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Hugh Cutting at the Kathleen Ferrier Awards

Ferrier Award success for RCM musician

Wednesday 17 November 2021

Hugh Cutting, a student in the RCM Opera Studio, has won the prestigious Kathleen Ferrier Award’s First Prize following an exceptional performance in the final.

He is the first countertenor ever to win first prize in the Awards’ 66-year history. His performance and those of the other finalists will be broadcast on the Kathleen Ferrier Awards website on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 December and will be available for one month.

Hugh graduated from the RCM’s Master of Performance programme in July and is currently undertaking the Artist Diploma in Opera. Hugh studies with vocal professors Sally Burgess and Audrey Hyland. His recent concert engagements include work with Les Arts Florissants, La Nuova Musica, and The English Concert and he has recorded Purcell ‘Royal Odes’ with The King’s Consort and Robert King.

Head of Vocal and Opera, Nick Sears says: ‘We are thrilled for Hugh and his well-deserved success in the 2021 Kathleen Ferrier Competition. Hugh is a remarkable young artist and to have received recognition by such a distinguished panel of adjudicators will enable him to continue his development with even greater confidence and authority.’

Accompanying Hugh on the piano was RCM Keyboard alumnus George Ireland. George studied with Simon Lepper and Roger Vignoles during his time at the College and is a much sought-after collaborative pianist. The RCM was also represented by current student Edward Jowle, and recent graduate James Atkinson in the semi-final stages of this year’s competition. Hugh’s win this year follows Jessica Cale’s overall win in the 2020 competition and Milly Forrest’s Ferrier Loveday Song Prize, also in 2020.

The Royal College of Music Opera Studio is one of the leading advanced training courses in the world, offering operatic training at the highest level for performers from around the globe.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Vocal and Opera Department at the Royal College of Music, visit our Study pages.

Photo credit: © emmabrownphotography