About Piano+

Welcome to Piano+

Welcome to Piano+, an exciting new company emerging from the almost 50-year-old Sydney International Piano Competition (The Sydney). Piano+ will provide an essential resource for pianists and concert goers nationally and will foster the joy of piano-playing and provide opportunities for music education.   

Over five decades, The Sydney has been in the international keyboard spotlight and has nurtured the very best of young international and Australian pianists. It has provided opportunities for Australian audiences to hear great talent, not only in Sydney, but in many places around the country. Now, Piano+ will take on those responsibilities, will offer further musical experiences annually and will present The Sydney itself on a triennial basis.  

Piano+ will be a presentation and production company with The Sydney the jewel in its presenting crown. It will offer regional tours for competition winners and extend existing education and outreach programs. The amateur online showcase Piano Lovers, The Sydney’s response to the COVID pandemic, offering lovers of the piano across Australia and New Zealand a goal to work towards, will become an annual event. The success of Out West Piano Fest inaugurated in Bathurst in 2022 has ensured its return in 2023. Piano+ will offer the Composing the Future award in the future, supporting and encouraging the composition of new Australian works for the piano. 

Piano+ will be open to all things piano. It will venture beyond solo classical music recitals and masterclasses to include jazz and contemporary, or interesting combinations involving piano: perhaps Piano+Voice, Piano+Violin or even Piano+Multimedia.  

Piano+ will develop new ideas and projects over the years to come, starting with the launch of an international concert series at the City Recital Hall in Sydney and the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall at the Melbourne Recital Centre in 2024. Brisbane will also experience Piano+Recitals in the inaugural year, with other capital cities to follow in subsequent years.  

Piano+Education will present interactive programs in partnership with key learning institutions. The 2024 Autumn Piano School will create an intensive course located in a picturesque regional setting, giving students of the piano, from youngsters to adults, an immersive and memorable experience.   

Piano+ is for you, wherever you live in Australia. In 2024 a membership program will be launched so you can always stay up to date with our activities and enjoy being part of the Piano+ trajectory from the start.  

Piano+YOU! 

Sydney Opera House

Patrons

Zubin Mehta
Artistic Patron - The Sydney
Zubin Mehta was born in 1936 in Bombay and received his first musical education under his father’s Mehli Mehta’s guidance who was a noted concert violinist and the founder of the Bombay Symphony Orchestra.
His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret'd)
Vice Regal Patron - Piano+
His Excellency General the Honourable David John Hurley AC DSC (Retd) was sworn in as the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 July 2019.

Artistic Director - The Sydney

Piers Lane AO
Artistic Director - Sydney International Piano Competition

Our Team

Marcus Barker
Chief Executive
Marcus has worked in the arts sector for over 20 years in Australia, the UK and the Republic of Ireland with a number of leading companies and venues including the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Belvoir St Theatre and the Sydney Opera House; the National Portrait Gallery, Lyric Hammersmith Theatre and English Touring Opera in London and the Dublin Theatre Festival in Ireland.
Suzy Browne
Bookkeeper
Dr Jay Byrnes
Production Manager
Jay Byrnes has worked in the arts as a performer, educator and in productions for the past 20 years. He is a founding board member and artistic committee participant of the Orange Chamber Music Festival and the founder and Director of the Saxophone Academy Sydney both of which he has worked as Producer for.
Rosa Clifford
Administration Coordinator
Rosa Clifford is an emerging composer, researcher and music administrator. Rosa recently completed a Master of Music degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, studying under Paul Stanhope and Liza Lim.
Emma Collison Publicity
PR
The 1988 Adelaide Festival (directed by the late Lord Harewood) was my PR career spring-board, working with the likes of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Twyla Tharp Dance, Sarah Vaughan and Peter Brook’s all-night production of The Mahabharata at The Quarry.
Jen Cramer
Operations Manager
Jen Cramer has been working in the Australian creative and cultural industry for 26 years as an Operations Manager, Production Manager, Stage Manager, Tour Manager, and teacher of technical theatre.
Georgia Shepherd
Head of Philanthropy
Georgia began her career as a professional dancer with The Queensland Ballet and Graeme Murphy’s Sydney Dance Company.

Our Board

Rory Jeffes
Director
Born in Canada, Jeffes has enjoyed an extensive career in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors in England and Australia.
Tracie Elvidge
Chairman
Tracie is a senior business and finance professional. A CPA, she is the founder and Principal of Trace & Co Pty Ltd and Trace Financial – accounting and finance specialists.
Sarah Gilkes
Director
Sarah is a Partner with national law firm Hamilton Locke, where she specialises in intellectual property and commercial law.
Elizabeth Stuart
Director
Elizabeth (Libby) Stuart is a non-executive director in the not-for-profit sector. She served on the board of Frensham Schools for 13 years, including 5 years as Chair, and is currently on the board of The Housing Connection.
Bettina Pidcock
Director
Bettina is an accomplished executive with a 30-year career spanning retail and wholesale banking, wealth management (including superannuation, investment, financial advice and private banking), life and general insurance.
Jae-yeon Redden
Director
Jae-yeon (Jae) Redden is a C-level executive with over 20 years’ experience in leading teams and businesses. Jae held senior roles with international educational and professional publishers, delivering revenue ranging from $2m to over $80m.
Cyrus Meher-Homji OAM
Director
Cyrus Meher-Homji is Senior Vice President, Classics & Jazz / Arts & Entertainment at Universal Music Australia. A graduate in music from the University of Western Australia, Meher-Homji majored in piano, following this with postgraduate study in musicology.
Hamish Lane
Director

Our Founders

Claire Dan, AM OBE

Claire Dan AM, OBE was born in Hungary 1920, and became an Australian citizen in 1954. She committed her life to the performing arts and improving opportunities for artists both internationally and in Australia.

In 1976 she founded the Cladan Cultural Institute of Australia, a private philanthropic body established to encourage and develop cultural exchange. Her aim through the Insitute was “to help music, theatre and the arts, and to encourage young people” and to bring prestige to the musical profile of Australia. One of Dan’s first achievements with the help of Rex Hobcroft, Director of NSW Conservatorium of Music, was to establish the Sydney International Piano Competition of Australia; the foundation continues to this day to be a major sponsor of Piano+, providing on-going financial support.

Rex Hobcroft, AM

Rex Hobcroft was one of the most universally admired figures in Australian music.

A teacher, conductor and administrator and notably the first Australian to play the complete cycle of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas in public. He held directorships at the Conservatoriums of Sydney and Tasmania. Hobcroft was a co-founder of the Competition and was one of the international jurors for the Competition over a number of years. Many of his innovations have been incorporated into other competitions around the world.

Robert Tobias, OAM

Robert has had a great interest in piano since he was young and is one of the co-founders of the Sydney International Piano Competition. He has been a lifelong advocate of the benefit and joy that the piano brings to people and to that end has sat on either the Executive Committee or the Board of Directors of the Competition for more than 35 years and has been involved with the Competition since its inception in 1977. Robert has been a lawyer for more than 45 years with global law firm, DLA Piper in Sydney before retirement. His focus in the corporate world is on regulation and compliance and he also advises on directors’ duties and corporate governance.