1 November 2018

This year’s Senior Solo Competition was characterised by some stunning performances from eight of Abingdon’s most accomplished musicians. The standard was extremely high this year – the minimum criterion for entry was a distinction at grade 8 and at least four of the musicians had performing diplomas with distinction to their credit. Several of the performances were given from memory.

Our adjudicator this year was Mr Neil Farrow, who is Director of Music at Our Lady’s Senior School in Abingdon. A distinguished oboist and conductor, Mr Farrow was eminently qualified for the unenviable task of comparing such widely different musical instruments and repertoire.

Our pianists included Jason Ng (Beethoven’s Sonata in C Op 2 No 3), Ashwin Tennant (Debussy’s Jardins sous la Pluie), Alvin Tam (Brahms’ Rhapsody in G minor, Op 79, No 2), Scott Yap (Brahms’ Intermezzo Op 118) and David Bicarregui (Rachmaninov’s Prelude in B minor, Op 32 No 10).

We had the pleasure of hearing two fine cellists; Oliver Simpson (Fauré’s Sicilienne and Shostakovich’s Sonata, Scherzo) and Joe Bradley (Fauré’s Elégie). James Daly opened the concert with the Tuba Concerto by Lebedev.

In his adjudication Mr Farrow gave some generous compliments to all the performers and found lots of interesting points of development for them to consider. We were kept guessing until the end as he found it difficult to separate the top three performances. Third place went to David Bicarregui, second to Oliver Simpson, whilst first prize was awarded to Ashwin Tennant.  

Our thanks must go to all the performers, their teachers, our accompanist, Lynette Stulting, and to Neil Farrow for a wonderful evening of music making.

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