Get to know our Official Accompanist: Dean Sky-Lucas

Apr 26, 2024 | News from the Committee

One of the unsung heroes of any music competition is its Official Accompanist. Dean Sky-Lucas has been the Official Accompanist for the Hamilton Eisteddfod since 2018.

During the Music Competition, Dean provides expert piano accompaniment to competitors who requested the Official Accompanist when they entered the competition. From vocal and instrumental soloists through to full choirs, Dean helps our competitors present their best performance on the day.

Dean’s a familiar face at the Eisteddfod, and while he appears on stage more than most (approximately 30 times in 2023), many won’t be familiar with his own impressive accomplishments.

We asked Dean to share more about his background, and we’re pleased to pass on his overview, below.

Outstanding collaborative accompanist on all keyboard instruments, and singer, Dean Sky- Lucas has performed all over the world. Widely broadcast in Australia on ABC FM, Radio National and on Radio New Zealand, Dean has often performed live to air as a pianist and countertenor.

During his appointment from 2010 until 2016 as the Coordinator and Lecturer of Collaborative piano at the University of Auckland, Dean appeared on radio New Zealand as their regular Opera critic and he was a much sought after accompanist with the New Zealand Choral organisation, Choirs Aotearoa, with whom he accompanied Voices New Zealand – the professional ensemble, and toured often with the National Youth Choir throughout the North and South Islands and internationally through Europe and the United Kingdom with this repertoire broadcast on the BBC.

Dean has performed in the Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane International festivals as a pianist and singer and he has performed with the MSO, Orchestra Victoria and TSO, Victorian Opera, Short Black Opera and Gertrude Opera on organ, harpsichord and Celeste.

He was the official pianist for the 2023 Herald Sun Aria competition and for the Bettine McCaughan Scholarship in 2022 and 2023.

He has appeared regularly as vocal coach and collaborative pianist for Opera Scholars Australia and their week long intensives resulting in Dean conducting OSA in Rossini’s Petit Messe Solenelle on the evening of Maundy Thursday at the Hawthorn Town Hall in 2024.

Dean performed as the counter-tenor soloist in Handel’s oratorio, Alexander’s Feast, at St Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral, Ballarat in the 2024 Organs and Goldfields Festival.

In 2024, Dean is the weekly organist to Newman College Chapel and its choir conducted by Dr Gary Ekkel.

Dean conducts the Melody Choir and accompanies the Senior Choir at the Australian Children’s Choir and he is the tutor for the Vocal Ensemble of Early and New Music at Monash University.

His recordings have received critical acclaim including a 5-star review from the New Zealand Herald for his recording with Ben Hoadley (bassoon) of a CD of works from the 20th and 21st centuries for bassoon and piano.

Dean’s work with First Nations musicians, specifically, Dr Deborah Cheetham-Fraillon with Short Black Opera and the Dhungalla Children’s Chorus is a wonderful opportunity to expand access and reach in areas ripe for cross-collaboration and increased exposure. Dean was the repetiteur and pianist for the 2023 performances in the Melbourne Arts Centre of “Parrwang Lifts the Sky”, the opera composed by Deborah Cheetham-Fraillon with Short Black Opera.

Dean Sky-Lucas

Dean Sky-Lucas