SIX of the county’s best musical talents have been selected to compete in the finals of the Gloucestershire Young Musician 2016 competition.
Contestants, ranging in age from 15 to 20 from all over the county, took part in the first round held at the Gloucestershire Academy of Music’s city headquarters and will go on to play in the finals at Pittville Pump Room on March 1.
Adjudicating was Director of the Cheltenham Music Festival Meurig Bowen, who played a key role in the judging of the BBC Young Musician 2014 on BBC4 TV.
He said: “It was hugely clear how much effort had gone into producing polished, committed mini-concerts, and I was very impressed with the standard overall. There was a pleasing variety of instrumental sounds throughout the day, and a wide range of composers too – though Poulenc won overall as the most performed!”
He selected six finalists:
- Freya Ireland, 17 (percussion), from Cheltenham who is studying at Pates Grammar School;
- Adam Heron, 16 (piano), from Cheltenham, who is a choral scholar at Wells Cathedral School.
- Tom Butler, 20 (clarinet), from Hartpury, a former Newent Community School student now studying at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.
- Jennifer Statham, 19 (violin) from Cheltenham, an ex-Pates Grammar School pupil now studying Music at Bristol University.
- Isabel Henry, 16 (flute) from Stroud, who is studying at Stroud High School.
- Emily Stephens, 17 (oboe) from Cheltenham, who is studying at Pates Grammar School.
They will all perform in the finals concert on Tuesday, March 1 at Cheltenham’s Pittville Pump Room at 7pm.
The Young Musician 2015 winner will receive a cash prize of £500, the Hewitt-Jones Trophy and will be given the opportunity to perform a recital at the Cheltenham Music Festival as well as two concerto performances with the Gloucestershire Symphony and Youth Orchestras.
The runners-up will receive a cash prize of £100 and there will also be an Audience Prize of £200 sponsored by the Carducci Trust – the charitable trust initiated by the prestigious Carducci String Quartet.
Among those joining Meurig Bowen on the judging panel will be celebrated clarinettist Julian Bliss.
Gloucestershire Symphony Orchestra took over the running of the contest last season with sponsorship from estate agents Steve and Debbie Godsell franchisees of CJ Hole Estate Agents. They are working in partnership with Cheltenham Music Festival, the Carducci String Quartet, Gloucestershire Music Service and the Gloucester Academy of Music.
Tickets for the finals on March 1 are now available (priced £15, under-18s free) at http://www.cheltenhamtownhall.org.uk/event/gloucestershire-young-musician-of-the-year-2016-125154/