Joyous win

Libby Burgess, Simon Johnson, Godfrey Leung, and Dame Gillian Weir in front of organ in Beverley Minster

Last week our organ students headed to Beverley Minster in Yorkshire to compete for the Dame Gillian Weir Messiaen Prize.

The finalists, BMus second-year students Thomas Howell and Godfrey Leung, and BMus first-year student Timothy Stewart, captivated the large audience with their performances.

Jury members Dame Gillian, Master of the Music at Westminster Cathedral, Simon Johnson, and New Paths Music Artistic Director Libby Burgess said they were “extremely impressed” with all three RBC finalists. Godfrey took the Prize with his performance of Messiaen's 'Transports de Joie'.

The competition, which has been created for “outstanding young organists from RBC”, was hosted by New Paths Festival. The day also included a talk from legendary organist Dame Gillian about her career and more performances on the Minster’s organ.

Head of Organ at RBC Daniel Moult said: “The greatest of thanks to New Paths Music for hosting us in their wonderful spring festival. “Our RBC young organ students gave utterly brilliant performances of demanding repertoire, which captivated the capacity crowd. It offered a valuable opportunity to perform in a stunning building, and as part of a renowned and exciting festival."

Godfrey said: "I am delighted to be awarded the Prize. I could not be more grateful to my tutors Daniel Moult and Nicholas Wearne for their support and insights into Messiaen's music. This accomplishment would not have been possible without their guidance."

Pictured: (l-r) Libby Burgess, Simon Johnson, Godfrey Leung, and Dame Gillian Weir.

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