Student wins young musician award

UNIVERSITY NEWS LAST UPDATED : 27 OCTOBER

Second-year MMus student Peter Whitehead recently participated in the final of the John Fussell Award for Young Musicians, a prestigious contest that takes place each year at the Taliesin Arts Centre in Swansea, and was selected as the winner.

Four finalists were chosen to play in the final, including Peter. Each finalist needed to have a strong connection to Wales, as well as be currently studying at music college, either in the final year of their undergraduate course or as a current postgraduate.

The event was organised within a tight timeframe this year due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. When the organisers got the go-ahead, Peter prepared 15 minutes of repertoire, deciding to play the first movement of Schubert’s 'Arpeggione Sonata', and York Bowen's 'Melody for the G-string'.

In the end, out of the four finalists, Peter was selected as the winner of the award, receiving £2,500. Previous winners of the award include pianist Llŷr Williams, opera and classical tenor singer Rhys Meirion, and harpist, arranger and composer Catrin Finch.

Peter said: “As this was my first experience of participating in a high-level soloist competition, it was a strange experience, but enjoyable nevertheless. I’m very grateful for being chosen as the winner of the award.”

Peter currently studies at RBC under the tutelage of Louise Lansdown. Born in Wales with a Welsh family background, he currently resides in Wolverhampton, having also studied at RBC as an undergraduate with Lucy Nolan, receiving First Class Honours in 2020.

In his time at Birmingham, he’s had opportunities to lead as Principal Viola of both the RBC Symphony Orchestra and CBSO Youth Orchestra, as well as participating in the CBSO Training Scheme just before the pandemic hit.

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