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George Shuffrey String Competition 2019
Max opened with Concerto in D Major by Küchler and was followed by Jason who gave a us Gavotte by Lully. Christopher gave us Böhm’s tricky
Introduction and Polonaise and Sam came next with the equally demanding
Sonatina in G major, Opus 100 (4th Movt.) by Dvořák. Gwyndaf gave us Dancla’s delightful Air Varie No. 5, Milo Morland followed with Allegretto moderato (Concerto No. 2 in G major) by Friedrich Seitz and Mathis closed the musical part of the evening with Saint-Saëns famous Swan from Carnivla of the Animals.
The players were immensely lucky to have tips and guidance from Stephen Broom, former Principal Viola of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, who encouraged all of them to work on more fluid bowing technique, the bow being the engine of a good sound. He gave first place to Sam for his Dvořák and second place to Christopher for his Introduction and Polonaise.
George Shuffrey String Competition 2017
Wednesday 15th November 2017
The evening went off in some style with nine performances from all age ranges. Mr. Hunt, who left us two years ago, returned to adjudicate. Sam opened with an arresting performance of Bohm’s Sarabande in G Minor, followed by Christopher who gave us The Boy Paganini with, as Mr. Hunt remarked, all the tricks of the trade. Aidan, the first of two Double Bass players, gave us The Jolly Dutchman and Oliver on the ‘cello gave us a very well-articulated account of Jacob’s Robots’ March. Roderick played then longest piece of the evening, the first movement of Brahms’ Sonata in A, and Dash gave us the only Vivaldi of the evening, the Allegro from his Concerto in G Minor. Michael played Bartok’s Este a Szekelyeknel and Kit played the second rendition of the evening of The Jolly Dutchman. Arnold, on the ‘cello, closed with Fauré’s Romance.
Mr. Hunt commented on how good the intonation had been all evening, and awarded second place to Sam and first place to Michael for his Bartok.
George Shuffrey String Competition 2014
The competition, which in recent years has been keenly fought among the more advanced string players, this year saw some exceptionally fine performances from a number of boys. Matthew opened with a sparkling account of Manual de Falla’s Ritual Fire Dance and Gwilym followed with a careful performance of Vivaldi’s Allegro Vivace on the ‘cello – his first ever public performance. Freddie gave Bruch’s Romance Op. 85 with some passion, James gave the only film score of the night with Shore’s In Dreams from The Hobbit, Ben’s performance of Merle’s Caballero on the Double Bass was one of the most distinctive of the evening and Zelig’s Schindler’s List one of the most poignant. Huw’s Slavonic Fantasy by Dvořák showed-off his liquid vibrato and Ethan’s Allegretto by Fibich was fiery and delicate. Roderick’s Un Soir Aportici showed us how he is developing as a violinist and Charles closed the programme with a mature account of Saint-Saëns’ Allegro Appassionato.
The Adjudicator, former BBC NOW leader and co-leader Barry Haskey, made much of the importance of giving a true performance (as opposed to trying to play the right notes) and gave second place to Ben for his crisp Caballero and first place to Huw for his romanesque account of the Slavonic Fantasy.
George Shuffrey String Competition 2015
Thursday 12th November 2015
Seven competitors gave us an exciting evening of music under the banner of the George Shuffrey Competition for String Players. Matthew, who has been in the schools since pre-prepdays and is now in his final year, opened proceedings with an assured and musically stylish rendition of Saint-Saëns’ Allegro Appassionato for ‘cello and was followed by Michael’s atmospherically unaccompanied account of the famous Bourée from the Bach ‘Cello Suites, though played on his violin. William came next with a charming and careful performance of Donizetti’s Non giova il sospirar and Ethan gave us the surprisingly complicated Polish Dance by Edmund Severn. Zelig gave a glittering account of Vivaldi’s Il sospetto concerto first movement and Huw then played Manuel de Falla’s Danse Espagnole with some verve. Roderick closed with Willem ten Have’s enjoyable Allegro Brilliante.
Our adjudicator, Tim Cronin, is an instrumental coach at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and a former member of the European Union Baroque Orchestra. He gave us a detailed adjudication of the performances and emphasized a number of technical issues, including effective use of vibrato and the importance of selecting the correct tempo and not rushing into starting. He mentioned Roderick in dispatches, gave second place to Ethan and awarded the first prize, of £75, to Huw.
George Shuffrey String Competition 2013
This year, as in previous years, the competition was very well-fought, with an excellent programme of performances presented by seven players. Matthew opened with Air Varie by Charles de Bériot, followed by Roderick who performed Grey Eagle unaccompanied.
Huw took to the stage to perform five of the six Romanian Folk Dances by Béla Bartok, a challenge to any violinist, and Zelig followed with Spring from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Freddie was the second to play the Romanian Folk Dances, and Charlie, the only ‘cellist this year gave us Fauré’s beautiful Elegie. William closed proceedings with a performance of Manuel de Falla’s Danse Espagnole.
The adjudicator, professional ‘cellist Rachel Howgego, gave the players some valuable pointers about both technique and stage-craft, and awarded second place to Charlie commenting on his beauty of tonal contrast, and first place to William for his exciting and energetic performance of the de Falla.