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Young Musician of the Year Competition & Prize Giving 2023

The Young Musician of the Year Competition is always an exciting time for everyone involved in the festival. It is an opportunity to see the amazing talent that have taken part in the competitive classes, but it also signals the end of the festival for another year.

This year was no exception – eight candidates were selected as being outstanding in their disciplines and were invited to attend a special prize giving evening at Redbridge Music School on Saturday 18 February.

Two pianists – Yazdi Madon and Maxwell Johnson – were joined by singers Rose Buggle and Kaye Lee. Recorder players Sofia Ahmed and Daniel Hayfron- Benjamin were chosen, along with clarinet player Henry Li and cellist Finn Anderson-Hendra.

All the candidates were aged between 12 and 16.

The Mayor of Redbridge, Councillor Thavathuray Jeyaranjan was in attendance along with Councillor Joyce Ryan, who has been a longstanding supporter of the Festival.

The evening began with an introduction from committee member, Olivia Burren, and then the two outstanding drama performances.

Abha Bharadwaj was awarded the Dacia Stephens Cup for the most promising performer in the Drama section and she performed ‘King Panto’s Violin’.

Then Gamalini Kantharupan, winner of the Forest Cup for the Most Outstanding performer, presented a speech by Helena from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.

The Young Musician's programme ran as follows:

1) Rose Buggle (singing)

Amirilli, Caccini

Nacht und Traume - Schubert

I Could Have Danced All Night – Lerner and Loewe

2) Sofia Ahmed (recorder)

Sonata in D minor, Adagio and Allegro - Marcello

Fantasia on Greensleeves, Vaughan Williams

Caprice – Nicholas Marshall

3) Yazdi Madon (piano)

Estampes, L100 Pagodes - Debussy

Polonaise in Ab Major, Op.53 - Chopin

4) Finn Anderson-Hendra (cello)

Piece en Forme de Habanera – Ravel

Cello Suite 1, Courante – Bach

Prayer - Bloch

5) Kaye Lee (singing)

Burn – Lin-Manuel Miranda

Still Hurting – Jason Robert Brown

Don’t Rain on My Parade – Jule Styne

6) Daniel Hayfron-Benjamin (recorder)

Sonata in C minor, in modo preclassico, 1st and 2nd movements, Staeps

Feu Follet, Wessely

7) Maxwell Johnson (piano)

Prelude No.2, Voiles – Claude Debussy

Arabeske in C Major, Op.18 – Robert Schumann

Excursions, Op.20 No 1 – Samuel Barber

8) Henry Li (clarinet)

Sonata for clarinet and piano, Op 167,

1st and 3rd movements – Saint-Saëns

This was then followed by a performance of O Polichinelo from the winner of the Felix Marr (piano) Award, Keke Hu, and the presentation of the EPTA Cup.

Adjudicator Nancy Litten had a hard job deciding on the winner of this year’s competition, and her conclusion was that Finn Anderson-Hendra had given the most convincing performance, playing pieces by Ravel, Bach and Bloch.

This was the second time that Finn had been picked for the Young Musician Competition and we were delighted to present her with the Young Musician Shield and an award of £100.


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