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25th Jun, 2022

Talented musicians crowned in the Bromsgrove Young Musicians’ Platform

THREE talented musicians have been crowned the 2020 winners in the final of the fifth annual Bromsgrove Young Musicians’ Platform (BYMP).

Sophie Costa, aged 13 from Leicester, won the Junior section and in a first for the competition’s history, there were joint winners in the Senior section – 16 year-old local singer Isabella Hulbert from Droitwich and oboist Jessica Ellis, aged 17 from Warwick, shared the accolade.

After many months of lockdown and home-schooling, it was a delight to welcome the musicians to Routh Concert Hall at Bromsgrove School on October 25 for the Finalists’ Concert in a COVID-secure way.

The adjudicators were blown away by the standard of the entries, with each competitor taking part in an audition round earlier in February.

They were then whittled down to just eight finalists, selected on merit by the distinguished adjudicators – Finalists Chairman Prof David Saint, Auditions Chairman Alastair Moseley, renowned cellist and conductor Richard Jenkinson and Sarah Oliver of Chetham’s School of Music.

Isabella, a student at RGS Worcester, and Jessica from Kingsley School in Leamington Spa, beat off fierce competition to take the joint first prize in the Senior section for musicians aged 14 to 17 years.

Isabella has been receiving singing lessons since she was seven years old and has already achieved her ARSM Diploma. Jessica, who has been playing the oboe since she was eight, completed the

Diploma a few years ago and will be taking her LRSM next month.

Aged just 13, Junior section winner Sophie, studying at the Junior Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, started playing the harp at just four years old. She is working on her ARSM Performance Diploma at the moment.

Sophie gave a moving performance of Toccata by Rota and Sonatina No 6 (Prelude and Allegro disperato) by Naderman. It is the first time that a harpist has won the Young Musicians’ Platform.

Jessica on oboe stole the show with two pieces – Concerto for Oboe and Strings (Rondo Pastorale) by Vaughan Williams and finished with Concerto in D Minor, Opus 9, No. 2 (Allegero e non presto) by Albinoni.

Isabella’s showpiece was a lively rendition of The Girl in 14G by Tesori. Completing the finalists’ concert line up, she also performed The Singer by M Head and Chi il bel sogno di Doretta by Puccini was perfectly executed.

All three winners have been granted financial bursaries of £1,000 (Senior section) and £750 (Junior section) respectively to enable them to further develop their musical talent.

There was also a second award of £400, which went to Aidan Cham (cello – Junior section) from St Alban’s School.

Monica Toso, Chairman of the Bromsgrove Young Musicians’ Platform, said after the enforced school closures during the first lockdown, it had been more important than ever for our young musicians to feel valued, encouraged and able to progress with their musical talent.

“We held the final in a safe and secure way and we were so pleased to see such talent back on our stage.

“The ability of our Platform competitors has increased year on year, and we were delighted to expand the geographical area and accept musicians from across the UK to our 2020 Platform auditions in February.”

The Young Musicians’ Platform is open to all musicians who are at school or resident in the United Kingdom.

The junior section is for those aged 9 to 13 and Seniors aged 14 to 17.

Its sister competition, The Bromsgrove International Musicians Competition (BIMC) was originally founded for young talented musicians in 1980 by the late Dr Mary White.

The International competition is open to instrumentalists and pianists of all nationalities aged 18 to 25 (28 for singers).

The competitions are run by a trust, which is a registered charity.

There are plans afoot to launch an online concert series for the Bromsgrove competition’s 40th anniversary this year after the main competition was forced to be cancelled in April due to Covid-19.

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