Australian Singing Competition - MasterClass



Introduced to the Competition in 2010

The MasterClass is an opportunity to receive expert tuition in a kinder, interactive, professional environment from one of Australia's seasoned performers.

Following a successful trial of a MasterClass in 2010, the IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition continues to offer this unique opportunity each year to the Finalists. Its intimate and supportive ethos has become a memorable feature of the Competition for both Competitors and the members of the public who attend as audience.


The concept of a 'master class' can be traced directly back to the celebrated pianist and composer Franz Liszt, who is credited for developing the format in the late 1900s. Masterclasses have gone on to become a staple of classical music education in the ensuing decades.

In simple terms, a masterclass is a dynamic learning session that features students of an advanced level of ability, together in one room, each performing a particular piece and being guided in their performance by a master musician. The student is then usually expected to play the piece again, in light of the Master's comments.

The value of the masterclass format is that all students present can benefit from the Master's comments on each piece. Masterclasses for singing tend to focus on the finer details of attack, tone, phrasing, and emotion.

Just as master craftsmen pass on their knowledge from generation to generation by taking on young apprentices, great musicians ensure that their knowledge will not be lost by passing it on to a new generation of artists. Classical music continues to grow, develop, evolve and thrive through this unbroken chain of the master/student relationship.

Notable 'Masters'

The IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition’s MasterClass has featured notable teachers and performers including Lisa Gasteen AO, Jeffrey Black, David Harper, and, in 2013, esteemed soprano Emma Matthews. The success of the MasterClass is rooted in the very high quality and reputation of its tutors and pianists.

By opening our MasterClass to the public, we provide a rare educational opportunity to members of the public, schoolchildren and their teachers.


View 2017 Programme

2017 Programme

View 2017 Programme

The Mathy Statuette

The Mathy

'The Mathy' has become synonymous with the Marianne Mathy Scholarship, the featured award within the IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition.

In late 2012, a new set of 'Mathys' were handcast at the Sydney foundry, ready to be awarded to the next decade of Marianne Mathy Scholarship winners.

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2016: Nicholas Tolputt

2016: Nicholas Tolputt 

Nicholas Tolputt is our 2016 Marianne Mathy Scholarship Winner. In this video, Counter tenor Nicholas Tolputt performs “Stille amare” from Handel’s "Tolomeo" at the Finals Concert of the 2016 IFAC Australian Singing Competition, held in the Concert Hall of The Concourse, Chatswood, on Thursday 18th August 2016.

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