Six of the best young musicians in the county, ranging in age from 15 to 19, have made it through to the finals of the Gloucestershire Young Musician of the Year contest and will battle it out for the title on 8 March 2022.
They include pianist and former Sir Thomas Rich’s Grammar School pupil Aaron Le Maistre, 19, who is now studying at the Royal Northern College of Music; fellow Sir Thomas Rich’s pupil, violinist Isaac Williams, 17; Cheltenham College students, pianist Bryan Luo, 17, and violinist Kimmy Kwok, the youngest finalist at 15; cellist Souny Park, 17; and fellow Cheltenham Ladies’ College violinist, Vanessa Yip, 16.
A total of 13 musicians, from Moreton-in-Marsh, Stroud, Cheltenham, Gloucester and the Forest of Dean, entered the 2022 contest but Covid was a major factor in five having to withdraw by the time the auditions were held on 9 January.
Adjudicating the first round was Professor Derek Aviss, former executive director of Trinity Laban and ex-principal of Trinity College. Based in the county, he is president of the Gloucestershire Academy of Music, which hosted the auditions and is a partner in the contest.
He will chair the judging panel at the finals concert on 8 March 2022 at 7pm at Pittville Pump Room, where he will be joined by British concert pianist Ashok Gupta.
At the end of the evening, Professor Aviss will announce the Young Musician 2022 winner, who 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 Orchestra and Gloucestershire Youth Orchestra.
The runners-up will receive cash prizes of £100 each 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, based in Gloucestershire.
Sponsors are The Summerfield Trust, Brimpsfield Music Society , Make Music Gloucestershire and Ann Heron.
Tickets are £15 for adults and free for under-18s, on sale through the Cheltenham Town Hall Box Office at http://www.cheltenhamtownhall.org.uk/
or on 0844 576 2210.