Holly Piccoli

Continue study towards Certificate in Performance with Professor Syoko Aki, Head of Strings at Yale School

Practice Area:
Yale School of Music, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Project Dates:
January 2011 - May 2012

About the artist

An accomplished musician, Holly has played with the ACO2 (the Australian Chamber Orchestra's regional touring orchestra) which connects the next generation of talented young Australian musicians with the stars of the ACO. In May 2010, Holly returned to Australia from Yale to participate in a regional tour with the ACO2.

This was Holly's second grant from the Cultural Trust.

The opportunity

Violinist Holly Piccoli‘s project was to complete a Certificate in Performance at the Yale School of Music, fulfilling her wish to continue studying and performing with elite professors and among brilliant students in the US.


During the three years experience at Yale, Holly reports that she became stronger as a violinist and musician. There were several factors underlying this personal and professional development including the connections she was able to make with some established, highly respected and inspiring musicians. Some of these connections led to professional performances around the USA in NYC, Connecticut and Atlanta, Georgia which provided invaluable opportunities to raise her profile.

Holly was made Student Marshall for her course (SMs are honoured as being the student with the highest grade results in their course) which is a significant accomplishment and, in Holly’s words, “a true highlight of my time at the Yale School of Music”.

A proud Australian Holly reports that the highlight over her year was at her graduation recital, an occasion when each work was performed from memory and represented a year at Yale, she also performed a tribute to her Australian family and extended American family – her own solo violin arrangement of Waltzing Matilda and Georgia on my Mind. The tribute was a surprise for everyone in the hall and reward for those in Australia who got up early to watch as her recital was streamed online.

In a glowing report her teacher at Yale, Professor Syoko Aki said, “I am so very proud of Holly for her determination, ambition, intelligent judgement and sheer hard work to meet her challenge so successfully.”

Next steps

Holly was invited to be a Fellow of Yale School of Music in the Yale Baroque Ensemble – a quartet in residence. In that role she performed ensemble and solo recitals, coach Yale School of Music chamber music groups, teach Yale Undergraduates and tour internationally with the ensemble. Holly will be considered a casual staff member at Yale – but she assures us her heart remains in Australia!


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