Accomplished violinist takes Perse Musician of the Year crown
26 Apr 2019
Emma Harris (Year 9) came out on top against tough competition to claim the Perse Musician of the Year title following a grand final featuring the school’s most talented musical performers.
The final, held in the Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre, included performances from Emma and fellow violinists Yao-Chih Kuo (Upper Sixth) and Annabel Butler (Lower Sixth), singer Matthew Chan, percussionist John Hayward, trumpeter William Nathan (all Lower Sixth), saxophonist Masaki Hattori (Upper Sixth) and pianist Hannah Seo (Year 11).
Yao-Chih opened the event with performances of movements from Robert Schumann’s Violin Sonata No 1 and Ysaye’s Sonata for Solo Violin, while Masaki played two pieces from Croquembouches by Delvincourt followed by Phil Woods’ Sonata for Alto Saxophone.
Renditions of Jeux d’Eau by Ravel and Chopin’s work Ballade No 1 were performed by Hannah, while Emma played a movement from Grieg’s Sonata for Violin and Piano as well as Improvisation, Opus 21, No 1 by Kabalevsky.
Following the interval, John provided a contemporary sound with his performances of The Solo by Steve Gadd, indie band Everything Everything’s instrumental +Pendolino and Gordon Goodwin’s work Whodunnit?
William gave renditions of Seiber’s Dance Suite, and Trumpet Concertos by Oskar Bohme and Harry James, while Annabel performed movements from Bach’s Partita No 3 and Brahms’ FAE Sonata.
Matthew rounded off the show with a set featuring Danza, Danza Fancuilla Gentile (Durante), Amarilli, Mia Bella (Caccini), Die Taubenpost (Schubert), A Hymn to God the Father (Pelham Humfrey) and The Sigh (Gerald Finzi).
Lesley-Ann Thomson, Director of the Junior Academy at the Royal Academy of Music, adjudicated the final and was “blown away” by the standard of the eight participants.
However, it was Emma who was crowned champion and collected the prestigious Richard King Cup, with Matthew being awarded the runners-up prize following a fine evening of music.
Emma said: “I feel very honoured because I never expected it and there was such a high standard among all the musicians.”
Perse Director of Music Michael Holiday added: “It was a great competition. The musicians took it seriously and showed a lot of passion and excellence, which all comes from hard work. Everyone acquitted themselves really well.
It was a very difficult decision to make, but Lesley-Ann felt Emma played from the heart and that it was a very passionate and musical performance.”