Annual Irish Heritage Bursary Auditions Go Virtual
Two talented performers from Dundalk and Dublin receive awards
Bursaries with a combined value of over £10,000 were at stake when 10 very talented Irish musicians and singers were nominated for this year’s Irish Heritage Bursary auditions.
The 10 candidates, who represented music conservatoires and colleges from all over Britain, were competing for the Irish Heritage Music Bursary for Performance which is valued at £5,000, the Brackaville Bursary for Vocal Studies valued at £2,500 and the Accompanist Prize for the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival.
In addition to the prize money, the bursaries also involve valuable performance opportunities in London and at the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival where recipients will perform on the 2nd June 2021, subject to the current restrictions being lifted.
Because of the Covid-19 lockdown this year’s auditions were conducted virtually instead of at their usual venue, the Wigmore Hall in London. Video and written submissions from the candidates were judged over the past fortnight by a distinguished adjudication panel consisting of Audrey McKenna, Irish Heritage’s Artistic Adviser for Ireland; Professor Colma Brioscú, Head of Keyboard at the Royal Irish Academy of Music; Professor Mia Cooper, Leader of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, and Dieter Kaegi, co-founder and Artistic Director of the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival and Director General of Theater Orchester Biel Solothum in Switzerland.
The bursaries were awarded as follows:
The Irish Heritage Music Bursary for Performance went to Tiffany Qiu (19), a pianist from Dundalk, County Louth, who is studying at the Royal Academy of Music in London;
The Brackaville Bursary for Vocal Studies was awarded to Dominica Williams (30), a mezzo-soprano from Dublin, who is studying at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.
Because the recipient of main bursary is a pianist, the Accompanist Prize was not awarded.
Further details are on the Irish Heritage website at www.irishheritage.org.uk