About the Prizes

The Alumni Friends of UQ Golden Jubilee Bursary: The O’Brien Family Prize

As part of the celebrations for the Golden Jubilee of the Alumni Friends of UQ, the association has donated 50 bursaries to be awarded to students across the university. As longstanding supporters of music in Brisbane, the O’Brien family have generously supported a prize for the best performance on brass or woodwind.

The Richard Pollett Prize for Strings

Richard Pollett’s diverse passions were driven by a deep understanding "of the essence of things: colour in music, depth in literature, poetry and visual art, texture in food, the wind in his hair, the sea, silence, reflection". He was dedicated to life itself, with music just one avenue for him to explore the world around him in all its beauty, subtlety, gradeur, and complexity. Though his calling drew him numerous prizes and awards his compassion, generosity, and modesty shone through more prominently than any performance ever could. In 2011, at the age of 25, he was engaged by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra to play as a soloist. A month before the concert he was killed in a road crash while cycling. 

The Richard Pollett Prize exists to inspire others by his memory, to connect with the deep emotional and intellectual experience of his world. The innumerable letters from young musicians received after his untimely passing are only a narrow window into the powerful effect he had on his community, be it Melbourne, Zurich, Tel Aviv, or here in Brisbane. His legacy lives on in the lives he touched, the music he performed, and the scholars who carry on his craft. The prize has been established in his memory and is maintained by an annual donation from his parents, Professors Philip and Patricia Pollett.

The Margaret Nickson Prize for Voice and Accompaniment

Margaret Nickson established this prize while a lecturer in singing at the University of Queensland in 1977. Following her death in 2002, the prize has been maintained by a biennial gift from former student and international operatic soprano Lisa Gasteen.


Alison Paris & Natalie Chow – Runners up, Margaret Nickson Prize

Still Wie Die Nacht  - Karl Bohm

Psyche - Emile Paladilhe

Ah Spietato -  G.F. Handel


Yeirim Jeong – Runner up, O’Brien Family Prize

Accompanied by Mitchell Leigh

Hungarian Pastoral Fantasy - Franz Doppler


Daniel Darveniza & William ShiWinners, Margaret Nickson Prize

Tutto è dispoto - W.A. Mozart

Schöne Wiege meiner Leiden - Robert Schumann

Phidylé - Henri Duparc


Cassie Slater – Winner, O’Brien Family Prize

Accompanied by Mitchell Leigh

Flute Sonata, Op. 94 - Sergei Prokofiev

The Richard Pollett Prize for Strings was awarded to Phoebe Masel who is currently touring Cairns with the Pulse Chamber Orchestra.

Presentation of the O’Brien and Horner Family Prizes


About the Performers

Alison Paris & Natalie Chow

Natalie started piano when she was 6 years old and has been playing ever since. She pursued her piano examinations and completed her Certificate of Performance in 2014. In her final year of high school, she was awarded the School Music Prize for singing, the Margaret Evans Senior Award for Singing and the Lylie Argus Prize for Piano. In 2017, she was also awarded the UQ and Duchesne College Music Achievement Scholarship. Natalie is currently in her 2nd year at UQ school of music in which she intends on majoring in performance.

Alison began singing classically after joining the Singapore Lyric Opera Chorus for their production of Verdi’s La Traviata in 2012. Since then, she participated in much of the musical scene in Singapore before moving back to Australia to study classical voice. Currently in third year at the UQ School of Music, she has enjoyed performing with a variety of choirs, including the Brisbane Chamber Choir and UQ Chamber Singers, and collaborating with orchestras as both a soloist and a choir member.

Yeirim Jeong

Yeirim was born in Seoul, South Korea and is currently a flute student of Patrick Nolan at the University of Queensland. In 2011 she acquired her AMusA certificate and won the position of prinicipal flute in the Young Conservatorium. She has performed in many solo concerts and has been travelling around playing flute for private events. Yeirim enjoys teaching flute and piano as a hobby in her spare time.

Daniel Darveniza & William Shi

Daniel is currently completing a Bachelor of Music (Vocal Performance) at the University of Queensland. Under the guidance of his teacher Shaun Brown, Daniel has performed as a soloist alongside ensembles throughout Brisbane and North Queensland. Recent performances include: UQ Singers' and Pulse Chamber Orchestra’s performance of the St Matthew Passion and Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem performed with the UQ Chorale and Queensland Youth Orchestra 2.

William commenced piano studies at five years of age and has been awarded 1st prizes in the Petrof Piano Competition, Vivace/Yamaha Piano Competition, Queensland Youth Music Awards and the Queensland Piano Competition. In 2016, William placed 1st for piano at the Brisbane International Youth Music Festival and was an Australian Showcase Performer at the Sydney International Piano Competition. He has performed in the 2012 and 2014 Australian Piano Duo Festivals, 2016 Australian Festival of Chamber Music and overseas in Europe and Asia. William has performed in masterclasses with Piers Lane, Angela Hewitt, Paul Lewis and Nikolai Demidenko. A winner of the Donald Tugby Performance Prize, Sid Page Chamber Prize and a Dean’s Scholar, William is currently undertaking his 4th year in a Bachelor of Music (Honours) degree with Max Olding and Pamela Page.

Cassie Slater

An emerging flautist, Cassie was a semi-finalist in the Australian Flute Festival Competition in 2017, was awarded the Donald Tugby Music Performance Prize in 2015, and was a finalist in the Queensland Flute Guild’s James Carson Memorial Prize for 2015 and 2016. Currently in her fourth year at The University of Queensland, Cassie is studying a Bachelor of Music (Honours), majoring in performance with Patrick Nolan. This semester, she is enjoying interning with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and performing with the Southern Cross Soloists. Also, she plays with the University of Queensland Symphony Orchestra and the Queensland Youth Symphony. Earlier this year she travelled to Europe to have lessons with world renowned flute pedagogues such as Felix Renggli, Emily Beynon, Thies Roorda, Juliette Hurel and Davide Formisano. This experience in Europe has opened her eyes to the possibilities of flute playing and she would love to return there to continue her studies.

Phoebe Masel

Phoebe is a fourth year BMus (Hons) student at UQ. In 2016, she won the UQ Sleath String Prize, the Richard Pollett Memorial String Prize and the 4MBS Musica Viva Sid Page Memorial Prize in Chamber Music.
Earlier this year Phoebe was invited to participate in a workshop with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and was concertmaster of the Australian Youth Orchestra (AYO) Chamber Orchestra at National Music Camp 2017. Phoebe has performed at AYO Chamber Players for the last two years, has toured extensively with the AYO Momentum Ensemble this year and is concertmaster of the UQ Pulse Chamber Orchestra. As first violinist of the Meraki String Quartet, Phoebe has performed in masterclasses for the Jerusalem Quartet and Takács Quartet and has enjoyed performances with the Southern Cross Soloists as a Next Gen Artist. Phoebe was concertmaster of the UQ Symphony Orchestra in semester 1 and has been named as a UQ Dean’s Scholar since 2015. In 2016, she performed at the New York University Winter Strings Conference, toured Europe, China and Australia with the AYO and performed with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Any and all success she has had so far, Phoebe owes to the dedication of her teacher, Associate Professor Adam Chalabi. She is excited to be moving to Melbourne in 2018 to begin study at the Australian National Academy of Music.


Nickson Room, Zelman Cowen Building, School of Music