The James Waterhouse Piano Competition Prizewinners’ Recital at Steinway Hall, London.

The James Waterhouse Piano Competition Prizewinners’ Recital at Steinway Hall in London took place on Thursday, 27th April.

Now in its seventh year, the James Waterhouse Piano Competition in association with Steinway and Sons, has established itself as one of the foremost piano competitions in the UK for children under 19 years of age.  This year there were a record 82 entrants.  34 participated the masterclasses, which were split into three sections by ability level and provided an opportunity for children to try their pieces out and receive feedback from a professional pianist in a supportive and inspirational environment.

There were three competitive categories:

Foundation (16 entrants)              Winner: Helen Futty (Biggar High School)

Intermediate (15 entrants)            Winner: Hamish Ogilvy (Loretto School)

Advanced (15 entrants)                Winner: Ethan Loch (Home educated)

The lead adjudicator for the competition was Leon McCawley, one of Britain’s foremost recitalists and recording artists, who is currently professor of piano at London's Royal College of Music.  He was assisted for the masterclasses, several sessions of the competition and the finals by Scottish pianist Christopher Baxter.

The standard of playing was extraordinarily high throughout.  Usually three players from each category progress to the final, but this year four advanced competitors were put through and their outstanding performances resulted in a very protracted and difficult adjudication.

Judges and audience alike were beguiled and astonished by the quality of all 10 finalists. 

The piano recital on Thursday, 27th April at Steinway Hall in London brought together the winners of the Intermediate and Advanced categories – Hamish and Ethan.

Hamish

Hamish has always been interested in music and the performing arts.  He started violin lessons in 2007 at the age of 4 and piano 2 years later, learning with Margaret Wakeford.  A regular competitor in the Edinburgh Competitive Festival, he has won several medals on both instruments.  He performed at the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh in their Highlights concert in 2014.  Later that year, he came 2nd in the prestigious Moray Piano Competition Junior Class.  Hamish took violin grade 8 last year with a high distinction, and will take grade 8 piano after Easter.  Also an aspiring dancer, Hamish is starting at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts in September.  Currently a pupil at Loretto Senior School, he is very pleased to have this opportunity to represent them in this concert.

Sonata K. 162 - Domenico Scarlatti

Sonata in C, K. 279 (i) - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Nocturne Op. 16 - Ignacy Paderewski

 

Ethan

Ethan was born in 2004, and diagnosed completely blind since birth.  As a toddler he would explore the piano for hours imitating his first inspiration, Rowlf the piano playing dog from the Muppet Show.  His second inspiration, the DVD "Horowitz in Vienna", he played repeatedly.  His formal piano lessons began at age 4 with his mother, but now he takes the long drive to Manchester to study with Simon Bottomley.  He has been composing since early childhood, and loves to tell imaginative stories about his compositions.  In November 2016 he was presented with a Vatican International award in Rome. 

Sonata in E Major, K. 16 - Domenico Scarlatti 

Liebestraum Nottorno no. 3 - Franz Liszt

Clair du Lune - Claude Debussy 

Wizard Time - Ethan Loch 

O Polichinelo - Heitor Villa-Lobos 

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