The Performing Arts | A Big Term 3 For Canterbury’s Musicians

Earlier this month, Year 10 student Haydn Li made his concerto debut in the Redland Sinfonia’s 2023 season finale at the Redland Performing Arts Centre, conducted by Dr Graeme Denniss.


Haydn performed as a soloist on both the violin and the viola, and is the first ever viola soloist to be invited to perform with the orchestra in its 37-year history.

Haydn gave the Australian premiere of ‘When Gravity Fails‘ by New Zealand composer Philip Norman.

In addition to his soloist items, Haydn also led the Redland Sinfonia as their youngest ever Concertmaster at 15 years old. image.php?hash=2df9cd2ef094c54e69fed5bbe963f925856703f7 image.php?hash=c36845958a365d678bf3bfd5898bab5e7446e3f7

One week after winning 2nd Prize at the Australian Strings Association Queensland (AUSTAQ) Concerto Competition in July, Haydn Li was also named Recitalist in the 48th John Curro National Youth Concerto Competition (JCNYCC) for the second year running.

The JCNYCC is recognised as the most prestigious competition in Australia for string soloists aged up to 18 years.

It was established by (QYS) back in 1976 to encourage the development of young Australian string players.

Competitors prepare a demanding program of entire concerto and solo works.

Haydn will be giving a series of five solo viola recitals around Brisbane during the first week of October, as part of the JCNYCC Finals Week, and then join the QYS on the violin for the String Sensations Concert on the stages of The Old Museum on Sunday 8 October 2023.


Back in the mid-year July holidays, Year 7 student George Li and his older brother Haydn Li travelled to Sydney to attend the Australian Chamber Orchestra Academy.

Led by ACO violinist Aiko Goto, the ACO Academy is an inspirational week of intensive workshops with ACO mentors, for top-level secondary school string students from across Australia.

It culminates in a chamber music concert and a public chamber orchestra performance.

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This year, the Academy occurred at ACO’s home base on Pier 2/3 in Sydney’s CBD.

These two Canterbury students were the only Queenslanders offered a place through the rigorous audition process.


Directly after the ACO Academy in Sydney, Trio Bellissimo rendezvoused in Melbourne, where they were invited for a 3-day residency at Monash University.

There they worked with the Monash Faculty’s Blair Harris (cello) and Tomoe Kawabata (piano), and performed in the masterclass of Louise Hopkins – Head of Strings at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

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Our Trio Bellissimo enjoyed spending a whole day watching the Grand Finals of the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, and were invited by Musica Viva Australia, to present the Audience Prize to the winning Trio from Budapest on the stages of the Melbourne Recital Centre.

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Within two weeks of returning to Brisbane, Trio Bellissimo were invited by the Queensland Youth Orchestras to perform at their Open Day at the Old Museum, and they were featured as guest artists in the Queensland Irish Choir’s Celtic Winter Concert in Chermside.


Year 9 student Isabella Oxenbridge had the fantastic opportunity to perform in the masterclass of Australia’s pre-eminent concert pianist, Piers Lane (AO), back in May at the ABC Studios in South Bank.

Upon hearing her play, Piers invited Bella to perform at the 2023 Sydney International Piano Competition Australian Showcase, featuring rising stars from around Australia.


At the end of August, Canterbury students Rylan Baird (Double Bass), Luka Roberts (Trumpet), Haydn Li (First Violin) and George Li (Cello), performed over at QPAC as part of the Queensland Youth Symphony‘s (QYS) 3rd concert of the 2023 season.


QYS is widely recognised as a world-class youth orchestra and is the flagship ensemble of the Queensland Youth Orchestras (QYO).

Only 12 double bassists, three trumpet players, 18 first violinists and 14 cellists from the entire state of Queensland are offered places in the QYS through auditions.

With a maximum age limit of 25 years, a place in the QYS is highly competitive, with most players at tertiary age and above.


We are extremely proud to have four Canterbury students currently playing in the QYS.

At 12 years old, George Li is now the youngest player in the QYS.

The QYS will embark on a 3-week international tour to Singapore, Germany and Austria at the end of November this year, and it will undoubtedly be an experience of a lifetime for our students.