Blog / 2015 Emerging Artists: Harry Bennetts

2015 Emerging Artists: Harry Bennetts

Posted on 15 Dec 2014 by Neall Kriete

How long have you been playing the violin?
Violin. I’ve been playing for 16 years – since I was 4. I started on a tissue box with a ruler attached to it, for the first 6 months, and then a tiny little violin.

Aiko Goto and Harry Bennetts. Photograph: Jack Saltmiras

What inspired you to learn the violin?
My mum is a clarinet player, and my older sister played the violin. Our parents wanted us to be involved with, if not music, then the arts somehow. So, then violin. And my sister already did it, so I thought ‘I can do that’.

What’s the most exciting thing about touring with ACO2 next year?
I’m pretty excited for the whole year, really. I haven’t really toured much around regional Australia, so that will be fun. Also, you don’t really get many chances to play in small string groups. And obviously being mentored by Aiko.

What is your favourite piece to play?
There are so many things that I want to play. The violin repertoire is insanely big, so I think what I’m most looking forward to playing is the Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night) but that won’t be for a fair few years yet.

I like cooking.  Not really sweet things, I don’t have the patience for that. But I will have the patience to slow-cook something for hours. I love making Singapore chili crab. If I couldn’t do music, I would think about doing food – if it wasn’t so high stress. I know people think that music is a high-stress environment, but I think cooking is like a whole other level. My dad was a chef for years.

What do you listen to?
A lot of classical, I’m not going to lie. It’s a bit of everything really. Outside of classical, I don’t really have anything that’s a favourite. It’s kind of just, I really will enjoy listening to anything. And I kind of like when I don’t know something, and someone will introduce it to me, and it’s outside of classical, and just seeing how much I enjoy it.

If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be?
Ella Fitzgerald, if she could sing for me afterwards. My older sister is named after her. It’s one of those things, even if you’re older, and you hear the music again, instantly you’re reminded of everything about your childhood.

What’s your favourite book?
I’m reading Tony Judt, The Memory Chalet at the moment. I’ve enjoyed reading it a lot, more than anything in the last 5 years. Except, nothing really happens – it’s just him, writing about his life, weird things, like a train trip in to London.



2016 Emerging Artists Applications Now Open

Talented young Australian string players with extensive performance experience, aged between 18 and 27, are invited to apply for the ACO’s 2016 Emerging Artists program. Visit for further details.