Piers Lane – our Patron

Pianist Piers Lane possesses a vast repertory of solo, chamber, and concertante works, which he has performed in more than 40 countries and on over 50 recordings. While he plays many standards by MozartBeethovenChopin, and Rachmaninov, he is unafraid to perform works by little-known composers. He has made numerous recordings in the Romantic Concerto Series for the Hyperion label, performing concertos by the likes of StanfordParrySindingAlexander Dreyschock, and other neglected composers. Besides Hyperion, Lane has recorded for EMI, Danacord, Chandos, and other major labels.

Lane was born in London on January 8, 1958, and was raised in Brisbane, Australia. His parents were both pianists, and young Piers showed rare talent early on. At age 12, he gave a broadcast recital over Australia’s ABC Radio. Lane studied piano at the Brisbane Conservatorium with Nancy Weir. In 1977, he entered the Sydney International Piano Competition, and while he did not finish among he top prize-winners, he was named Best Australian Pianist. He later studied with Bela Siki at the University of Washington, and at London’s Royal College of Music, where his teachers included Yonty Solomon and Kendall Taylor. While making London his home, Lane steadily built his career in the 1980s. The Royal Overseas League named him Outstanding Musician of the Year in 1982. He made an acclaimed tour of Latin America in 1989, and that same year became professor of piano at London’s prestigious Royal Academy of Music.

His tendency to take risks has spilled over even into major concert appearances: at his 1991 Wigmore Hall recital, he performed two Schnittke works, Variations on a Chord and Improvisations and Fugue, and at his 2006 appearance at Lincoln Center with the American Symphony Orchestra, Lane played the lengthy and rarely heard Bliss Piano Concerto. In the chamber realm, Lane has regularly collaborated with violinist Tasmin Little, cellist Alexander Baillie, and clarinetist Michael Collins. Lane made numerous major concert tours throughout the 1990s as his recordings were also drawing notice, like the complete Scriabin etudes (1993) and the complete Saint-Saëns etudes (1998), both on Hyperion. Lane made over 100 appearances on BBC Radio 3, most notably as the presenter and writer of the ambitious 54-part broadcast series The Piano.

In the new century, Lane has continued apace with successful major debuts and recordings. His 2004 debut at Lincoln Center led to his acclaimed return concert in 2006 with the Bliss concerto. In 2007, Lane accepted the post of artistic director of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, holding this position until 2017. He served in the same capacity for the Myra Hess Day celebrations at London’s National Gallery from 2006 until 2013. At the 2009 events, he performed music by BeethovenSchubertBrahms, and other composers as actress Patricia Routledge portrayed Hess in a theater work devised by Hess‘ great-nephew, Nigel Hess. The event was so successful that further performances by Lane and Routledge were given throughout England and Europe. Lane was named the artistic director of the Sydney International Piano Competition in 2016. In 2020, he released several albums, including Hyperion’s 81st volume of the Romantic Concerto Series, and he accompanied Little on Chandos’ third volume in the British Violin Sonatas Series.

Tait Memorial Recitals with a Qld Connection

Concert series for young Australian performers

The concert is part of the Tait Memorial Trust’s Tuesdays at Home series. It goes online on the 4th August at 9pm but you can also just watch it anytime after this date for six months. The programme is Beethoven Romance No. 1 in G Op. 40, Raff Cavatina, Beethoven Sonata for Piano and Violin No. 8 in G and Bartok Romanian Folk Dances Nos. 5 and 6. Here is the link for more information and tickets: https://www.taitmemorialtrust.org/product/celebrating-beethoven-250-august-4th/

You may like to revisit a Concert given for the Tait Trust in May by Brisbane’s own Courtenay Cleary on Violin, with pianist Kathy Sander and clarinettist Dr Phillipa Robinson – featuring the haunting Amy Beach Romance, Bach Adagio and Fugue from Sonata No. 1 in G Minor, BWV1001,Mozart Sonata for Violin and Piano in B flat Major, KV454, Arthur Benjamin Sonatina for Violin and Piano


Tait Tuesdays at Home Concerts Box Office

In support of the Tait Emergency Relief Fund for Australian & New Zealand Artists, we are sharing performances online to you in your home not only to our supporters here in the U.K., but also for our many supporters in Australia and New Zealand. 

Tait Awardees and other young musicians are giving lockdown streaming concert performances from their home to yours in our concert series called TAIT TUESDAYS AT HOME.

Purchase a ticket here on the website and receive a link to the streaming premiere of the concert, or enjoy it any time, as many times as you like, over the following six months from the comfort and safety of your home.https://cafdonate.cafonline.org//Widget/13603?fix=0

Newsletter April 2020

Please find our latest newsletter attached:-


April 2020


April 2020

Dear fellow accompanists and Accompanists’ Guild members. This is a rather different newsletter than usual, written at a time of great change and insecurity, in ‘Unprecedented and extraordinary times’, to quote our political leaders.

