ABOUT MICHELLE PRITCHARD
Michelle Pritchard has a love of music which started at the age of eight when she commenced her violin studies with Gill Christie. At age eleven she debuted as concert soloist with orchestra at the Sydney Opera House.
Her music has taken her to The Netherlands, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Italy. As violist with the Hourglass Ensemble she has also performed in Poland, Austria, Switzerland and Germany in their 2017 European Tour. In 2018 and 2019 Michelle performed with Marco van Pagee (viola) concerts in The Netherlands and the U.K. In 2015, Michelle and pianist Keith Mitchell toured regional Italy giving recitals in historically significant and inspiring venues and the following year in Wiltshire, the U.K.
Furthering her studies in The Netherlands, she completed her Master in Classical Music, Viola at The Royal Conservatoire in The Hague (Cum Laude) under the expert guidance of Ásdís Valdimarsdottir.
She has been fortunate to be inspired by teachers, Alex Todicescu (Sydney Conservatorium) and Jeremy Williams (Hobart Conservatorium). Michelle has also attended lessons with David Takeno and Pavlo Beznosiuk when she travelled to the UK in 2012.
Michelle performed regularly as a freelance artist in and around Sydney, and is especially passionate about chamber music. She was violist with the Robinia Ensemble, the Hourglass Ensemble and the Vallerstein Trio in Australia. Regularly performing in private Lounge Concerts and recitals in venues across Sydney, including the Sydney Opera House and churches. As a soloist Michelle has performed with a number of Sydney based orchestras and her performances have been broadcast both on radio and television.
In 2016 her Michelle Urquhart (as of 2020 Michelle Pritchard) in Concert series was launched. These concerts were held in a beautiful church venue in Mosman, Sydney. She is showcasing pieces written for and including viola. In these programs Michelle collaborates with some of Sydney's most inspiring musicians.
Furthering her studies in Tasmania in 2012-2013, Michelle was principal violist with the Tasmanian Discovery Orchestra and also toured around the State of Tasmania with the Jan Sedivka Cammerata.
As a younger musician she was the Overall Winner of the NSW Concerto Competition and also Pan Pacific International Music Camp Outstanding Musician of the Year. This took her to the States for some masterclasses at Chapman University, C.A and the University of Southern California.
As a teacher, Michelle for many years has run her own private studios and was co-founding director of the innovative Strings Alive Academy. She was also founder and director several years for the Eisteddfod on the Mountain, a competition held to encourage young musicians in the regional areas north of Sydney.
Michelle has been collaborating extensively with living composers which has resulted in new repertoire for the viola. She has also been researching and performing lesser-known works of the viola repertoire.
In 2021 Michelle's recording of Dutch composer Orkun Agir's Preludio Quintetto was released on Bandcamp, Youtube, Spotify and Amazon and a Vrije Geluiden live performance
Michelle's chamber music experience ranges from sonatas with piano to string quartets, piano quartets and quintets to string octets. Her love is not only in the music itself as an art form but also in the communication between people, instruments and audiences. As a teacher she encourages children to perform right from the early stages of their musical journeys.