This year has been a funny one for many of us, particularly in the performing arts, where our livelihoods and vocation depend on a live audience. I’m a freelance violist living in Melbourne and until the pandemic hit, I was going along my merry way with a busy performance and touring schedule, spending around half my year on the road, and the other half with local gigs.

Katie Yap

Katie Yap and Emily Sheppard. Photo © Andy Rogers.

And then the brakes went on, with 18 months of lockdowns, where we struggled to fill our days with recordings, online teaching and concerts, and all those sanity-saving walks in the park. So 2022 gave me a mild case of whiplash, crammed with almost two years’ worth of postponed concerts and projects. I also had the chance to apply for the Freedman Classical Fellowship and took that opportunity to dream up a project with the help of my mentors Julia Fredersdorff and Genevieve Lacey. 

The Freedman Classical Fellowship is unusual: equal parts instrumental competition and grant application. To...