Income and employment for accompanists suddenly plummeted. We became financially vulnerable, with most accompaniment work across all genres either greatly reduced, limited, cancelled or postponed until further notice. The majority of us are sole traders, work freelance, on short term or part-time contracts, and classed as casuals. The future is uncertain; tough economic times are forecast.

We will survive this crisis and it’s important to have hope in such times. There are and will be work opportunities for accompanists and associate artists. Those of us with career mixes of teaching and accompaniment are likely to have online work opportunities. Our sympathies are with accompanists in precarious positions who rely totally on accompaniment for their income.

Some safety-conscious socially – distant one to one coaching and accompaniment may still be possible, as well as live-stream work and recording of accompaniments. ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’, so let’s be creative and proactive! We can dare to think outside the box, to brain-storm ideas to improve and create future work opportunities. We can firm up and enlarge data bases, improve our accompaniment skills and learn new repertoire, update our marketing skills, and even develop self-control and patience during Government form-filling and Centrelink queues ……….!

Some colleagues have been expressing doubts about their abilities to survive this current crisis, which prompted me to reflect upon the many qualities that we have assimilated during our accompaniment careers.

Accompanists are used to experiencing and surmounting many types of challenges & difficult, unpredictable situations. Individually & collectively, we all have inner strengths & qualities, with a wide range of communication skills, gifts, talents & experiences.

Guild accompanists have a lot of strengths. We are used to problem-solving [such as simplifying complicated orchestral reductions]; to quickly responding to emergencies [Help, I need an accompanist!]; to overcoming fears [unexpected recordings] and obstacles [‘difficult’ personalities]; to managing stress [juggling multiple engagements during examination & audition week]; to resourcing and pooling talents and materials to achieve results [the soloist needs an accompanist tonight, has forgotten to bring the music, where can I find a copy of the score? Who’s available for this gig?]; to receiving, accepting, following and fulfilling instructions [from conductors, music teachers, directors, educational establishments, co-artists and examination regulations]; to initiating, creating and exploring opportunities [at the start of our careers and when work is thin on the ground].

We are reliable, adaptable, resourceful, and creative. We are an integral part of so much music making at many stages of developing musicians. We enrich communities.

The saying, ‘Problems shared are problems solved’, tends to be true when we offer support and assistance to each other and are willing to both ask for and accept help. Ours is a profession of service to others. We’re all in it together. Can we therefore find ways to share and support our fellow Guild members through these challenging, social distancing times? Can we reach out to each other, share experiences & information about on-line modalities that may be helpful to you?

Katie Zukov, who has been the Guild’s President since 2016, is relocating to Sydney. Our committee thanked her for her significant service to the Guild, for very actively raising the status of accompanists at UQ and for creating and establishing AGQ accompaniment prizes there. As a gift of appreciation, Katie was presented with the book ‘Piano Lessons’ by Anna Goldsworthy, and we all wished her well in the next stages of her career. The committee unanimously elected Valerie Dickson to be her replacement, Acting President until the next AGM.

A very warm welcome is extended to our new members, Sophie Min and previous member, Jasmine Atkinson. We now have 71 members, who will be pleased to know that Guild membership fees remain at $60 for the 2019-2020 financial year. Student membership is still only $30 per year.

The Guild continues to support the Accompanists’ Guild of Queensland Piano Accompaniment Prizes at U.Q., the Con and in some eisteddfods during 2020. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, some upcoming Eisteddfods and competitions have had to be cancelled and Guild members are asked to regularly visit the AMEB website for examination updates.

Let’s encourage ourselves to maintain buoyancy, musical skills, cheerfulness and a sense of humour throughout these difficult times. Finally, as Acting President, I thank our committee members for their support and wish all Guild members well during this time, to have faith in your profession and maintain hope for the future of music making.

Valerie Dickson.

Acting President, Accompanists’ Guild of Queensland

I Lost My Gig!

Members who are concerned about loss of income through performing events, concerts, and gigs that have been cancelled due to COVID-19 may be interested in this link. You can join the ranks of musicians and performers and add your lost income to the equation of loss…being sent through to the government.

It does sometimes appear that the people running the country have no idea how many people are involved in self-employment, and sole trading in the music profession – let the associate artists join in and add their names to the list.


Newsletter Dec 2019


December 2019
Dear fellow accompanists and Guild members,

We hope that everyone has had a busy time accompanying for AMEB exams, tertiary auditions
and Eisteddfods and is now looking forward to a well-deserved break over the summer.
Our AGM took place at the QMTA Auditorium in Taringa on Sunday 11 August. Those who
attended had an opportunity to voice their suggestions to the committee face-to-face and we
encourage everyone to attend future AGMs. Welcome to a new committee member Valerie
Dickson! Any other Guild members interested in joining the committee, please get in touch.
A very warm welcome to our new members Libby Flynn and Joshua Creek. The Guild
membership fees will remain at $60 for the 2019-2020 financial year in line with low
inflation, and student membership is still only $30 per year. Please encourage your more
advanced piano students to join.

