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Trinity flautist first Australian at elite Paris music school

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Overachieving 2017 Trinity graduate Brian Kim is the first Australian flautist ever to be accepted for under graduate study at a prestigious Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, and will be taught by Prof Phillipe Bernold, one of the world’s top flute teachers.

Still on a high from achieving 44/45 (an ATAR equivalent of 99.85) in the International Baccalaureate Diploma last year, Kim did not rest on his laurels, practising vigorously ahead of auditions for tertiary study overseas. The effort paid off with his being offered a position at the Conservatoire, to study flute. Alumni of the Conservatoire include renowned French composers Claude Debussy, Georges Bizet, Maurice Ravel and Camille Saint-Saëns.

From the hundreds of tapes and applications, 120 flautists aged under 21 were selected from all around the world for live auditions in Paris over a nine-day period. The first four days saw the number applicants reduced to 18 and from there, just four were offered places at the Conservatoire, with Kim's selection being unanimously decided by the different judging panels.

“The audition experience was very intense and competitive. The first round required us to play two set pieces which we received five weeks before the audition date, so there was limited time to prepare. After the first round, 18 of the 120 were chosen to compete in the second round," Kim said.

"The second round comprised a set piece which was originally written for the school graduation competition decades ago, and a sight-reading exercise. I had five weeks to prepare for the set piece, but only three minutes to prepare for the three-page piece for the sight-reading exercise before performing it. I was shocked and scared by the unbelievably outstanding standard of performance.”

Kim intends to move to Paris on his own in August and plans to live in the school’s dormitory for the four-year duration of the course: “The course will be run in French, and while I am quite confident in my French, language in class and out in the real world is very different, as I experienced during my recent three weeks in Paris. I hope to adapt quickly and improve as that will help me to settle in,” he said.

Fellow 2017 Trinity graduate, Luc Velez has been accepted at the Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, an institute ranked in the top six fashion schools in the world. It is a stunning achievement for  Velez, who is rapidly learning French in Paris ahead of commencing his course in September this year.


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