Welcome to the latest edition of Purcell’s Weekly Highlights!

BBC Young Composers Competition 2020

Purcell students Rowena Jones and Jasmine Morris have been named winners of this year’s BBC Young Composer competition. Rowena won the Upper Juniors (12 – 14 years) category with her piece ‘Spring2020’, and Jasmine triumphed with ‘Sirens for harp and orchestra’ in the Seniors (17 – 18 years) category.

Rowena and Jasmine will each work with a mentor composer on a project with the BBC Concert Orchestra, who will later go on to perform and broadcast the composers’ concerts at the 2021 BBC Proms.


Concorso Internazionale di Composizione Ennio Porrino

Year 13 student Jonathan Knight has reached the final three of the prestigious international composition competition, the Concorso Internazionale di Composizione Ennio Porrino. Jonathan’s score for piano ‘Vacillations’ will be performed during today’s Grand Final in Porto Santo Stefano. We wish Jonathan the very best of luck.

John Locke Institute Essay Competition 2020

Over the lockdown period, recent Purcell leaver Alexandra Peel (Year 13, 2019/20) entered the John Locke Institute Essay Competition 2020, and her essay has been shortlisted in the History category. The winning essays have yet to be announced but we have our fingers crossed for Alexandra’s.

Purcell Online – space for student sounds

On 7th May, in the midst of lockdown, we launched a brand new area on our YouTube channel called Purcell Online – space for student sounds to showcase the work of our incredible students. It has been a great success and has captivated our audience with a host of exciting student performances, debuts of original works and arrangements, and inventive collaborations.

The first student submission was from Zara Williams in collaboration with 17 other Purcell students. This alone has reached over 8,000 views across the School’s social media accounts. Each subsequent student video received similar positive feedback, taking Purcell Online’s total viewing figure to over 20,000.

Click here for the full YouTube playlist for Purcell Online.


Also during lockdown, we were excited to launch a new multi-media magazine entitled Waves. Over the course of the spring term, Student Editor Hugo Max (Yr13, 2019/20) had reached out to staff and students for content which celebrated the School’s creativity outside of the musical norm. Hugo’s vision was to create a ‘magazine where the work of student and staff is exhibited side by side, generating a continuous current of inspirations which passes between generations’. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and the end result was a stunning magazine full of unique pieces of writing, artwork and photography. Principal Paul Bambrough commented that the ‘breadth, diversity and quality of the entries is truly astonishing. There is so much to provoke thought, challenge, engage and entertain.’

Waves is available in full here.

Art Gallery

Like many other annual events in last year’s calendar, the much-anticipated end of year Art Exhibition was unable to take place. The Art department, however, curated the highlights of the exhibition through the School’s website. If you have not had the opportunity to do so yet, please click here and enjoy the artistic talents of the Purcell students.

Alda Dizdari

This October, Purcell instrumental teacher and internationally renowned violinist Alda Dizdari will release her much anticipated recording of Elgar’s Violin Concerto on SACD and Vinyl. Alda has also recorded a special edition audiobook detailing her personal journey with Elgar’s masterpiece, which transformed her life and inspired this recording – Kiss Me Again: A Memoir of Elgar in Unusual Places.

Both recording and audiobook are available for pre-order. Please click here for more information.

Irina Walters

Aural and Academic Music teacher Irina Walters has also been busy over the summer months. Irina presented remotely at the Association of British Choral Directors’ Festival about the specifics of performing in Russian (with an emphasis on selected movements of Rachmaninov’s ‘Vespers’), and on the Conductors in Isolation forum about aural training for conductors and Russian orchestral and choral repertoire in the 20th century.