Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Four Singers Compete for the Gold Medal,
Guildhall School's Prize for Outstanding Soloists

Tuesday 5 May 2009, 7pm, Barbican Hall

Distinguished Panel of Judges:
Bryn Terfel, Opera singer, Guildhall School Graduate and winner of the Gold Medal, 1989
Janice Watson, Opera singer and Guildhall School Graduate, 1987
Neil Fisher, Classical, Opera & Dance Editor, The Times
Jonathan Vaughan, Director of Music, Guildhall School
David Angus, Conductor, Guildhall Symphony Orchestra

Guildhall Symphony Orchestra
David Angus, conductor

The Gold Medal 2009, the Guildhall School of Music & Drama’s premiere prize for exceptional soloists, will be held at the Barbican Hall on Tuesday 5 May at 7pm. Now in its 94th year, the Gold Medal competition is for singers and instrumentalists who compete in alternate years for this celebrated prize.

This year sees four senior Guildhall School singers compete: Derek Welton (baritone), Susana Gaspar (soprano), Jonathan Sells (baritone) and Gary Griffiths (baritone).

The distinguished panel of judges includes: Jonathan Vaughan, who is the Director of Music at the Guildhall School; conductor David Angus who currently holds the position of Honorary Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of Flanders and conducts the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra; Bryn Terfel, one of the world's leading baritones. He graduated from the Guildhall School in 1989 after winning the Gold Medal and that same year took second place in the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, and first prize in its lieder competition. Janice Watson, who graduated from the Guildhall School in 1987 and is now a regular artist with both English National Opera and Welsh National Opera; Neil Fisher, Classical, Opera & Dance Editor of The Times.

Each competitor will perform a short programme with piano accompaniment in the first half of the concert followed by a second half of arias with the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Angus.

The evening then closes with the adjudication by the panel and announcement of the winner.

The Gold Medal award was founded and endowed by Sir H Dixon Kimber in 1915. Previous winners include Jacqueline du Pré (1960), Tasmin Little (1986) and Bryn Terfel (1989). The 2002 winner David Cohen was shortly after appointed Principal Cellist of the Philharmonia Orchestra; 2003 Gold Medal winner was soprano Susanna Andersson, who has been performing with great success in recital and on stage; 2004 winner, violinist Boris Brovtsyn, is currently with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and has recently led orchestras at English National Opera and Covent Garden; 2005 winner Anna Stéphany also won the Kathleen Ferrier Award in the same week and is now performing at an international level, including an appearance in the 2007 BBC Proms; 2006 winner Anna-Liisa Bezrodny has recently had solo performances with the Helsinki Philharmonic and Haydn Chamber Orchestras; 2007 Katherine Broderick also won the first prize in the Kathleen Ferrier Award 2007 and has completed studies at the National Opera Studio with Guildhall singing professor, Susan McCulloch; and last year’s winner, Sasha Grynyuk, is a Fellow of the Guildhall School and recently won the inaugural Guildhall Wigmore Recital Prize which will see him perform a solo recital at the Wigmore Hall on 6 March 2009.

"The highlight of my five years at the Guildhall School was winning the Gold Medal which I feel was a testament to my two singing teachers. I felt with the help and guidance given to me I was ready to embark on a professional career." Bryn Terfel, Opera 1989

Tickets
£15, £10 (£5 concessions) available from the Barbican Box Office 0845 120 7500 or online at www.barbican.org.

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