Last night marked the half way point of our Annual Music Competition with our Strings Section Final. Despite the freezing weather, five musicians battled through the snow to perform for us. The evening gave us true variety, highlighting the breadth of instruments in the strings family with performances on harp, cello, viola, guitar, and violin. 

The evening started with an incredible performance on harp by Gwenllian Llyr of Sphor Fantasy for harp, and Posse Carnival of Venice. This led onto cellist Ariana Kashefi performing Beethoven and Gluck Medlodie from Orfeo ed Euridice. Closing the first half was New Zealander Alexander McFarlane on viola, who performed a sonata for viola by Rebecca Clarke and movements from Schumann’s Märchenbilder. Alexander was accompanied by 2017 Accompanist prizewinner Somi Kim.

Following the interval we were treated to our third variety of string instrument, with Emmanuel Sowicz on guitar. Emmanuel performed a transcription of Bach followed by Three Little Pieces by contemporary composer Kemal Yusuf, culminating with No. 7 from 12 Tonadillas en estilo antiguo by Granados. Rounding off the evening was '2017 Len Lickorish memorial prize for a string player of promise' winner Emmanuel Bach, who began with the contemporary solo piece Anthemes I by Boulez, followed by Debussy and finishing with Saint-Saens 6th Etude.

After a long deliberation our panel of judges announced Emmanuel Bach as the winner of the String Section Final, who will now move on to compete in our Gold Medal Final at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, alongside Michael Mofidian bass baritoneand Jonathan Radford saxophone.

There are still three weeks to go of our Section Final concerts, so book your tickets now!

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