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THE INAUGURAL SWINSIAN SOLOIST COMPETITION
LONDON, AUTUMN 2023
The first new international classical soloist music competition for more than 30 years for professional musicians and music students aged 30 or under.
What makes this thrillingly different, challenging, and about musicianship above all, is that the shortlisted dozen candidates will be a mix of any of the instrumental categories of strings, brass, woodwind, piano, voice, and percussion. Above all, this is a day of making great music and having fun and enjoyment of performance - for the competitors, the adjudicators, and the audience!
It will be a London-based competition and set to become truly international in its reach, rising to become one of the most prestigious competitions - much in the way that the Donatella Flick competition has become for young conductors.
The difference is this inclusive competition, judged by three pre-eminent musicians, will select from the competition entries around a dozen top-class, aspiring young brass, woodwind, strings, piano, singing, or percussion musicians aged 30 or under to compete on the day of the competition.
All competitors will be either professional musicians, or, studying to become professional musicians at a recognized music college in the UK, or internationally.
The competition event will be open to the public along with complimentary reward tickets for the various crowdfunding supporters. The competition will be held over one day in a suitable London venue.
The Swinsian has the potential to be televised/broadcast on national radio besides attracting massive interest among media and fellow musicians and patrons
As well as cash prizes, it is envisaged that, like the Donatella Flick competition for conductors, The Swinsian Soloist Competition will liaise with a prestigious orchestra, or ensemble to offer the winner an exciting soloist or recital booking as part of the prize.
The Swinsian will use a small part of the income to provide a small, annual bursary to one financially-challenged, but outstanding student at each of the major music colleges – Royal College of Music, Royal Academy of Music, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and Trinity Laban.
FOUNDER OF THE SWINSIAN SOLOIST COMPETITION: STEPHEN COTTAGE
I have been actively involved in the arts all my life.
I have a special affinity for classical music. I’ve had the pleasure of playing trombone in ensembles and orchestras since my teenage years and through a love and appreciation of music and the arts, gained a degree in Music, English and Philosophy at Birkbeck College as a mature student..
I co-founded and ran a very successful international classical soloist competition in Suffolk for 23 years which attracted close to 200 entrants each year from over 30 countries - a truly diverse enterprise - music can be one of those things that knows no boundaries.
The adjudicators were all notable in their fields and included Stephen Bryant, the leader of the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
The winning musicians have progressed to prestigious positions: Andrew Haveron became the concertmaster of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and joint concert master of the Philharmonia. He has also led the World Orchestra for Peace at the requests of Valery Gergiev and Donald Runnicles, and he has been leader of the John Wilson Orchestra since its inception.
The competition was paused on the early death of my competition colleague and great friend, the conductor and composer, Kevin Hill MBE - one of the finest musicians that I have ever had the privilege of knowing: https://britishmusiccollection.org.uk/composer/kevin-hill
I want to establish The Swinsian Soloist Competition with the memory of Kevin in mind whilst promoting young musicians and their wonderful live music to the delight of live audiences for some time to come.
THE BENEFITS OF SUPPORTING THE SWINSIAN
Please see the various pledge/donations options if you'd like to help this prestigious competition get on its way to becoming a truly important event in Classical Music helping young musicians to progress in their careers, and in so doing, helping to provide the world with some much-needed wonderful live music for everyone's benefit.
Your pledges will benefit you with rewards of varying degrees including invitations to the competition event, and/or follow up recitals of the winner. Swinsian cocktails at the events (who said classical music can't be fun!). Invitations to the after party.
For straight forward donations of any amount of your choice, not requiring a reward, please use the 'donate now' button.
All pledges and donations will be greatly appreciated and help to secure the administration and running/marketing of the event