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Tuesday 6 May 2014
RCM musicians have won three main awards in this year’s Royal Over-Seas League Annual Music Competition.
RCM saxophonist Huw Wiggin and RCM soprano Anna Rajah each won the top prize of £5,000 in Wind & Percussion and Singers category finals respectively. Three of the four finalists in the Wind & Percussion final were from the RCM.
RCM recorder ensemble Block4 (Katie Cowling, Maria Smith, Lucy Carr and Emily Bannister) won one of two ROSL Ensemble Prizes of £10,000, becoming the first recorder ensemble to make it past the semi final round in the competition's 65 year history. The Ferio Saxophone Quartet also competed, making the RCM the only institution to have two groups reach the ensemble category final.
In addition, former RCM Junior Department percussionist James Larter was awarded the ROSL Sussex Prize of £1,000 for a wind/percussion player of promise.
Huw and Anna will be two of four solo performers competing for the Gold Medal and First Prize of £10,000 in the competition’s Final tonight, Tuesday 6 May, in the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. It will be judged by a panel of eminent musicians (including RCM professor Julian Jacobson and alumna Elizabeth Watts), with the Awards being presented by HRH Princess Alexandra. The evening will also include a performance by Block4.
The ROSL Annual Music Competition grew out of a series of concerts inaugurated at Over-Seas House London in 1947 under the banner ‘Festival of Commonwealth Youth’. Over the past 60+ years the competition has grown in scope and prestige and now awards in excess of £60,000 annually for solo performers, accompanists and chamber ensembles. Past ROSL prizewinners include RCM alumni John Lill, Melvyn Tan, Jonathan Lemalu and, last year, RCM baritone Morgan Pearse.