This week, violinist Eleanor Corr was finally able to get her hands on the Gold Medal and £15,000 first prize of the 2020 Annual Music Competition. Huge congratulations to her! 

After winning their solo Section Finals way back in February and March, the four finalists competing have had a long wait for the opportunity to compete for the Gold Medal. Usually held in June at the Southbank Centre, this year was different, but no less important for the careers of those competing. With Covid-19 putting a halt to our usual plans, the Gold Medal Final was instead held behind closed doors at Over-Seas House with just the judging panel and musicians in the Princess Alexandra Hall.

This did not stop each of the four finalists; Sirius Chauflute, Siân Dickersoprano, Eleanor and Dominic Doutney piano; putting on a show! But it was Eleanor, with her programme of Grieg and Lutoslawski who the judging panel agreed was the winner.

Artistic Director Geoff Parkin said of her performance: "2020 has been a difficult year for all musicians, whatever the stage in their career, but I am pleased that ROSL has remained undaunted in their mission to continue to support the most exceptional young musical talent. While this year’s Gold Medal Final was very different to usual, our finalists were all outstanding and I am thrilled for Eleanor Corr, whose performances of Grieg and Lutoslawski were truly engaging."

Watch the premiere of this year's final, featuring all the performances, plus interviewees with the finalists, on YouTube on 24 November. Sign up here.

A huge thank you to all the musicians who took part this year. Despite the unprecedented difficulties we have all faced in 2020, we believe it is still hugely important to support young artists and musicians, especially at a time when arts funding is being reduced and performance opportunities are so limited. As well as the £15,000 first prize, the competition has awarded more than £75,000 in prize money this year, supported by the ROSL Trust.

Applications for the 2021 competition are now open. If you know anyone who would like to take part, you can find out more here.

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