Last night, the 2019 ROSL Annual Music Competition culminated in the Gold Medal Final, where our four Section Final winners competed for the top prize. A huge congratulations to trombonist Kris Garfitt, whose technical mastery and emotive playing pipped the Roberto Ruisi violin, William Thomas bass, and Joseph Havlat piano to the Gold Medal and £15,000 first prize.
First up for the evening was bass William Thomas, accompanied by pianist Michael Pandya, with a programme of Brahms, Poulenc, Katis Moss, and Rossini. Next came pianist Joseph Havlat, who gave the audience Hans Abrahamsen, Poulenc one more, and Martinu. Third to the stage was violinist Roberto Ruisi, who first performed Bartok, before being joined on stage by Craig White for a piece for violin and piano by Enescu.
Last of the soloists to perform, after three exquisite showings from the other three finalists, Kris's programme of Ropartz and Weber alongside pianist Seri Dan, followed by Folke Rabe's Basta for Solo Trombone had the audience cheering just before the interval.
As the judges retired to consider their verdict, musicians, members, and esteemed guests, mingled and shared their thoughts on the extremely high quality of performances that had just been witnessed, before returning to their seats to hear our two winning ensembles; the Mithras Trio and The Hermes Experiment, whose diverse repertoire rounded out the musical entertainment for the evening in style.
ROSL's new Chairman, Alexander Downer AC, then welcomed the audience to the Queen Elizabeth Hall and again praised the excellent performances we had just heard, before going on to thank all the support members and donors give to ROSL to help in the running of the Annual Music Competition. These comments were echoed by ROSL Artistic Director Geoff Parkin and Head of the Adjudicators, Gavin Henderson CBE, before he announced Kris Garfitt as the winner.
As well as his £5,000 prize for winning his Section Final, his Gold Medal comes with a further £10,000 in prize and a £5,000 professional development fund. A huge congratulations to Kris once again, we look forward to seeing much more of him in future.
Watch this space for more photos and videos from the final soon.