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40 Under 40 winner of the day: Emma Knights


South Australian freelance musician and event organiser Emma Knights creates unique and immersive musical experiences.

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Emma Knights has always been surrounded by music.

Growing up, her dad worked as a piano teacher, which meant she was inspired by music from a very early age.

In adulthood, Knights followed in her father’s footsteps by studying classical piano performance and contemporary music at the University of Adelaide’s Elder Conservatorium of Music and the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

After completing her studies, Knights worked as a freelance musician, soloist, accompanist, music director, orchestra pit musician and répétiteur (musical accompanist to ballet dancers or opera singers).

With this freelance career, Knights travelled internationally — she was most recently invited to attend the International Congress of Vocal Teachers in Sweden as an accompanist and is currently touring with her one-woman show The Piano Men for the Edinburgh Fringe in the United Kingdom.

Knights founded a production company, Emma Knights Productions, in 2013 with the aim to create opportunities for musicians in South Australia while also providing interesting music events for patrons.

Her production portfolio includes musical performances on boats, a series she calls “Floating Melodies”, live music by water fountains, “Aqua Beats”, an educational touring children’s opera, Space Encounters, and more.

Knights has won accolades for her production work including a silver South Australian Tourism Award in 2016 and two bronze Tourism Awards in 2014 and 2015 for Floating Melodies. In 2014,  she was shortlisted for the Telstra Young Business Woman of the year.

Emma Knights Productions is also an accredited tourism business within South Australia.

In June, she was named in InDaily’s 40 Under 40, which recognises the best and brightest young business people in South Australia.

What is the single most important lesson you have learnt in your business career so far?

Take care of yourself so you can take better care of others.

What do you believe are the strengths of doing business in South Australia?

The many different places to explore and enjoy. South Australia is a beautiful place.

What do you believe are the weak points of conducting business in South Australia?

Being a smaller population with widespread communities can make it hard for touring.

Do you see your future in South Australia? 

Yes. I plan to make South Australia the immersive experience state. I love living here and, whilst I might tour and travel elsewhere, South Australia will always be home and the centre of my business.

How can the state encourage more of its young leaders to stay?

Encourage creativity. If you think outside the box it can lead to some wonderful places in South Australia. Also, think ahead, so you’re not working with what is here now but creating what could be here in the future. Dream big!

To see the full list of 40 winners, go here.

InDaily is profiling each of the winners – go here to read more.

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