Winning Streak for RNCM Pianists

The RNCM’s School of Keyboard Studies has been celebrating impressive successes recently. Not only has Simon Passmore won First Prize in the Grand Prix Pianos Maene, but Alexander Panfilov won the Worshipful Company of Musicians Maisie Lewis Young Artists’ Award; Tom Hicks was selected to take part in the seventh New York International Piano Competition; and Dominic Degavino was announced as the most promising pianist in the Keyboard Section Final of the Royal Over-Seas League ARTS competition.

Simon, currently in his fourth year studying with Murray McLachlan, was one of 24 pianists – and the only UK entrant – to take part in the biannual Grand Prix Pianos Maene, held in Brussels, Belgium. His win, which follows his prize at the 21st Chopin Festival in Maxovia, Poland, in November, marks the first time a British pianist has won the 18-24 category.

The Maisie Lewis Young Artists’ Fund of The Worshipful Company of Musicians, established in 1969 by Sir Edward Lewis in memory his wife, provides funding for the Musicians’ Company Concerts. Postgraduate Alexander, a pupil of Graham Scott, now has the opportunity to perform at Wigmore Hall during the 2014/15 season.

Third year pianist Tom Hicks, another student of Murray McLachlan, is one of 22 young musicians selected to compete in this year’s New York International Piano competition. The week-long event, which takes place in June, is dedicated to providing professional artistic development and is open to all pianists aged 16 – 21. Each entrant will compete for cash prizes and concert appearances, with additional opportunities to network, exchange information and cultivate a support system that will aid their pre-professional years.

Finally, first year Dominic Degavino, who studies with Helen Krizos, was one of two RNCM students to compete in the Keyboard Section Final of the ROSL ARTS competition and was awarded £1000 for being the most promising pianist. The RNCM has already achieved great success in this year’s event, with double-bassist Toby Hughes making history with his Strings Section Final win, alumnus Huw Wiggin topping the Wind and Percussion Section Final, and the Solem Quartet winning the Ensemble A category.

11 March 2014