The Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) has announced Mee Na Lojewski (cello, 2015) and Katie Yap (viola, 2014) as the inaugural recipients of ANAM’s Ian Potter Emerging Performers Fellowship.

Each Fellowship is valued at $50,000 per year for two years and is awarded to ANAM alum displaying a demonstrated commitment to establishing an independent performance practice.

“Hearing something of the dreams and aspirations of the shortlisted alumni who generously shared their time and stories with us meant we had an inspirational day of conversations,” said Panel Chair and ANAM General Manager Nick Bailey. “I am very proud of the legacy and the distinctive inquisitive musical personality that is starting to form out of ANAM’s activities of the past 20 years.”

“The panel felt that both Mee Na and Katie already have an impressive body of work behind them, and that both have much more that they can achieve and create. We are certain that wherever they land professionally, the country will be the better for having Katie and Mee Na as part of the national creative conversation.”

Me Na Lojewski. Photo supplied

Mee Na Lojewski completed her cello studies in 2014 at the Australian National Academy of Music under Howard Penny after jointly completing her Masters of Music with Distinction at the Sydney Conservatorium and London Royal Academy of Music.

As a 2015 ANAM Fellow, she founded Affinity Quartet and was a Finalist in the ABC Young Performers Award. For close to a decade Mee Na has steered Affinity Quartet with a commitment to engaging new and championing the recognition of Australian string quartets internationally.

The Fellowship has come at a pivotal point in her development, said Lojewski. “To have The Ian Potter Cultural Trust’s recognition and support of my independent practice is life-changing.”

KatieYap. Photo © Grant Leslie Photography

Brisbane-born violist Katie Yap is the 2022 Freedman Fellow and a 2023 Musica Viva Australia FutureMaker. Her focus in both explores a life-long fascination with improvisation, and love of the natural world. Her Freedman Fellowship project multitudes involves the co-creation of four new pieces with collaborators Emily Sheppard, Donald Nicolson, Mindy Meng Wang, and Bowerbird Collective, all based on bird poems by Judith Wright.

She has been the Artistic Director of Music, She Wrote (3MBS’s festival celebrating women in music) since its inception in 2021 and she is a founding member of prog-baroque quartet Croissants & Whiskey, the Gryphon Baryton Trio, and co-artistic director of crossover folk/baroque group Wattleseed Ensemble.

“It’s hard to articulate the significance that the Ian Potter Emerging Performers Fellowship will have for my career, work, and life,” said Yap. “The financial support it provides is a true gift – it will allow me to dedicate the time, energy, and resources to my creative work that until now, I thought was a pipe dream. The guidance of mentors through this largely self-directed process will be invaluable, and I am so excited to learn from them.”

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