International music competition success for Perse pianist
25 May 2021
Juliette Richards (Upper Sixth) has earned a distinction with her prodigious piano playing at the renowned Tunbridge Wells International Music Competition.
The illustrious competition was held online this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with gifted musicians aged 28 and under from across the world submitting filmed performances of their recitals.
Distinction awards were given to the top three musicians in each instrument category, with the Perse music scholar among the winners in her section, which was judged by leading classical pianists Joanna MacGregor CBE and Sam Haywood.
She said: “I just enter competitions to get valuable feedback from amazing professional pianists and musicians, so I definitely wasn’t expecting to receive this award and I’m absolutely delighted.
“There were professional musicians taking part in this competition, but all three distinction winners in my category were among the youngest entrants. They played some clips of the distinction winners at the virtual award ceremony and they were all fantastic.
“The judges said some really nice things about my performance, but there was also some really useful constructive feedback.
“It gives me a lot of confidence. I don’t have time to enter many competitions like this, but it gives me a sense that I’m on the right track.”
Juliette submitted her Perse Musician of the Year-winning programme, which featured renditions of pieces by Ravel, Beethoven and Stravinsky.
Juliette has an offer to read natural sciences at Cambridge’s St John’s College, but aims to maintain her playing piano alongside her studies.
She said: “I describe it to people as a ‘professional hobby’, so I want to keep it up to the highest level I can. My ideal scenario would be to get a decent job in the future while also being able to continue performing in concerts.”