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Gifted young saxophone player wins Norfolk Young Musician Competition 2013

PUBLISHED: 06:30 14 January 2013

Winner of the Norfolk Young Musician Competition 2013 Finn McEwen. Photo: Steve Adams

Winner of the Norfolk Young Musician Competition 2013 Finn McEwen. Photo: Steve Adams

A talented saxophone player has been crowned the winner of the Norfolk Young Musician Competition 2013.

Seventeen-year-old Norwich School pupil Finn McEwen, from Earlham, received the top prize in the competition held at the John Innes Centre yesterday with a performance that adjudicator Matthew Andrews said captured the whole room and made him fall in love with the saxophone again.

About Finn’s performance of Binge’s Allegro Spiritoso, Andante Expressivo and Allegro Giocoso, Mr Andrews said: “What Finn did was he really understood his piece and mastered his instrument, and gave a performance that really captured the whole room, for the whole time it felt like nobody was breathing.

“He performed with nuance, colour, variety and wit. I fell in love with the saxophone again. It was wonderful.”

Finn, who has been playing the saxophone for about seven years and last year won the competition’s Aylsham Music Society Prize for the most promising woodwind or brass player, said he was delighted to win.

“It is really nice. I came here last year and was awarded the most promising player prize so I thought I would come back and give it a go for the big one. I was really nervous but it all came together,” he said.

“It has not really sunk in yet, it is a nice warm feeling to be given the first prize.

“After all the hard work my teacher David Fitzgerald has put in and the support of friends and family, it is nice to have something to give back.”

Finn, who is studying A-level music and also goes to the Junior Academy at the Royal Academy of Music in London, said he was hoping to pursue music as a career.

About why he loves music, he said: “Every composer has written a piece in a certain way, and the opportunity for you to interpret it the way you want to get your emotions across and connect with the audience is really nice.”

There were 11 young musicians who took part in yesterday’s competition.

Mr Andrews, who is the principal conductor of the Norwich Philharmonic Orchestra, said he was impressed with the overall standard of the competitors in terms of their technical accomplishments and the way they were all beginning to show real flair and exploring the art of performance.

Jonathan Wortley, chairman of the Michael Badminton Young Musicians Trust which promotes the annual event, said: “As always we had a large number of really talented competitors in quite a range of ages, from 12 to 19.

“It is really very encouraging for music and culture in Norfolk that we have people of such talent coming through.”

Second prize was awarded to 18-year-old baritone George Rolls, a Norwich School pupil who lives at North Burlingham, while third prize was presented to 17-year-old trumpet player Matthew Frost, who lives in Norwich and goes to Notre Dame High School.

Sixteen-year-old saxophone player Surina Fordington, who goes to Norwich High School and lives in Bradfield, was presented with the Aylsham Music Society Prize for the most promising woodwind or brass player.

Twelve-year-old violinist Dylan Latham, who lives at Thorpe St Andrew and goes to the Norwich School, won the Michael Badminton String Prize.

The other entrants were Heidi Reger on flute, Alice Godfrey on trumpet and flugelhorn, soprano Francesca Grapes, Georgina Sargent on violin, Delcine Dunsmore on flute, and Megan Storer on flute.

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