Newsletter 2010


16 September 2010

Hello Stacey Supporters

Here we are in 2010!  Who would have thought the Stacey Trust would have survived this long? In fact it has been going for so long now that the Stacey Trust office has survived its 3rd move with me to Richmond.

This brings me to a little personal blogging; during a rather traumatic period of decluttering and a mega-downscale, I pose this question to you:  Does your ‘stuff’ control you?  or  Do you control your ‘stuff’? I realised that my ‘stuff’ was controlling me and part of the process at this point in my life was to reverse this – the more I gave away, sold and got rid of ‘stuff’ I really did not need or have use for in my life any more, the lighter and freer I felt . . . it clearly has become a more disposable world as technology supersedes itself almost the minute it is released and the next generation (like my 2 teenage sons) happily discard the old model in favour of the newer ‘improved/smaller or bigger’ one in the blink of an eye! This is not the way I grew up and a lot harder to grasp this concept let alone accept it! However, even for someone of my half century vintage, there are some magical aspects worth celebrating . . .who would have imagined that so much music could be stored in such a tiny little unit such as an ipod or iphone!  As I have cleared literally what would be a truckload of stuff – I am comforted by the fact that my ipod sitting on a neat little Bose dock can carry and play 1,000’s of my favourite music. Also the CD collection that has been boxed up already will be copied into my iTunes library and will not take up the 5 boxes it currently occupies if I can’t fit it into my new downsized abode. Yet I can still enjoy ALL of the music that my every mood may wish for or truly need.

Apologies for this spillage of thoughts and experiences, I did get a little carried away talking about this, but it also made me realise that having music so easily carried and enjoyed is of great comfort when one is disposing of so much ‘stuff with attached history’ that takes up so much space! The magic of music can be held in the palm of our hand literally – this is a miracle!

Vale Sir Charles Mackerras 1925-2010


Since our last newsletter The Trust has lost its much loved patron Sir Charles Mackerras.

Despite his exacting schedule, Sir Charles never failed to support our endeavours and our emerging conductors by regular, generous donations and patronage of the Trust.

Revered by the musical world as Sir Charles was, it has been such a great honour for the Brian Stacey Memorial Trust to have Sir Charles as an esteemed patron all these years.

“Stace” held Sir Charles high in his affection and admiration. He would be so proud to know that his wonderful mentor remained so closely linked to his name in the annals of Australian musical history.

Our thoughts are with Lady Judy Mackerras and the Mackerras family at this sad time.

This newsletter comes with a mixed bag of announcements and information – all of which we at the Stacey Trust feel is worth reporting and reading. So here goes.

It’s wonderful to know that our BRIAN STACEY AWARD is now a recognised, respected and sought after Award nationally in this country, as was always our aim.  Our next aim is to ensure that Stacey’s wonderfully, vibrant part in the history of the Australian music and theatre industry is preserved for posterity.

The Brian Stacey Award 2010

(for emerging Australian Conductors) as part of the Helpmann Awards

This is the 13th year of the Brian Stacey Award and BURHAN GUNER is our 14th winner.
It was quite a process to draw out and process the entrants for this years’ award and good to
have some new names as well as some who have entered in the past who are developing nicely with time and experience. Burhan is a classic example of a musician who has really worked long and hard and his enthusiasm and passion for music has never wavered, he deserves recognition for this as well as assistance to help elevate him to the level he aspires to.

It is apt at this point to share with you the words of the presentation of the Stacey Award by Kathryn Sadler at the Helpmann Award Nominations Media Launch on 2 August at the Victorian Arts Centre in Melbourne:

“Only a few weeks ago, the world of music lost one of its brightest and best.  Sir Charles Mackerras served music with his every breath and lived life to the full. Even so, he made time and space to mentor for two years a lanky, loveable, larrikin, Brian Stacey, taking him under his wing and into his home. Stace never forgot the fortitude imbued in him from that great and wonderful man, himself taking time to nurture the fire and aspiration of those following in his footsteps.

The Brian Stacey Memorial Trust with such iconic forbears, endeavours to maintain a living heritage for Australian emerging conductors, this year awarding the $7000 prize to a recipient who has done the hackwork and his homework, just as Stace did, and is now ready for the national and international stage.

