We are honoured to present the distinguished judges for the
2016 Lexus Song Quest
Head Judge – Yvonne Kenny
Sydney-born Yvonne Kenny is one of the most distinguished sopranos of her generation. She made her operatic debut and won the Kathleen Ferrier Award in 1975, after which she joined the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Both internationally and within Australia she built an enviable reputation as a dazzling interpreter of works by Handel, Mozart, Donizetti, Britten and more recently for her interpretations of the Richard Strauss heroines. She has also appeared regularly in concert in both symphonic and recital repertoire throughout Europe, North America and Australia.
She has a discography of more than 60 international titles to her credit and is internationally recognised for her recordings of French and Italian ‘bel canto’ repertoire. She was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1989 for services to music and conferred an Honorary Doctorate in Music by the University of Sydney in 1999. She is a Professor of Voice at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Preliminary Judge – Patricia Price
British-born Patricia Price has studied and worked with many of the world’s greatest singers and conductors. For three years Patricia was a full-time member of the BBC Singers, a group of 28 singers who performed and recorded music across all styles. Patricia’s European operatic debut came with the title role of Rossini’s Tancredi in France, with a subsequent recording that was the world premiere recording of this opera. The offer of a contract in Mannheim, Germany, followed and then her debuts with Glyndebourne, Welsh National Opera Scottish Opera, Netherlands Opera and, from 1983 up until her retirement in 1989, as a principal singer for the Australian Opera.
Patricia then began directing her energies towards creating possibilities for the next generation of opera stars, with key academic roles at the University of Sydney’s National Voice Centre, and most recently as the Head of Vocal Studies and Opera at the Western Academy of Performing Arts.
Preliminary Judge – Graham Pushee
Graham Pushee is a highly acclaimed and award-winning counter tenor who has made guest appearances at many of the world’s leading opera houses including La Monnaie, Brussels; La Scala, Milan; and Staatsoper Berlin. Debuting with Opera Australia in 1992, he went on to perform the title role of Julius Caesar with the Paris Opéra, and sing in music festivals throughout Europe and America. Also an experienced oratorio performer, Graham has performed with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Philharmonia, and Australian Brandenburg Orchestra – for which his recording of Handel arias won the Best Australian Recording and Listeners’ Choice Awards at the 1995 ABC Recording of the Year Awards.
Following teaching roles with the Conservatorium of Music in Sydney and Opera Queensland, Graham retired from singing in 2006. He is now the owner and director of Arts Management, Australia’s largest classical music management company.