A dazzling performance saw one young cellist claim the title of Sussex Young Musician of the Year and a Tradoak bursary of £1,000.
Leo Popplewell captured the top prize at the Coro Nuovo Sussex Young Musician finals on Saturday (July 6).
Judges awarded Cambridge graduate Leo, 23, first place following a competitive final at St Andrews Church, Burgess Hill.
Presenting him with his prize, Tradoak director Neil Peskett said: “Leo produced a stunning performance.
“We are delighted to once again support talented young musicians and provide the bursary for this wonderful competition.”
Leo, whose father is from Petworth, drew some of the loudest applause of the evening.
He showed great sensitivity and controlled vibrato on the mournful yet moving Moeran Prelude and nimbleness on Beethoven’s Sonata Number 5.
Young musician is ‘truly mesmerising’
Second place, and a prize of £500, went to classical guitarist George Robinson, 23, from Chichester.
George’s fluent guitar playing brought out the Iberian warmth and drama of Turina’s Homenaje Tarrega Op 69, while capturing the melody and energy of Gary Ryan’s Sugar Loaf mountain.
Judge Toby Purser told Leo and George: “You both brought something truly mesmerising to the performance.”
Addressing all four finalists he said: “All four of you have something incredible to give to the music world.”
The joint runners-up were Maria Luc, 22, and Andy Martin who both receive £250.
Maria’s dazzling right-hand piano work illuminated the Rachmaninov Etude Tableaux, and she drew out the impressionist feel of Debussy’s technically demanding L’Isle Joyeuse.
Andy, on flute, coped well with the pace, whistles and shrieks of Ian Clarke’s highly entertaining Great Train Race. He showed a more reflective and passionate side on Lenky’s Aria from Eugene Onegin.
Choir provides uplifting charm
The evening also included a performance of 16 pieces of popular music by the Coro Nuovo choir under the title Earth’s Beauty, directed by Andrew Rees.
Two of the choir’s best pieces in a fine performance were Czech songs, the delicate and soothing Napadly Pisne and the uplifting charm of Proc Bychom.
As part of his prize, Leo has the chance to perform with Coro Nuovo and be paid as a professional.
The second judge was Catherine Kent, chair of Coro Nuovo.
Traditional Oak And Timber Company
Tradoak was formed by Neil Peskett in 1990.
Our website provides examples of some of the work we have undertaken and products we can supply.
As an independent family business we are passionate about supporting our local community.