Gradus ad Parnassum

Light The Torch... ...And Follow The Path... ...To The Summit


Stepping Stones The Gift Accolades An Artist's Life An Artist's World
Contact Elizabeth Powell

With Olivia Sham, preparing for her winning performance in the Keyboard section of the 2003 Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year Award.

The eagerness of the reception she was given on her first visit led to her making Australia her base and calls to mind the experience of Hepzibah Menuhin a generation earlier, both perhaps indications of a cultural hunger felt there then that is more easily satisfied today. As performer (and now teacher - the then NSW Conservatorium of Music, now the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in the University of Sydney, promptly seized on the value of her presence for its work), her career continued apace with frequent appearances as soloist with the principal State orchestras, at recitals and concerts around the continent and on television and radio for the A.B.C., the national broadcaster.

A noteworthy engagement in a long list was in 1973 when, before an invited audience in the Concert Hall of the newly completed, about-to-be opened Sydney Opera House, she was soloist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in a performance of the Grieg Piano Concerto. Overseas, she continued to play widely throughout Europe, Asia, the Americas and the Pacific and, from prize winning competitor, became herself a judge at competitions overseas and in Australia, where she has been Deputy Artistic Director of the Sydney International Piano Competition. She is a National Honorary Member of Sigma Alpha Iota, International Music Fraternity, in the U.S.A.

Till her retirement in 2008 Elizabeth Powell continued to teach at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in the University of Sydney, where she succeeded Gordon Watson as head of the Keyboard Unit in 1986, stepping down at the end of 2004 to focus on the activities she finds most rewarding, playing and teaching.

Her own students throughout the years have consistently been prizewinners at contests at national and international level, many now combining successful performance careers with teaching positions at conservatoria and colleges around the world.

In recent years, her musical interests have extended into chamber works: in this field, she has toured with Australian and overseas artists for the A.B.C., performing with groups such as the Sydney String Quartet, recording with the Sydney Wind Quintet and establishing a duo with fellow pianist and Conservatorium colleague Nicolai Evrov.

Research into the teaching and organisation of chamber music has taken her to conservatoria and other institutions throughout the U.S.A., the U.K. and Europe, where her reputation as a teacher and presenter of master classes is firmly established. She has standing invitations to return at the Royal Academy of Music and Trinity College in London, where she most recently gave classes. Recognition of her work in these fields in the western world has brought her invitations to share her musical heritage in the east, in Taiwan, and as artist-in-residence, in China at the Shanghai Conservatorium and in Hong Kong at the Academy of the Performing Arts.

© 2007 Elizabeth Powell