour Concert, playing Piano Sonata No.18 in D major, First Movement by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and was awarded a Diploma (AMusA) by the AMEB (Australian Music Examinations Board) in the same year. Besides piano, John also loves playing saxophone which he picked up in 2018. John performed with the NSW Public Schools State Junior Wind Band at the Jacaranda and Mimosa Concerts in 2019. He was awarded the Certificate of Performance in 2020. A Burwood local, John currently attends Ashfield Boys High School.

1880661Jade Park is a dual soloist. She obtained her Licentiate (LMusA) in oboe at the age of 13 and Diploma (AmusA) in trumpet at 11. Since 2018, she has been a scholarship holder in the Open Academy Rising Stars Program at Sydney Conservatorium on both instruments and has made incredible progress in the music world, winning scholarships and awards across the globe. Jade was the recipient of the 2020 International Trumpet Guild’s Young Artist Award and has been invited to perform in Rome and Carnegie Hall, New York. As an acknowledged Australian trumpeter and oboist, Jade aspires to continue to perform internationally in orchestras and also as a dual soloist.

Kotoko Takehara is a 15 year-old clarinetist currently attending Abbotsleigh School on a scholarship. She began1880665 playing piano at 4, and soon picked up the clarinet on which she joined the Rising Stars program when she was in Year 6. Her current teacher is Elizabeth Lim. COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns unfortunately put a halt to many music events she was looking forward to, but a recent highlight was the opportunity to participate in the Juilliard Summer Winds online in June this year. In the future, she hopes to continue to play music in various orchestras and to soon be able to play and enjoy music with other people once again.

Jack Theakston, aged 15, is currently studying cello with Susan Blake and organ with Philip Swanton at Sydney Conservatorium. He joined the Open Academy Rising Stars program at Sydney Conservatorium at the age of 9 and is1880660 on a full scholarship. Jack has won various local and international competitions and has been a keen participant in various orchestras and chamber ensembles. He is also a Year 9 Music Scholar at The Hills Grammar School. Apart from his love of classical music, Jack enjoys playing the piano, volleyball, board games and reading. Jack would like to continue studying at the Conservatorium and becoming a professional musician.

Isabella Sun began learning the violin at the age of 6 and has been in the Open Academy Rising Stars program at Sydney Conservatorium since the age of 8. She studies with Fox Chan and is a recipient of the Victor Cromack and Melba Alma Harris Cromack Memorial scholarships. Isabella has been a prize winner of numerous violin competitions in1880659 Australia. In 2019, Isabella was selected to participate in the 3rd Zhuhai International Mozart Competition for Young Musicians in China and in 2021, she was placed 2nd in the International Balys Dvarionas Competition. Isabella’s first solo recital in Sydney at the age of 11 was a great success and she obtained her Licentiate (LMusA) two years later. As a chamber musician, Isabella enjoys playing in many ensembles and orchestras to expand on her repertoire. She hopes to work in the music industry in the near future.