Credit: Left, Kate Yap photo by Grant Leslie. Right, Helen Svoboda photo by Celeste de Clario

Musica Viva Australia Announces New Futuremakers Helen Svoboda and Katie Yap

Musica Viva Australia is pleased to announce new FutureMakers for 2023, double bassist, vocalist and composer Helen Svoboda and violist Katie Yap.  

Since 2015, Musica Viva Australia’s FutureMakers program has enabled and nurtured brilliant emerging chamber music leaders. FutureMakers looks to the artistic directors of the coming generation – the people who will shape what we see and hear in Australian arts.  

On FutureMakers, Musica Viva Australia’s Artistic Director Paul Kildea said, “There are two qualities I look for in the young musicians Musica Viva mentors as part of its FutureMakers program: a certain fearlessness and widespread peer respect. Both Helen and Katie have these qualities in spades. It is a delight and privilege to plot and plan with them their emerging careers, conscious that these plans will have a huge impact on Australia’s cultural landscape for decades to come.” 

Helen Svoboda’s uncategorisable work explores the melodic potential of the contemporary double bass, and she has released albums including Vegetable Bass (June 2020) and Since Subito (Meatshell, 2021). Helen has performed with Cory Smythe, Sebastian Gramss, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Art Orchestra. She was part of both the 2020 Freedman Jazz Fellowship and the 2020/21 Australian Art Orchestra Pathfinders Music Leadership Program and is currently studying a PhD in composition with Cat Hope at Monash University.  

Katie Yap is an outstanding violist (both modern and Baroque).  She is a founding member of prog-Baroque quartet Croissants & Whiskey, the Chrysalis Harp Trio, and crossover folk/Baroque group Wattleseed Ensemble. Katie has become known for her curation and project management, and is Artistic Director of the 3MBS women-in-music festival Music, She Wrote, and of Wattleseed Ensemble. Katie plays regularly with Australia’s finest ensembles including the Australian World Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Van Diemen’s Band, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, and has performed with the Academy of Ancient Music (UK).  

During the length of their two-year program, Musica Viva Australia’s FutureMakers are supported to create an ambitious music-centred performance project. It’s no coincidence the much anticipated The Cage Project comes from the creative minds of FutureMakers alumnus Matthias Schack-Arnott, and MVA’s Artistic Director Paul Kildea, where they’ll present a massive kinetic sound sculpture that floats above a piano for John Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes, to be performed in the Perth and Adelaide Festivals early next year. 

Other notable alumni include trailblazers for Australian wind music Arcadia Winds (touring with MVA in regional NSW in 2023), pianist Aura Go (who performs in a national tour of MVA’s Chopin’s Piano in 2023), and composer and violist Matt Laing, whose piece Little Cataclysms was heard in MVA concerts around Australia in 2022, premiered by the ZEN Trio.  

Musica Viva Australia’s FutureMakers program is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Berg Family Foundation and the Patricia H. Reid Endowment.  

For further information, images or interviews: 


Belinda Dyer | or 0415 686 014 

Hayley Goodlich | or 0434 442 997