A 19-YEAR-OLD pianist won the Woking Young Musician of the Year Competition 2017 with a dazzling display of technical mastery and musicality.
Angela Lau, a student at the Royal College of Music, took home the £300 top prize after impressing adjudicator Ian Jones with pieces from Liszt, Chopin and the modern American composer Ned Rorem at a concert in ChristChurch, in the town centre on Saturday 4 February.
Thomas Hammond, who played the oboe, was runner-up and Helena Michels, on the piano, came third.
The finalists had all performed in the Woking Music Festival in November last year. Founded in 1926, the festival is one of the largest of its kind in Surrey with more than 1,000 people taking part.
Alongside the competition, there were performances by Junior Musician of the Year Jamaal Kashim, nine, who was dwarfed by the harp on which he played Merch Megan; Most Promising Young Actor Darcy Watson, with haunting excerpts from Dreams of Anne Frank; and brother and sister recorder duo Tansy and Robert Wood, aged nine and 14.
James Cobb was named Most Promising Young Singer of the Year for the second time in a row – in 2016 he was also awarded the festival’s summer school bursary and used it to go to Music Fest in Aberystwyth.
The winner of the bursary this year was Elizabeth Knatt, 18, who played three pieces on a recorder at the concert on Saturday. She will be going to the National Youth Recorder Orchestras Summer Course in York.
The prizes were handed out by the Deputy Mayor of Woking Graham Cundy.