The Adjudicators

The adjudicators for the Australian National Piano Award bring a wealth of global concert experience and expertise to their evaluations.

They are able to stand in the shoes of our participants and are aware of the pressures which the performers face. At the conclusion of Recitals 3 and 4, they offer appraisal to the pianists, assisting them with valuable advice for further development in the music profession. Thus, the Award increasingly becomes an educative process.

We take pride in appointing adjudicators who have the following qualities:

  • international performance experience
  • an interest in the development of young musicians
  • expertise in adjudication and education

2018 Adjudicators

  • Lance Coburn

    Lance Coburn Ireland

    Adjudicator for 2018

    Since winning 1st prize at the Tomassoni International Piano Competition, Cologne in 2001, Lance Coburn has established himself as a charismatic performer with an exceptional facility. He has performed with most of the major Australian orchestras including the Sydney Symphony and many international symphony orchestras including the RTE NSO  and WDR Rundfunkkorchester Köln.  Beginning his studies in his homeland of New Zealand, Lance graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music with the school’s highest honours. He furthered his studies in the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire and the Royal Irish Academy of Music. During his studies, Lance was the recipient of numerous first prizes, including the inaugural Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition, the Australian Young Performers’ Award, the David Paul Landa Scholarship and the Hephizibah Menuhin Scholarship.  Now based in County Wicklow in Ireland, Lance regularly plays with Irelands’ leading chamber musicians and orchestras. He has performed – as both a soloist and chamber musician - in many notable festivals. Highlights include The Beethoven International Festival in Bonn, The Dublin International Piano Festival and The Great Music in Irish Houses Festival.  In 2014 Lance collaborated on a critically acclaimed CD collection of Esposito Sonatas with violinist Mia Cooper and cellist William Butt. He has just released two CDs for Naxos, one of Tchaikovsky solo piano music and the other a collection of solo piano works by Carl Vine.    Frequently adjudicating in Irish music festivals, Lance also gives master classes internationally.  He is a piano lecturer in the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin. Lance is a Blüthner Artist.

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  • Joanna MacGregor

    Joanna MacGregor United Kingdom - London

    Adjudicator 2018

    Joanna MacGregor is one of the world’s most innovative musicians, appearing as a concert  pianist, curator and collaborator. Head of Piano at the Royal Academy of Music and Professor of the University of London, Joanna is also known as an artistic director of festivals and concerts series, including Bath International Music Festival and Dartington International Summer School.


    As a solo artist Joanna has performed in over 80 countries and appeared with many eminent conductors — Pierre Boulez, Sir Colin Davis, Valery Gergiev, Sir Simon

    Rattle and Michael Tilson Thomas amongst them — and many orchestras, including the London Symphony and Sydney Symphony Orchestras; the Chicago, Melbourne and Oslo Philharmonic Orchestras; the Berlin Symphony and the Salzburg Camerata. She has premiered many landmark compositions by composers ranging from Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Django Bates to John Adams and James MacMillan. She performs regularly at major venues throughout the world, including the Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre and Barbican in London, the Sydney Opera House, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Mozarteum in Salzburg.


    Joanna directed the multiarts festival Deloitte Ignite 2010 at the Royal Opera House which included many new art commissions, including a yearlong installation by the remarkable artist Alice Anderson. She was Artistic Director of the Bath International Music Festival between 2006 and 2012, and Artistic Advisor for Aventure+, a Luxembourg Philharmonie orchestral series in 2012–13. She was appointed Artistic Director of Dartington International Summer School & Festival in 2015, and directs an annual Summer Piano Festival at the Royal Academy of Music.


    As a recording artist Joanna is a veteran of over 30 solo recordings, ranging from Bach and Scarlatti to jazz and John Cage. Her own record label SoundCircus was founded in 1998 and has released many highly successful recordings, including the Mercury Prizenominated

    Play and Neural Circuits, featuring Schnittke’s Concertofor Piano and Strings and music by Nitin Sawhney. Other acclaimed releases include Bach’s Goldberg Variations (recorded at the Mozarteum in Salzburg), Live in Buenos Aires, a fourCD

    Messiaen set, and the complete Chopin Mazurkas. Jazz recordings include Sidewalk Dances — music by the New York street musician Moondog — and Deep River, music inspired by the Deep South, with saxophonist Andy Sheppard.

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  • Gerard Willems

    Gerard Willems Australia - Sydney

    Adjudicator 2018

    Gerard Willems was born in Holland and moved with his family to Australia in 1958 when he was 12 years old. He studied both in Sydney and Munich and graduated from the NSW State Conservatorium of Music which now is the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. There, he has been on the teaching staff since 1981 and is currently Associate Professor.

    Gerard has done concert tours of the USA, the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, New Zealand, Australia and Israel, having performed under the batons of conductors such as Sir Bernard Heinze, Nicholas Braithwaite, John Lanchbery, Nicholas Milton, Avnir Biron and Patrick Thomas. He has broadcast for Australian, Dutch, French, Austrian, British and Israeli radio. For several years Gerard was the Concerto Soloist for Margot Fonteyn, Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov during several worldwide ballet tours.

    In 2001 Gerard was named the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Music Scholar by the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust. In 2003 he was awarded a Centenary Medal for services to music and in 2012 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to the arts as a concert pianist, educator and mentor to young musicians.

    Regarded as a specialist in the first Viennese school, Gerard teaches and gives masterclasses worldwide and is invited to be on juries of national and international piano competitions. He was Visiting Professor at the Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg (Germany) in 2008, and Artistic Director of the Southern Highland International Piano Competition. Since 2004 he has been the expert commentator for the Sydney International Piano Competition of Australia for ABC Classic FM.

    As a recording artist he has received great acclaim for his Beethoven-Willems Collection which on 14 CDs and 1 DVD includes the complete piano sonatas, the complete concertos and further piano works. Gerard is both the first Australian and Dutch pianist to have recorded the full Beethoven piano sonata cycle. These ABC Classics recordings have won him two ARIA awards in 1999 and 2000 as “best classical album of the year”. The included DVD of the Emperor Concerto has received the World Music DVD Prize in 2005.

    Gerard’s recording work also includes albums with the music of Tchaikovsky, Mozart and Grieg. His latest double CD album Morning Mood with piano music of Grieg was launched in 2013 by ABC Classics.

    He is sought after – both in Australia and overseas – as a performer, radio and television broadcaster, lecturer, adjudicator and public speaker.

    He is spending this year (2017) in the United States and Europe, both performing and lecturing as a visiting Professor at various music institutions such as UCLA in Los Angeles and the Paris Schola Cantorum.

    (Social Media:             Instagram: @the_ivories  Twitter: @the_ivories)

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