Joseph Havlat piano won the 67th ROSL Annual Music Competition Keyboard Section Prize on Tuesday 5 March and was awarded £5,000 and a sought-after place at the Gold Medal Final on 30 May 2019. Thomas’s 20-minute programme of Dohnányi, Byrd, and Grainger wowed the capacity crowd and judging panel. 

Four section finalists were chosen from 40 hopefuls during two rounds of preliminary auditions; pianists Luke Jones, Kathy Chow, Riyad Nicolas, and Joseph Havlat made for an exciting competition as each performer chose varied repertoire that put their talents to the test. The adjudicators Martin Cousin, Geoff Parkin, Hiroaki Takenouchi, and Tessa Uys had a difficult decision choosing the performer for the sought after-place in the Grand Final and the opportunity to win the Gold Medal prize of £15,000.

Australian Joseph Havlat studied at the Royal Academy of Music under Joanna MacGregor and has performed in major concert venues around the UK and Europe, America, Japan and Australia as a soloist and as part of chamber groups and orchestras.

Such was the exceptional talent on display, that Welshman Luke Jones was also awarded the £1,000 Kerr Memorial Prize for a Young Pianist of Promise.

ROSL Annual Music Competition Section Finals take place each Tuesday 7-9pm at Over-Seas House, Park Place, St James’s Street, London, SW1A 1LR:

  • 12 February: Wind and Percussion – winner Kris Garfitt trombone
  • 19 February: Singers – winner William Thomas bass
  • 26 February: Strings – winner Roberto Ruisi violin
  • 5 March: Keyboard – winner Joseph Havlat piano
  • 12 March: Ensemble A (Strings)
  • 19 March: Ensemble B (Mixed)
  • 21 March: Overseas Award
  • 30 May: Grand Final held at Queen Elizabeth Hall, London.

Tickets: £16. To book tickets, visit, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 020 7408 0214 ext 219

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Founded in 1910, the Royal Over-Seas League (ROSL) is a non-profit private members' club dedicated to championing international friendship and understanding. ROSL helps artists and musicians across the Commonwealth connect, collaborate and create. Our humanitarian work benefits communities and changes lives.

ROSL ARTS supports talented young artists and musicians from the UK and Commonwealth, providing performance and exhibition opportunities which bring their work to the attention of the professional arts community, media and general public.


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’. The Festival became competitive in 1952, with a first prize of £10. Over the past 60 years the competition has grown in scope and prestige and now awards in excess of £80,000 for solo performers, accompanists and chamber ensembles. Past ROSL prizewinners make an impressive alumni of musicians of the highest calibre who have established prominent careers in the music profession, find a list of past winners here:

To mark ROSL’s centenary in 2010 an appeal was launched to secure the future endowment of the ROSL Annual Music Competition Awards and Commonwealth Music Scholarships, currently worth £125,000 per annum. The funds are held in the ROSL Golden Jubilee Trust (registered charity 306095). To make a donation contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.