Congratulations to Burhan Güner

Burhan will appear in the Helpmann Awards Ceremony as a Presenter on Monday 6 September at the Sydney Opera House which was telecast live on Foxtel.  (See Burhan’s biography at the end of this newsletter)

Special thanks to the Live Performance Australia for their continued faith and support in the Stacey Award as an ongoing part of the Helpmann Awards. Massive thanks to our incredible panel of Musical Advisers who navigate us through the difficult task of processing the entries and ultimately selecting a winner. Thank you Guy Noble, Brett Kelly and Tony Gould – always a pleasure and an honour.

Twenty Years of the Stacey Award

Earlier in the year the Trustees reviewed our previous year in terms of our overall financial future and prospects.  No longer having fundraising events since 2006 along with the negative affects of the GFC mean that the Stacey Trust has had to dip into our investment funds more frequently to keep afloat. We have increased the Award winnings by 17% this year in an effort to keep up with the rising economy. Being realistic the Trustees and I came to the conclusion that it would be a worthwhile and ambitious goal to keep the Stacey Award going to it’s 20th year (2016) In order to do this, we need further fund injections into the Trust to survive.  Along with that our aim to document and produce a record of the Stacey Trust history and Stacey’s story in the form of a documentary is also important, but separate to keeping the actual Stacey Award going for 20 years. We are launching The ‘Stacey Angels’project to gather the funds for the documentary, see below for details on Facebook.

We seek the following:

• General support donations for the ongoing life of the Stacey Award to 2016
(See Annual Giving Donation slip attached)
• Become a ‘Stacey Angel’ and donate $100 towards the Documentary making.
Facebook –  STACEY ANGELS (you need to be registered on FB yourself)

Our past winners give us an update

After emailing and tracking down almost all of our past winners here is the latest:

Guy Noble (1998)
Our first recipient as well as a regular and now long standing member of the musical advisory panel for the Stacey Award. Guy Noble continues to work with all the orchestras round the country on a variety of different projects. He’s just returned from hosting the Family Classics series with the TSO, and travels to Adelaide to work with the ASO and TV chefs Maggie Beer and Simon Bryant. Other performances this year in include a national tour as pianist with Yvonne Kenny and David Hobson  (Opera Australia), conducting the Best of Broadway for SSO, a national tour with Human Nature and ASO, TSO, QSO , WASO , MSO and SSO, and regular appearances as host on ABC Classic FM Breakfast!

Kynan Johns (1999)
‘In a nutshell – I am living in the New York area and freelance between Europe and the States. From 2006-2010, I served as Director Assistente at the new Opera house in Valencia, Spain – assisting Lorin Maazel and Zubin Mehta, and working with some great artists including Domingo, Barenboim, conducting many operas and DVD releases, while also conducting at La Scala and Covent Garden. I conduct regularly in Spain, Netherlands and Germany with various orchestras and in the US, serve as Director of Orchestras, at Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey.

Upcoming engagements include a Beethoven 9 in Madrid, Strauss & Prokofiev in Asturias, Tchaikovsky in the Netherlands and Shostakovich in Colorado.
I’ll be back in OZ  next in 2012 to conduct La Boheme for SOSA.

Benjamin Northey (2003)
Returning to reside in Melbourne in 2006, Northey has rapidly become a leading figure in Australian orchestral music.  One of the country’s brightest and most versatile musical stars, he is in constant demand as a guest conductor of all Australian state orchestras and has premiered numerous contemporary works by leading composers including Brett Dean, Peter Sculthorpe and Matthew Hindson.  He is also a regular guest conductor for the State Opera South Australia having led productions of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore and Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffman in 2006 & 2009.  He has collaborated with leading international soloists including Canadian pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin, and German cellist Alban Gerhardt and is a regular recording artist for ABC Classics record label.

