What a week! I can’t thank Samling enough for choosing me to be part of it, and I am immensely proud to now be a Samling Artist. To work with Michael Chance, Ann Murray, Alex Jennings and Caroline Dowdle intensely for a whole week has been incredibly rewarding. I will be spreading the news about Samling to all my friends and colleagues.
New Zealand baritone Julien Van Mellaerts recently graduated from the Royal College of Music International Opera School, where he was awarded the Tagore Gold Medal. Highlights this season include baritone soloist with the Royal Ballet in Elizabeth, Schaunard La bohème with New Zealand Opera, the title role in Eugene Onegin with Cambridge Philharmonic, performances at Heidelberg Frühling, recitals with Julius Drake, Simon Lepper, Gamal Khamis and Joao Araujo at Barcelona LIFE Song, Leeds Lieder, London Song and Oxford Lieder Festivals, performances at Wigmore and Cadogan Halls, and Fauré Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall. Julien won First Prize at the 2017 Wigmore Hall/Kohn Foundation International Song Competition and First Prize at the 2017 Kathleen Ferrier Awards. Other awards include Kiwi Music Scholarship and a Countess of Munster Award 2016/2017 and First Prize in the 2015 Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards. He is grateful for the support of the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation and the Hunn Trust.
Julien represented New Zealand at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition in June 2019.
Photo: Julien van Mellaerts at Samling Artist Programme Masterclass, February 2018. Photo credit: Mark Pinder
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Samling Institute for Young Artists—through performance and learning opportunities—nurtures young classical singers and piano accompanists. From students to emerging professionals, hundreds of young artists have benefited since the charity was founded in 1996. They see their time with Samling Institute as a springboard and inspiration.