Young musicians from across Scotland will take part in the final for the first solo performer of the year

Scottish Young Musicians Solo Performer of the Year is a new Scotland-wide music competition run by The Music Education Partnership Group, where funding and expertise is offered to every school and local authority, giving all students across the country the opportunity to participate.

It can now be revealed which 22 young musicians are competing to be crowned Scotland’s first-ever solo performer of the year. The final will bring together young people representing 21 local authorities and one representing the independent schools sector. With areas ranging from East Dunbartonshire to the city of Edinburgh, Aberdeenshire to Dumfries and Galloway, and many more being represented, the competition will see Scotland’s best young talent perform in front of an audience of hundreds. at the Royal Conservatory of Scotland on May 29. A full list of performers can be found in the Notes to Editors.

The competition will be judged by a panel of highly experienced judges sponsored by the ABRSM, a global music education and awarding charity which counts the Royal Conservatory of Scotland among its Royal Schools of Music partners.

The jury will be led by Christopher Bell, Artistic Director of NYCOS and Chorus Director of the Grant Park Music Festival, Chicago. He will be joined by Heather Nicoll, Head of Woodwind at the Royal Conservatory of Scotland, violinist Jennifer Pike, who made her concerto debut with the Hallé Orchestra aged eleven and won BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2002, and Aaron Shorr, Head of Keyboard at the Royal Conservatory of Scotland.

The performers will all be accompanied by renowned Scottish pianist Christopher Baxter, who has participated in several international instrumental and vocal competitions and festivals as an accompanist and has already received the annual accompaniment award.

The winner of the Young Scottish Solo Performer of the Year award will receive £1,000 to spend on activities or items to further their musical career and the Maid of Morven trophy by sculptor for the Queen in Scotland Alexander Stoddart FRSE. They will also benefit from a coaching session with the head of department concerned, participation in a masterclass and a studio recording session with an accompanist, all provided at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Two finalists will each receive £250 to spend on musical activities, from young Scottish musicians, and a coaching session with relevant department heads and attendance at a masterclass at the Royal Conservatory of Scotland. Fellow finalists have the opportunity to win a range of exciting prizes including performance opportunities, concert tickets, shadowing rehearsals and masterclasses, mentorship, meetings with musicians, media training, vouchers music store and more. Each finalist will receive a Career Enhancement Award, a full list of available awards can be viewed here.

This momentous event will be hosted by singer and broadcaster Jamie MacDougall, who will meet all the young performers backstage beforehand, and will be given a special welcome by international classical violinist Nicola Benedetti.

Alan Kerr said: “All of us on the Scottish Young Musicians team are really delighted to see all these young people performing at the Royal Conservatory of Scotland in less than a week. We are delighted that our list of finalists hails from across Scotland and will perform a wide range of instruments and pieces in front of our fantastic panel of expert judges.We are grateful for the support of the ABRSM in sponsoring our jury and it will be amazing to have such a wealth of of talent, both young and old, in the same room on May 29.”

Christopher Bell said: “What an honor to be asked to lead a distinguished jury and to have the chance to listen to 22 young stars of the future. Post-pandemic Scottish musicians need every opportunity and MPEG is to be commended for this superb initiative. . All 22 are already winners of their own regional competitions; the stage is set to find the winner of the winner. I can’t wait. “

ABRSM Chief Executive Chris Cobb said: “We are delighted to be supporting this wonderful new competition open to all young musicians in Scotland. Encouraging musical creation, progression and performance is at the heart of what we do at ABRSM. To be involved with the competition and the sponsorship of the jury for the final of the solo performer of the year seems to us a perfect match. I am sure that the jury, made up of very experienced musicians and educators of international renown, will enjoy fantastic performances on May 29.”
Young musicians from across Scotland will take part in the final for the first solo performer of the year

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