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News & Media > Alumnae Awards > 2024 Alumnae Award Recipients > Andrea Lam (1999)

Andrea Lam (1999)

2024 Alumnae Award for International Achievement/Cultural Contribution

Andrea Lam (1999) is an internationally renowned and multi award-winning pianist who made her debut with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the age of just 13 performing the first movement of Shostakovich’s Second Piano Concerto at the Sydney Town Hall under conductor Sir William Southgate.

A student at MLC School from 1991 (Year 4) to 1999 (Year 12), in her final year at MLC School, Andrea won the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) Young Performer of the Year award in the piano section. At the Grand Final she played Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. This performance was broadcast live on the ABC and her performance was described as ‘electrifying’.

Andrea gained her AMusA with Distinction in mid-1994 while she was in Year 7 at MLC School. She also gained Distinctions in piano performance through both the Royal School of Music and Trinity College in London. In 1995 while in Year 8, Andrea won the Viewers’ Final in the ABC Quest competition, performing against highly talented musicians from across Australia.

Andrea was able to develop her exceptional skill as a pianist while maintaining a very high academic standard at MLC School, especially in the area of accelerated maths. This was made possible because of the comprehensive approach taken by the School to those students who show such outstanding gifts in multiple areas of education.

When told that she was to receive a 2024 Alumnae Award, Andrea said ‘Thank you for this recognition. It is an honour. Much of my career has its foundations in my broad and excellent education at MLC School.’ 

Andrea has won multiple piano awards across the world and continues to perform with orchestras and leading conductors in Australasia, Japan, China and the United States, including the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and all major Australian symphony orchestras. She has played in venues from New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center to the Sydney Opera House, and at Festivals across the globe with works from Bach, Schumann, and Chopin to Aaron Jay Kernis, Liliya Ugay, and Nigel Westlake.

A keen chamber musician, Andrea was pianist of New York’s acclaimed Claremont Trio from 2010 to 2020. Other recent engagements include New York’s Chelsea Music Festival, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, as soloist with the Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and Australian Youth Orchestra, with tenor Andrew Goodwin, and as guest of the Australian String Quartet at Dunkeld Festival.

In between all these performances, Andrea also managed to complete degrees at both the Yale School of Music and the Manhattan School of Music.

After two decades in New York, Andrea recently returned to Australia and was quickly appointed Lecturer in Piano at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. 

She is a regular performer at the Sydney Opera House’s Utzon Music Series. Casey Green, curator of the Series, had this to say about watching Andrea perform: ‘Andrea is at once a poised, articulate and deeply emotive pianist. Her energy is infectious, her technique flawless and her insights always shared with charm and generosity. I’m a shameless, self-confessed Lam Fan, and will be cheering when she takes the stage to perform with her usual finesse and firepower.’

Andrea’s recordings include Mozart concerti with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (ABC Classics), with cellist Matt Haimovitz (Pentatone Oxingale), and multiple discs as part of New York’s acclaimed Claremont Trio (Bridge, AMR, Tria). Andrea’s next album features solo piano works by Matthew Hindson and is due for release this year.

In 2021, ABC Classics released Nocturnes, a collaboration between Andrea Lam and fellow MLC School Old Girl, violinist Emily Sun (2009). This critically acclaimed, ARIA-nominated album earned a rare five-star review in The Australian and was No. 1 on the Classical Charts for four weeks.

Andrea’s mastery of the piano and her commitment to artistic excellence are truly commendable. Her extraordinary talent, dedication and mesmerizing performances have captivated audiences worldwide and left an indelible mark on the world of classical music.

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