Valerie Dickson delivered an excellent vocal accompanying Master Class sponsored by the Guild at the UQ School of Music on 30 August, which was well attended by vocal and piano students.

Another Master Class was given on 27 August at the Queensland Conservatorium by Karen
Lonsdale, flute, who had many suggestions guiding pianists new to accompaniment.
The Guild had also provided additional prizes for UQ Sleath Prize (strings and piano),
awarded to Ben Anderson, and for UQ Margaret Nickson Prize (voice and piano), awarded to
Jasmine Buckley. Both of these students showed great potential as future accompanists. We
hope these activities continue raising the Guild’s profile among higher education music students and will maintain our sponsorship next year. Our sponsorship of accompanying prizes at various Eisteddfods will also continue in 2020. We hope this targeted support helps to maintain the Guild’s standing in the community.
The Guild’s 25th anniversary dinner took place at Victoria’s Room, Hilton Brisbane on Friday 15 November.

Piers Lane very kindly (and amusingly) introduced our guest speaker Philip Mayers
who delivered an inspirational address about the important role of accompanists in the music world. At the dinner we announced two new Honorary Life Members, Pamela Page and Rhonda Vickers.

Pamela was there in person with Max as our guests and received heart-felt applause from those present. Sue Witham delivered a brief summary of Rhonda Vickers achievements, which would take many pages to list here. Rhonda was a student of Max Olding and also studied with Paul Hamburger and Geoffrey Parsons in London on a Churchill Fellowship. She worked for many years at the Qld Con as an unofficial accompanist, and made many broadcasts and recordings with violinist Kerry Smith. Unfortunately, poor health prevented Rhonda from attending the dinner.

The venue, food and drinks were all excellent, and everyone enjoyed the evening.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Happy accompanying in 2020!

Katie Zhukov

Newsletter July 2019


July 2019

Dear fellow accompanists and Guild members,

We hope that everyone has had a well-deserved break over the school holidays and is ready for our busiest time of the year accompanying examinations and tertiary auditions.

A very warm welcome to our new members. The Guild membership is growing! The Guild membership fees will remain at $60 for the 2019-2020 financial year in line with low inflation. If you have not yet paid your membership fees, please do so as soon as possible.

In the second half of the year we are sponsoring Master Classes at the School of Music, University of Queensland, and the Queensland Conservatorium during their Special Projects Weeks, and hope these activities will raise the Guild’s profile among higher education music students.

The Guild advertised in the 2019 MTAQ Queensland Vocal Competition program to strengthen our reciprocal links with other music organisations in Queensland.

Our sponsorship of accompanying prizes at various Eisteddfods will continue in 2019.  We hope this targeted support helps to maintain the Guild’s standing in the community.

Max Olding’s 90th birthday was celebrated with a concert at the opening of the APPC Conference on Monday 8 July at the University of Queensland. The evening was a great success with performances and tributes from past students and a marvelous Rachmaninoff’s Tarantella played by Max and Pam on two pianos. We all take inspiration from Max’s long career as a teacher and performer and value his enormous contribution to Queensland’s music community.

The Annual General Meeting will take place on Sunday 11 August at 10.30AM at QMTA, 200 Moggill Rd, Taringa. If you would like to nominate for the Committee membership, please do so now by contacting the Secretary.

The Guild’s 25th anniversary dinner will take place at Victoria’s Room, Hilton Brisbane on Friday 15 November, starting with canapés at 6.30 and dinner at 7 pm.  Philip Mayers has very kindly agreed to be our guest speaker for the evening. The tickets for Guild members are $51, with the Guild sponsoring each member to the tune of $20. Additional tickets for partners are $71. Cash bar is available for drink purchases. Please, put this date into your diaries and contact the Guild’s Secretary to confirm your attendance.

Happy accompanying for the rest of 2019!

Queensland Accompanist’s Guild 25th Anniversary Dinner

The Guild’s 25th anniversary dinner will take place at Victoria’s Room, Hilton Brisbane on Friday 15 November, starting with canapés at 6.30 and dinner at 7PM. Philip Mayers has very kindly agreed to be our guest speaker on the evening.
The tickets for Guild members are $51, with the Guild sponsoring each member to the tune of $20. Additional tickets for guests are $71. Cash bar is available for drink purchases.
Payment no later than 25th October to  BSB: 034061, acc:144185 using your name as a reference.
RSVP by 31 October to secretaryagq@gmail.com