Next month, ROSL returns to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for its 20th anniversary concert programme, featuring a huge selection of past ROSL prizewinners and scholars from around the Commonwealth. The standard is incredibly high and among them, some five Annual Music Competition Gold Medal winners will be performing, showing that ROSL Recitals are really the best at the Fringe. Let's find out who the five winners returning this year are.
New Zealand pianist Stephen de Pledge, winner in 1998, studied at the University of Auckland, and then with Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. His career was launched after winning the Gold Medal from the Guildhall, and the NFMS Young Concert Artists’ Award, and he has since maintained a diverse and wide-ranging performing schedule, as soloist, chamber musician and song accompanist. Stephen’s solo performances have taken him throughout the UK, including five solo recitals in the Wigmore Hall in London, where he made his acclaimed debut in 1999. He has also given solo performances in Hong Kong, Italy, France, Singapore, Japan, Australia and the USA.
Simon Lepper piano, winner the following year in 1999, read music at King’s College Cambridge. He is a professor of collaborative piano at the Royal College of Music, London where he also co-ordinates the collaborative piano course. Since 2003 he has been an official accompanist for the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Recent performance highlights include an invitation from the Wigmore Hall, London to present a three concert project on the songs of Joseph Marx; a recital tour with baritone Stéphane Degout which included the Ravinia and Edinburgh Festivals; his debut at Carnegie Hall, New York with mezzo Karen Cargill; a recital with Christopher Purves at the Frick Collection, New York; a performance with Mark Padmore of Schubert Winterreise at the Schubertiade, Hohenhems, Austria.
Edinburgh-native Sean Shibe guitar won the AMC Gold Medal in 2011. In April 2018 he was shortlisted in the Young Artist and Instrumentalist categories in the Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) Awards, becoming the first guitarist to receive the RPS Award for Young Artists in May 2018. In 2017 Sean Shibe’s debut solo album release on Delphian Records was met with critical acclaim and won him a shortlisted nomination in the BBC Music Magazine ‘Instrumental Award’ category. Dreams and Fancies is a recording that explores the fruits of Julian Bream’s history of commissioning in the 20th Century alongside music by Dowland and was named Editor’s Choice in Gramophone as well as BBC Music Magazine’s Instrumental Choice. Alongside the success of his recording debut, Sean Shibe’s “uncompromisingly monumental” project softLOUD premiered at the East Neuk and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals – a programme juxtaposing Jacobean lute music for classical guitar, with electric guitar arrangements of multi-tracked repertoire including US Pulitzer prize winning composers Julia Wolfe’s powerful elegy LAD, (originally written for 9 bagpipes) and David Lang’s Killer.
In 2016, it was Australian violinist Emily Sun who took home the Gold Medal. As well as her success with ROSL, Emily has also won all major Australian violin competitions, including the coveted Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year Strings Award. She has won all available prizes at the Royal College of Music including the Violin Competition 2012 and Concerto Competition 2015. Emily is a prizewinner in many international competitions including Yampolsky International Violin Competition (Russia), Bromsgrove International Competition (UK), Brahms International Competition (Austria), and Lipizer International Violin Competition (Italy). She was selected as a Young Concert Artist for The Tillett Trust and Making Music UK.
Jonathan Radford saxophone, winner in 2018, has given recitals at major venues in Europe including Wigmore Hall, St John’s Smith Square, Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, Grieg Hall in Bergen, the Centre Pompidou, and Philharmonie in Paris. He has appeared as soloist with several orchestras including the Slovenian Chamber Orchestra and Liverpool Mozart Orchestra. A keen advocate of contemporary music he has premiered works by Luis Naón (co-commissioned by Radio France), Betsy Jolas (commissioned by the CNSM) and collaborated with IRCAM in Paris.