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Pianist Katherine scoops main prize

Katherine Tinker with her trophy and other competitors and VIPs
Katherine Tinker with her trophy and other competitors and VIPs

STUDENT Katherine Tinker brought the house down at the Marlowe Young Musician of the Year Competition in Canterbury - and walked away with the top prize.

The 15-year-old Canterbury pianist’s performance received rapturous applause from the audience.

It also united the three judges, who agreed it was the best of the five finalists.

The St Edmund’s School pupil, who performed Mendelssohn’s Concerto No 1 in G Minor, becomes the 14th winner of the Kent Messenger Trophy.

It was a worthy triumph for the pupil of the late Ronald Smith, who last month took the Kent Competitive Festival’s senior title of Young Pianist of the Year.

Tuesday night’s audience was thrilled by four other superb displays of musicianship by the beaten finalists.

First on stage to be accompanied by the Kent Concert Orchestra was Katherine’s fellow St Edmund’s pupil Jacob Barnes, 15, who performed the challenging Piano Concerto No 2.

Flautist Kitty Swanson, 16, of Sir Roger Manwood School in Sandwich, was well received with Chaminade’s Concertino.

A large contingent of supporters greeted Simon Langton head girl Louise Evans, 18, onto the stage and she did not let them down with her performance of Dvorak’s Romance in F minor for Violin.

The second half of the evening saw the Maidstone Grammar School pupil Thomas Bettley, 15, play Elgar’s much-loved Cello Concerto in E minor before Katherine rounded off a memorable evening as the last of the finalists.

Chairman of the judges Paul Edlin praised the overall standard of each of the finalists. Conductor of the Kent Concert Orchestra Paul Neville presented a special prize to Louise Evans.

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