Hugh Cutting, First Prize at the Kathleen Ferrier Awards

Updates Spring 2022

Student updates

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RCM students have had a successful few months, from competition successes to new album releases.

Competition success

Countertenor Hugh Cutting (ArtDip, pictured above) won First Prize at the Kathleen Ferrier Awards in November – the first countertenor ever to win first prize in the 66 years the competition has been running. Bass-baritone Edward Jowle (ArtDip) also reached the finals of the competition.

Read more about the Kathleen Ferrier Awards in Alumni updates.

At the 2021 Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards, tenor Harry Grigg (MPerf) and bass Jamie Woollard (ArtDip) won First and Second Prizes respectively.

Parvis Hejazi (MPerf) won the Grand Prix at the PianoArt International Piano Competition in Kiev, which was held online from 1–15 December 2021.

Mezzo-soprano Annabel Kennedy (ArtDip) won Second Prize at the Hurn Court Opera Singer of the Year Competition in November.


Mezzo-soprano Ustinya Malinina (BMus) was awarded Third Prize in the Kathleen Ferrier Society Bursary for Young Singers competition, held online in November. Soprano Astrid Monten (BMus) also reached the final five singers.

Antonio Morabito (MPerf) won Third Prize at The VIII North International Music Competition in December 2021.

Bobie Lai (BMus) participated in the Great Composers Competition 2022 and won First Prize in the category of Best Schubert Performance.

Shing Ho Lau (ArtDip) was awarded Third Prize at the XV Campillos International Piano Competition held in Spain in December 2021.

Anibal Vidal (ArtDip) won the 20th Joan Guinjoan International Prize for Young Composers for his piece Gliding Murmuration.

Professional appointments

Avishka Edirisinghe (MPerf) has been appointed assistant conductor and rehearsal pianist for Pegasus Opera Company’s production of The Aspern Papers by Philip Hagemann.

June Lee (MPerf) and Silvestrs Kalniņš (MPerf) successfully auditioned for the London Symphony Orchestra String Experience scheme, which enables string players at the start of their professional careers to gain work experience by playing in rehearsals and concerts with the LSO.

Adam Lee (MPerf) has been offered trials for the positions of Associate Principal Clarinet at the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Principal Clarinet at the Orchestra of Opera North.

Prestigious awards

Doctoral student Alex Ho has been announced as a 2021-22 RPS Composer (formerly known as the RPS Composition Prize). As part of the award, Alex has been commissioned to write a new work for Manchester Camerata.

Alumnus Andrew Chen is also a recipient of this year’s award – find out more in Alumni updates.

Alex will also be completing a residency at Snape Maltings supported by Britten Pears Arts, to develop his (anti-)opera Untold with director/choreographer Julia Cheng.


Conferences & Research

Doctoral student Jorge Pinto Ramos had several works selected for workshops at the 2022 BFE/RMA Research Students’ Conference at the University of Plymouth in January.

A new multidisciplinary work by Jorge commissioned by UNESCO – BLUR – also received its online premiere on 9 February. Watch it again here.

Berenice Beverley Zammit, doctoral student and CPS Graduate Teaching Assistant, had an article on performance anxiety published in The Strad magazine. She also presented her research findings at ISPS 2021 and the RMA/BFE Postgraduate Student Conference in January 2022.

New releases

In October 2021, Jack Campbell (BMus 4) recorded the atmospheric solo piano music of Robert Ely. Robert is a contemporary British composer and gay rights activist. The album is available now – find out more on Jack’s website.

Zsombor Tóth-Vajna (DMus 2) released a new album, Opere per Clavicembalo, on the Hungarian label Harmonia Caelestis. The CD features harpsichord pieces by Girolamo Frescobaldi, played on a Roman harpsichord.

RCM students on YouTube

Visit the RCM's YouTube channel to watch the latest performances from our talented students.

The RCM Opera Studio’s November production of The Magic Flute was also shared on OperaVision’s YouTube channel in January:


Send your updates for the next edition of Upbeat to, or tag @RCMLondon on social media, by Friday 6 May.


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