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Dr Elizabeth Sellars announced as the new Head of Strings at IAMUSICA

We are very excited to announce that multi-award winner and celebrated violinist, Dr Elizabeth Sellars, joins the International Academy of Musical Arts as Head of Strings this year.

Dr Sellars brings with her a wealth of experience as a musician and educator, following her previous role as Head of Strings at Monash University in Melbourne. The Director of the International Academy of Musical Arts, Dr Julia Lu, describes Dr Sellars as “a highly distinguished artist and educator who will bring invaluable experience and direction to the team at the International Academy of Musical Arts.”

In her role as Head of Strings at the International Academy of Musical Arts, Dr Sellars will be a key figure in the academy’s educational programs, including teaching masterclasses, adjudicating competitions, and conducting teacher training. 

World-class training and international success

Dr Sellars is a prize-winning graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London where she studied with David Takeno and the Takacs and Gabrieli Quartets. Following her international music studies, Dr Sellars returned to Australia and began a performing career as guest Concertmaster and Principal Violin with the Tasmanian and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras, Orchestra Victoria, and Australian Chamber Orchestra.

Dr Sellars has performed throughout Europe, the USA, Mongolia and Australia and has been broadcast on radio networks worldwide. She has also toured extensively with the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields and is a founding member of the Sutherland Piano Trio. 

A multi-award-winning artist

A sought-after chamber musician, Dr Sellars has appeared for Musica Viva and has collaborated with numerous other ensembles, including Ensemble Liaison, Wilma and Friends, Libra and Elision Ensembles. Her performances have been published by Move, Naxos, ABC Classics, Toccata Classics and Tzadik. Her recent world premiere recording of the ‘The Messiaen Nexus’ (with Kenji Fujimura) has received international acclaim, including winning the 2014 Limelight Chamber Music Recording of the Year.

Her most recent release presents the first complete recording of Pinto’s sonatas. 

Dr Sellars has given masterclasses throughout Asia, Australia, Europe and served as a juror for numerous competitions, including the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, the Dorcas McClean Scholarship, the New Zealand National Young Performer Awards, the Australian Youth Classical Music Competition, the Singapore Performer’s Festival, and the Melbourne International Piano and Strings Festival.

Learning from legends

Dr Sellars has been on a lifelong musical journey since she first began piano lessons with the legendary teacher Nehama Patkin at the Yamaha Music School when she was 5 years old. “Lessons with Nehama were full of fun, energy and colour - her enthusiasm and love of music were inspiring.” At age 7, Yamaha students were given a term of violin lessons with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra violinist Andre Hadges.  I instantly had a rapport with the instrument and right from the moment I put my bow on the string, I had a sense of the kind of sound I wanted to create. 

After some years of learning privately, Elizabeth went to the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School where she continued piano with Nehama and violin with the Polish violinist Nathan Gutman. Gutman was a student of the famous violinist Georges Enescu and had a great knowledge of how to sequence music and also how to help students find their own voice. “I had access to a full musical education including choir, chamber music and orchestra.”

Expert advice for aspiring musicians

Dr Sellars’ advice to students who are striving to forge a career in music is that an open mind, experimentation and learning to be comfortable physically and mentally are all vital components for aspiring musicians.”

Dr Sellars believes that access to a wide array of ideas is a gift to any developing musician. “Festivals are an amazing opportunity for talented musicians of all ages to come together. Sharing of ideas occurs between students as well as between teacher and students. There are new ideas on how to practice and to think about music. Opportunities to perform are vital and a festival provides a supportive environment in which one can try out new ideas. Watching other students and teachers play can be incredibly inspiring. Often it’s watching someone just a few years older who is playing really well that can spur a student to practise well and to reach the next level.” 

We are delighted that Dr Sellars, along with a distinguished line-up of other maestros, will be performing at the Melbourne International Piano and Strings Festival Gala Concert on August 5. Described as “dynamically exciting” (The Australian), we know this distinguished artist’s compelling musicianship will leave you spellbound.

To witness the artistic mastery of Dr Elizabeth Sellars, book your tickets to the Melbourne International Piano and Strings Festival Gala Concert on August 5, before they sell out at:

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