Martin James Bartlett, from Hornchurch, Essex, is currently studying for A levels in music and physics and has been awarded full scholarships to three London conservatoires. He said after winning the award: “It’s such an amazing feeling. It’s not just the highlight of my musical career, it’s the highlight of my life.”
The 17-year-old, who regularly performs solo recitals, was named as the winner at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh, where he and other finalists performed with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kirill Karabits in front of a live audience. Martin, who performed Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, began learning the piano at the age of six and bassoon and recorder from the age of eight. By the time he was 12 he had achieved Grade 8 Distinction on all three.
Previously, he has been a prizewinner for several years running in the Jaques Samuel Intercollegiate Piano Competition, which has resulted in a series of Wigmore Hall solo performances. At the age of 13, he won the Purcell School’s Middle School Concerto Competition, performing Mozart’s D minor Concerto K.466 with the Purcell Sinfonia. More recently, he has performed Mozart’s C minor Piano Concerto K.491 with the Vanbrugh Ensemble and, earlier this month, also with Watford Symphony Orchestra.
The two other finalists at Sunday’s event, which was broadcast on BBC Four, were percussionist Elliott Gaston-Ross, 15, and recorder-player Sophie Westbrooke, 15. The panel of judges consisted of composer James MacMillan, conductor Alice Farnham, pianist Alice Sara Ott, percussionist Colin Currie and recorder-player Michala Petri.
The event, which started in 1978, is regarded as the UK’s leading contest for young classical musicians’
Courtesy: The Guardian Sunday 18 May 2014
Photo courtesy: Sunday Post