Young Musician of the Year

THE WOKING Music Festival season came to a triumphant end last Saturday with the prestigious Young Musician of the Year Competition which was held in front of an enthusiastic audience, which included the Mayor of Woking, Cllr Will Forster, at Christ Church Woking. 

Young Musician of the Year 17 year old Sophie Kauer (centre) with fellow contestants (from left) Zac Brandman, Hollie Tibbotts, Felix Rockhill, Iman Kashim, Annie McCrystal, Clem Pickering, Phoebe Baxendale, Christian Leslie, Rhia Thomas and Eleanor Bray

The winner, was Sophie Kauer, a 17-year-old cellist, who began lessons at the age of 8 and entered the Junior Division of the Royal Academy of Music before she turned 10. Sophie came second in the Woking competition last year.

Clem Pickering, also 17, on viola was awarded second place, with 16-year-old pianist Annie McChrystal in third place.

The adjudicator was Jonathan Willcocks who is currently Musical Director of Guildford Choral Society, The Chichester Orchestra and Southern Pro Musica and is Festival Conductor for the Leith Hill Musical Festival.  His compositions encompass large scale orchestral scores and chamber music in addition to many choral works. He has been engaged in musical activities throughout the world.

Woking Young Musician of the Year Sophie Kauer

Willcocks praised all those competing, saying: “The standard of performance from all of the seven finalists for the Woking Young Musician of the Year was really outstanding, and in cellist Sophie Kauer we have a truly worthy winner.

“It is a mark of the prestige of this 40-year-old Award that attracts annually such a strong field from the finest young musicians in the South of England.”

For information on how to take part in the 2019 Woking Music Festival in November, visit wokingmusicfestival.org.uk or email info@wokingmusicfestival.org.uk

For the full story and pictures, pick up this week’s edition of the News & Mail (Feb 7th).