15 February 2022

Very many congratulations to Abingdon student Oliver Simpson who has won the Oxfordshire Senior Concerto Competition final in Oxford.

The competition, which is part of the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra’s ‘Orchestra in Residence’ programme at the University of Oxford, happens every other year and sees talented young musicians compete for the chance to perform as a soloist in a full-length concerto with the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra. This year’s final saw Abingdon lower sixth former, Oliver, perform in a head-to-head with two mature soloists, both undergraduates at Oxford University. Accompanied by the Oxfordshire County Youth Orchestra, Oliver played the final movement of Elgar’s great Cello Concerto with great aplomb.

Michael Stinton, Head of Music, said of the achievement: “This piece requires technical mastery, a grasp of rubato and strong singing melodic lines that can soar above the full orchestra.

“Oliver’s performance was commanding and, winning against two fine soloists several years older than him, is a massive achievement which attests to his dedication and hard work, as well as to his talent as a cellist. We are incredibly proud of him.”

Oliver will now perform a full concerto with the Oxford Philharmonic as part of the forthcoming concert season.

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