The third Section Final of 2019's Annual Music Competition took place last night in the Princess Alexandra Hall; this week it was the turn of the Strings players. Competing for a place in the Gold Medal Final at the Southbank Centre in May, the four Section Finalists had to impress the judging panel, made up of Gavin henderson CBE, Gina McCormack, Geoff Parkin, and Matthew Trusler. 

First to take to the stage, violinist Juliette Roos performed a programme of Brahms and Szymanowski alongside pianist Somi Kim, who is no stranger to this competition, having won the Accompanist Prize in 2017.  

 Second to perform was 19-year-old Joe Prithcard cello, who was accompanied by Julian Jun Feng Chan piano. Their programme took in Bach, Fauré, and Brahms, before the interval. 


Next up, New Zealand violist Alexander McFarlane returned to the AMC for the second year running, having won the Lorna Viol Memorial Prize and ROSL Trophy for the most Outstanding Musician from Overseas at the 2018 competition. He was again joined by Somi Kim for a programme of Schumann, Bach, and Walton. 

Finally, it was the turn of violinist Roberto Ruisi, who was joined on stage by pianist Craig White for a programme of Chausson and Roxanna Panufnik. 

This concluded an evening for exceptional music making and give the judges a tough decision as to who to award the Section Final prize to. In the end, it was Roberto Ruisi, who impressed the panel with his technical and emotive playing. Many congratulations to him! He know goes on to compete at the Gold Medal Final on 30 May at the Queen Elizabeth Hall for a chance to win the £15,000 first prize, in addition to the £5,000 he walked away with last night.

But with such capable young musicians competing, Roberto wasn't the only one to take home a prize. Juliette Roos was awarded the £1,000 Len Lickorish Memorial Prize for a String Player of Promise, Joe Pritchard took the £1,000 Elias Fawcett Award for an Outstanding Ensemble, and Alexander McFarlance the ROSL Golden Jubilee Trust Prize for a String Player of Promise, also worth £1,000.

Next week is the last of the solo Section Finals, for Keyboard, which will take place at 7pm on Tuesday 5 March and is the last opportunity for this year's musicians to get through to the Gold Medal Final and compete for the first prize. Book your tickets here.

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