The 2000 Brian Stacey Prize was presented to Max Xinyu-Liu on Sat Dec 2000 at the final of the Westfield Young Conductor of the Year Competition. Max conducted the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra at the Iwaki Auditorium with three other talented finalists. Max then travelled to Israel to study followed by a trip to Europe by invitation of Maestro Jorma Panula to participate in masterclasses in Verona (Italy) and Vasser (Finland) in 2001.
Max Xinyu-Liu was born in China and initially studied piano under Professors Xiao Wei-Liu and Xiaojian-Zhou at Hebei University. He furthered his studies in piano and conducting at Beijing’s Central Conservatory under Professors Huazhen-Xie and Xun-Xiu, completing a Master of Music degree in both disciplines.
From 1989 to 1994, he was assistant conductor at Hebei Theatre Symphony Orchestra during which time he worked on a broad range of European symphonic repertoire. In 1994 he moved to Singapore and, until 1997, worked there as a piano teacher and choral conductor.
1997 saw him emigrate to Australia. During his time here, he has received a study grant from Opera Australia to work with Myer Fredman and, in 1999, won the Nelly Apt Scholarship in the Westfield Young Conductor of the Year competition enabling him to pursue studies in Israel.
Max was selected as a Junior Fellow with the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK. This is a very prestigious position – past holders of the Fellowship include Sachio Fujioka and En Shao. Max was invited to apply for the Fellowship as a result of his performance with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra during 1999’s Westfield Young Conductor of the Year competition, and he is very fortunate to have been selected. Max used the Brian Stacey Memorial Trust funds to assist him with living expenses in Manchester.
Max has more recently attended masterclasses in Vassa (Finland) and Verona at the invitation of Jorma Panula. He learned a great deal from these classes and Maestro Panula was very pleased with his progress. Max was granted permission to return to Australia to compete in the EDS Young Conductor of the Year competition, hosted by the Sydney Symphony at the Sydney Opera House.