John Robert Mitchell Violin Prize
In 1979, the Executor for an anonymous deceased donor gave $300 to the University advising that the deceased donor expressed the wish that absolute anonymity be preserved.
The Will directed that the $300 was to be held by the University upon trust to invest the same and to apply the annual income for an annual prize of books or music to be awarded to the most outstanding senior violin student at the Elder Conservatorium of Music in the opinion of the Director of the Conservatorium, such prize to be known as the "John Robert Mitchell Violin Prize".
Today, the John Robert Mitchell Violin Prize is awarded annually and consists of a book or music voucher to the value of $80.
John Mitchell was an outstanding student at the Elder Conservatorium of Music.
The following is an extract from "The Australian Musical News" January 1944 by Miriam Hyde, Council of Music Ass. SA:-
In the passing of John Mitchell, South Australia has lost a musician of distinguished gifts. He will be remembered by his friends and colleagues, not only for his utterly sincere attitude towards his art, his judicial mind, his patience and his modesty which, right up to the time of his death, manifested itself in a keen desire to discover still more of the secrets of good violin playing.
The breadth of his musicianship was revealed in his flair for extemporisation and orchestration. Orchestral players often recognised, with pleasure, his discernment of the idiosyncracies of their instruments, each being given scope for the effective use of its peculiar timbre.
John Mitchell received his tuition from Heinecke and was an outstanding student at the Elder Conservatorium. Later, he had opportunities of collaborating with musicians in other states, some of whom have paid warm tributes to him:
Elford Mack has said ..."In him I recognised music personified. No one that I have ever known has had the talent for music more deeply ingrained than he..!"
On his personal qualities, Professor Bailey of Sydney University has commented with just appreciation when he described him as ".. above all, a fine man, with a very definite, yet gentle, character, a sensitive intellect and a real sense of humour...".
William Cade, Conductor of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, spoke in glowing terms of John Mitchell's ability and personality. "His place here will indeed be hard to fill..".
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