In 2007 Northey was selected as one of three participants worldwide to the International Conductors’ Academy of the Allianz Cultural Foundation.  This elite program involved a mentorship with both the London Philharmonic Orchestra  and the Philharmonia Orchestra under conductors Christoph von Dohnányi and Vladimir Jurowski.  The Allianz Academy culminated in a special concert performance with the LPO of Stravinsky’s Symphony in C in June 2008 at Royal Festival Hall: “…an engrossing and revealing performance…”- Classical Source.  He was subsequently invited to return to the LPO for a major concert in 2010.

In addition to his performance with the LPO, in 2010 Northey makes his debut with London’s Southbank Sinfonia before returning to the Melbourne, Adelaide, Queensland and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
On New Year’s Eve, he makes his debut with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra

Mark Shiell (2005)
Moved back to Melbourne in recent months. We have been living in Young, NSW. Conducting has been busy despite remote location!

Dane Lam (2007)
At present ‘I’m back in Australia for the next few months as I take the summer break before my second year of the Junior Fellowship in Conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.
I’ve just finished conducting the Southern Sinfonia in Dunedin and am now preparing to take the Queensland Symphony Orchestra on their annual tour of North Queensland in September. I feel very lucky to be able to perform so much wonderful music.

Other than that I’ve had several other concerts in the past year including the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (of which I am its Principal Conductor) as well as the Manchester Camerata. I’ve been assistant conductor to Kurt Masur and the Orchestre National de France on their Asian tour in January and also conducted several fully-staged performances of La Clemenza di Tito in Manchester.

I’ll be returning to Manchester in September to commence the final year of the Junior Fellowhip as well as continuing my work with the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.’

Vanessa Scammell (2008)
Vanessa was the joint winner of the Brian Stacey Award for emerging Australian conductors in 2008 and is currently the Music Director for the Australian tour of WEST SIDE STORY.  She has just completed her second years of a Masters of Music degree in Conducting at the Sydney Conservatorium.

These emerging and established Australian conductors are making a significant collective mark on the development and ongoing growth of music making in Australia and overseas. We are incredibly proud of each and every recipient and wish them our heartfelt congratulations and ongoing success.

Without YOU we are certainly not able to continue this wonderful Stacey legacy and Award and I encourage you to think about how your contribution WILL ensure the ongoing future of the Stacey Trust, no matter how small or large it is, every little bit helps!

Allowing time to read this newsletter is much appreciated.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!

In Stace’s words ‘go well’.
Andrea Gaze
Director & Administrator

Burhan Güner



Burhan Güner is a young Australian conductor with talent, energy and a strong commitment to his craft and responsibilities as a conductor. He has made himself an integral part of the musical life of West Australia and is well placed to extend his conducting both within Australia and overseas.
In the development of his career to date, Burhan has displayed great dedication, determination and integrity, very much deserving of the $7000 prize he receives as the recipient of the Brian Stacey Award 2010 for emerging Australian conductors.


Burhan is an active and versatile conductor of opera, choral and orchestral ensembles. He is regularly employed as backstage conductor with the West Australian Opera Company and is Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. He also conducts for the Western Australian Youth Music Association and from 2007-2009 he was Musical Director of the University of Western Australia Choral Society.

In 2007 Burhan was Young Artist Conductor with the West Australian Opera and was awarded a Bendat Scholarship. In 2004 he was named as Gandel Young Conductor of the Year (an initiative of Stonnington Symphony). He has served conducting internships with the Western Australian Youth Orchestra and Melbourne Youth Music and has participated in the Symphony Australia Conducting Programme. Burhan holds a Master of Music Degree in Conducting from the University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Music Degree (Honours) from the University of Western Australia.

Gaining this $7,000 Brian Stacey Award allowed Burhan to travel to Germany and England to undertake advanced conducting study and masterclassesHe was accepted to participate in the London Conducting Workshop in July 2010. The trip combined this with advanced conducting study with prominent German conductors Gerd Mueller-Lorenz (Lübeck), Per Borin (Stuttgart TBC) and to study the latest performance techniques in flow psychology with leading expert Andreas Burzik (Bremen). This month-long study sabbatical supplements Burhan’s postgraduate conducting studies, broadening his musical outlook and increasing his repertoire knowledge, as well as being an opportunity to network with both established and emerging conductors from around the world.