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British pianist wins prestigious Haverhill solo competition

Monday, 27th September 2010.

Twenty-five musicians travelled to Haverhill from across Europe to take part in the finals of this year's Haverhill Sinfonia Soloist Competition.

The 21st competition took place on Saturday at Haverhill Arts Centre. What began as a modest competition is now a prestigious annual international event, which this year attracted 160 entrants of 39 nationalities.

A total of 38 prizes to the combined value of £8,800, plus 28 solo engagements throughout the UK, were available.

The winner was British pianist, Richard Uttley, who scooped first prize; highest-placed pianist; highest-placed pianist, guitarist or harpist; highest-placed prize-winner other than singer; highest-placed prize-winner, other than brass; best performance of a work written since 1950;
netting 20 performance prizes throughout the UK, together with £5,000.

The adjudicating panel was Kevin Hill (music director of Haverhill Sinfonia), Ronan O'Hora (head of keyboard studies and head of advanced performance studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama) and Gary Ryan (assistant head of strings and professor of guitar at the Royal College of Music).

Richard Uttley is 23 and began piano lessons at the age of nine. He attended the Junior School of the Royal Northern College of Music, then went to Clare College, Cambridge, graduating in 2008 with a double first in music. In 2006, he took first prize in the British Contemporary Piano Competition and also won the Sonic Arts Network prize. That same year, he was placed first in the national finals of the Lions Forum European Piano Competition, going on to represent the British Isles in the finals held in Bucharest in 2007.

Last summer, he appeared in a BBC Proms Composer Portrait on Louis Andriessen, which was broadcast on BBC Radio 3. In March 2010, he toured France as one of the four pianists in Stravinsky's Les Noces.

Sponsors of this year’s competition are Empire Pianos (Braintree), Evans-Pughe Strings of Hitchin Ltd, Glasswells Ltd, Haverhill Town Council, MachinePart Engineering, Marchant Manufacturing Co Ltd, Mrs Pat Taylor and Mr Nicholas Jarman, Music Sales Group, Printwise (Haverhill) Ltd, Rotary Club of Haverhill, STP Stationery and The Herbert Group.

The rest of the prizes were distributed as follows:
Second prize £250 donated by Rotary Club of Haverhill – Mikhail Nemtsov (Russian cellist).
Third prize £200 – James Sherlock (British pianist).
Fourth prize £175 donated by Marchant Manufacturing Co Ltd – Fulvio Capra (Italian clarinettist).
Fifth prize £150 donated by The Herbert Group – Suzanne Thorn (British oboeist).
Sixth prize £125 – Stefan Ciric (Serbian pianist).
Seventh prize £100 – Joel Sandelson (British cellist).
Highest-placed pianist – Richard Uttley, recitals for Bridport and West Dorset Music Club (£225), Bury St Edmunds Concert Club (£225), Pound Arts (£225), Haywards Heath Music
Society (£225), Hoddesdon Music Club (£225), Leighton Buzzard Music Club (£250), Louth & District Concert Society (£225).
Highest-placed string player £200 – Mikhail Nemtsov, recitals for Brickwall Music and Arts Society (£225), Uppingham Concerts (£225).
Highest-placed violinist or cellist – Mikhail Nemtsov, recital for Music at St Peter's, Wallingford (£225).
Highest-placed string or woodwind player –Mikhail Nemtsov, recital for Faversham Music Club (£225).
Highest-placed woodwind player – Fulvio Capra recital for Bideford Music Club (£225).
Highest-placed singer – Tamara Zivadinovic (Serbian soprano), recital for Live At St. Wilfrid's Concerts Society (£225).
Highest-placed brass player £200 – Grzegorz Curyla (Polish horn-player).
Highest-placed pianist, guitarist or harpist – Richard Uttley, recitals for Linton Music Society (£225), University of Leicester (£225).
Highest-placed prize-winner, other than pianist –Mikhail Nemtsov, solo works with Airedale Symphony Orchestra (£325), Arnold Sinfonia (£325).
Highest-placed prize-winner, other than singer – Richard Uttley, recitals for Brockenhurst Music Society (£225), Witney Music Society (£225).
Highest-placed prize-winner, other than brass – Richard Uttley, recital for Derby Chamber Music Society (£225).
Best performance of a work by a British composer – Edgar Bailey (British violinist), £200 donated by Evans-Pughe Strings of Hitchin Ltd.
Best performance of a work written since 1950 – Richard Uttley, £200 donated by Music Sales Group.
Best accompanist – Daniel King Smith, £200 donated by Mrs Pat Taylor and Mr Nicholas Jarman.

Further details of the competitors at the website: www.haverhillsinfonia.co.uk

Haverhill Online News

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