Solo sections: 1 (Novice), 2 (Intermediate -10 years and under), 3 (Intermediate - 14 years and under), 4 (7 years and under); 5 (9 years and under)
Mark Griffiths has established a portfolio career in teaching, examining, adjudication and research. He is a First Class Honours graduate of Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, where he has been a tertiary and pre-tertiary specialist lecturer since 1998. His professional activities are informed by comprehensive knowledge, extensive experience, and ongoing reflective practice and action research. Mark is a PhD candidate at QCGU where he holds a Griffith University Postgraduate Scholarship. His doctoral research involves the investigation of pedagogical strategies that foster expressive performance skills within pre-tertiary pianists. An influential clinician, Mark has demonstrated his research through piano masterclasses in Brisbane and Melbourne.
Solo sections: 6 (11 years and under), 7 (13 years and under), and 8 (15 years and under)
Helen is a graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music (Griffith University), majoring in two principal instruments, Piano and Flute.
She has been an examiner for over 20 years and is the Principal Examiner for AMEB Queensland. She has also worked with the AMEB to collate 4 series of Grade Books.
She is an experienced Adjudicator, having adjudicated Eisteddfods throughout Qld and NSW.
Her teaching experience is extensive. She has a large private teaching practice in Brisbane, and has also taught in several colleges in Brisbane. She is the owner and Director of Music Schools Australia.
Helen has always enjoyed accompanying. For the past 40 years she has worked as a freelance accompanist, and has accompanied solo performances throughout Europe and Australia, in many different genres of Music and Performing Arts. In 2014 Helen formed, and was the accompanist for an SATB choir which was invited to perform in the International Choral Festival in Vienna.
Helen has a keen interest in Music and has been involved in 3 study tours through Germany and Austria studying composers and playing pianos and harpsichords built as early as 1600.
Solo section 9 (two adjudicators):18 years and under
Leah Horwitz is one of the most long serving, well known and respected musical educators in Australia. She is a former Head of the Keyboard Department at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and has been a principal examiner for AMEB Queensland as well as an AMEB federal examiner at both national and international levels. Leah has delivered hundreds of masterclasses and workshops throughout Australia and south-east Asia. She continues to mentor a small of number of teachers and former students and enjoys working with young piano students.
Dr Katie Zhukov
After completing undergraduate studies at the Elder Conservatorium, University of Adelaide (BMus Hon, 1st class) and a Masters degree in Performance at the Juilliard School of Music, New York, Katie Zhukov has taught piano for many years at the Sydney, Queensland and Western Australian Conservatoriums. The excellence of her teaching was recognised by the Sydney Conservatorium Teaching Award in 2003. Her PhD from the University of New South Wales in 2005 focused on instrumental pedagogy at the tertiary level and led to a four-year postdoctoral research project at the University of Queensland that resulted in publication of a textbook Sight-reading for advanced pianists (Wirripang).
Katie Zhukov has performed numerous concertos with professional and student orchestras, and presented many solo and chamber music recitals, partnering with some of Australia’s finest string players. Since moving to Brisbane in 2009 she have appeared in several chamber concerts with the Brisbane Winds. Katie Zhukov has an enduring interest in Australian piano music and has released three solo CDs and four books of new Australian repertoire: Australian Women Composers’ Piano Anthology (2015) and Wirripang Australian Piano Anthology (2011).
Dr Zhukov’s publications on variety of issues in instrumental music teaching, sight-reading, and performance as creative practice appear in 12 journal articles in high impact international journals and in three book chapters. She has also presented papers at many international and national music conferences.
Solo Sections:10 (Chopin – 12 to 15 years) and 11 (Chopin – 16 and over)
Natasha Vlassenko was born in Moscow and graduated from the Moscow Central Music School and Moscow Conservatory. She studied under Professor Jakob Flier and later pursued postgraduate studies with her father, Professor Lev Vlassenko. As a student, she was awarded the prestigious Tchaikovsky Scholarship.
Natasha has won major prizes in several international competitions including the Beethoven International Piano Competition in Vienna and the Busoni International Piano Competition in Bolzano, Italy. She has given recitals in many countries and has played under the baton of Rozhdestvensky, Osterriher, Pletnev, Martin, Verbitsky, Chivjel, Hickox and many others. Natasha has recorded for Moscow Radio and TV stations as well as ABC radio, she has released a number of CD’s.
Before coming to Australia, Natasha taught at the Central Music School of Moscow Conservatory. She is now Head of Keyboard Studies at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.
Many of her students became prize winners of major International and National piano competitions
In 1999 Natasha Vlassenko and Oleg Stepanov became the founders and artistic directors of the Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition, which has become the most significant national piano competition in Australia.
This year Natasha was invited to serve as International Jury member at the Beethoven Internatioinal Piano Competition in Vienna,Austria.
Sections 12 (Concerto) & 13 (Diploma) (two adjudicators)
Dr Suzanna Hlinka
Australian/Czech pianist Dr. Suzanna Hlinka began playing the piano at the age of three. With her playing style described as ‘pure magic’ and ‘poetry in motion’ Suzanna has been greeted by enthusiastic audiences around the world. She graduated with a Bachelor of Music from the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University and a Master of Arts from Prague’s Academy of Performing Arts. Suzanna finalised her studies with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Western Australia in 2012. She currently lectures at the Australian Institute of Music in Sydney.
Professor Peter Roennfedlt
Professor Peter Roennfeldt is a well known chamber music performer and keyboard soloist, and a former director of Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, where he lectures in music history and piano repertoire. His repertoire interests include lesser-known composers and performance practices of period instruments appropriate for the classical-romantic periods. In recent years he has presented numerous programs featuring his 1843 Streicher piano, including works by Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms and their contemporaries.
Peter Roennfeldt is actively researching local history. He has published a history of Queensland Conservatorium as well as the biography of Madame Mallalieu, the leading pianist in colonial Brisbane, and later this year his third book on the history of the Brisbane Chorale will be released. He is a regular presenter at the Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference, his most recent paper being based on on a former MTAQ president, Percy Brier. Peter adjudicates for competitions and eisteddfodau throughout the state.
Duets sections 14 (9 years and under), 15 (14 years and under) & 16 (18 years and under)
Australian pianist Angela Turner enjoys a multifaceted career as performer and lecturer at the Queensland Conservatorium. Regularly broadcast on Australian radio as soloist and chamber musician, Angela has enjoyed a focus upon chamber music in recent years, most notably with the Lyrebird Trio, who were winners of all piano trio prizes at the quadrennial 2013 Asia Pacific Chamber Music Competition. Angela’s recent engagements have included appearances at the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival, Melbourne Recital Centre, Sydney Opera House, Ngeringa (Ukaria) Centre, Tyalgum Festival, 4MBS Festival of Classics, Kawai Keyboard Series, Australian Piano Duo Festival, Mason and Hamlin Series, and for Musica Viva. The Lyrebird Trio were 2014 and 2015 Winter Musicians-in-Residence at Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada, and Ensemble-in-Residence at the Queensland Conservatorium.
Angela convenes and lectures across a wide range of areas at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University, and is head of the Intermediate Piano Program at the Young Conservatorium. A well-respected teacher, Angela is an AMEB Keyboard Examiner, a sought-after adjudicator and presenter, as well as a series editor for publishers Hal Leonard Australia. A graduate and Conservatorium medallist of the Conservatorium, Angela completed her Master of Music on exchange at the Royal College of Music, London. She has been on staff at the Conservatorium since 1998.