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Malcolm Arnold Fantasies Competition Results

Published in General on 2016-03-10 by Empty Chairs

More news from Malcolm Arnold Fantasies Competition

The Malcolm Arnold Fantasies Competition, initiated by The Wallace Collection, sees four outstanding brass musicians selected to contribute to a unique recording project and perform at the forthcoming Malcolm Arnold Festival on 15th October 2016.

The audition panel included John Wallace and Tony George of The Wallace Collection, and after completing an audition tour which took place at 4 venues across the UK (Royal Academy of Music, Royal Welsh Academy of Music and Drama, Royal Northern College of Music and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), the winners have now been selected.

Michael Gibbs - Horn
Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama

Illiam Quaine - Trumpet
Royal Northern College of Music

Benny Vernon - Trombone
Royal Academy of Music

Stuart Beard - Tuba
Royal Academy of Music

In addition to selecting the four players to record the Fantasies and perform at the Malcolm Arnold Festival in October, further recognition was given to the best performance across all the auditions. This has been awarded to:

Stuart Beard (Tuba), studying at Royal Academy of Music

As part of this additional award, Stuart will also appear as a guest soloist with The National Youth Brass Bands of Scotland in summer 2016.

The recording project brings together Arnold’s works for brass, to create a CD – Arnold for Brass which will be released under The Wallace Collection/Nimbus Alliance label at the Malcolm Arnold Festival in October, marking the 10th anniversary of Sir Malcolm’s death.  As a significant reappraisal of the life’s work of Malcolm Arnold, the recording will incorporate performances from The Wallace Collection, The National Youth Brass Band of Scotland (which originally commissioned Little Suite for Brass No 1 in 1963), RCS Brass and the four winners of the Fantasies Competition – who will record the Fantasies for Horn, Trumpet, Trombone and Tuba and in so doing pay tribute to the rejuvenation of these works through their rediscovery of these works at the outset of their careers.

John Wallace and Tony George reflect upon the competition:

"Every participant was a great credit to their respective institutions. The competition across the UK was intense and the final decisions were far from easy, requiring great deliberation between us both.

We were genuinely very impressed by the high standards we found throughout the auditions, and from our privileged position of being able to see these talented players in action at all the venues, we feel that the UK's potential future for brass playing is so very bright.

We are extremely grateful for the support of all the hosting venues, institutions and personnel who have enabled this part of our Malcolm Arnold project to become a reality.  We also offer our thanks to The Malcolm Arnold Trust for its enthusiasm for our initiative, helping us to integrate the project into the forthcoming Malcolm Arnold Festival.

All the performers involved also deserve our sincere congratulations - they evidently worked extremely hard to present their performances of Arnold's wonderful music. So, even if they weren't part of the final selection, we have no doubt that these preparations will have given them all the positive benefit of gaining a closer understanding and appreciation of Arnold's Fantasy for their specific instrument - a winning outcome for each and every one of the competitors.”

In line with The Wallace Collection’s enthusiasm to promote excellence in brass and to build awareness of the rich repertoire that has been crafted across the centuries, The Malcolm Arnold project has been a major focus for its 2015/16 list of initiatives.  Through the creation of the CD (of which individual tracks will also be released as downloads), in parallel with performance opportunities for a mix of ensembles, The Wallace Collection’s Malcolm Arnold Project opens access to a variety of audiences and offers an ideal platform to reignite appreciation of the influential impact on brass music which was generated by this prolific composer.

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