• Barnes Young Musician

    of the Year 2020


    Congratulations to our 2020 winner Xenia Edwards, who impressed with a superbly well considered performance. Runner up is Tian Hsu, trumpet. Adjudicator Ashley Solomon passes on some wise words to all contestants (and the audience as it were). Here is one:

    Take control and love the moment !!


    You will have a chance to hear Xenia at the Festival Choral Evensong , 22 March 6pm St Mary’s Church

    The Barnes Young Musician of the Year Award has become an established and important part of the annual Barnes Music Festival and is announcing exciting changes in 2020. From this year we are expanding the geographical boundaries to those of the historic borough of Barnes, and including East Sheen and Mortlake. The relevant postcodes will now be SW13 and SW14.

    Students entering the award benefit from opportunities such as performing in front of discerning Barnes Music Festival audiences, gaining prestige for themselves, their schools and teachers, and receiving feedback and guidance from world-class musicians.

    Application Form

    We are delighted to announce that Ashley Solomon has agreed to lead the final adjudication, which will take place on the Festival’s opening day, 7th March at the Velehrad Centre. Ashley is Chair and Head of Historical Performance at the Royal College of Music. He has made recordings and performed worldwide as a soloist, and spends a lot of his time working and performing with Florilegium, the ensemble he co-founded in 1991.


    Last year we introduced a preliminary round in the shape of informal workshops. This not only enables us to choose the number of applicants who go forward to the final adjudication but it is also a great opportunity for them to work on their competition pieces with top professional musicians.


    In 2020 David Syrus, who has been accompanying BYM candidates since the 2018 Award, and our new team member, Michael Harris will lead the preliminary sessions. David was Head of Music at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden between 1993 and 2017. As a conductor he led many productions at Covent Garden and all over the world, from France to Japan. David studied music in Oxford and trained at the London Opera Centre. Clarinettist, Michael Harris played in the Philharmonia Orchestra as well as with many notable period instrument ensembles and was founding member of the London Winds. Michael often adjudicates for big competition, including BBC Young Musicians of the Year, and he is a woodwind coach for the Britten-Pears Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, besides being professor of bass clarinet at the Royal College of Music.

    Congratulation to Charlotte Comon, cello, winner of the Barnes Young Musician of the Year 2019

    Second place went to Madeleine Jablonowska, clarinet


    Now in its 4th year, the Award looks ahead to the future of musical performance. As well as giving our own young musicians a platform during the Festival, we are also playing our part in sustaining a high quality of musicianship in future generations. The first BYM took place in 2017 and established a high standard .

    The final adjudication - delivered in 2017 by Ralph Allwood and in 2018 by Hilary Davan Wetton - has been as useful for the participants as entertaining and informative for the audience. In 2019 Paul McCreesh led the adjudication.

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