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Cellist, violinist and composer win DMMF Wellington awards

Claudia Tarrant-Matthews, Lavinnia Rae (credit Łukasz Niemancewicz) and Reuben Jelleyman

Violinist Claudia Tarrant-Matthews and cellist Lavinnia Rae and are the latest recipients of Dame Malvina Major Foundation Arts Excellence Awards for the Wellington region, each receiving $5,000 towards their future studies, with composer Reuben Jelleyman receiving a $2,000 High Achiever Award.

Assessors Emma Pearson and Christopher Blake acknowledged the difficult privilege of making award decisions when all applicants were deserving. “As in previous years applicants made strong cases for support and exhibited the commitment and passion for their chosen path that is critical to the ultimate attainment of their goals.”

Claudia Tarrant-Matthews, who received an Arts Excellence Award last year towards her Master of Arts in violin performance at the Royal Academy of Music, graduating with distinction, has accepted an offer to extend her studies there.

She says it’s incredibly rewarding to be supported by organisations from home, especially during these uncertain times as a young artist in the classical music industry. “This award will allow me to complete my Professional Diploma at the Academy to further develop my musicianship and personal growth.”

Lavinnia Rae will use the funding towards a Master of Performance in Orchestral Artistry in association with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. “I am incredibly grateful and honoured that my achievements and passion for becoming a professional orchestral cellist have been recognised by the Foundation,” she says.

Reuben Jelleyman is completing a Master’s degree in composition at the Conservatoire de Paris and will use his High Achiever Award to attend two international composition masterclasses in Europe.

He says the exciting news of the award came the day before he left for Siena, for the first of his two masterclasses. “The support of the Dame Malvina Major Foundation relieves me of the financial stress of making these two incredible trips happen while still living as a student.”

Dame Malvina Major Foundation Wellington Committee Chair George Troup says it is a great pleasure for the committee – all volunteers who fundraise for the awards – to be able to alleviate some of the financial pressure these talented young performing artists face in achieving their goals.

“We offer our warmest congratulations to Lavinnia, Claudia and Reuben and wish them every success in the development of their careers. We will continue to follow their progress with great interest.”



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