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CSO’s holistic approach to musicianship

A successful career as a musician in 2018 requires more than just being skilled with an instrument.

To make it today, abilities across performance, teaching and arts administration skills are all equally desirable.

While many contemporary musicians are acutely aware of what’s required of them, the Canberra Symphony Orchestra’s (CSO) Kingsland Resident Artists Program is one of the first of its kind to ensure those who complete it do so with what’s required to establish themselves as well-rounded career musicians.

Taking in two musicians for 18 months, the program has been made possible by a generous contribution from the Kingsland family, additional donations and a collective will.

Violist Alina Zamfir and cellist Julia Janiszewski are the two musicians selected for the professional development program’s inaugural run.

Zamfir says the Kingsland program gives them three jobs in one.

Cellist Julia Janiszewski and violist Alina Zamfir are the two musicians selected for the inaugural run of the CSO’s Kingsland Resident Artists Program. Photos Eva Schroeder.

“Times have changed so much that as a musician you can’t really make it in one way, you’ve got to be well rounded.

“As far as I’m concerned there is no program like this in the world, there might be ones that fuse two components like teaching and admin … but none that have all three.”

Janiszewski says the program reflects the way the industry is transforming.

“Every single degree I did, there were comments being made that the course structures need to change to reflect the industry and how it’s transforming … this Kingsland program is probably one of the first in the world to do this, to understand the direction of the industry and to tailor-make a program specifically to tackle the issues facing developing musicians.”

Having commenced the residency in July this year, Janiszewski says it’s been very illuminating for them so far in regards to understanding what goes in to setting up festivals and concerts.

“Understanding the logistics, the common pitfalls and approaching it from both the perspective of a performer and an arts administrator allows you to see where the compromises have to be made.

“That’s completely changed my outlook on every single concert I’m going to perform in from now on.

“To come at it from most perspectives, it’s been very educational, and I hope it will be very useful moving forward, too,” she says.

Janiszewski says she was told about the program by a member of the CSO while based in Queensland.

“They considered me one of the most ideal candidates for it because I’m an alumna of the ANU School of Music and the CSO.

“I’d always had the intention of returning to Canberra at some point to build up a teaching studio and contribute to the performance landscape in this city; this program struck me as the perfect stepping stone toward that.”

Zamfir, on the other hand, says she accidentally stumbled across it while working as both a musician and teacher in Sydney.

“This came up and I felt ‘this is what I’m doing now, but in a more sane way’; it combined my two passions of teaching and playing into this one program.

Zamfir’s connection to the CSO is via Artistic Director Nicholas Milton, who conducts one of her Sydney orchestras, the Willoughby Symphony.

“I very much decided to trial for the program based on him … He’s in the country so rarely that I’m really absorbing his presence,” she says.

Both Zamfir and Janiszewski will perform at a number of CSO performances throughout their residency.

To support the Kingsland Resident Artists Program, visit cso.org.au/kingsland-resident-artists

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