Meet the Gold Medal Competitors – Group 1
The 2014 RNCM Gold Medal Competition sees ten of our most outstanding performers compete for our most coveted annual award. While our Concert Hall is under construction, we’re taking our most prestigious award outside of the College to the Martin Harris Centre for an exciting, intense day across five concerts with our finest performers.
A testament to their skill, these students have been selected through a rigorous process for their excellence in performance and composition.
In the first of five blog posts profiling the competitors, we get to know the students competing in Group 1….
Name: Helen Clinton
Study Option: Oboe
Year of Study and Tutor: Second year MMus with Jonathan Small
When did you start to play the oboe? Aged 12
Where’s the most unusual/exciting place you’ve ever performed? The most exciting places I’ve performed are the Kölner Philharmonie and the Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik. Both are spectacular halls in very different ways.
Who in the music industry do you most admire? I would love to hear Australian oboist Diana Doherty perform live one day as I’m a huge fan of her recordings, and Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth has been an inspiration for many years. I really admire her talent, confidence and work ethic.
If you weren’t studying music what would you be doing? When I was younger I always wanted to work for Disney as one of their animators or storyboard artists, so maybe that. I‘d also love to be a film critic or journalist as this is a big hobby of mine.
How do you feel about being chosen to compete for the RNCM Gold Medal? I’m really looking forward to performing, especially with a programme of music I enjoy a lot. As I’m in my final year this should be a fantastic way to round off my time here, and I’m proud to have been chosen to perform!
Name: Aled Smith
Study Option: Composition
Year of Study and Tutor: Second year MMus with Adam Gorb and Gary Carpenter
When did you start to compose? Aged 17
Where’s the most unusual/exciting place you’ve ever heard your music performed? The most exciting place was at the Royal Festival Hall by pianist and RNCM alumna Alexandra Dariescu. The strangest place has to be an outdoor concert near Parma in Italy; contemporary harpsichord music seems odd outside!
Who in the music industry do you most admire? I would say the people behind the scenes, but my favourite composers at the moment are Thomas Adès and Michel Van der Aa.
If you weren’t studying music what would you be doing? I’d like to be a pilot.
How do you feel about being chosen to compete for the RNCM Gold Medal? It’s a huge privilege and of course, very exciting. For me, writing for a saxophone quartet isn’t something I’d normally do, so it will be a great experience to work with the Borealis Quartet.
Name: Kimi Makino
Study Option: Viola
Year of Study and Tutor: First year postgraduate with Garth Knox
When did you start to play the viola? Violin aged three and the viola aged 15
Where’s the most unusual/exciting place you’ve ever performed? It was one summer when I played Piazzola with bandneon outside in glorious sunshine. I really should have worn sunglasses!
Who in the music industry do you most admire? Nobuko Imai.
If you weren’t studying music what would you be doing? I really like animals so I think I would be happy to work at a zoo.
How do you feel about being chosen to compete for the RNCM Gold Medal? I’m very happy to have an opportunity to share music with an audience in Manchester. Concert experiences are absolutely vital for musicians, so I’ll enjoy the day a lot.
Keep checking back on the blog each day this week to hear from the rest of the competitors. This year’s competition will take place at the Martin Harris Centre on Bridgeford St, off Oxford Road and is free to attend.
9 June 2014