The Williams-Howard Prize 2023

The Williams-Howard Prize ran for a second year at the RNCM, to celebrate and encourage the study and performance of art songs of composers of African heritage.

Established by internationally-renowned countertenor Michael Harper, in honour of two special people, his grandfather Chester Ambrose Williams and Helen Palmer Howard, his teacher and mentor who encouraged him to sing from an early age, the Williams-Howard Prize is the first of its type in Europe, celebrating singers and collaborative pianists.

The Prizes

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor First Prize:               £600 singer                 £600 Pianist
Avril Coleridge-Taylor Second Prize:               £300 singer                 £300 pianist
Amanda Ira Aldridge Hon. Mention:                £100 singer                 £100 pianist

First and second prize winners will have a performance workshop at Cooper Hall. The first prize winners will receive a repertoire coaching session and a recital at the Buxton International Festival.

This year’s winners of the Samuel Colebridge-Taylor Prize were mezzo-soprano Morgana-Warren Jones and pianist Winnie Su. You can book tickets to the winners recital at Buxton International Festival on Friday 21 July 2023 4-5pm.

The recipients of the Avril Coleridge-Taylor Second Prize were mezzo-soprano Sophie Iliaifar and pianist Harry Lai, with soprano Lucy Farrimond and pianist Juanjo Blazquez Garre receiving the Amanda Ira Aldridge Honourable Mention. You can find out more about their experience on the RNCM news page.

Thank you

The competition has been made possible thanks to the generous support of Michael Harper, the Cooper Hall Foundation (Frome, Somerset), the Buxton International Festival, the RNCM, Antony Wiens Page, the RNCM Principal’s Circle and an anonymous donor.