The extraordinary talent, dedication and relentless pursuit of artistic excellence of Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University (the Con) alumnus James Tudball has seen him selected by Australia’s most generous scholarship program for international postgraduate study.

Following a successful live audition in London last year, Mr Tudball accepted a first-round offer to study a Master of Arts in Violin Performance at the Royal Academy of Music in London, with tuition fees, accommodation and living expenses to be fully funded by a scholarship from the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation.

The scholarship offering is now in its third year and seeks to support outstanding, thoughtful, imaginative young Australians who are committed to advancing a richer, deeper understanding of our civilisation through study at the world’s best overseas universities.

Mr Tudball commenced his undergraduate studies at the Con in 2017 as a modest but passionate violinist, completing a Bachelor of Music (Performance) before continuing with a Graduate Certificate in Music (Performance).

He seized every opportunity along the way, performing at the Gabba for the 2017 Ashes Opening Ceremony, with Opera Australia on the beach at Coolangatta in a production of Aida, at Queensland’s Gallery of Modern Art as part of its Masterpieces from The Met, New York exhibition, and with Opera Queensland multiple times, plus he completed an internship with Ensemble Q, participated in Musica Viva masterclasses with visiting soloists and string quartets, and worked with internationally renowned conductors.

Mr Tudball said he is deeply honoured to be a recipient of a World Universities Ramsay Postgraduate Scholarship.

Queensland Conservatorium alumnus James Tudball

Queensland Conservatorium alumnus James Tudball will head to the Royal Academy of Music

“It’s incredibly exciting and still quite surreal,” he said.

“I started violin when I was six and to now say I’m studying a Masters in Violin performance at one of the top conservatoires in the world is pretty spectacular.

“Without the experiences at the Con and the learning that took place I would not have been in a position to study at the Royal Academy of Music or apply for a World Universities Ramsay Postgraduate Scholarship.

“Experiential learning is very powerful and this is something the QLD Conservatorium excelled at.”

Deputy Director of Engagement and Head of Ensembles at the Queensland Conservatorium Peter Morris conducted many of the orchestras Mr Tudball has played in and said even beyond Mr Tudball’s exceptional talent, his incredible attitude, vibe and willingness to take new opportunities are a credit to him.

Deputy Director (Engagement) and Head of Ensembles the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University

Deputy Director (Engagement) and Head of Ensembles, Peter Morris

“When he said he wanted to apply for this scholarship, even though it’s incredibly competitive I knew he’d be a strong contender,” Professor Morris said.

“The Ramsay scholarship is all about how participants are going to make the world a better place and James wants more than to just be the best violinist – he wants to come back to Australia and teach, create social change and improve lives through music.”

On a regional outreach tour through Central Queensland a few years ago, Mr Tudball was struck by the lack of available music tuition, with some large regional centres having no violin teachers.

This highlighted to him the importance of education, communication and retaining engagement in classical music.

“Performance is great and it’s exciting to watch, but really, education is where the real difference can be made and that’s something I really want to focus on,” he said.

“It’s breaking down those barriers and showing the average person, who might not have any background or association with classical music, how they can engage with it, enjoy it and get excited about it.

“Classical music stimulates thought and imagination in very special ways.

“It is the artistic voice of society and acts in a powerful and transformative way on the heart, spirit and mind of a person and I believe as many people as possible should experience it to the highest level.”