Known for unearthing the cream of UK musical talent, the winners of the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe Scholarship Awards have been revealed.
Three students have gained professional recognition following their performances in the competition, which took place at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music earlier this month.
Having been running for 21 years, the awards run on a rotating instrument basis, with this year’s competition open to piano students still in full-time music education in the UK.
And it proved to be a popular choice, with record numbers of applicants competing for the prize from institutions up and down the country including the Royal College of Music, The Royal Academy, The Royal Northern College of Music and The Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
However, there could only be three winners, with Mihkel Poll, from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Ji Liu, from the Royal Academy of Music and Qiaojing Dai, from the Royal Academy of Music named as the successful students by the judging panel.
Each received £2,000 to assist the furthering of their studies and classical music careers.
As well as the scholarship, Dai was selected to perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.15 with the Milton Keynes City Orchestra later this year.
Bill Martin, education liaison manager at Yamaha Music Europe GmbH (UK) said: “The judges had an unenviable task selecting three outstanding pianists from such an array of young talent.
“Each year the standard seems to improve and this year has been no exception. We received so many excellent entries and all the finalists were quite outstanding. We are delighted to be able to offer these scholarships in order that these talented musicians can further their studies.”
Since it was launched in 1989, the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe has provided over 850 scholarships amounting to in excess of €1 million (£845,000) to talented young musicians.