Bass-baritone Thomas Isherwood has become the first RNCM student to win The Kathleen Ferrier Society Bursary for Young Singers.

The annual award, established in memory of the famous contralto, is presented to a singer entering their second year of study at a conservatoire and is one of the most well-known singing competitions in the world.

On receiving the bursary, which has been running for 16 years, Thomas said: 'It was a real honour to be able to represent the RNCM in this competition; it has been a wonderful experience. I've had the pleasure of competing with some truly first-rate musicians and I will never forget it.'

Sixteen singers took part in the competition (two from each of the major music colleges in the UK, Scotland and Wales), narrowed down to six in the second round and three in the final, all of whom were awarded a prize.

Sheila Armstrong, KFS President and Chairman of Judges, said of Thomas’ performance: 'The prize this year goes to a young man who held the audience in the palm of his hand as soon as he stepped onstage.'