A string quartet, soprano and violinist take top prizes
The 2014 Borletti-Buitoni Trust winners have been announced; the first for a couple of years and with significantly increased prizes. Three Awards are made, each worth £30,000, and these went to the Apollon Musagète Quartet, the soprano Ruby Hughes and the violinist Itamar Zorman. Four Fellowships (worth £20,000) were made to musicians at an earlier stage in their career: violinist Benjamin Beilman, horn-player Alec Frank-Gemmill, pianist Gloria Campaner and clarinettist-composer Mark Simpson. A Special Award was made to pianist-composer Kate Whitley.
The Apollon Musagète Quartet, who hail from Poland, are no strangers to winning awards as they've already the 2008 ARD International Music Competition under their belts and are also members of the current BBC New Generation Artists scheme. Passionate advocates of new music, the AMQ have engagements this season at Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Paris's Louvre and at the Tonhalle in Zurich.
Ruby Hughes was a 2012-13 BBC New Generation Artist and has also taken two prizes (First and Audience) at the 2009 Handel Singing competition. She is also a recipient of a Royal Philharmonic Society Susan Chilcott Award. Last year she appeared at the Proms and at Wigmore Hall and has appeared on a number of recordings including the Montsalvatge Sinfonia da Requiem on Chandos and Dowland's Lachrimae for Alpha. Future recording plans include contributing to the complete Britten folksongs with pianist Joseph Middleton for Champs Hill Records.
Itamar Zorman, from Israel, studied at the Manhattan School of Music and at the Juilliard School. He won the 2011 Tchaikovsky Competition and has received an Avery Fisher Career Grant. This spring will see his first release - a collection of works by Schubert, Messiaen, Chausson and Hindemith – on Profil-Editions Günter Haenssler.