Jonathan Vaughan, Director of Music at Guildhall School of Music and Drama had a tough time yesterday evening choosing a first and second place from our six concerto finalists.
First place went to Martin Bartlett, who will perform Rachmaninov's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on Monday 9th March 2015, and second place went to Hyungi Lee who will perform Blazewicz Second Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra at the Watford Colosseum on Sunday 19th October 2014.
The standard was extremely high, and our six finalists were chosen from a field of 35 in the Preliminary rounds, which were adjudicated by Colin Metters.
Congratulations to all who took part!
The School was invited to contribute to a special award ceremony on Saturday night as part of Hertsmere council’s annual Civic Dinner and 40th anniversary celebrations.
Hosted by the serving mayor, Councillor Paul Morris OBE, the event was an opportunity to reward local volunteers and showcase local talent, and was attended by local councillors, dignitaries and community members.
Pianist, Emily Brown played and sang her own jazz songs as the guests took their seats in the hall, and our brass quintet performed before the meal was served. (Trumpets: Chris Bowman, Tom Gardner; Horn: Henry Wright; Trombone: Kevin Huang; Tuba: Andrew Atkinson Dalziel)
This year, the evening was a special celebration to mark the council’s 40th anniversary next month. In recognition of this, the School commissioned sixth form composer Nathaniel Coxon to write a short celebratory fanfare for brass quintet, which was performed and presented as a gift to Hertsmere. Nathaniel took inspiration from the Hertsmere motto ‘Do Well and Fear Not’. You’ll be able to hear his piece on the Hertsmere Borough website soon!
Our String players were delighted to welcome Natalia Lomeiko to give a masterclass on Wednesday last week. Hailed by Lord Menuhin as “one of the most brilliant of our younger violinists”, Natalia has already established herself as a versatile internationally renowned violinist and is a Professor at the Royal College of Music.
The Purcell Symphony Orchestra gave an outstanding performance at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall to a big audience on Monday 10th March, under the baton of Stephen Bell. They played Bernstein Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1 with alumna Alexandra Gracheva and Tchaikovsky's 4th Symphony. In addition to these well-known pieces, the orchestra performed Lúghnaku, a new piece written by Sixth Form pupil Sophie Sparkes, the recent winner of the School's Composition Competition.
On 3rd March at the Southbank's Purcell Room, two sixth form pianists selected by audition, John Bae and Elsa Calderon Pina, performed a fantastic programme of music for piano by Chopin, Rachmaninov, Liszt, Faure and Gubaidulina, among others.
This concert is sponsored annually by David Morgan.
Purcell Jazz musicians Jake Labazzi (16) and Sean Payne (13) were among five finalists at the first ever BBC Young Musician Jazz Award, held in Cardiff on Saturday. Cheered on by 30 fellow pupils and staff, Jake and Sean each performed a set with the excellent Gwilym Simcock Trio. They played extremely well, and any of the five could have won, but in the end the prize went to Alexander Bone (saxophone) from Chetham's in Manchester. While the adjudicators were deliberating, the audience were treated to a jam session with all five contestants and famous saxophonist Soweto Kinch. Many congratulations to all five contestants.
Highlights of the final were broadcast on BBC4 and you can watch each of the performances on the BBC website.
Purcell School pupil Juliana Myslov has won First Prize at the prestigious Dutch Harp Festival in Utrecht. The competition, which is held every two years, is open to contestants from any country and of any age.
(€10,000 and concert tour in 2015, including a recording of one of the concerts of the tour), Juliana additionally won the (€2,500), and the prize for best interpretation of festival commission Fantasia, presented by the composer Paul Patterson himself.
Juliana has been a pupil at The Purcell School since 2005 and receives a Scholarship from the Government’s Music and Dance Scheme. Juliana studies harp with Daphne Boden and piano with Deborah Shah.