Friday, 15 November 2013

British Contemporary Piano Competition

The finals of the British Contemporary Piano Competition were held at the University of Surrey in Guildford last week. Founded by the pianist Philip Mead and now in its 9th year, the competition aims to encourage aspiring professional players to perform contemporary repertoire. The first competition was held in 1988 and the University of Surrey has hosted it since 2006. The winner was Eliza McCarthy, who played pieces by played pieces by Copland, Tansy Davies, Britten, Rzewski, Crumb, Jonathan Harvey, Joe Cutler, Sally Beamish, Berio and Ed Bennett. She wins a cash prize of £2,000, the chance to make a studio recording at the University of Surrey’s School of Arts facilities, opportunities for concert engagements, and career-development assistance through the London Sinfonietta.

Second prize of £1,000 went to Joseph Houston who played a programme of Holt, Matthews, Ives, Xenakis, Finnissy, Messiaen, and Harvey. Sally Wigan received £500 for finishing third after playing a programme of music by Jonathan Harvey, George Benjamin, Judith Weir, John McCabe and Arlene Sierra. The Jury consisted of Clive Williamson, Artistic Director of the Competition and Professor at the University of Surrey; British pianist and teacher Andrew Ball; and Rolf Hind, Professor at the Guildhall School.

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