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Young Musicians’ Bursary Competition 2020

This year we marked 10 years of the Musicians’ Bursary Competition, an initiative supported by the Canterbury Festival Foundation. It enables brilliant young musicians to pursue and develop their talent – providing financial support, guidance and opportunities. This year’s final – showcasing five outstanding young musicians – took place on-line, 19 – 23 October and was streamed via the Festival’s YouTube and Facebook pages.

Each evening we introduced our finalists, shared their performances and on the final night announced this year’s winner, as well as the Festival’s ‘one-to-watch’ in the junior category.

A huge congratulations to this year’s Young Musicians’ Bursary Award winner Jessica Yuen who astounded our judges with pieces by Haydn and Rachmaninov. The quality of this year’s musicians was exceptional and we would like to thank all who took part. We look forward to working with Jessica over the next year.

Our musicians were as follows:

Jessica Yuen: Haydn, Sonata in C major no.60 | Rachmaninov, Prelude in D Major op.23 no.4 – Watch Jessica’s performance here

Isabella Cable: Barsanti, Sonata in C Major for Treble Recorder | Frederic Chopin -Variations on Non Più Mesta Watch Isabella’s performance here

Holly Wray: Conti, Quella Fiamma | Michael Head, The Singer Watch Holly’s performance here

Tommy David: Rob Wiffin, Shout |David Mitcham, A Latin Heart Watch Tommy’s performance here

Joe Netley: Bloch, Nigun, Baal Shem Suite Watch Joe’s performance here

Watch all five films

All performances were filmed at Kent College’s stunning Great Hall.

“Any step which can spread the benefits of making music, particularly one taken at a difficult time, is a wonderful thing. To be able to spread the appreciation wider is very important and the transfer of the Festival Bursary Competition to an online audience opens up the possibilities of many more people being caught up in the amazing talent we have in our community. While there is no personal contact possible the added bonus of a wider audience can help to make up for the “live” sensation for each of our performers. I am sure they will show tremendous gifts which we all will admire.”

David Flood, Chair of Judges and Director of Music, Canterbury Cathedral

This year’s judges included:

  • David Flood, Chair of Judges and Director of Music, Canterbury Cathedral
  • Emily Renshaw Kidd, Director of Music at the Langton
  • David Burridge, Education Director, The Big Reveal
  • Alistair Hume, Founder Member of The King’s Singers
  • Dr Chris Price Director of Music at Canterbury Christ Church University