Pianist Jeneba Kanneh-Mason

Updates Autumn 2020

Student updates

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All the latest news from our students, along with our top social media picks.

Piano plaudits

Pianist Jeneba Kanneh-Mason has performed Florence Price’s Piano Concerto in One Movement at the Royal Festival Hall with the Chineke! Orchestra. Her performance was described as ‘full of the joy of music- making’ by Jessica Duchen and was broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

Martin James Bartlett won the Virtu(al)oso Competition run by Piano Cleveland (formerly known as the Cleveland International Piano Competition, USA). The competition took place online and all the rounds were filmed live at Steinway and Sons premises. Tamila Salimdjanova reached the finals and Lorenzo Adamo reached the semi-finals.

Martin James Bartlett is also the recipient of the Benjamin Britten Piano Fellowship for 2020-21. The award is given to an exceptional pianist who has been accepted onto the RCM Artists’ Diploma course. Martin is already a recording artist with Warner Classics.

Lorenzo Adamo has won First Prize in the senior section of the Vladimir Krainev Moscow International Piano Competition, held online in June.

Thomas Kelly has won First Prize at the fourth Theodor Leschetizky International Piano Competition in Hamburg, Germany.


Silu Wang has been designated a Young Steinway Artist, joining the group of outstanding concert pianists and ensembles around the world. She also released her 12th album, entitled César Franck: Prelude, Fugue and Variation. As at July 2020, her albums have achieved over 38 million streams globally.

Marianne Huang Yueyin has won First Prize in the third Hong Kong Pacific Piano Open Competition, which was held in August 2020.

George Harliono has appeared at Moscow Conservatory's International Music Festival.

Pedro López Salas will be performing as a soloist with the Symphonic Orchestra of Torrevieja , in the International Auditorium of Torrevieja and the ADDA concert hall of Alicante, Spain in March 2021.

Pianist Yuanfan Yang has been selected for Making Music Guide.

Jane Hammond has won the prestigious Biddy Baxter and John Hosier Music Trust Scholarship, to support her continuation from BMus to the Master of Music in Performance. Jane is also supported by the Stuart Roden Scholarship and the Henry Wood Accommodation Trust.

RCM competitions

In the RCM’s Solo Woodwind Competition 2020, Hannah Gillingham won the Flute Prize, Andrei Caval won the Clarinet Prize, Polly Bartlett and David Hedley shared the Oboe Prize and Alison Wormell won the Bassoon Prize and overall prize.

In the RCM’s Solo Brass Competition 2020, Ruby Orlowska won the Trumpet Prize, Millie Lihoreau won the Horn Prize, Gemma Riley won the Tenor Trombone Prize, Joe Smales won the Bass Trombone Prize and Connor Gingell won the Tuba Prize.

Robert Finegan won the Jane Melber Prize for Saxophone 2020.

Singing successes

Soprano Ava Dodd has won First Prize in the International Grand Prix of Romania ‘Trophaeum Artis Cantorum’.

Mezzo-soprano Helen Cooper has won the Mercers’ Arts Community Award.

Several RCM vocalists reached the final of the AESS Patricia Routledge National English Song Competition. Mezzo-soprano Annabel Kennedy, won First Prize; baritone Edward Jowle won Second Prize; graduate mezzo-soprano Anna Cooper won Third Prize and pianist Ana Manastireanu won the Accompanist Prize. Ana and selected prizewinners took part in a concert as part of the London Song Festival in November.

Composition congratulations

Music composed by RCM Junior Department students was performed by the London Sinfonietta in October in an online event called 'Reassemble Online'. The event was the result of Junior Department's first composition collaboration with the orchestra, which will run annually from next year. Junior Department students Toril Azzalini-Machecler and Imaan Kashim were also interviewed by BBC Radio 3 presenter Jumoké Fashola as part of the event.

Several of Silvio Bartoli’s compositions have been selected for publication on the University of California Los Angeles’ Open Access Publication Library. The works were selected after a call for scores organised by Kaleidoscope Records in collaboration with the UCLA Music Library.

Composition for Screen student Dennis Tjiok reached the final of the European Talent Competition, held as part of Soundtrack Cologne 2020.

Jorge Ramos has won First Prize in the SPA/Antena 2 2020 9th Edition Composition Competition with his orchestral work Point of Departure. The work was premiered (in a reduced version due to COVID-19 constraints) by the Calouste Gulbenkian Orchestra on the 26 September and live streamed by Portuguese National TV (RTP) and Radio.


Guitarist Billy Watman has released an album of instrumental versions of songs by Queen.

Conductor Nicolo Foron has been invited to multiple international conducting competitions in 2020 and 2021. He will compete in the UK’s Donatella Flick competition and will be part of the the Dirigentenforum Audition in 2020. He is also taking part in the world-renowned Toscanini Competition and the Bucharest Conducting Competition in 2021.

RCM Junior Department violinist Imaan Kashim has appeared on Scala Radio to share her thoughts on classical music and how she came to learn the violin.

Cellist Zach Mowitz has been awarded First Prize in the instrumental professional category at the World Bach Competition hosted by the Boulder Bach Festival.


Rianna Henriques (flautist), Mebrakh Haughton-Johnson (saxophonist), Shona Beecham (violinist), and Toril Azzalini-Machecler (percussionist), as well as RCM Junior Department students Imaan Kashim (violin) and Amalia Beeko (clarinet) reached the semi-finals of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent 2020 as part of the Chineke! Junior Orchestra. The Chineke! Foundation orchestras are the only orchestras in the UK made up of majority black and Asian performers.

The Echea Quartet have been named String Quartet Fellows at the RCM for 2020-21:

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